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Black Tie Affair and Nothing But Treble at CTL

Singing sensations

February 20, 2012
Staff reports , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

The fun guys of the a cappella group Black Tie Affair and their female counterparts, Nothing But Treble, will team up for a night of hip arrangements of classic and modern rock songs, much like the groups on the popular show "The Sing Off." The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 24 and 25 at the Community Theatre, 100 W. Third St.

Black Tie Affair has become a local favorite in recent years. Who wouldn't love a group of young men singing in harmony, jammin' out to Kansas, Jason Mraz, Van Morrison and others? For those who have seen the guys in concert, this outing will feature a medley of their "greatest hits" but will be mostly comprised of new arrangements - several are completely original.

Pete Ruhl is the unofficial leader of the group, keeping the guys on track during their lively rehearsals and singing lead tenor on several numbers. Ruhl is an original member of the group along with Jim Rogers, who sings baritone; Chris Knipe and Casey Spencer, both basses; and TJ McCabe, a baritone and the group's primary vocal percussionist. McCabe also creates many of the original arrangements for the group. Chris Dailey joined Black Tie Affair almost at its conception, singing baritone.

Article Photos

Nothing But Treble, featuring Jacquie Engel, Denise Conner, Tess Bower-Gist and Marisa Hickey, will perform with Black Tie Affair, below, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 24 and 25 at the Community Theatre League, 100 W. Third St.

The original members are excited to welcome newcomers Andrew Paulhamus, a baritone and a student at Lycoming College; and Nicholas Biddle, a much sought-after vocalist in the area. Biddle recently released a Christmas CD.

Black Tie Affair will perform numbers such as "Carry On My Wayward Son," "I'm Yours," "Still the One," "Build Me Up, Buttercup" and "Brown-eyed Girl" among others. No concert by the guys is complete without their own brand of humor and hijinks.

"These guys are so funny individually," said Jacquie Engel, member of Nothing But Treble and occasional rehearsal pianist for the group. "When you get them all together, they crack each other up so much, you'd wonder how they had time to perfect their sound. But they do! They are serious about their music - the fun is just a bonus."

Engel and her gal pals Tess Bower-Gist, Denise Connor and Marisa Hickey make up the group Nothing But Treble. Forming to provide entertainment for a local company's annual party, the foursome has been singing together ever since. They have sung at different sporting events, in the lounge at the Community Arts Center, and at several other venues. Each of the girls is active in the Community Theatre League.

Bower-Gist, Connor and Hickey trade off the melody on songs like Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman," Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" and Gloria Estefan's "Turn the Beat Around."

In addition, the groups will sing together on KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" and the perennial favorite, Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."

The good and bad news is that performances Feb. 24 and 25 are nearly sold out, but CTL has added a performance Feb. 23 with plenty of seats available. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are 2 for $25 or $15-$8 individually. Visit ctl or call 327-1777 weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for more info.



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