July 31, 2008

A Capella Group The Second Edition Takes to a Bigger Celebration Stage

By Alicia Spates, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

Jul. 31--The Second Edition knew only one song and performed it on the Mini Place Stage for its first Decatur Celebration appearance in 1999.

"We sang 'Galileo' by the Indigo Girls," said singer Brad Barding, the group's founder. "We kept wondering, 'Should we keep singing the one song?' "

The a cappella group has come a long way since then. It has returned to perform at Celebration each year except last year, and it now has a full catalog of songs.

For this year's festival, The Second Edition (TSE for short) has been upgraded to the Heritage Stage at Prairie and Merchant Streets, where it will perform two shows Sunday.

"It's overwhelming," Barding said. "We were always hoping to perform on a big stage at the Celebration. Performing on a big stage, you get known a little more.

"We've worked so hard these past couple of years, its great to be recognized."

TSE consists of Barding (baritone/tenor), Cory Pitt (baritone/tenor), Jeff Irwin (vocal percussion), Seth Morse (high tenor) and newest member Marcus Bond (bass).

Bond joined the group in September 2007 after an impromptu jam session, he said. He's also longtime friends with Morse, Barding and Irwin.

"It was an opportunity to sing with good friends," Bond said. It's also when he found out he could sing well.

Bond grew up listening to music in his household but never participated in school or church choirs. In fact he never performed anywhere, unless you count singing at a karaoke bar.

"His sound is wonderful," Barding said. "For what little experience he has, he's amazing. We're all a little jealous of that."

Barding began the group as a junior at Eisenhower High School, after taking part in a barbershop group under the direction of Milton Scott.

"I've always had a love for a cappella music, especially when I did barbershop," he said, "but I wanted to take it into another direction."

Bringing together fellow Eisenhower students, Barding started the vocal rock group that they initially called TSE.

"We thought we'd be like R.E.M. and throw three random letters together and figure out what it would stand for later," he said. "The Second Edition just stuck."

The group performs Motown, songs of the Dave Matthews Band, Christian music and more, Barding said.

Most recently, the quintet performed as an opening act for the a cappella doo-wop group Blend at the Lincoln Square Theatre. TSE was invited back to perform its own show Oct. 10 and 11 at the theater.

"It's like Carnegie Hall to us," Barding said. "We love what's being done with the restoration of the theater. We're more than thrilled to perform there."

WHAT: The Second Edition

WHEN: 1 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Heritage Stage, Decatur Celebration.

ON THE WEB: www.the2ndedition.com

Alicia Spates can be reached at [email protected] or 421-6986.


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