280 Organizations - it


280 Organizations - it
In The Limelight
Crooning to the ladies,
sophomore Austin Colby
gets into the “Prom” theme
of Exit 245’s end-of-thesemester show. A vocal music
education major, Colby sang
the baritone voice part in the
group. Photo by Amy Gwaltney
Decked out in full
costume, senior Joel
Gerlach pauses between
songs. As part of the
“Prom” theme, members
portrayed popular high
school stereotypes. Photo
by Amy Gwaltney
Exit 245
280 Organizations
Front Row: Adam Spalletta, Denny Norris, Evan LaLiberte, Jim Smith; Second Row: Doug McAdoo, David Batteiger, Tyler Bradley,
Matt Beck, Joel Gerlach; Back Row: Steven Anzuini, Seth Doleman, William Rousseau, Austin Colby, Kyle Hutchinson, Drew Daniels,
Thomas Tombes
Sparkling under the lights,
sophomore David Batteiger
sings his heart out. Batteiger
hid his vest under a jacket for
the first part of the show and
then whipped it out for his
solo performance. Photo by
Amy Gwaltney
In The Limelight
By Sarah Chain
A cappella group Exit 245 promotes
their fifth studio album
Energy, craziness and talent were the first things that
came to mind when someone mentioned Exit 245, according to freshman Evan LaLiberte. A new member in
the fall semester, LaLiberte was the most recent addition to the
university’s premiere all-male a cappella group, along with freshmen Drew Daniels, Jim Smith and Tyler Bradley. Ranging from 12
to 17 members depending on the semester, Exit 245 had been traveling up and down the East Coast for more than ten years performing at colleges, high schools and competitions.
“All the guys in the group are really close, and we always have a
great time wherever we go,” said LaLiberte, who added that his
favorite part so far of being in the group was performing shows
outside of the university.
The group had released five studio albums and one live album
since its inception in 1998, the most recent being “Limelight,” in
April 2008. Although recording was difficult, tedious and timeconsuming, the musicians found it to be a highly rewarding process.
“When you’re walking through the Village and you hear your CD
being blasted out of a random dorm window from across the way,
you can’t help but smile and feel good about it,” said sophomore
David Batteiger. “We’ve made something someone else loves.”
For the first half of the year, however, members took a semesterlong break from recording to focus on performing.
“With the time and financial commitments that follow recording
sessions, it is difficult for us to always get to perform to the extent
we would prefer,” said senior Seth Doleman, president of Exit 245.
Exit 245 was eager to perform its new pieces for the university
community. The group could be seen at a variety of philanthropic
events like Operation Santa Claus, and Greek fundraisers like Theta’s Mr. CASAnova. But the group’s biggest shows on campus were
the end-of-the-semester concerts held in December and April,
which showcased a handful of first-time performances. In December, the group debuted “In Love With A Girl,” originally by Gavin Degraw; “If You Really Love Me,” originally by Stevie Wonder; “Burnin’
Up,” originally by the Jonas Brothers; and “Do You Believe Me Now,”
originally by Jimmy Wayne.
The concert was held in junction with The BluesTones’ end-of-thesemester concert, mixing the styles of Exit 245 with the all-female
voices of The BluesTones for an experience that members of both
groups enjoyed. The idea originated when a lack of venues were
available for the groups to have separate shows. The groups worked
together for the anticipated intermission video built around the
“Prom” theme, and performed a rendition of “Somebody to Love,”
originally by Queen.
“We just decided to combine forces and make it one of the largest
a cappella concerts that JMU has ever seen,” said Doleman.
Although Exit 245 performed an average of 70 shows per year
and practiced three or more times a week, members found plenty
of time to relax. When not performing, they supported one another
outside of music.
“As much as we enjoy singing together, the best part of being in
Exit is the brotherhood,” said junior Jason Itam.
Sophomore Thomas Tombes agreed. “Spending as much time together as we do, we form a bond that is nothing short of a brotherhood. We’re an extremely tight knit group of guys.”
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