The Rockford Aces, a high school men’s a cappella ensemble at Rockford High School, are getting used to surpassing expectations. In their first year, they became the talk of the choir program and began eliciting screams whenever they entered the stage. Their second year saw them selected as one of the most outstanding choirs in Michigan.
Now, after just three years, the Rockford Aces have produced and recorded their first CD, “Unaccompanied Minors.”
Their director, Rockford resident Jed Scott, explained, “We rehearse just two hours a week, but I think we create something pretty special. So it’s great to have such a wonderful memento of their musical achievement.”
In March, they began fundraising on kickstarter.com for an initial goal of $3,000. They ended up with pledges of over $4,000, enough to fund their CD project from beginning to end. In mid-April, they headed into Mackinaw Harvest Studios in Grand Rapids to record their album with noted local singer/songwriter and engineer Christopher Andrus.
“Chris was amazing to work with, really encouraging the singers to do their best,” said Scott. “Performing in the recording studio is completely different from live performance… it’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this project. It’s very rare for high school students to get a professional recording experience like this, and I’m certain it’s something they’ll remember for a long time.”
The Aces ended up spending about 12 hours in the studio recording, and that much again mixing. By the second week of May, the album was finished and off to production in New Jersey.
“We expect the CDs to be back in our hands on June 1, just in time for our annual charity concert on June 3,” Scott said. The Aces hold an annual free concert in June, asking a five dollar donation per person, which they donate to charity. This year, they will donate the proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The Aces invite all fans of a cappella and choral music to join them for the Aces Charity Concert on June 3 at 7 p.m. in the Rockford Freshman Center. For more details, visit rockfordchoirs.com or e-mail to RockfordAces@gmail.com.