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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 9, 2003

SoVoSo Brings A Cappella Virtuosity To Hancher Jan. 28

SoVoSo, the award-winning a cappella vocal group that Bobby McFerrin calls "tight, soulful and a whole lot of fun," will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

Earlier in the day, the group will present a performance for area school groups on Hancher's Stage Door series, and they will also spend a morning at the UI Child Health Specialty Clinics, culminating in free performance, co-sponsored by Project Art, at noon in the Colloton Atrium.

The SoVoSo visit to Iowa will also include a Jan. 30 performance at the Lake Arts Center in Okoboji, through Hancher's on-going relationship with this Northwest Iowa community arts center.

Winner of a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) and a multiple CARA nominee, SoVoSo sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style. As an Oakland Tribune review observed, "Their spectacular voices take listeners deep into fresh vocal territory."

The SoVoSo (short for "from the Soul to the Voice to the Song") repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional jazz choral arrangements. Their style is rooted in "circle singing," in which improvised solos are supported by spontaneous, interlocking patterns.

Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake and David Worm) are alumni of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, and they performed with him until 1993. Sunshine Becker joined the ensemble in 1995, and Bryan Dyer and Caitlin Cornwell are the most recent members of the quintet.

According to a San Jose Mercury News review, "The extraordinary richness and brilliance of this virtuoso vocalism lifts you into a special realm." And critic Larry Kelp commented, "The voices-only SoVoSo is a major innovative force in vocal music. The culturally diverse group has honed its distinctly uplifting sound, one that draws not only from vocal heritage, but also the singers' own styles."

The concert will be preceded by the third of Hancher's 2003-2004 pre-performance dinners, served 6-7 p.m. in the Hancher Cafe. Reservations for this "Upscale California" feast -- at $25 apiece -- must be made by Jan. 14.

Support for the SoVoSo concert comes from the Richard P. Nelson Memorial Fund, through the University of Iowa Foundation. Hancher's educational events are supported by John and Ellen Buchanan, the Herb and Janice Wilson Education Fund, West Music Company, the Iowa Arts Council and Rockwell Collins.

Tickets for the Jan. 28 SoVoSo concert are $25/23/20; UI student $20/12; senior citizen $20/18.40/16; youth $12.50/11.50/10.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,; Program: Sunshine Becker, 510-507-SONG (cell) or 510-351-4814 (home office),

PHOTOS are available at