Dig Baton Rouge

Singing Pioneers

By Claire Salinas

The Tiger Tenors were founded in 2009, but until recently, they haven’t spent much time in the public eye.
Although the founding members of the all-male LSU a capella ground have all moved on, finance junior and Tiger Tenors president Daniel Wendt explains the group is hoping to bring what they consider to be a lost art back to the region.
“We love to sing, and we want to share a capella music, especially in the South. It’s not as big of a deal here as it is in northern schools. We like to think of ourselves as sort of as pioneers for bringing a capella music to the Southern region.”
The group tries to make their pieces as entertaining as possible, but practice for them is no joke. It requires planning and commitment to compose, rehearse, and perfect songs together. Wendt explained that preparing for each song takes one and a half to two months.
“We’re leaning more towards a new pop vibe, and we’ve actual phased out a lot of our oldies. We used to do a lot of old stuff, but there’s been a push within the group to learn at least one new pop song for each semester,” Wendt said.
The group is very diverse and consists of guys studying everything from kinesiology and business to physics and higher education, but surprisingly, there are no vocal performance majors.
Tryouts for the group are usually held at the end of each school year when there is a vacancy to fill – for example, this year the group is looking for a tenor, a beat boxer, and perhaps some upper mens’ voices.
Wendt tried out for the group after encountering what seemed like multiple signs that he should join.
“My senior year in high school band we had a student teacher who was actually a founding member of Tiger Tenors, Evan McAleer. He told me when I graduated and went to college to be sure to look into The Tiger Tenors,” Wendt said. “I went on to my summer job where I was a swim coach and head lifeguard, and there I met my boss who was one of the members of The Tiger Tenors as well. He caught me singing by the pool one day, and when he asked if I sang, I was like, ‘Yeah, I was in choir in high school.’ He said I think you should try out, so I tried out and made it.”
Being in the Tenors has been a great experience for Wendt, but there was one shining moment that convinced him he was in the right place.
“Usually every year, we get an invite from Greek Life to come entertain for a big banquet they have at the Alumni Center. The first year I did it was my first semester in The Tiger Tenors, which was Spring 2013. Some people were paying more attention to their food, some were paying more attention to us, and there was talking going on, but the last song we sang was the LSU Alma Mater. Everyone in the room stood up during that song, and it was a really cool moment of LSU pride. It was a moment where I was really proud to be part of the group and to do something like this,” Wendt said.
Typically the group does not charge for their performances throughout the community although donations are welcomed. The Tenors will put on a free recital on campus on May 3 at 7 p.m. in The Dodson Auditorium.
Tryout information for the upcoming year can be found on the Facebook page of The Tiger Tenors or by contacting them at tigertenors@gmail.com.

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