On The Rocks

In the summer of 1999 Leonardo Silva and Peter Hollens met in a University of Oregon writing class. Their common passion for singing inspired them to start a vocal group. That winter, Pete and Leo gathered a small and talented group of 6 music lovers for their very first rehearsal. On the Rocks was born. Known as the first official collegiate a cappella group in Oregon, On The Rocks began a tradition of excellence in a genre that was previously unheard of in the Northwest. Since 1999, several other groups, including University of Oregon’s Divisi and Oregon State’s Outspoken have followed their lead and joined the fast-growing A cappella community. OtR has established itself as one of the top a cappella groups in the nation. Their current repertoire ranges from contemporary pop to doo-wop classics to holiday standards and the occasional original piece. OtR is comprised of mostly undergraduate students and usually consisting of 9 – 12 members. Every fall and spring, an extensive audition process is held to find quality replacements for graduating members in 4 different vocal categories-, tenor, baritone, bass and vocal percussion. Auditioning students are evaluated on tonal memory, solo talent, blending ability and, of course, personality. Once the new members are chosen, OTR can be heard singing every Friday @ the EMU amphitheater and around campus at various events throughout the year. Aside from hosting quarterly concerts, they have toured the West Coast and have visited the east coast often, and Canada. They have performed with the professional quartet the Coats and at various a cappella festivals all over the west coast. In 2002 OtR placed 3rd at the International Competition of Collegiate a cappella and returned the next year in 2003 to place 2nd out of hundreds of groups. During the competitions they took in more than a dozen awards including, Best Soloist, Best Vocal Percussion, Best Arrangement and Best Hair. They have appeared live on the NBC Today show, along with other various semi-national news stations such as WB news @ 10 on “Toni Time”. Every year in the winter since their inception OtR has been invited to sing the National Anthem at the UO Basketball Games in Mac Court. Their performance has been broadcast on UO radio to several thousand listeners and was received with uproaring praise from the appreciative 7,000 fans and radio commentators alike. OTR has also reached viral status with their YouTube videos of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," and is probably best known for their version of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," which reached 7.5 million views on YouTube. OTR has toured all over the US and Canada. The group travels to Berkeley, CA for the West Coast A Cappella Showcase every year. OTR has toured San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, New Haven, and Boston, and hope to tour more in the future. In 2010, OTR was featured on the second season of the hit NBC show "The Sing-Off". Since it’s inception, On the Rocks has released two albums:The self titled OTR – 2002 and Backgammon Sessions – 2003. They are finishing up their latest CD, soon to be released in fall of 2005. Awards for their recordings include a selection on the 2004 BOCA compilation album (Best of Collegiate A Cappella). The selected track was Yellow off the Backgammon Sessions album and it was also chosen as the runner-up best male song of the year by CARA (Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards) Their most recent CD, Full Coverage includes tracks from such artists as Mr. Mister, Justin Timberlake, Rufus Wainwritght, and more. On the Rocks A cappella can be contacted via email at [email protected] Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.