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A cappella group to sing in Detroit Lakes to work with students in the area


One of the country's most exciting a cappella vocal bands, InPulse, will perform live at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre this Thursday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.

But on Tuesday and Wednesday, the foursome will also be making visits to area schools in Detroit Lakes, Frazee and Hawley, to perform for the students as well as impart a little of their musical knowledge.

"We do an educational outreach program ... we call it 'edu-tainment,'" said Marcus Hanson, who sings bass as well as serving as the band's manager. "It involves engaging the students with our music."

The group will typically appear at all-school assemblies, in which they perform a capella versions of popular songs that are recognizable to the students. During the performance, they will also talk a little bit about their musical background and how they produce their unique sound.

"What we do is to try to give the impression that there's an entire rock band in front of you -- but every sound we produce is made from the human voice or the human mouth," said Hanson, explaining the difference between a capella and other types of music, which use various forms of instrumental accompaniment.

What makes InPulse unique as compared to other a capella groups, Hanson added, is that one of their foursome, Andy Miller, specializes in being a "vocal percussionist" -- producing drum sounds using only his mouth.

"We are one of very few groups in the country that has a full-time vocal percussionist," Hanson said. "It's relatively new to a capella."

But Miller is also "a very good singer," Hanson said, so the group sometimes does some numbers using four-part harmony without the drum sounds.

The ultimate goal, Hanson said, is to get the students "excited about a capella as a vocal art form."

"That's one of the reasons why we started the group -- we can't see ourselves doing anything else," Hanson added.

In concert, the group will perform songs drawn from nearly every genre of music -- pop, rock, country, hip-hop, jazz and R&B. In addition to covering the songs of other artists, the group also performs some of their own originals.

"The first album we put out was eight of our original songs, with only three covers," Hanson said.

A typical performance will include about 25 percent of their own music, and 75 percent covers, he added.

Since its start in 2003, InPulse has gone through a few personnel changes, but it remains one of the most popular a capella groups in the country.

"We are a Minnesota-based group, but we've been on tour in 39 states over the past four years," Hanson said.

The group is currently rated the No. 1 musical act on college campuses across the country, and Hanson said "college activities comprise about 50 percent of what we do."

For that reason, the group's touring schedule typically follows the school calendar: They do about 120-150 shows a year from September through June.

"We like to take the summers off," Hanson said.

Though InPulse has performed in Detroit Lakes before, at a high school assembly last spring, Thursday's show at the Holmes Theatre will be the group's first concert appearance here.

"Our show is appropriate for all ages, from school age to senior citizens," Hanson said.

With intermission, the show is expected to last approximately one hour and 45 minutes.

Prior to the 8 p.m. show, there will be a Pre-Party in the Holmes Ballroom, including and appetizer buffet, cash bar and more, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets to the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Call 218-844-SHOW or buy tickets online at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454