By Lukas Eggen
Ely Times Staff Writer

Acapella group re:Voiced performed during the Christmas Tree Auction last Friday. As part of the Sights, Sounds and Smells of Christmas, re:Voiced, which has performed across the country, aimed to give Ely a taste of modern day acapella and give an intimate, energized performance.

“Driving into town going through the mountains, we said where are we going,” Chris Rossi said. “It’s a very small, very quaint town compared to where everyone is from. But you know what, every time we do one of these community type events; they are the best because everyone loves each other and everyone is having a great time. We knew it would be small, but we had a feeling (Ely) would be a powerhouse audience.”

While they’ve performed in front of larger audiences before, re:Voiced said it’s the small, intimate performances they enjoy doing. And, although the Christmas Tree Auction offered food, drinks and trees for sale, it wasn’t long before re:Voiced had the audience engaged.

“It took a little bit to warm them up, but they were a great crowd,” John Patrick said. “Everyone was received real well. I had a great time. It was one of the more relaxed performances for me.”

During the performance; re:Voiced looked to involve audience members, inviting adults and children alike on stage with them. It’s creating moments like those that help make each performance memorable for the audience and the group.

“It’s all about moments on stage,” Dele Opeifa said. “When we create a moment when something beautiful is happening with the music, you can feel a wave of energy from the audience, it’s the best feeling. Within 20 minutes it was like family, like we had known each other for a long time.”

The band performed multiple sets throughout the evening. And, after all was said and done, the group came away looking forward to performing in Ely again.

“It was awesome to be here in Ely,” Zakk Wooten said. “It was really fun to have the kids in the audience participate with us. It was a good time.”

While re:Voiced helped the Christmas Tree Auction raise money for the Committee Against Child Hunger, for the members of the group, every time they get to perform is another chance to have fun with each other.

“My favorite part is just getting on stage and sharing the stage with these guys,” Woorten said. “They are my best friends.”
Part of the draw for the members of re:Voiced is to help the audience, and themselves, escape from the every day worries for a little bit and just have a good time for a while.

“One of the things I tell people is with everything that goes on today, we have a lot on our minds all the time,” Rossi said. “So going on stage is a really nice get away and relax from every day shenanigans. When I’m on stage, I don’t have a care in the world.”
As re:Voiced, along with the Christmas Crafters Festival and the Christmas parade helped capped off the 2013 Sights, Sounds and Smells of Christmas, Rossi said the group is excited to come back in the future and perhaps make a new holiday tradition for the area.

“Thanks so much for having us,” Rossi said. “Everyone treated us like family. We hope that we can come back next year and that this becomes a tradition.”