NBC’s ‘The Sing Off’ winners visit Perdido school

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pictured with Street Corner Symphony are, front row, from left, Emily Stewart, Ty Drinkard, Taylor Drinkard, Callie Roley, Fairby Caldwell, Sarah Catherine Caldwell and Montana Carnley. Band members are, from left, Mark McLemore, Adam Chance Ray, Jeremy Lister, Richie Lister and Jonathan Lister. Not pictured is group member is John Martin.

Members of the a Ccppella singing sensation Street Corner Symphony made a surprise visit to Perdido School recently, (hometown of member Adam Chance Ray).  Street Corner Symphony finished as first runner-up on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” in December 2010, and have been touring the United States, Italy and Canada to promote their new album “Unpractice Makes Perfect.” Street Corner Symphony offers a diverse repertoire, while maintaining their rich heritage in gospel music. The members bring a unique, laid-back southern soul to the group. All are from the Southeast United States.

Street Corner Symphony was formed as a birthday present for Mark McLemore on May 28, 2010.  It began with six talented fellows: Jeremy and Richie Lister, Jon and Mark McLemore, Ben Dixon and Sean Saunders – who had worked together, but not as a single group.  After three weeks, Dixon and Saunders decided this was not for them and left the group.  This left a void in the high and lows ends of SCS’s frequency spectrum.  Within days, however, Mark had contacted two talented friends to restore the balance the group needed.  Enter, John Martin and Adam Chance Ray.  Ray was a student at the University of Alabama when he met Mark McLemore while they were singing in the choir together.  He jumped at the opportunity and drove from Tuscaloosa to Nashville to try out with the group as they prepared to compete in the “Sing Off.”

“We didn’t have a lot of time to practice for the audition,” Ray said.  “Everyone blended really well, so it did not take long for us to come together as a group.”  Through continuous, rehearsals, performances and traveling together, the group members said a brotherhood has formed. Ray grew up in the Lottie/Perdido area, and is the son of Glenn and Kristi Ray. He graduated from Perdido and Baldwin County High Schools. His love of music began early as he participated in the Perdido Middle School Band, (as an eighth grader, he was selected to march with the high school band) and continued by playing in the marching band while in Baldwin County High School.  Ray said not giving up on dreams is his best advice for other aspiring musicians.

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“Stay open and be ready when opportunity knocks,” he said. “Have fun playing anything you can and don’t ever stop going after what you love.  Most of all, practice, practice, practice!”

Since participating in the “Sing Off,” the group has toured from California to Nashville, to Europe and many places in between.  They have toured with Ben Folds, performed with Allison Krause and sang at the wedding of Dallas Cowboy’s quarterback, Tony Romo.

To experience this group’s unique musical talents, or purchase visit,  www.unpracticed.com,  www.YouTube.com, www.iTunes.com, or simply google Street Corner Symphony.