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The Back Row makes a cappella CD history with debut appearance

The Back Row, Colorado College’s all-male a cappella singing ensemble, has been selected for Best of College A Cappella 2007 (BOCA), an award-winning compilation CD of collegiate a cappella music. “Peaches,” the ninth track on the Back Row’s debut album, “Unleash the Periscope,” was culled from more than 1,000 submissions for one of only 19 spots on the CD. It is the first time the Back Row had submitted a CD for consideration, and the first time in BOCA’s 10-year history that a debut group has been selected.

The BOCA award is to college a cappella groups what the Oscar is to movies. Every fall, collegiate a cappella groups from around the country submit their albums in hopes of being selected for the prestigious CD.

In “Peaches,” the members of the Back Row use only their voices to mimic the alternative guitars and rock drum backgrounds of the original song performed by the band Presidents of the United States of America. The Back Row will perform “Peaches,” as well as many other songs, at its annual winter concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15 in Armstrong Hall.

“It’s so difficult to get onto BOCA, so we were really excited to hear the news,” says Ian Goldstein, Back Row founder and co-producer of “Unleash the Periscope." “To be chosen for a CD with so many top a cappella groups in the country – the same ones who’ve been role models for us over the past four years – is an amazing feeling,” Goldstein said.

“I’m so proud of the high level of success we’ve attained,” says Ford Kerr, musical director of the group from 2003 to 2006 and co-producer of “Unleash the Periscope.” “It’s a true testament to the fact that with the right people and the right mindset, anything is possible,” he said.