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Award winning a capella group “Breath of Soul” will take the West Plains Civic Center theater stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, for a special performance sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department.  Group members include, from left, Jesse Upah, David Kempton, Tony Marx, Beck Martin and Jake Black.  (Photo provided)

Award winning a capella group “Breath of Soul” will take the West Plains Civic Center theater stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, for a special performance sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department.  Group members include, from left, Jesse Upah, David Kempton, Tony Marx, Beck Martin and Jake Black.  (Photo provided)

West Plains, Mo. — Award-winning a cappella group “Breath of Soul” will take the stage at the West Plains Civic Center Saturday, Aug. 22, to kick off the fall lineup of Missouri State University-West Plains’ theater and events activities offered by the University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department.
The Nashville-based, five-man group, which has opened for Lady Antebellum and Jay Leno, covers a variety of rock, pop, R&B and electronic songs and is known for its unique “beatbox” a cappella percussions and background music.
“I’ve never seen anybody beatbox like band member Jake Black,” said Jennifer Moore, coordinator of U/CP theater and events programming.  “It’s pretty incredible what the human vocal cords are capable of. Just listening to the group’s music, I’d never guess they were completely a cappella.”
Formed by college friends Jesse Upah, David Kempton and Tony Marx, the group got its initial start entertaining tourists at Chicago’s Navy Pier during the summer.  The trio eventually migrated to Nashville, where they added Black and tenor Beck Martin, and renamed themselves “Breath of Soul.”
They’ve appeared at numerous a cappella festivals, including Harmony Sweepstakes, ACappellaFest, Singstrong and Clear Harmonies, and recently completed a two-week tour in Taiwan as part of the Taiwan International Vocal Festival.  They’re best known for winning the Lady Antebellum A Cappella Contest in 2012.
“Breath of Soul” covers songs from such artists as Imagine Dragons, Michael Jackson and One Republic and performs their own original tunes.  The group tours extensively throughout the U.S. and released its debut album, Forward, in October 2014.
The Aug. 22 performance gets underway at 7 p.m. in the civic center theater.  Tickets are $10 each and available through the West Plains Civic Center box office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, or by phone at 417-256-8087.  Children age 13 and under and Missouri State-West Plains students with a BearPass ID will be admitted free.
For more information about this or other upcoming events, call 417-255-7966 or visit www.wp.missouristate.edu/ucp.
Upcoming U/CP programs include Midwest Dueling Pianos Sept. 11, Comedian/Juggler Alex Clark Oct. 8, and Chamber Orchestra Kremlin Oct. 18.
Missouri State-West Plains (MSU-WP) is a teaching and learning institution providing post-secondary educational opportunities to the communities it serves. MSU-WP offers associate degrees and serves as a delivery site for bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. In 2013, Missouri State-West Plains was ranked sixth in the Best Community Colleges category of Washington Monthly’s College Rankings.

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