Student a cappella group “That’s The Key” will perform at the College of Science and Mathematics Ambassadors fundraiser Thursday night, bringing lively, upbeat songs and popular favorites to all who attend.
Two students formed “That’s The Key” in 2009 after discussions in their Poly Canyon Village dorm room led them to decide that they both wanted a place to sing with fellow students.
“My love for music and my ambition, and my roommate Jacob Stringfellow’s background in choir collaborated to make this group,” said Scott Kjorlien, an anthropology and geography junior. “We went to open mic nights and recruited people to try out for us and that’s how it happened.”
Kjorlien is not only a singer, but also a tenor saxophone, guitar, piano, flute and clarinet player. “That’s The Key” often sings compilations, and Kjorlien arranged more than half of the pieces the group performs.
“Starting off the group, we had no songs so it was on me to do the arrangement,” Kjorlien said. “Some have been done by other members, though. It’s nice to see people get involved and start making stuff they want to sing.”
One of the people recruited for the group was Monica Mills, a singer who lived across the hall from Kjorlien in Poly Canyon Village when the group first formed. Mills, who has choral training and a musical theatre background, became involved and eager to further develop her musical interest.
“I also sing national anthems at some of the games on campus,” Mills said. “I have kind of been jointly running ‘That’s The Key’ for the past year. It’s a really cool group, and we’re all really good friends.”
Mills said the group tries to put humor into the music, adding a unique dimension and making it something college students would want to listen to. Although most of their songs are contemporary hits, they also branch out with some older crowd favorites.
“We like to sing songs that are pretty current, but also some oldies but goodies,” said Stringfellow, co-founder and a liberal arts and engineering studies junior. “We sing ‘Higher and Higher,’ which is a pretty old song, but always fun and gets people laughing and smiling.”
Stringfellow said his love for music, including playing the guitar and singing, is what led up to him being in an a capella group.
“That’s The Key” is currently in the process of becoming an official club. They perform about three times per quarter.
Stringfellow said audiences can expect to hear a mash-up of “Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World and “That’s What You Get” by Paramore on Thursday, and possibly an a cappella rendition of “Fireflies” by Owl City.
“That’s the Key’s” performance is at 6:30 p.m. at the fundraiser.