Chattanooga Now 'The Living Years'

Chattanooga Now 'The Living Years'

Boys Choir partners with The Pool for concert of British Invasion music

April 4th, 2013 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Music

Chattanooga Boys Choir Artistic Director Vincent Oakes rehearses with The Pool, a local Beatles tribute band, for Friday's "The Living Years" concert.

Photo by Connor Choate /Times Free Press.


What: "The Living Years" concert

When: 8 p.m. Friday, April 5

Where: UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

Admission: Free

Phone: 423-634-2299

In an unusual intergenerational partnership, the Chattanooga Boys Choir and local British Invasion band The Pool are presenting "The Living Years" on Friday, April 5, in the UTC Fine Arts Center.

Two aspects make this concert noteworthy: 1) It's the first time the choristers have sung with a live rock band, says their director, Vic Oakes. 2) It's rock music of the baby boomers' generation -- The Kinks, the Beatles, Manfred Mann -- performed by guys young enough to be boomer grandchildren with musicians who grew up listening to that music.

"The Pool is a band of local musicians committed to the music of the British Invasion for 20 years," says Dr. Monte Coulter, UTC professor and a member of The Pool. "The British Invasion is the common term for the first wave of rock 'n' roll bands that began to take over American radio airplay in early 1964, led by the Beatles and Rolling Stones."

Members of The Pool are Michael Welch, guitar and vocals; Nick Honerkamp, bass and vocals; Dave Cornwell, guitars, keyboards and vocals; and Coulter, drums and vocals.

After Oakes heard The Pool at one of their gigs, he suggested the collaboration. They chose a program of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, Mike + The Mechanics, The Byrds and others.

"The choir will sing transcribed parts straight from the recordings," says Coulter.

Oakes credits Coulter with handling the majority of the transcriptions, adding that a few songs were already in the CBC library and just had to be "jazzed up" with instrumentation.

Oakes concedes he was concerned the idea might be a "hard sell" to the teens.

"But it was amazing how even if they didn't know a song by name, when we got into the tunes they knew them. It's just iconic American music," says Oakes.

The CBC director laughs that when he asked the boys how they knew these hits, their answers ranged from "TV commercials" to "stuff they heard their parents and grandparents listening to."

Friday night's concert is free, but donations will be accepted to help fund the Boys Choir's summer tour to Cuba.

Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.