The Bridge, a Jefferson City venue which usually sees local acts hit the stage, will host a different kind of act this Friday at "Sing Out Jefferson City."
Instead of music coming from just the stage, those in attendance will be encouraged to join in the signing.
Bill Wise, local musician and guitarist in the Concord orchestra at Concord Methodist Church, will be joined by fellow musicians Andy Walker, Matt Willis, Matt Owens, Tommy Roam and Pete Studer. The group will lead those in attendance through six songs, including Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," The Eagles' "Take it Easy" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
Wise's idea for the event has been a couple of years in the making.
"Some friends and I just started playing," Wise said. "We got our guitars, we got our laptops, and we would just go around the room and pick songs; and we started to see this pattern of '60s, '70s and '80s developing as to what we wanted to play. Sometimes we had eight people, sometimes we had six, and sometimes we had three, sometimes we had nine, and just invited different people to come and join us just to have a sort of impromptu jam session."
Wise said the idea for "Sing Out" didn't really get its legs until earlier this year when NBC produced a television production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar."
"To promote 'Jesus Christ, Superstar' on NBC," Wise said, "they showed this Brandon Dixon fellow performing with Choir!Choir!Choir!"
Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Judas in the production, has appeared on Broadway in shows like "Hamilton" and "The Color Purple." Dixon's performance with Choir!Choir!Choir! prompted Wise to research the group.
C!C!C! is a choir group based out of Toronto that holds bi-weekly "drop-in" sessions. At just $5, anyone can join the sessions. The group offers lyric sheets and leads each night's group through a new song, which is filmed at the end of the night for a YouTube video.
While Sing Out will be taking a similar approach to C!C!C!, the event will certainly be different in multiple ways.
"They are very explicit that you better come prepared to sing and you better learn the song," Wise said of C!C!C!. "You know, we're not like that. We're like, 'Let's get together, try this, and see how it goes.' It's really experimental, and it's very unique for Jefferson City."
Possibly the biggest difference this first time around — other than that it will be free of cost — will be that Wise and his stagemates will be trying to get as much of a feel for those in attendance as possible. The event will have an exit survey of sorts, which will provide questions about age group, where attendees heard about the event, where they do most of their singing, which nights of the week they're mostly free and what kind of music they want to sing.
"We're going to try to gather as much data as we can from this first time," Wise said.
Right now Wise isn't certain how frequently Sing Out will meet, but he knows the group will be "methodical" in its approach to scheduling events.
For more information on the event, searching "Sing Out Jefferson City — New Venue!" on Facebook.