What was once the dream of several young musicians has now become the reality of The Doo Wop Project, a group that performed at the Shippensburg University H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center on Saturday.
The group consists of five members, all of whom have had their lives changed by doo wop, a style of music. They covered artists ranging from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Jason Mraz, and added their own twist to each song to make it their own.
Between songs, members gave a bit of insight into how they became involved in the music industry, and expressed how the songs they sing resonate and inspire them to keep the doo wop style of music alive.
Before forming the Doo Wop Project, the performers were involved in Broadway shows including “Jersey Boys,” “Motown” and “A Bronx Tale,” which is how they eventually met. At some point they decided to start their own group, and thus The Doo Wop Project was born.
From the moment they stepped on stage, The Doo Wop Project captivated the audience, and sent it back to a simpler time of classical music, as well as doo wop takes on some newer songs. Each performance kept audience members guessing, as the group would shift the tone of the room at the drop of a hat. One moment the audience was listening to a soulful rendition of Smokey Robinson, and the next thing they knew they were thrown head first into the fast-paced music of Michael Jackson.
The Doo Wop Project also included the audience in the humorous act. Joking around with the crowd, involving them in songs, reminiscing about where they grew up and at one point running down the aisles to make sure everyone got a high-five, are just some examples of how they made the night seem less like a performance, and more like a night out with friends.
Toward the end of the night, the audience was able to learn the origin of the group’s name and what it stands for. They explained that they call themselves a “project” because it is their goal to “doo-wopify” as many songs as they can, and show younger generations why they love what they do, which many might see as a challenge. The main reason they do what they do is because they believe doo wop music breaks down barriers. No matter who we are, or where we come from, this music helps us all to dance to the same beat.
The last song of the night was “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, which was met with a standing ovation. Fans were eager to purchase Doo Wop Project merchandise, and had the opportunity to have them autographed after the show. While trying to introduce a new generation to their style of music may seem like a project, The Doo Wop Project can rest easy knowing that SU has been “doo-wopified.”