The AcoUstiKats couldn't have picked a more apt venue last year to announce they'd be auditioning for the popular NBC television show "The Sing-off."
The all-male a cappella group shared the news from the stage at the Symphony Sing Off - a Paducah Symphony Orchestra fundraiser based on the TV show - during their appearance at the event in 2013. Now they've come full circle.
When the University of Kentucky-based ensemble returns for the third annual Symphony Sing-off this Saturday, members can report that they accomplished their mission, earning acceptance onto the show and then tying for fifth place out of 10 a cappella competitors.
"We've taken that experience ... and really tried to incorporate it into the music that we do. So if you've seen the AcoUstiKats before, you'll notice a pretty big difference in the way that we perform, the kind of music we do and just the energy we bring overall to the table," Paducah native ad AcoUstiKats member Jordan Lindsey said.
The 12-member group's other successes include the debut of its self-titled studio album - the first in the history of the ensemble, which was founded in which was founded in 1993 - and being tapped to head Elvis Week in Memphis, Tenn., this summer, Lindsey added.
Saturday's competition brings a cappella groups to the stage of Harrah's Metropolis Events Center to compete for monetary votes to benefit the symphony. This performance may not air on national TV, but it still holds special importance for Lindsey and fellow Paducahan and AcoUstiKat Mason Stewart.
"It's a whole other experience to be able to perform in front of your friends and family," Stewart said.
Three groups - You've Been Schooled, a local area teacher ensemble, The Muses, an all-female ensemble from Murray State University, and the Racer Men's Chorus, an all-male group from MSU - will compete this year. The AcoUstiKats and Paducah Tilghman High School's male a cappella group, Prime Rib, and female group, Concordia, will provide additional entertainment. The evening also features a silent auction and dinner.
The event shattered its fundraising goal of $50,000 last year, bringing in $60,000 to help fund educational and outreach programs at the symphony. About 600 people attended. In its inaugural year, the sing-off brought in $25,000 and only 300 guests, according to Sun files.
The symphony hopes to keep the momentum going in the event's third year, Marketing Manager Craig Felker said.
"We want this to be an event that is really connected with the community. It's a great fit, (and) we hope to make it something that everyone annually wants to be a part of," he said.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday at Harrah's Metropolis Riverfront Event Center, 100 East Front St., Metropolis. A few tickets are still available and may be purchased by calling the symphony office at 270-444-0065.
The AcoUstiKats will also perform Sunday at the PSO's Mothers Day, Mimosas & Music event on the rooftop of the Irvin Cobb Hotel in downtown Paducah. The event lasts from 1 to 3 p.m. and costs $45 per person. Children 12 and under are free. Reservations can be made by calling the symphony office.
The AcoUstiKats' new album can be found on iTunes and Amazon. Fans can find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.
Want to go?
What: The Symphony Sing-off.
When: 6 p.m. cocktails and silent auction; 7 p.m. show.
Where: Harrah's Metropolis Riverfront Event Center, 100 E. Front St., Metropolis, Ill.
Tickets cost $60 per person and may be purchased by calling the symphony office at 270-444-0065.