RANGE a cappella proves there is no style the human voice can’t handle and no boundary a performer can’t cross. From covers of chart toppers by Gwen Stefani and Justin Bieber to an original arrangement of Hamilton in 7 Minutes (which has over 3 million YouTube views), RANGE is yet another reminder that a cappella music is cool again. They’ve performed live from the red carpet at the 2015 Academy Awards, as well as at Radio City and Feinstein’s/54 Below.
Fresh off the successful release of their debut album RANGE, Volume 1 and inspired by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s work on Dear Evan Hansen, RANGE brings their repertoire back to Broadway with a cover of the hit musical’s “You Will Be Found.” (Watch the exclusive release of the video above.)
But aside from its status as an up-and-coming a cappella group, the ensemble is also a hotbed of elite stage talent. Currently, RANGE’s singers can be seen on Broadway in War Paint, on tour in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Mamma Mia!
While RANGE was originally intended as a way to perform, create, and sing while slogging through the New York audition scene, the success of the group now has its members pursuing the dual-career path in a cappella music and musical theatre.
So how do the members of RANGE manage to balance attending rehearsals, learning music, and recording fresh material while performing eight shows a week?
“The key is that I really, truly love RANGE and my heart is 100 percent in it,” says Mary Claire King, who performs as Miss Beam in War Paint. “It feels special to remain active as opposed to [feeling like] a chore, so that solves a lot of problems. I’ll be running from the show straight to rehearsal [from my matinee] on Sunday nights so it’s going to be different, but because my heart is so in it and because it’s such an inspiring place for me to go to that certainly takes half the battle out.”
Hannah Corneau, who currently stars as Yitzhak in Hedwig and The Angry Inch on tour, explains that attending RANGE rehearsals when she’s in the city or Skyping in while traveling feels like “going to a yoga class.”
“It’s such an unregimented feeling when we all get together,” she explains. “[I play] kind of a lonely character in Hedwig so when I come to RANGE and [join] a community of loving souls it’s a very different feeling than playing a character. When we’re at RANGE we’re not playing any characters, we’re ourselves and that is such a fantastic feeling.”
The “You Will Be Found” music video features co-founders Ross Baum and Ben Holtzman, as well as Corneau, King, Chris Dwan (formerly on Broadway in Finding Neverland), Izzie Flores, Jeremiah Haley, Clark Kinkade, Michael Linden, Janelle McDermoth (currently on Broadway in A Bronx Tale), Sydney Patrick (currently at Westchester Broadway), Erika Peterson, and Angela Travino.
King explains the decision to cover Dear Evan Hansen was simple. “What we’ve been trying to do is really find our relevance in connection to what people are listening to and enjoying, so it just seemed like a perfect match,” she says. “We want to give people what they’re loving and, not only do we want to pay homage to things that we think are amazing, we also want to experience our own sound within what’s current and what’s happening right now.”
Joe Gambino is a writer, designer, performer and Broadway lottery loser who lives in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_joegambino_.