Get Real: The Real Group in Concert
Mar14

Get Real: The Real Group in Concert

  “A ca-what-a?” Several years ago, you might have been met with this question when talking about a cappella music. But with the recent mainstream phenomena like Pentatonix and Pitch Perfect, a cappella has surged in popularity. While the art of a cappella is nothing new, it’s exciting for me to see others begin their love affair with it. If you haven’t, you need to get real. Well, with The Real Group that is.   Based in Sweden, the five member group has been touring the world and transforming a cappella for over 30 years. Their combination of vocal perfection, personality, and wide repertoire from jazz, pop, and folk has made them a mainstay in the vocal music world. They’ve produced over 20 albums, opened for the FIFA World Cup, and sang for state officials all over the world – including the Emperor of Japan. The Real Group is kicking off another North American tour. Their next stop? Right here in Fort Wayne! A ca-scuse me? Well, a ca-believe it!     On Friday, March 24th at 7:30pm, The Real Group performs at the IPFW Auer Performance Hall. The concert will feature their original arrangements, plus special musical guest features with Heartland Sings, a nonprofit company of Vocal Artists and ensembles based in Fort Wayne.     This isn’t your typical concert. There’s something to be said about the human connection with vocal music. With the voice as the sole instrument, a cappella music creates an entirely different experience from other types of music. The Real Group steps it up another level. Heartland Sings’ Director of Development Stephanie Carlson and General Manager Eric Miller are both vocalists themselves and self-proclaimed The Real Group superfans. They’ve both followed their music for years. Carlson said, “The thing that is incredible about The Real Group is that they have the ability to tell stories and paint pictures with just their voices.” How they do this is through their unique style of a cappella. The Real Group sound. “I’ve been a fan for over 20 years. The Real Group is able to take any song, no matter the genre, and still make it sound like their own.” Both Carlson and Miller have seen them in concert before and agree that it’s a must-see and must-hear musical experience that’s sure to leave an impact on audiences as it has on them.     So, what brings The Real Group to Fort Wayne? It started with Heartland Sings. President & Executive Director, Maestro Robert Nance and Eric Miller had the opportunity to have dinner with The Real Group after a performance last year. In that conversation, Miller said that it was a chance...

Read More
Mad Ants & Heartland Sings Celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial
Dec02

Mad Ants & Heartland Sings Celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial

There are so many reasons why I love to call Indiana my home. The people, the opportunities, the entertainment – I could go on. As a Fort Wayne native, I’ve grown up to see the amazing progress the city has made over my lifetime. What’s crazy to think about is the changes made even before the start of my lifetime. December 11th marks 200 years of Indiana’s statehood. The Allen County Task Force has put together several events to honor this important year. One of these includes a collaboration by the Mad Ants, Fort Wayne’s minor league basketball team, and Heartland Sings, a company of professional vocal artists and ensembles based in Fort Wayne. To celebrate the bicentennial, the Mad Ants and Heartland Sings present a community event that’s fun for all ages. On December 10th during half-time at the Mad Ants basketball game, the vocalists of Heartland Sings will lead everyone in singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” on a live radio broadcast! The idea behind the collaboration is to bring everyone together, music lovers and sports fans alike, in a last hoorah of the bicentennial festivities. Don’t know the words? No sweat. The lyrics will be projected so everyone can participate. Not a singer? No one expects you to be. Just have fun with it! After rooting on the team for the second half of the game, stay for a show featuring the vocalists of Heartland Sings! They’ll be performing music originally by Indiana musicians and composers like Michael Jackson and Hoagy Carmichael and holiday tunes to get you in the mood for the season. The concert will last about a half-hour, so kiddos in attendance can still get to bed at a reasonable time after the fun. To join in on the celebration and attend the concert, you must have admittance to the game. Tip off is at 7:00pm at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Buy your Mad Ants tickets online here for $5. Group discount rates are available by contacting the Mad Ants directly at (260) 469-HOOP.  Also, make sure to check out Heartland Sings on Facebook, Instagram, and their website and the Mad Ants on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram....

Read More
Studio Seva Takes Fitness to New Heights
Nov02

Studio Seva Takes Fitness to New Heights

Think about that rush of joy as a kid, as you sprinted toward the monkey bars at recess. Remember how fun it was to climb them and hang upside down? Sometimes, we get too caught up in the day-to-day to allow ourselves the play time we need. Luckily, Fort Wayne just got its own version of an adult playground. Studio Seva now has aerial fitness classes! I spoke with Owner Joni McCarran about the studio’s new toys (okay, and played on them a bit) and how Studio Seva is taking fitness to new heights.   Located on the other side of the North Anthony Corridor Mural, Studio Seva opened in 2012 and has continued to be a welcoming, yogi community. Offering Hatha, Iyengar, and rope wall yoga, Joni took particular interest in the playfulness of aerial yoga, using silk hammocks as props in class. This year, she made the decision that she really wanted to bring more aerial options to the studio and Fort Wayne. Through her research, she found the perfect apparatuses for an adult playground: Tissu (aerial silks), Corde Lisse (smooth rope), Lyra (aerial hoop) and my personal favorite, Corde Volante (static cloud swing), which is a soft rope affixed to the ceiling at each end that hangs like a swing (whee!).   While you play, you also get a great work out! Aerial fitness is an exciting alternative to typical bootcamp classes and traditional strength training. Classes are sequenced with equal parts work and play. Conditioning exercises will build your upper body, core, leg, and grip strength and increase mobility in your hips, legs, and shoulders. This prepares you for climbs, stands, sits, and eventually, inversions! Being up high, upside down, or both can be a little intimidating at first, but all of the conditioning exercises in class safely prepare you to do all kinds of cool tricks and Instagram-worthy poses.   In discussing the new aerial classes, Joni is most proud of the fact that anybody can do them. “There’s so much variety in class, that it truly is all levels. We offer everything from the fundamentals and beginner strength training to trick combinations and aerial dance. That’s the beauty of aerial arts. You don’t have to be a Cirque du Soleil performer, just bring a good attitude and be willing to try something new. I love watching students in class over time, because you can see confidence emanating from them through their development as aerialists. We strive to have fun and work toward progress, not perfection.”   If you’re ready to try something fun and challenging, definitely check out the aerial classes at Studio Seva. You can peruse the schedule and class pricing packages here. Joni also hinted that you may be...

Read More
Creepin’ It Real: Haunted Houses in Northeast Indiana
Oct17

Creepin’ It Real: Haunted Houses in Northeast Indiana

Boo! Did I scare you? Okay, I’ll work on that for next time. Halloween is just a couple weeks away, and I am so excited! Every October, I seek out festive activities to participate in – the spookier the better. One of my personal favorites is visiting haunted houses (Editor’s Note: pretend haunted, not actually haunted). There’s something so exhilarating about going through these attractions with the anticipation of the unknown ahead, especially with groups of friends. While you may know about some of Fort Wayne’s finest frights, there are some great hidden haunts around the rest of Northeast Indiana that are definitely worth a visit. Fort Wayne Fear Factory – Fort Wayne, IN Located in the old Wayne Pump Complex at River City, Fort Wayne Fear Factory is the haunted attraction you’ve been waiting for and sure to run a chill down your spine. Admission: $10 (click here to purchase ahead of your haunt) Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, October 21st – November 5th from 8pm to 11pm Sunday, October 30th and Monday, October 31st from 8pm to 10pm   Haunted Castle and Black Forest – Fort Wayne, IN   This was my first haunted house (enter junior high nostalgia here). Located on the corner of Wallen and Auburn Road, this scary staple has been around for over 30 years. The Haunted Castle has something lurking around every corner, while the Black Forest takes you down a winding trail into the dark. Was that a chainsaw I just heard? Admission: $10 to Haunted Castle or Black Forest, $16 for both attractions, $5 additional for VIP. Bring a canned food item to donate to St. Vincent’s Food Pantry to receive $1 off admission (buy online here) Hours: Sundays and Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm (Haunted Castle is open 7pm and Black Forest opens when dark) and Friday and Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm (Haunted Castle is open 7pm and Black Forest opens when dark) until Halloween   Hysterium Haunted Asylum – Fort Wayne, IN Hysterium Haunted Asylum is the former Haunted Cave on Engle Road. Patients are quick to greet you in the lobby, while the charge nurse processes your intake for the Asylum. Will you be able to escape? Admission: $13 General Admission, $20 Fast Pass (buy online here) Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm to Midnight until Halloween, and October 20th, 23rd, 27th, 30th, and 31st from 7pm to 9:30pm   Edge of Insanity – Kokomo, IN Their description says it all! “In the quiet farm country on the outskirts of small town Indiana, not everything is what it seems. Here, in what used to be acres of farmland, remain the vestiges of what was once a privately owned and operated asylum....

Read More
YLNI Summer Farmers Market: Old World Fudge
Aug26

YLNI Summer Farmers Market: Old World Fudge

Every Saturday now through September, the YLNI Summer Farmers Market is open to the public on the corner of Wayne Street and Barr Street. The YLNI Farmer’s Market supports nearly 75 local farmers, producers, bakers and artists who offer fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, cheese, breads, jewelry, and much more. Throughout the summer, attendees enjoy free activities, such as yoga classes, cooking demonstrations, and musical entertainment, along with special events like Coffee with a Cop and Bottle and Bottega. In this series, we’ll be spotlighting local vendors. Today, we’re looking at Old World Fudge! Old World Fudge Since Taste of the Arts Festival is this weekend, I thought it’d be a perfect time to spotlight a vendor that offers tastes you can take home. Old World Fudge takes the traditional treat and puts a new spin on it with modern flavors. If you are craving something sweet, you definitely should stop by Old World Fudge this Saturday at the Farmers Market. What they sell: delicious confections (like fudge, of course), gummies, licorice, and even dipped doggy treats Why their products are awesome: Sweet tooths, rejoice. They have over 100 flavors of fudge! Birthday Cake, Cappuccino, Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Orange Cream, just to name a few. Take your pick (or picks), because there is something to suit everyone’s taste buds. Editor’s Pick: I have three words. Chocolate. Covered. Bacon. I rest my case. Stop by the Old World booth at the YLNI Farmers Market tomorrow and get out to explore Taste of the Arts Festival. The summer market is located in Downtown Fort Wayne on the corners of Wayne and Barr Streets, and open rain or shine from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm every Saturday now through September. Follow Old World Fudge on Facebook for the latest updates and appearances, shop in their store front in Georgetown Square, or place an order online here. Photos / Old World Fudge...

Read More