PENDLETON - The Knudsen Brothers will be in concert at the Pendleton Convention Center beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Second Chance, a Pendleton a cappella group, and the Pendleton High School a cappella choir will open the show.

The Knudsens, six of eight brothers who have been performing since childhood, have changed personnel several times and performed as a quartet, quintet and sextet. They performed at family reunions, church and civic groups, charities, school assemblies, talent shows, company parties and for anyone else who would hire them. Because they could not afford to purchase musical instruments, the five oldest brothers sang a cappella, barbershop-style under the direction of their father.

What started as a family hobby to help give the boys something to do with their time and keep them "off the streets" mushroomed into a successful career. In 1976, the quintet began appearing as a guest group at various international barbershop fraternity shows. The oldest brother, Barry, left the group in 1980 and the Knudsens reorganized as a quartet. They began competing in contests sponsored by The Society for Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBQSA.)

The group took a hiatus from singing in 1986 and reformed in 1987, moving to Los Angeles where they began performing popular music from the Big Band Era a cappella-style on the steps of the Los Angeles Music Center while scheduled performances of various high-profile productions were letting out. Before long they were performing at private parties for Hollywood's celebrities.

In 1994, all six brothers who had been in and out of the band decided to become a permanent sextet and began with one brother, Owen, performing vocal percussion and another brother, Jak, performing a sort-of vocal stand-up bass with the other four, Barry, Kevin, Lynn and Curtis, providing necessary vocal and instrumental lines.

"I've been trying to get this group here for 10 years, but they're so booked on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines that I couldn't get them," said David Miller music instructor at Blue Mountain Community College. "As it is, they will be singing here one night and the next night they will appear at Niagara Falls."

Second Chance has just completed a successful run of "Forever Plaid" with College Community Theater at Blue Mountain Community College. Adam Roland and Mike Telfer of The Dalles; Kevin Tesch of Umatilla; and Jeremy Miller, Chris Moore and Micah Bartron of Pendleton comprise the a cappella quintet. Second Chance has shared the stage with The Coats, The Alley Cats and the Standards. During 2003, they have sung for the Oregon State Senate, the Oregon State Police convention and many private meetings and conventions.

General admission tickets are available for $10 each at the College Book Store, Armchair Books, or by calling 278-5890. The performances are suitable for audiences of all ages.

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