GENTRI brings Christmas to Packard Hall
Warren Civic Music Association subscribers will be “Finding Christmas” Wednesday at Packard Music Hall with GENTRI.
The trio of tenors is bringing its holiday show, built around its 2016 album “Finding Christmas.”
“We wanted our first Christmas album to be timeless,” said vocalist Brad Robins. “We wanted it to be one that ends up on people’s playlist year after year for decades to come, so we wanted songs that stood the test of time, songs people would come back to again and again year after year.”
The CD made the top 10 on iTunes holiday albums chart alongside such acts as Pentatonix and Michael Buble, and the album topped Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. The video for “O Holy Night” has been viewed more than 2.4 million times on YouTube.
The one original song is the title track, written by their producer Stephen Nelson.
“He presented a few ideas,” Robins said. “We knew we wanted to have an original on the album. I don’t know how to describe it. We heard that particular track and it was a unanimous yes. That one has to be the title track. It’s a decision we never regretted or looked back on.
“It’s challenging to present an original Christmas song. This is some of the most iconic music that people love so dearly and have emotional ties to.”
Other songs on the album include “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Ave Maria,” “The First Noel” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
“We wanted to make these songs new and fresh and accessible, not only to folks who’ve loved these songs for decades but also younger folks starting to form Christmas traditions of their own,” Robins said.
Robins, Casey Elliott and Bradley Quinn Lever formed GENTRI in 2014 when the three of them were part of the cast of a regional production of “Les Miserables” in Salt Lake City. The name is a fusion of “Gentleman Trio.”
They realized they had something special the first time they sang together.
“Tenors have a tendency to compete with one another, but that’s not a tendency with this group,” he said. “As the three voices came together, you could feel the musical magic. The individual voices would disappear, and it became one sound. The harmonies worked so well, were so rich and so full. Hearing that sound for the first time opened our eyes that we had something here.”
In addition to the Christmas material, Wednesday’s concert also will include Broadway favorites with a GENTRI spin.
“We’re pioneering a sound we call cinematic pop — lush, epic orchestration with continuous three-part tenor harmonizing,” Robins said. “We go between that and the cabaret-style, leading-man, Broadway-esque sound.”