Although Marcus Collins now calls California home, his heart remains in Texas.
“You can get Mexican food here, but it’s not as good as in Texas,” the singer joked.
As a member of a trio that debuted five years ago on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Collins sings with his friends John Hagen and JC Fisher in the group they call The Texas Tenors.
“Our show will be an eclectic mix of music,” Collins said. “They will hear everything from Bruno Mars to Puccini. The concert is interactive, family-friendly. We always say there is nothing to apologize to grandma for and nothing to explain to a 5-year-old.”
“We tell stories from within the music and between songs,” he said. “We really bring the audience into the show. It’s a fun night. There’s great music and something for everyone.”
The Texas Tenors plan to stop in Kearney for two shows at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19-20 at the Merryman Performing Arts Center. Merryman season tickets will be honored at the Jan. 19 show. Tickets for both shows are $37-$48.
Collins sees one aspect of his performance as the most important — connecting with the audience.
“We want to make sure that the audience feels the music as much as we do,” he said. “We want to make sure that they leave with an experience that they’ll remember a long time to come. We love this music and we love performing. We just want that to translate to the crowd.”
The Texas Tenors won an Emmy Award for their PBS special now airing across the nation. They have performed more than 800 concerts worldwide.
“There’s nothing like performing on stage,” Collins said. “I’ve been a performer all my life. I grew up entertaining my family and being the jokester and entertainer all my life. To be able to be on stage with two of my best friends and sing music we love, it’s just a dream come true.”
The members of The Texas Tenors keep the music — and the performances — fresh by finding something new and different in each show.
“The audience banter and interaction is always new every night,” Collins said.
The “Texas” in The Texas Tenors helps audiences to better understand the group.
“I think of the last six years we spent together as a journey,” Collins said. “We have country roots and a classical sound. That’s where I think the simplicity and, I guess, the complexity of the name come into play. When audiences hear ‘Texas,’ they think country. When they hear ‘Tenors,’ they think it’s going to be a classical show. So we bridge every genre from classical to country.”
Merely the title of the group helps to explain The Texas Tenors’ background.
“Beyond that, we’ve grown to singing current pop music and putting classical treatments on country music,” Collins said. “Our music bridges country and classical and everything in between.”
For the tenors, the quality of music matters.
“We always say, no matter the genre, good music is good music,” he said. “There are great country songs, there are great operatic pieces and there are great pop tunes. We’ve looked at some current songs like ‘Writing on the Wall’ by Sam Smith. We might do a version of that next year.”
Collins and his buddies also like “When We Were Young” by Adele.
The Texas Tenors try to pick the songs they like and share them with their audience.
“If they like it, they like it,” Collins said. “If they don’t, maybe we won’t do it anymore. It’s all trial and error. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We take the music and give it our own Texas Tenors’ spin.”