Last September, The Texas Tenors had to postpone their Oct. 13 concert at The McAninch Arts Center. Turns out, they had a good reason.
The Texas Tenors — Marcus Collins, John Hagen and JC Fisher — were filming an episode of the hit show “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which aired Jan. 28.
Fresh from that appearance, The Texas Tenors have rescheduled their Glen Ellyn show for 4 p.m. March 17 at the McAninch Arts Center.
“We’ve never canceled a date. But to even move a date is our last resort,” Collins said in a recent phone call. “But it was for a good reason. We were able to participate in ‘Champions,’ which I think helped bring more awareness to the group.”
Not that they need it. The Texas Tenors are the most successful music group and third-highest selling artist in the history of “America’s Got Talent.” Since appearing on the show in 2009, the Texas Tenors have released four studio albums, two PBS specials, four DVDs and a children’s book.
The group has won three Emmy awards and The Gelett Burgess Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature. Their albums, “Rise” and “A Collection of Broadway and American Classics” both debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart. After their most recent appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” “Rise” shot back to No. 1.
Although they were friends first, the band originally came together in 2009 for the sole purpose of auditioning for “America’s Got Talent.”
“We thought maybe we could perform together and maybe see if we could make a go of it,” Collins said. “We didn’t know if the judges would like us and if America would like us and if the group even made sense to people — country and classical usually don’t go together.
“We auditioned and got through to the quarterfinals and the semifinals and then to the finals and we came in fourth. And we were thinking people might actually like what we do.”
He thinks the country/classical/pop/Broadway show has resonated with people, as have the group’s nice-guy image.
“I think that our message of positivity and songs that uplift people and try to inspire people has really made an impact,” he said. “I think in today’s world it’s good to have a positive message out there and it’s good to give people a couple hours of escape and entertainment and they can forget about the world and forget about what’s going on and just have fun and enjoy the show and enjoy each other. It’s a good time. We try to leave people with a message of following their dreams and uplifting each other.”
Going back to “America’s Got Talent” 10 years later was a surreal but fantastic experience, he said.
“It was wonderful to go back on and to be included in the top 50 acts from around the world,” Collins said. “We were the only vocal group picked from the United States to participate.
“To be that group to represent the U.S. was pretty exciting, but also to sing for Simon Cowell — we didn’t get to sing for him the last time. And for him to say he really liked us and he thought we were nice guys and very likable and talented — that meant a lot to us.”
All three members are classically trained singers. Collins is called the “Contemporary Tenor” because he’s more of a pop singer and brings a modern, contemporary feel to the music, he said. Hagen is simply called “The Tenor.”
“He has this amazing tenor voice. This very operatic, classical voice,” Collins said. “JC is the ‘Romantic Tenor’ because he’s married, has three kids. He has a very romantic quality to his voice.”
Audiences, he said, will hear songs like “Country Roads Take Me Home,” “God Bless the USA,” “Unchained Melody” and “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling.” They actually sing a duet with Bill Medley through an interactive video, he said.
“We’ll sing some Broadway — either something from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ or something from ‘Les Miserables,’” he said. “Of course, we have some standards and some contemporary in there, too. Something for everybody, really.”
They bring a four-piece band along with them.
“I know some people were disappointed we had to move our show but I’m glad most of them are able to come back and see us on St. Patrick’s Day,” Collins said.
The Texas Tenors
When: 4 p.m. March 17
Where: McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
Information: 630-942-4000; www.atthemac.org[osmapper id=”13355″]
Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.