Music Issue 2019: An Old-School Sound for New School Opportunities

Local singing quintet ‘Those Guys’ to host concert to raise money for a new grand piano at Flathead High School

By Molly Priddy
From left: Day Scovel, Jared Denney, and Mike Snell, pictured on April 4, 2019. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

When the local singing quintet Those Guys say they have an old-school approach to their music and performances, they mean it both literally and figuratively.

In the literal sense, three of the members have been singing together since their days at Flathead High School in the 1990s. Figuratively, the group uses the tried-and-true method of blending their voices, well enough that they manage to perform pieces meant for eight or more singers with just four or five.

And now, Those Guys want to put their voices to work for the voices of the future with a May 9 concert to raise money for Flathead High School to buy a new grand piano for its music and concert programs.

The existing piano is on loan, and will be moving to the Flathead Valley Community College campus once the college’s new performance space is built. That means the high school needs to raise $176,000 to buy its own piano in the next couple of years.

“It’s such a great venue for music and concerts,” said Mike Snell, one of the original members of Those Guys.

“And it needs a piano,” fellow founding member Jared Denney said.

Denney, Snell, and Day Scovel have been singing together on and off for the last 20 years, starting when they were all in the concert choir at Flathead High. This meant they had to audition, and that they found friends with a similar passion for music and singing they might not have met otherwise.

“The time we spent in choir at Flathead High School is a huge part of the group we have now,” Scovel said.

It was the 1995-1996 school year, and Scovel was a senior, Denney was a junior, and Snell was a rare sophomore who auditioned and made the group. They all had different reasons for joining choir — a whim in ninth grade, an existing love for singing in choir, and thinking maybe a certain girl would be in choir too — but they all ended up staying because they fell in love with it.

“You made a lot of friends,” Snell said.

“You made a lot of family,” Scovel added.

In the years since high school, the guys have stayed in touch and rehearsed, put on concerts and added members. Along with the original three, the quintet now also includes Jacob Turley and Mark Robinson.

“They both have wives that went to Flathead High, so we’re keeping up that tradition,” Denney said with a laugh.

Every song the quintet performs is acapella, and they sing songs in many different languages. For the May 9 concert, their first set will focus on sacred or classical arrangements, bringing in the more modern and upbeat songs, such as the barbershop version of “Go The Distance” from the Disney movie Hercules and an arrangement of “Africa” by Toto.

They’ll close out the concert with “Prayer of the Children,” which Scovel, Denney, and Snell sang together in concert choir in 1996.

Ticket prices are a minimum $5 donation for students and a minimum $10 donation for adults, though Scovel said pre-show sales show buyers are donating an average of $20 for their ticket.

Also performing that night will be Wai Mizutani on violin, Meghan Hodges on piano, and the Brahms Quartet.

There will also be a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses and artists, including free tax preparation, gift certificates, legal prep work, and artwork from local artists including Mark Ogle.

Anyone who would like to send a check to the school for the piano should make it out to the FHS Alumni Association, with “Grand Piano” in the memo. Otherwise, visit the Those Guys Facebook page for a link to donate online.

Scovel said the concert would be a good event for families, and that Those Guys like to make it an easygoing atmosphere when they perform.

“We take our music extremely seriously, but we don’t take ourselves serious,” Scovel said.

For more information or questions, email [email protected].

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