Local choral group’s CD shoots to top of iTunes chart

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The Esoterics

By Travis Mayfield

The Esoterics is the a cappella choral group that could.

During these tough economic times as a non-profit musical group based in Seattle, it is no secret this group has a shoestring budget and absolutely no national advertising budget at all.

But that hasn’t stopped the singers and their supporters from pulling off a minor miracle.

“We don’t have a big-name distributor or label – but we have an immeasurable asset in our passionate volunteer singers and what we call the EsoCommunity.” said The Esoterics’ Board President Bayta Maring in a written statement.

Tuesday The Esoterics asked that community to buy their brand new CD on iTunes.  In fact, they asked singers, friends, family members and fans to buy a single track from that CD.  The plan was to concentrate all that buying power and see how far up the iTune charts that album and that track would climb.

At 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night Agnus Dei was #2 on the classical music songs list and Barber: The collected choral works of Samuel Barber was #22 on the list of classical music albums.

“It’s true, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman remain at the top,” said The Esoterics Founding Director Eric Banks, referring to the track Time to say good-bye, from the duet from the Italian vocalist’s 1997 album Romaza, “but I think the music speaks for itself.  Samuel Barber is well-known to most classical music fans, but hopefully we can make more people aware of this unique, contemporary composer.”

Not coincidentally Grammy ballots arrive in Recording Academy members mailboxes in less than two months.  It is very likely many Academy members checked the iTunes charts this week and took notice of the group that Seattle choral fans have been enjoying for years, The Esoterics.

Could a Grammy nomination be in this group’s future?

As they say, time will tell.

In the meantime Agnus Dei is available on iTunes for 99-cents. The entire album, Barber: The collected choral works of Samuel Barber is available for $9.99.

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