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The Four Freshmen Return to Their Hoosier Roots at Rose-Hulman

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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Rose-Hulman Performing Arts series presents The Four Freshmen, Friday, December 1, at Hatfield Hall.

An American musical legend returns to its Indiana home when The Four Freshmen bring their unique jazz-inspired harmony to Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall Friday, December 1.

This Grammy-nominated group, now in its 25th iteration, got its start playing family picnics and small clubs in central Indiana in the 1940s. After its members returned from military service, it jelled into a vocal/instrumental group known as “The Toppers” at Butler University, where brothers Don and Ross Barbour, cousin Bob Flanigan and friend Hal Kratsch started playing campus malt shops and small lounges. By the time they played their first big gig in Fort Wayne in 1948, their agent had renamed the group The Four Freshmen.

Scoring several hit records over the next decade, including “It’s a Blue World,” “Day by Day,” and “Graduation Day,” The Four Freshmen soon joined the lexicon of great American musical foursomes. Since then, the group has introduced nearly two dozen new members, but has remained committed to its original combination of vocal and instrumental virtuosity. The Four Freshmen’s timeless sound has inspired other artists, including The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, The Lettermen and The Manhattan Transfer.

The Four Freshmen will bring their upbeat Holiday Show to Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall Friday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m. Seats for are filling fast, but a few are still available. Tickets are $25 for adults or $19 for those under 18. They are available at hatfieldhall.com, by calling 812-877-8544 or visiting the Hatfield Hall ticket desk Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or one hour before the show.