Godfrey, Ill. – An acoustic/folk/pop duo comprising two Lewis and Clark musicians will hit the stage together on Saturday, July 24 during Alton’s Big Gig Local Music Show at the Alton Riverfront Ampitheater.
Audri & Aaron, formed in April 2010, comprises L&C vocal performance student Audri Lucasey, 19, of Alton, and L&C music education alumnus Aaron Kellim, 24, of Bethalto, who is known in the area for his past work with bands like Bear Hug Jersey and One Lone Car.
Lucasey, on vocals and violin, and Kellim, on vocals, guitar and piano, name artists like Norah Jones, Colbie Caillat, Celine Dion, Gin Blossoms, Dave Barnes, Lauryn Hill, Marvin Gaye and John Legend as musical influences.
The two met in college through classes and their involvement in Lewis and Clark’s vocal group, Limited Edition.
“Audri played a song that she had written for me and another friend of ours in January of 2010, and I knew right then that I wanted to work with her,” Kellim said. “I offered any help that I could provide in song writing and about two months later, she asked if I wanted to start writing with her and playing some shows once we had enough material.”
The pair has already played a few small shows, but is hoping to break into the St. Louis music scene after their Big Gig performance.
Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Marketplace, said she’s looking forward to the show. Usually a more intimate group, they have added a couple more musicians to fill out their sound in the large venue, McGibany said.
“Their music is just enchanting. Audri’s voice is just beautiful and their lyrics are amazing,” she said.
The Big Gig is a local music showcase in which bands send in music to be selected to play. Six entries are chosen and given tickets to sell, then whichever group sells the most tickets gets the time slot of their choice and a prize package that includes recording time in a studio of their choice, air time on WLCA 89.9-FM, and an article in The Telegraph, among other perks.
As winners of the ticket sales competition, Kellim said they are currently looking for a producer and studio that will fit their sound best, though three of Audri & Aaron’s original songs have already been recorded at the studio on Lewis and Clark Community College’s campus, and can be heard online at www.myspace.com/audriaaron
, or www.youtube.com/theaudriaaron
“Hopefully by the end of August, we will be in the studio working on our first full-length album,” Kellim said.
For both musicians, working together has been a breeze, they said.
“Audri has always written by herself, so for her it’s nice to have someone to bounce all of her ideas off of for feedback,” Kellim said. “For me, it’s a new experience to have someone that is so incredible at writing lyrics. It’s also been different being the only one playing an instrument. It really exposes every note that I play so I have to be on top of my game every night.”
"Working together has made writing music so much easier and more relaxing. I feel that our music style reflects the way we work together and our personalities," Lucasey said.
Audri & Aaron will take the stage at 8:30 p.m., right before area native country artist Ryan Rothe takes the stage to close out the show. Big Gig will run from 3- 11 p.m. and will also feature Science Hill (rock/reggae/jazz), Red Card Royale (rock/funk), Devil Baby Freakshow (new wave/punk rock) and Building Rome (alternative/rock).
“People can expect a wide variety of music, with many talented musicians,” Kellim said.
Kellim, a spring 2010 L&C graduate, plans to pursue a career in music education by working toward his bachelor’s degree at Greenville College, and continue performing.
As a student at Lewis and Clark, he participated in the L&C Choir Ensemble and Limited Edition. In 2009, he was named “Who’s Who Among Junior College Students” and was also a Talent Award Scholarship recipient.
Fans might recognize Kellim from his former affiliations with local bands Bear Hug Jersey and One Lone Car, among others. He’s traveled the country on tour, had music featured on MTV’s “The Hills” and has played alongside established groups including the Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Switchfoot and One Republic.
Lucasey, a voice student of L&C’s Director of Choral Ensembles and Vocal Studies Susan Parton Stanard, placed second this past February in the College Freshmen Women’s division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
She has written worship music with Steve Cox and, like Kellim, performs with her church’s worship team.
Lucasey is also a member of the L&C vocal group Limited Edition and is a Talent Award Scholarship recipient for the 2010-2011 school year. Lucasey’s major is vocal performance, and she plans to graduate in Spring 2011.
Big Gig, featuring original music written and performed by St. Louis Metro East musicians, is sponsored by Alton Marketplace and RiverBender.com.
Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 in advance at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton or online at www.riverfrontamphitheater.com
. One dollar per ticket will be donated to the Jacoby Arts Center to support their live music ventures, while the rest of the proceeds benefit Alton Marketplace's mission of improving and promoting Downtown Alton.
For more information on the show, visit http://www.riverfrontamphitheater.com/BIGGIG/