WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     An a cappella group, with roots in Westbrook/Slayton/ Mankato  is competing on national T.V.    They are one of ten groups who were vying for the title of the best a cappella group,  a Sony  Music recoding contract, and $100,000 on the fourth season of “The Sing Off.”  The winner will be determined during a two-hour finale on December 23.  

    The Sing-Off will be on NBC this Wed., December 18, Thurs., December 19,  with the finale on Monday, December 23.  (Check your local listings.)

    While there are a lot of singing competition shows these day, NBC has now offered a show that features a cappella groups. That means the singers perform without musical accompaniment.  With no musical instruments to back the singers, they have to be on top of their game.  As Kyla Brewer said in TV Media..... “There are no ‘safety nets’ should they slide off key - they only have their voices to bring a piece of music to life.  They often present familiar songs in ways listeners have never heard them before, and these new arrangements are just one of the reasons that fans of the genre can’t seem to get enough.”

    Two of the original members of Home Free are Chris and Adam Rupp.  They are the sons of Cindy Rupp (graduate of Westbrook High School) and Steve Rupp (graduate of Slayton High School).  Steve and Cindy live in Mankato, and their sons graduated from East High there, and continued their education at Gustavus Adolphus, St. Peter.  Betty Rupp (Westbrook)  and the late Reuben Rupp are their grandparents.   Betty was the church organist at Grace Lutheran for 55+ years, and Reuben played his trumpet in several area bands.  Chris and Adam’s sister, Tristin, lives in LA where she is a singer/actress/model.

    Home Free was started in 2000 when Chris and Adam were in their teens.  They began by competing in Hosanna Lutheran Church’s annual talent show.  Their mother, Cindy, is director of music at Hosanna.

    Home Free features two tenors, a baritone, and a bass, as well as Adam Rupp’s nationally recognized beat-boxing skills.  He provides all the percussion sounds  vocally.  They have toured nationally and have sung for Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, plus Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Lines.   They also perform  at many fairs and other local shows.

    Home Free’s holiday concert touring schedule includes shows in Springfield, MN on December 21, and at Hosanna Church in Mankato on December 22.  Check their web-site for ticket and location information.