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"The Polyphonic Spree is a self-described 'choral symphonic rock' group from the Dallas, Texas area. The band generally consists of a 10-person choir, a pair of keyboardists, as well as a percussionist, drummer, bassist, guitarist, flautist, trumpeter, trombonist, violinist, violist, harpist, French horn player, a pedal steel player, theremin player, and an electronic effects person. Individual members and the number of musicians, however, vary, because of the flexibility necessary in travelling with such a large band. Tim DeLaughter is musical director and contributes lead vocals, as well as keyboards, guitar, and percussion.
The group was founded by DeLaughter and has included 13 to 27 other members. It currently consists of 24 members ranging from vocals, to organ to tubular bells. The three original members, Tim DeLaughter, Mark Pirro and Bryan Wakeland were members of the band Tripping Daisy before their guitarist Wes Berggren died in 1999. After the end of Tripping Daisy, DeLaughter temporarily gave up music to run Good Records, a record shop in Dallas. In 2000, DeLaughter, Pirro and Wakeland were asked to create a 30-minute album in support of Grandaddy. Rather than reforming Tripping Daisy, the three decided to explore a concept DeLaughter had of creating a modern symphonic rock band with a live choir. Inspired by operatic, experimental rock bands of the seventies such as Electric Light Orchestra that he loved as a child, DeLaughter sent the call out for a wide array of musicians and gradually built up contacts. A half-hour of music was written and rehearsed by 13 musicians that would become The Polyphonic Spree.
The reaction to the fledgling band was overwhelmingly positive. The band then grew to its present size (somewhere near 25 members) as it fostered a following of fans energized by the band's powerful stage presence. Their first album, The Beginning Stages Of..., collected the songs from the first Spree show and added a 10th piece entitled 'A Long Day' (fully formed from 11-year-old samples of the voice of Tim DeLaughter), and was then distributed to skeptical venues that were reluctant to host the enormous band. Delaughter also sold home-made copies with hand-drawn artwork in Good Records. Eventually, demand for the Spree's music on CD became so great that the album saw commercial release."
[reproduced or excerpted from the Wikipedia article "The Polyphonic Spree" and its use is thus licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License]
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