HomeJohnnie Blend

School or Affiliation: St. John's University
Collegeville, MN

Johnnie Blend

In the fall of 2002 eight men arrived at St. John's University with two things in common; a desire to create a cappella music and a longing to forge friendships that would last a lifetime. Thus Johnnie Blend was born. Slowly but surely the members of Johnnie Blend honed their musical skills and repertoire, quickly becoming one of the most exciting arrivals on the collegiate a cappella scene. Spring brought with it an expanding schedule of shows and the creation of the group's first CD titled "The Black Keys" with the help of renowned sound engineer and producer Gerry Stinson. The 2003 school year saw the group expand to 10 members. New blood brought renewed energy and Johnnie Blend was soon found performing and practicing at every possible opportunity. Johnnie Blend in Concert-photo by John Nelson Fall of 2004 brought with it a unique challenge; how to keep performing when 5 group members were going to be studying in various countries around the globe. In true JB style the remaining members banded together to form Johnnie Blend Decaffeinated. This quintet produced some amazing music and once again with guidance from Gerry Stinson, produced an album titled "Christmas at Home" which featured the group's first original song. The start of the spring semester meant that JB was once again at full strength, and the guys used the momentum to undertake their most ambitious task yet; a full length single tracked studio album "Collegeville." Spring 2005 also saw the dynamic of JB change. Graduation and the pursuit of other opportunities allowed Johnnie Blend to audition in some promising young singers. New members brought new personalities to the group which changed the style of the group but not the mission to create great musical fusion. In 2006, JB experienced another "decaffeinated" year with only 7 members led by seniors Bill Blatzheim and Dana Kinsella. During the course of the fall semester, JB was back and brand new. This was the first year that no founders of the group were directly involved. The torch had been passed to a new generation of men brought together by the passion of music. Later in the 2006-07 season, JB did some touring around the state going to such destinations as Sauk Centre and Apple Valley, Minnesota. In the spring more seniors graduated and younger members were brought in to replace them. These new musicians will allow Johnnie Blend to fulfill their collective dream; the creation of a continuing male a cappella group at SJU that will hopefully last for many generations to come. Johnnie Blend in Concert At present, JB is hard at work rehearsing, recording, and performing, with ambitious plans for the 2007-2008 school year. A new CD is in the works (scheduled to release during on-campus concert April 20th) as well as tours to Nebraska, Iowa, and Southern Minnesota. The group hopes to inspire more hearts and touch more souls as they go on living their dream. Campus performances are now selling out at incredible rates and the group is considering moving to a larger venue to accommodate the growing masses of listeners, preferably the Petters Auditorium at the College of St. Benedict. The tradition lives on in Collegeville as the ideals of the founders are instilled in new members each passing year. The future looks even brighter than before for the boys of Johnnie Blend, and it is all thanks to a dream started by 8 men in the basement of Regina Hall.


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