One of the Storm Lake area's longtime favorite bands, the a cappella foursome Tonic Sol Fa, is proving itself game for more than the normal road warrior lifestyle of truckstop meals and 200+ concerts on the road each year.
"A few years ago, when we wished to make a small difference, we would have our friends and fans help build houses or plan special fundraiser performances (such as an appearance at Storm Lake's Relay for Life)," says Shaun, one of the founding members. "Now, we are jumping out of planes and running through mud and flames in the name of teamwork and charity... which I love!"
He doesn't exaggerate. The band recently ran a Tough Mudder marathon - these are 10-12-mile obstacle courses through deep mud, first designed as training for British Special Forces. Three of the members recently also completed their first experience in skydiving for a philanthropic cause.
"But I am wondering what we should do in 2013," Shaun says. "Swim across the English Channel? Take a trans-Atlantic flight in a weather balloon? Cross the Mojave? It would be awesome to do something with all of you! What? Ideas? As long it doesn't involve Mark in a Speedo, I'm in!"
So the challenge is out there. You can hit the band with an extreme challenge on its website, www.tonicsolfa.com. One of the first challenges to come from fans is already posted - for the entire band to ride RAGBRAI with their biking fans next summer.
Or, if you would rather just sing along to favorite songs, tickets have just gone on sale for Tonic Sol Fa's holiday concert, set for Dec. 17 at the Clay County Regional Events Center. Tickets are $24 now, $29 day of the show. Call 1-800-745-3000 or see www.ticketmaster.com.
Their new CD, "twenty one" is now being mastered and will be hitting stores soon. This recording is being done with three different engineers around the country, completed entirely electronically. Song files are assembled, emailed to the various studios and engineers, and sent back to the cell phones of the band members as they travel. They feel the CD will be their best yet.