Gloriana returning to Little Apple

Ben Hopper

By A Contributor

Country music group Gloriana is making a stop in the Little Apple this week.

The K-State Student Union Program Council is hosting the Academy of Country Music’s 2010 Top New Vocal Group at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Weber Arena. Opening for the hit trio is Tyler Hilton, the actor known for his role on The CW’s “One Tree Hill.”

But this isn’t Gloriana’s first trip to the Flint Hills. The trio performed at the 2010 Country Stampede.

“Stampede was great,” said Tom Gossin, a guitarist and vocalist for the group. “We had a blast there.”

He said the group had played here before that. Whenever members tell people they are playing in Manhattan, they have to add “Kansas.” Although Gossin is originally from upstate New York, he now lives in Nashville, Tenn. Gossin said they are excited to return to the Little Apple.

The year before their stop at Stampede, this group comprised of Gossin and his younger brother, Mike, as well as Rachel Reinert, became the best-selling debut country act of 2009. Their gold-certified hit single “Wild At Heart,” helped the group debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the Top 200 chart. Later that year, fans voted the trio the Breakthrough Artists at the American Music Awards and the “Nationwide On Your Side” honor at the Country Music Television Awards.

Gloriana set out on a two-year tour, opening for Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” tour. The band also opened for some of country music’s biggest names including Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, and the Zac Brown Band.

“Performing with artists like Taylor Swift and the Zac Brown Band totally shaped who we are,” Gossin said. “It was a gift. It was great to share our music with people who might not have heard us otherwise.”

In 2010, Gloriana won the Academy of Country Music’s Award for Top New Vocal Group and celebrated the trio’s first headlining tour across the country. The group also traveled overseas to entertain U.S. troops on bases in the Middle East and in Europe.

Gossin said the band supports the armed forces, and that playing for the troops overseas was incredible experience for Gloriana.

“Seeing it on the news is one thing,” Gossin said, “but seeing it first hand was another.” He said it was an honor to play for the soldiers who were fighting to protect our freedoms.

“We haven’t forgotten the sacrifices made by these men and women,” he said.

The trip inspired the group to write “Soldier Song,” a tribute to the men and women of the military, thanking them for their work.

Gloriana recently put the finishing touches on its second album set for release this summer on Emblem Music Group/Warner Bros. Records. Their latest single, “(Kissed You) Good Night,” is climbing the country charts.

Alicia Shankle, a senior in marketing from Lakin, Kan., is one of the UPC music committee co-chairs planning the event at Weber Arena. She and Michael Murray, a sophomore in business administration and pre-law from Topeka, wanted to bring a country music group to K-State. Even with the Country Stampede, there isn’t a lot of country acts on campus, she said.

Shankle has seen Gloriana twice. The first time was at the 2010 Country Stampede. Last summer, she saw the band in Kansas City.

“The put on a really good live show,” she said. “They are very entertaining. They have a unique sound that students and military will like.”

Tyler Hilton, who plays Chris Keller on the CW’s “One Tree Hill,” is currently on tour with Gloriana. Hilton’s first album, “The Tracks of Tyler Hilton” debuted in 2004. This mainstream pop singer/songwriter got to portray his “biggest musical inspiration,” Elvis Presley, in the 2005 blockbuster film “Walk the Line.”

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