It's no surprise that we're all going to miss Ryan. He is a very dedicated, talented and humble individual. It will be weird to not have him on stage with us. He has meant a lot to this group and definitely a lot to me.
A brief history of how I got into SNC. I was given Live at Alumni Hall when I was in high school by a buddy who said "Hey, you like Acapella, listen to these guys!" I think one of the first songs I heard was the "Teen Sensation Medley," and I thought YES I want to do that. Fast forward to my campus visit to IU where we met one of the SNC members who informs us that they let seniors in high school try out for the group in the spring. I obviously jump at this chance and in February of 2003 I had made the college version of Straight No Chaser. Myself and 4 other guys (one of them Seggie) sang the bridge to M-Pact's "Without your Love"(killer btw) in Ryan's college house living room. About halfway through he stops us and says, "you guys are in Straight No Chaser." My life had been changed. After I convinced my parents that this was really important to me regardless of out-of-state tuition, I came to Indiana. My first show was Ryan(and Mike's) last at IU. So after I scored the winning goal in my HS soccer game, my dad (and Adam Rich's Dad) drove us to Bloomington to sing one song (Dry Campus) with Ryan and the guys. We left at 2am, drove through the night because we literally had prom the next day. No joke. I felt like the coolest person. It was a whirlwind and I was exhausted but loved every minute of it. I was a member and Director of Straight No Chaser for all 4 years of college. I had a major( Telecom) but my real major, as anyone else who has been in the group can tell you, was Straight No Chaser. Ryan was always there for me in college as a mentor and a friend. He helped guide me through my first year as Director of IUSNC and was always great at giving advice. He had been a sophomore Director as well so was familiar with a lot of what I was going through at the time. After college he lived in Bloomington while I was still there, so it was cool to hang out with him. Good, good memories. After I graduated I sang on two cruise ships as most of you know. Ryan came on my last ship, Solstice, as a guest and talked to me about the opening in the reformed Straight No Chaser. After making the group (a second time HA) Ryan and I became a lot closer. He was still there as a guy to give advice when needed, but I felt that our friendship grew because we were in the same group experiencing things together.
Here are some memories. Note: Some of them will only make sense to he and I but they're great nonetheless.
- When he used to come visit IU after he graduated, I thought it was cool to hang with him because I looked up to him. He was probably using me for my meal points but I didn't care, I felt cool. Taco Johns, Ta Ta co Johns.
- We hung out a bunch when he lived in Btown, Mitchell Street Style. Went to all of his or Mitchell Street's shows if I could.
-We had a lot of long phone conversations while I was in school Directing the group. We talked about everything, recording, arranging, directing etc...
POST COLLEGE PRE SNC
-Talked to him about the Cruise Ship Gig after college and recording for that as well. He left his entire cruise ship music folder in the old SNC office that I took and used to learn the 50+ cheesy Doo-Wop and Barbershop songs i.e. Hello Mary Lou. He sent me a signed Coverdales(his ship group name) album in the mail to my house. It was awesome. Who wrote it who…
-Little Deuce Coupe (Ab)
-While on the Solstice he sang two songs with our group, Oceans Four, Up on the Roof and All shook up. He was about a foot taller than our entire group and the video is awesome. I'm sure it's on youtube somewhere.
- (on dancing in a large group setting) "You're gonna want to go out there and open with the Robot……….DON'T. "-RA
- We lived together while recording Christmas Cheers and With a Twist in Bloomington in the fall of 2009. Huge place for two dudes who were never there. Never got dishwashing detergent. He literally said "I think we're good with just hot water."
- Ate a lot of Subway. He also brought home and ate an entire Rotisserie Chicken one night. YES.
- For some reason those big 5 gallon water jugs would just appear outside the door to our place. There were about 6 of them and one time Ryan just opened one and used it to fill his own water bottle. You had to be there. Then, at a group he brought one of those 5 gallon jugs and was sarcastically asking everyone if they were "good on water?."
- We started a bluegrass version of "sweet child of mine" FAIL.
-We wrote an original tune together in 2009 while recording With a Twist.
-"Don't give me advice."- Napa 2009
- My first time at Atlantic Records in NYC, he said "As the new guy you should probably just not say anything."
-One time he started laughing during "Lion Sleeps Tonight" in Portland, OR in 2009 and couldn't finish the solo, so I stepped up and finished it. It was awesome and obviously the crowd loved it.
-His outtakes in "Santa Claus is Back in Town" are amazing.
-His impressions are some of the best.
-He's one of the funniest people I know.
- His facial expressions during our "Hair Band Medley" two summers ago were amazing.
- I tell him all the time he and his wife should try out for SNL.
- His impression of Charlie on Chicken Fried where he forgot the words is awesome and one of my favorite memories.
-The outtakes of promoting some shows last year while in Nashville, were amazing. We showed them at the Fresno NYE show. I was crying laughing the first time I watched it. "Jim Henson, Frida Kahlo"
-Whenever we think of something funny either he or I will call each other or create a voice note and send it to the other person. "I MUST GO THERE, TO FIND MY SOUL THERE!"
- 1, 2…..1, 2, HAT!! 4 Dada dat dada dat dada da da.
There are so many great things about Ryan. He's a great dude and we're really gonna miss him. He's one of my best friends and I can't thank him enough for the opportunity he and the group have given me. He let me into IUSNC as a scared, 18 year old who cracked while auditioning with the "Folgers Theme Song" by Rockapella. He's got a calling to be with Young LIfe and he's gonna do amazing things with those people and that program. It's a God thing and I believe that with all of my heart. Good things happen to good people. I wish him all the best in the future with his new job. Please keep taking funny pictures with your wife and your cat. We love you buddy.
Your friend, and fellow high tenor,
Tyler W. Trepp
p.s. Can I have all your solos? Thanks.
p.s.s I owe you one acoustic performance of "Don't Stop" after I couldn't do it on the ship. Call my Manager David Britz and we'll set it up.