An Inside Look in Ohio University’s Leading Tones

The Ohio University men’s acapella group, Leading Tones, was founded by members of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity in 2005. Since then, Leading Tones has expanded to men from all majors with varying levels of music knowledge, all brought together by their love of singing. 


 Joey Viola sings John Legend’s “All of Me” at the 12th Annual Ohio University Acapella Invitationals

Joey Viola, currently a Tenor II, has been in Leading Tones for a year now and quickly fell in love with the group. Viola is an upcoming Senior  at Ohio University studying video production and social media. He took choir all four years of High School, but began to lose his musical passion in his first two years at Ohio University. In the Spring of 2013, Viola attended the 11th Annual Acapella Invitational hosted by the Ohio University Singing Men of Ohio. This event was the first time he witnessed the OU Leading Tones perform live. After noticing what a fun, talented, charismatic group Leading Tones was, Viola decided to attend tryouts for the following school year. Since then, Viola has had two solo’s including John Legend’s “All of Me” and Imagine Dragon’s “Demons.”

Below is a Q&A with Joey Viola, giving a deeper look into The OU Leading Tones.

  • “What is the best memory you’ve had in Leading Tones?”
  • “Singing at Invitationals with everyone [this Spring]. It was an absolute blast getting up in front of people like that and having the ability to sing quality music for them.”
  • “Who is your groups biggest idol?”
  • “Pentatonix. Check out They are an amazingly talented acapella group that came under the scene two or three years ago. They do a lot to promote and develop acapella music around the world. Ben Folds is definitely a primary inspiration for a lot of things we do. Without his influence in the group I don’t think we would have reached such popularity and may we not even be around today.”
  • “Who is your biggest role model within the group?”
  • “In regards to singing, I look up to Aaron Pynos, Daniel O’Callaghan, and Angelo Sylvester. Leadership-wise I look up to Zach Hulsmeyer, Angelo Sylvester and Seth Hulsmeyer, but they are all my great friends and I look to each of them individually for different reasons.”
  • “What do you think separates The Leading Tones from other acapella groups on campus?”
  • “We like to have a good time, and it’s not really work for us. A lot of other ensembles get frustrated in the fact that it’s a lot of work to put together a show or unique renditions of songs. We pride ourselves that we are just fun people to be around. And, that’s generally seen in our performance style. We are just a laid back group of friends looking to have a good time while doing something we all love.”

Viola plans to continue singing with The Ohio University Leading Tones for a second year throughout the 2014-2015 school year. He hopes to obtain more solo positions next and bring the group to a new level of entertainment.

Find out more about The Leading Tones and their upcoming performances on twitter at @OULeadingTones ( or on Facebook (


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