UNT graduate performs on "America's Got Talent"

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A panel of celebrity of judges agrees that this University of North Texas graduate definitely has talent.

Alex Bumpas, who earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from UNT in 2005, performed on the NBC television show "America's Got Talent" June 26 as one of the 3 Redneck Tenors. The classically trained singers, billed as "Greater Tuna meets Das Barbecu," are going on to the next round of the talent competition.

The television show - judged by David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan and hosted by Jerry Springer - will return with new episodes July 10.

Bumpas - dressed in a mullet, T-shirt, jeans and a tuxedo jacket with tails - sang Beethoven's 5th Symphony as part of the trio on "America's Got Talent."

"He has a very dynamic, interesting, funny, high-energy personality," said Dr. Linda di Fiore, UNT Regents Professor of voice, who taught Bumpas during his time at UNT. "He is fearless when it comes to singing high notes, and he can do almost anything with his voice."

Bumpas, a Richardson High School graduate, auditioned at UNT as a bass baritone, but he was asked to return for audition callbacks as a tenor. He credits his education at UNT with helping him land a job with the 3 Redneck Tenors.

"UNT prepares musicians for the real world better than any other school," he said.

The 3 Redneck Tenors, which also includes tenor Matthew Lord, baritone John Wilkerson and bass Dinny McGuire, just finished a 35-state, 50-city national tour, Bumpas said, and the group will perform Sept. 1 at Bass Hall in Fort Worth.

"The main point of the show is to bring all generations together," Bumpas said of the 3 Redneck Tenors show. "It's family-oriented with no profanity or racy adult material, and it allows people the opportunity to grab onto classical music. We have a terrible dichotomy where people who are only educated and upper class go to classical music concerts, but this was music written for the people."

You can recognize Bumpas by the green T-shirt he wears on "America's Got Talent." Green is one of his favorite colors, and it happens to be one of UNT's colors, too.

"It's a silent shout-out to all my friends at UNT, showing the school pride," he said.

More information about Bumpas is available on the 3 Redneck Tenors' web site - www.3rednecktenors.com/cast.htm.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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