February 7, 2005
Cowley vocal music grads appearing in Spangles commercial
Devin Woods and Andrew Penrose are getting some television exposure they just stumbled into.
The 2004 graduates of Cowley College are appearing in a TV commercial for Spangles, a chain restaurant based in Wichita. The 30-second spot promoting the Sourdough Turkey Bacon Ranch sandwich began airing Jan. 31 on Wichita stations. The spot can be seen online here.
Woods, from Manhattan, and Penrose, from Arkansas City, are Wichita State University students capitalizing on their ability to sing.
On Jan. 13, WSU’s Madrigal Choir performed at East High School. Following the concert, Woods, Penrose, fellow student Troy Fischer, and Dr. Tom Wine, associate professor of music education and director of choral music at WSU, went to the Spangles at 453 N. Hillside. While waiting to order, the four men began to sing silly songs about sandwiches on the Spangles menu. Soon, Rene Steven, director of operations for Spangles, appeared.
“We were being silly when she came out,” Woods said. “We sang a little ditty about our food, and she said, ‘wow, that was awesome.’ She called her brother (Dale) and he came over. She then asked us if we wanted to be in a (Spangles) commercial.”
That afternoon, the four men met with the Stevens to work out the details. Rene wanted the entire WSU A Cappella Choir in the background. Woods said Fischer, who sings bass, came up with the lyrics.
The spot begins with close-ups of Fischer, Penrose and Woods singing the first part of the song. The focus then shifts to Wine midway through the spot, and wraps up with Woods’ solo, “It’s all about the ranch.”
“We talked jokingly about being the new Spangles guys,” Woods said, to counter Sonic’s two male spokesmen who have appeared in spots for years. “There may be future work in this. Right now, it’s kind of a foot in the door.”
The spot was shot Jan. 26 at Wiedemann Hall on the WSU campus. Woods, a tenor, said six or seven vocal and video takes were recorded.
“We lip-synched, which was crazy,” Woods said as the best audio take was laid on top of the best video. “We got to select which one we felt was the best.”
Wine is a baritone-tenor, while Penrose is bass-baritone. Penrose is a member of the madrigals and concert chorale, while Woods is in madrigals and the a cappella choir. They are roommates living in east Wichita.
“It was a crazy, awesome experience,” Woods said. “It was kind of nuts. ‘It’s all about the ranch’ might become a new catch phrase, but I don’t want to become the ranch guy.”