EAST LANSING, Mich. — Chonk. Typically an adjective used to describe a house cat, but in this case, it's a noun.
“It originally came from this meme," said Aiden LaPointe. "It was called the chonk chart. It was like in a veterinary clinic, and it's like, how chunky are is your cat? How fat is it?”
CHONK is the name of Aiden and Luke LaPointe, Kent Kirby and Matt Bidigary's quartet.
“We've been together for three and a half going on four years now," Aidens said. “We went to day camp, we were backstage, we were ready to go on, and they go, 'Okay, what is your guys' quartet name?' And we go, 'we've been so busy that we forgot to we've got to pick one.'"
All because they couldn't think of a name.
“We originally picked it just because we thought it was funny, and then as we were talking through it, we thought like, man, wouldn't it be funny if we put something this dumb on a trophy," Aiden said.
Now a quartet, the group originally started as three with two brothers and their friend.
“Luke ended up showing me some barbershop and got me to sing it and I fell in love with it and enjoyed it," Bidigary said.
Bur four is better than three, and when they met Kirby, they knew that was their plus one.
“He was gracious enough to to be interested," Luke said. "He came and did it with us, did this show.”
“All three of them are really good, and they would ask me to sing tags sometimes after rehearsals, and I was like, 'oh, yeah, I'd love to sing with you guys, because we sound really good together,'" Kirby said.
At first, it was just a one-time thing.
“When we started, we were like okay, we're just gonna do this one-off thing, no commitment," Aiden said.
But that one-time thing turned into three years later.
“We ended up winning the Bush League, which is a novice quartet competition that's in Michigan, and it's got this really cool trophy that's been the contests been going on for about 75 years," Aiden said.
And the rest is history. Most recently, the group won the Pioneer State Championship.
“COVID happened, and there was nothing going on," Matt said. "So for this period of two years, it was, you know, no shows really, not many rehearsals for choruses, and to come back and win the first fall contest back when it was just something really cool.”
Now, their goal is to qualify for the district championship this spring.
“I personally believe that we are sounding better and better every day," Kirby said. "So I just get more excited with how we sound with each passing week.”
For now, they're prepping for their show this weekend here at home, the Blast From the Past show with the Capitol City Chordsmen and Mid-Town, a quartet currently ranked second in the world from New York.
“It's really exciting that we're able to do a show that's local," Matt said. "It's not something we have the privilege to do very often.”
The show takes place this Saturday, March 4, at 7 p.m. at Okemos Middle School.
More information can be found here.
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