PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



A Great Big World and Delta Rae to Play Founder’s Day Concert

There ain’t no party like a Penn State party. To celebrate our university’s 159th birthday, the Student Programming Association and Lion Ambassadors is bringing two musical groups: A Great Big World and Delta Rae.

The concert, taking place at 8 p.m. on March 4 in Alumni Hall, is part of the annual Founder’s Day celebration. Entrance for the ticketless event will be granted to those with Penn State student IDs on a first come, first serve basis.

A Great Big World is a two-man group formed by Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino. The two were music business students at New York University, where Axel is said to have convinced Vaccarino to write a song together after hearing him sing. The rest is, as they say, history.

Axel and Vaccarino went on tour together as the opening act for Ingrid Michaelson, Matthew Morrison of “Glee,” and Five for Fighting. It was around then that the duo adopted the name A Great Big World. After receiving funding from a Kickstarter campaign, Axel and Vaccarino released a six-song EP. One of those songs, “This is the New Year,” was performed by the cast on “Glee.”

The pair then signed with Epic Records and released the single “Say Something,” first heard on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” Artist Christina Aguilera heard the single and loved it so much that she asked to be included in a re-recording, which reached No. 1 on iTunes. The single continued to gain popularity throughout the fall of 2013, as A Great Big World performed “Say Something” on “The Voice,” the American Music Awards, and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

A Great Big World’s debut album, “Is There Anybody Out There?”, was released on January 21, 2014. On top of  touring to promote the  album, Axel and Vaccarino are writing a Broadway musical.

Here’s the video of A Great Big World’s most popular song, “Say Something,” featuring Christina Aguilera.

The other musical act coming for Founder’s Day is American folk rock band Delta Rae. The six-member group is made of the Hölljes siblings, Brittany, Eric, and Ian, Grant Emerson, Elizabeth Hopkins, and Mike McKee.

The band’s name comes from a fictional story the Hölljes siblings’ mother told her children about a southern girl named Delta Rae who summons the Greek gods to earth. Delta Rae signed with Sire Records in 2012 and released its debut album “Carry the Fire” shortly after.

The band has received rave reviews from music critics, including the following from Rolling Stone: “If Fleetwood Mac came up in North Carolina, they would resemble Delta Rae.”

Delta Rae has appeared twice on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and Conan O’Brien’s show. The band also shared a stage with First Lady Michelle Obama during a Democratic rally at UNC Chapel Hill.

Its latest EP “Chasing Twisters” was released last November and voted by iTunes as “Single of The Week.” Delta Rae is currently working on its second album, due early this year.

More details on the concert are to come. but here is a video of “Bottom of the River” to get you excited for Delta Rae.

About the Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.


More by Jessica

Phyrst and Cafe 210 West Closed Early on State Patty’s Day

At least two locals bars have closed their doors to the public early due to rowdy State Patty’s Day patrons. The Phyrst and Cafe 210 West closed at about 7 p.m. Saturday.

55 Days Of Cafe: To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Sign Your Favorite Memories At The THON Museum


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend