By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications, Penn State Behrend
According to the program handed out before the Tone-Acious concert in late April, the student a capella group was going to sing seven songs.
But after performing those songs for the nearly-full audience in Reed 117, instead of taking a bow, members of the group lowered a viewing screen on the stage and announced a surprise final song.
As they launched into God Only Knows by The Beach Boys, a slideshow of images from the last year of Tone-Acious’ concerts and activities played on the screen. The audience laughed and smiled at club members hamming it up for the camera.
Then, it got weird. Literally. The slideshow contained the words: “And now things get strange…” What followed were a series of photos of a little boy and girl, then a slightly older boy and girl, then a teenage boy and girl.
Eventually it dawned on the confused audience that it was the same boy and girl. Yet, they didn’t seem to be members of Tone-Acious.
It all made sense a few moments later when the adult version of the boy in the photos pulled the adult version of the girl in the photos onto the stage and dropped to one knee.
She said yes.
Well, sort of.
“I was so surprised that I could only nod with tears running down my face,” said Lexie Gee, the bride-to-be.
Gee met her future husband, Christian Olson, a mechanical engineering technology major at Penn State Behrend, in preschool. By middle school, the Warren-Pennsylvania, natives were a couple. They’ve been dating for nearly six years.
Olson arranged the surprise engagement with Tone-Acious member Ashley Meyer.
“I wanted to do something music-related and showy, but I was lacking in the number of musically-talented friends to help me, so I talked to Ashley about involving Tone-Acious.”
“God Only Knows is a song we both loved from our high school choir days,” Olson said. “So that’s the song I asked them to sing for us.”
Gee had no idea Olson was planning to propose. “When the pictures of us came up on the screen, I was caught off guard.”
Her family, including her sister, who is a Penn State Behrend student and was in the audience that evening, was not. Gee’s father supplied the ring.
“It’s a beautifully engraved ring that had been my mother’s when my father proposed to her, so it’s very special to me,” Gee said. “My family is ecstatic about our engagement. They’ve known for months and were having trouble keeping it from me.”
Olson and Gee are planning a July 13, 2019, wedding in their hometown of Warren.