From small town to big stages, Siblings bring harmonies to Amp

Girl Named Tom may be a trio, but when they sing they become one — a perfect blend and dazzling harmony of voices.     

“Girl Named Tom has an incredibly evocative sound,” said Laura Savia, vice president of performing and visual arts. “The blend of trio members comes through from the first note to the last, perhaps because they are siblings, but certainly because they are talented and skilled musicians. I think their sound is going to be a perfect fit for the Amphitheater.” 

The small town pop-folk, singer-songwriter group of siblings, Bekah, Caleb and Joshua Liechty, are taking the stage at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 in the Amphitheater. From humble beginnings performing in living rooms, Girl Named Tom made history by becoming the first-ever trio to win NBC’s reality singing competition “The Voice” in December 2021.

They have become known for their chart-topping renditions and covers of popular and classic songs, such as Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine,” and Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.” 

The trio’s signature style combines classic and modern sounds reminiscent of Joni Mitchell with contemporary pop influences like Taylor Swift, appealing to people of all ages. The group’s most popular cover is of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Helplessly Hoping,” which led them to receive a four-chair-turn on the audition round of “The Voice,” and recently surpassed 1 million streams on Spotify. 

In addition to performing covers, they also write their own original music. In 2019, they released their debut EP Another World with all originals, and shortly after in 2021, they released their first album Hits from the Road, which consists primarily of cover songs. They will perform a gamut of both original songs and renditions at Chautauqua. 

From turning chairs on television to now filling seats on their self-titled national tour, the trio is seeking to use the platform and growing fanbase they have generated to transition into performing in venues across the U.S., and into recording their own music. The group has been on the road throughout summer 2022, experimenting with different spaces and environments, from large festivals to small theaters, trying to find what works best for their sound. The tour also gives them the opportunity to meet many of the fans that supported their journey and evolution on the show. 

“I think that their performances really translated well onto small screens across America,” Savia said. “There’s something very humble, yet at the same time confident, about how they perform. I feel like that’s a part of what set them apart when they burst onto the national scene. I also do think their production quality is also going to be a good fit for this venue.” 

Viewers of “The Voice,” however, not only merely gravitated toward the three siblings’ mesmerizing vocals and down-to-earth personas, but also the group’s vulnerability, transparency and openness about their personal lives. 

“Girl Named Tom’s personal story has also been very public,” Savia said. “Since they’ve come onto the scene, they’ve talked openly about their father’s illness and his death, and their upbringing in a small town. Their story, as is with all artists, is a part of what feeds their art.” 

In January, after winning the show, the trio’s father, Chris Liechty, passed away after a long battle with a rare form of cancer. He always encouraged the siblings to wholeheartedly pursue their dreams in every capacity, even during his final moments. 

“Some people might think that this is the worst timing — our father taking such a downward spiral at the exact moment of our success on national television,” the trio said in an Instagram post prior to their father’s death. “In truth, we feel fortunate and blessed by this (show) — a joyful distraction. ‘The Voice’ has given our family opportunities to connect, reflect and marvel at the love we have for each other.”  

Girl Named Tom has always prioritized and valued family. The trio grew up in Pettisville, Ohio, a town with a population of approximately 500 people and zero stoplights. Growing up, they were all homeschooled, causing them to develop a strong bond with each other and their parents. When Bekah was a baby, Caleb and Joshua would jokingly call her Thomas, which Caleb described in a January 2022 interview on “The Ellen Show” as such a “strange name” to call their sister. This peculiar name, however, served as creative inspiration for the trio’s stage name, Girl Named Tom.

The group first formed in 2019 after Bekah graduated from high school, and after the boys had both graduated from college with bachelor’s  degrees in biochemistry. They had all planned to eventually go off to medical school with aspirations of becoming doctors; however, they each decided to forego medical school as it would take significant time away from their family.

Instead, they decided to take a giant leap of faith and audition for “The Voice” after receiving encouragement from their vocal instructor. The courageous leap of faith has led them to pursue an entirely different path than they had originally envisioned.

“One of my friends has spoken publicly on the topic of making life choices. She talks about how in life each of us have both a plan and a path,” Savia said. “We often spend our whole lives thinking we know the plan, only to bump into the path; however, the trick is not to miss the path when it presents itself. When I look at young artists like Girl Named Tom, who did prepare for a different plan, which included medical school, for them to know and recognize when the path of music was presenting itself is incredible.” 

Savia believes that the group’s trajectory and story, in addition to their heartfelt vocals, will truly resonate with Chautauquans tonight.   

“I think that Girl Named Tom will be in good company with Chautauquans,” Savia said. “People who are by definition looking for a path — for a path in literature, the humanities, the arts, religion, and recreation every day that they choose to be here.” 

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The author Will Karr

Will Karr is a rising senior at SUNY Fredonia majoring in journalism with a minor in English. He is from Jamestown, New York. This is Will’s first summer at Chautauqua. Will is working as the Daily’s visual arts and youth reporter. He will also be working as a multimedia journalist at WNY News Now in Jamestown. He is very excited to serve Chautauqua County communities in all his different endeavors this summer.