« Just Another Medieval Quartet Crossing Over | Main | Rockapella - Music's Swiss Army knife »

September 18, 2006

Hyannis Sound shares its talents

Martinsville Bulletin (VA)

Beginning with the sopranos, then moving up until the altos, tenors and basses were included, the concert choir at Martinsville High School joined a cappella group Hyannis Sound in a vocal exercise on Friday. Eventually, a beautiful harmony filled the choral room, even though the words sounded like “mi may my mo moo.”

“Cool. Great job guys,” said one of the 10 members of the all-male group from Cape Cod, Mass. The group of college students from around the country also performed for and worked with high school groups at Bassett and Magna Vista High schools and Carlisle School on Friday, and presented a public concert Saturday at Patrick Henry Community College. At Martinsville High School Friday, the students learned warm-up exercises, such as vibrating their lips, and heard Hyannis Sound perform a cappella versions of several songs, such as K.T. Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and the Ojays “Love Train.”

Hyannis Sound members also talked the students into performing for them, singing a version of “The Star Spangled Banner” to piano accompaniment from Choral Director Cynthia Breckenridge. They received enthusiastic applause for their performance. The performances were a homecoming of sorts for Paul Toms III, who is from Martinsville. He said the MHS students welcomed the group. “They all seemed pretty enthusiastic,” said Toms, the son of Paul and Debbie Toms of Martinsville and a senior at Boston University. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Rob Powers, a member of Hyannis Sound from Plymouth, Mass., spoke to the students about how members audition for a spot on the group’s rotating roster of 10. Members stay together over the summers, performing a number of concerts. He also talked about how performance is almost as important as singing ability. Hyannis Sound performs the same material over multiple shows, he said, so its members try to do something different each time to keep things interesting. “That’s just a huge part of it,” he said.

After the performance, the students asked a few questions about how the group works. Members responded that about 80 to 100 people audition for the 10 spots and no, even though some of them tried out for “American Idol,” none were lucky enough to be televised. They also encouraged the students to keep singing and participating in gospel choirs. Brother and sister Colin Welch, a freshman, and Lauren Welch, a senior, said they enjoyed hearing the concert and learning the vocal exercises. They said there was at least one new one that they expected would be added to their lessons.

“It inspired us to do better,” Colin Welch said of singing before the a cappella group. Junior Andrea Martin also said she enjoyed the program and how the group let the students sing. Breckenridge said the group was “fabulous. It was really good for the kids to hear pop songs done a cappella. “It was a good experience for them,” she said.

Posted by acapnews at September 18, 2006 9:47 PM