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A night with eight hot guys or, my night with VoiceMale

By Arielle Kaplan

Section: Arts

December 1, 2006

On Tuesday night, I was walking over to Slosberg with my friend Doug Friedman 10, getting prepped for what I was about to encounter at the VoiceMale rehearsal. I love this group and all the guys in it especially myself, said Doug with a smile. He then went on to describe the quirky dynamics of this particular all-male Brandeis a capella group, which is headed by president Jon Weinstein 07 and musical director Jordan Suchow '08.

For the not so musically inclined, VoiceMale is one of our many wonderful a capella groups on campus. As the name implies, its guys only. Eight very talented guys, to be exact. By the time rehearsal began, I had met them all: Jon, Jordan, Doug, Noah Schnoll 09, Adam Barrish, Ben Gellman-Chomsky 08, Jon Shuster 08, and Simon Schreier 10. The rehearsal began as more of a meeting with old/new business and discussions about the groups plans for the remainder of the year (which looks like it will be exciting).

The big news which came up during the meeting was the charity show which will be in Boston tonight at 8pm in Wolf Auditorium, Tufts-NE Medical Center. The concert benefits the Floating Hospital for Children and all donations will go to the hospital. In addition to our VoiceMale men putting on the show, theyll be singing with Sean Altman, the founder of Rockapella and original cast member on the PBS show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Coincidentally, they will be performing that song at the concert with Mr. Altman!

After business was concluded, Jon W. spoke about the group a little while the rest of the men warmed up. We generally rehearse seven to fifteen hours per week, and we usually have a concert per week, on campus or around the Boston area, said Jon. We also do lots of touring up and down the east coast this spring were all flying to the west coast to tour. He then continued with speaking about the groups CD, Aint Done Overnight.

The CD began production in May 2004 and came out this semester. It has thirteen of VoiceMales best songs from the past three years. Each track is recorded with each voice part singing separately and then mixed together during editing. It takes forever, said Adam about the process. The CD has already won recognition and the guys are hoping that it will get them a CARA (Contemporary A capella Recording Award). To get the latest VoiceMale CD (which is $15), go to one of their shows or order it online at brandeisvoicemale.com.

We also try to develop relationships with groups at many other schools, added Jon S., taking a break from his vocal exercises. With warm-ups completed, the guys jumped right in by rehearsing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. Jon W. sang the solo line for the rehearsal, and to be totally honest, what I heard from the group was amazing. After running and cleaning the song a few times, they continued with other pieces, including my VoiceMale favorite, Machine Head.

During a short break, Noah shared some of his thoughts about why he joined VoiceMale in the first place: A lot of my older friends said (when you get to college) join a frat or a capella groupI didnt want to join a frat. Ive also been a singer my entire life.

Not only was the rehearsal entertaining, it was also interactive. All the guys were extremely friendly and they even asked for my opinion on their performance after they ran Is it any Wonder?. The entire atmosphere was very relaxed and a lot of fun to be in, especially with the creative dance moves of Ben, Adam, and Doug during a few numbers. Although there was a lot of joking around, they still got a great deal done and even began working some new stuff for their upcoming December 8 Steamy Winter Concert at 8pm (location t.b.a.).

The experience of spending three hours with eight talented singers was one I wont soon forget. Its easy to see why these men are winning awards and getting chances to perform with people like Sean Altman. VoiceMale is one of Brandeis premier a capella groups and Im excited to see what theyre going to come up with in the future, starting with the Steamy Winter Concert.

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