Season 17 kicks off this Monday, June 14 in Falmouth
By Samantha Pearsall
“A cappalla is an acquired taste,” admitted Brendan Mason of Virginia who is a baritone/bass in the Cape’s finest a cappella group, Hyannis Sound. As a cappella is a new and thrilling sound for many, for most members of Hyannis Sound, Cape Cod is a new and thrilling place. But for two of the ten members, it is home sweet home.
Local boy, good connections
Kevin Pidgeon, 20, has lived in Bourne all his life and now studies business and economics at Bryant University in Rhode Island. The baritone/tenor says he always looks forward to returning to the Cape each summer to perform with Hyannis Sound. He’s taking his college education to a new level as the group’s new business manager this season.
“My knowledge of the Cape and connections here are a big help,” he said referring to his new role. “I usually know where to go and who to talk to.”
Pidgeon has been musically inclined since he was young, performing in shows like Oklahoma, Grease, and Beauty and The Beast. He’s also participated in music festivals, including the Massachusetts All-State Choir and the All-Eastern Honors Choir.
Singing with Siobhan
“We’re going to keep it fresh each night,” Music Director Jeff Eames on this season
Pidgeon recalls singing with the local American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus in an All-Cape Music festival during high school. He said he knew at the time she was “going places.” He was unaware that Magnus was on the hit show this spring, though, and one night he heard her singing on TV from another room. He said he thought it was a familiar sound and couldn’t believe she was right there performing on American Idol. “She’s just really special, she has a voice you don’t forget,” he said.
Ten stellar voices
The ten young men that make up Hyannis Sound have pretty spectacular voices themselves. In fact, 3-year veteran Nate Tao recently released his first album, Lost in the Music. Many of the 56 and counting Hyannis Sound alumni also continue to polish their talents and use the opportunities the group offered. One alum recently worked on NBC’s The Sing Off.
Moving ahead with alumni support
They also choose to give back to Hyannis Sound by doing all the recording, producing, website work, printing business cards, photography, and just about anything to keep the group moving forward. “It’s really a testament to how much this group affects people’s lives,” Music Director Jeff Eames said. “They’re still coming back to sing in the alumni show each summer and add whatever they can to the group.”
Season 17, completely new
In its 17th season, Pidgeon says this summer will be unlike any other for fans. “It will be completely different from last summer, more expanded to keep everyone guessing,” he explained.
Last year’s business manager, Phil Landry said the group’s goal is to learn 50 or more songs by the end of this season, so each weekly performance will always be evolving. “We’re going to keep it fresh each night,” said Eames.
Vocal boot camp
“If you do something you love, you’ll never really have a job.” - Kevin Pidgeon
Practice makes perfect. In order to create a lengthy music repertoire, the guys have a three-week “boot camp” prior to the start of the season, which opens next Monday, June 14 at the First Congregational Church in Falmouth. They rehearse six hours a day, seven days a week during those three weeks. Coming into the season, they each chose a few songs they think would click, everything from Michael Jackson to U2 to Rascal Flatts and anything in between.
Camaraderie and crooning
But how do ten guys function together under one roof for three months? Very well, actually. There’s a certain camaraderie that comes with singing a cappella, “it’s a close knit world,” Eames said. “It’s an opportunity for so much growth personally singing with nine of the best guys. They just keep pushing you, it’s great.”
Although he doesn’t plan to pursue a singing career, Pidgeon says he hopes that his entrepreneurial path will always involve music. “If you do something you love, you’ll never really have a job,” he said adding that maybe he’ll work for a record company, or even start his own label someday. “You never know the connections you’ll make and the bonds and lasting friendships you’ll have. Hyannis Sound is a real opportunity for anyone.”
Visit www.hyannissound.com to learn more about Hyannis Sound, check their summer schedule, and listen to clips of their hottest tunes.
Through August 21, weekly shows begin at 8 p.m. and are as follows: Mondays in Falmouth, Tuesdays in Chatham, Thursdays in Brewster, Fridays in Hyannis. The 4th of July Extravaganza will be on Saturday, July 3 in Hyannis and the Annual Alumni Show will be on Saturday, August 7 in Hyannis.