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Bob McSwain

Bob McSwain's RARB Bio

My first experience with a cappella music occurred in high school while on a school band trip to a festival in St. Pete, Florida. The entertainment for the bands was the Yale Whiffenpoofs. The young men looked and sounded like they were having a blast. I told my band director that one day I'd love to sing in a group like that. Little did I know that I would be involved for most of my life in the same type music.

My Music background is both in vocal and instrumental.

Vocally, I was one of the founding members of the Research Triangle Park Chapter of SPEBSQSA. During my 11 years in the chapter, the chorus was the dominant chorus in the southeast US. We competed for the International Barbershop Chorus Championship, placing 9th, 8th, 6th, and 5th. I sang baritone and was the baritone section leader.

I have also been a member of two a cappella quartets. The first one, Temporary Insanity, was a comedy quartet, but strictly adhered to barbershop style. The second quartet was one that mixed barbershop with doo wop and other forms. Each of these quartets sang together for about 5 years.

In the early '90s I sang for 5 years in the local backup choir for the Young Messiah, a Christmas touring concert staring Sandi Patty, Twila Paris, 4 Him, and Larnelle Harris.

Instrumentally, I've played trumpet about 16 years and have attempted to learn the piano with moderate success.

My current musical performance involvement is:

  • Singing in a men's a cappella quartet/quintet,
  • Singing in a male/female a cappella choir,
  • Singing in a traditional church choir,
  • Minor coaching of a high school marching band,
  • And playing trumpet in a Church Brass Ensemble.

I've drooled for years over the possibility of having a home recording "studio". I finally have it. After buying a $75 refurbished Dell 486 computer ($41 of which was the midi card), my wife gave me with a really great Yamaha keyboard. On E-Bay I successfully outbid the other "Studio Mogul" wannabes and won a 16 channel — 4 track Tascam recorder plus several Shure mikes. Yes, it's only analog, and digital would be nice. Analog works just fine. It's paid for.

In addition to my music passion, I am an active journalist. For the past 4 years I have covered NASCAR and other forms of motorsports in the Charlotte, N.C. area for the Prodigy@speed group. I enjoy camping, hiking, and being a computer geek.

To pay for all this music and racing, I sell software for IBM to clients in the Banking Industry.

I graduated from North Carolina State University, where I was a member of the Marching Band, British Brass Band, Jazz / Stage band. I was also a founding member of the NCSU Pipe and Drums (I played bag pipes).

I attended Statesville, NC High School where I sang in the Glee Club, and was twice selected to the All-State Chorus. I sat 1st chair 1st seat in the trumpet section and was selected to the All-State band for 3 years.

I'm not telling my age, but suffice it to say: my Welcome to RARB e-mail arrived on the first anniversary of the celebration of my 1st Half-Century birthday. I'm looking forward to giving y'all hints about what's good and what's....ummm...less than good. Don't hesitate to write if you think my CD player needs new batteries.

Reviews by Bob McSwain

34 total reviews


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