I work as a full-time programmer in the Astronomy Department of the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. I'm also enrolled part-time as an undergraduate majoring in Music Theory. I'm a long-time fan of the King's Singers, with a mild interest in modern a cappella until relatively recently, when I was serendipitously exposed to the generics, Rockapella, Take 6, and several other modern a cappella groups within a few months time. In fact, I started the music degree (c. 1990) specifically to learn to arrange music.
I co-founded a 12 voice mixed ensemble in 1993 which performs an eclectic mix of modern and standard a cappella tunes. I do all the in-house arranging and until recently the musical direction. Outside of that I have been music director or orchestra conductor for a number of community theater productions of musicals ranging from "Little Shop of Horrors" to "City of Angels"; I've played sax, flute and clarinet in more orchestra pits than I care to enumerate and with a local big band jazz ensemble; I sing with bands when they'll let me put the damn saxophone down long enough; and I have directed a number of informal choruses and choirs.
When it comes to reviewing albums for RARB I try very hard to keep my own musical tastes out of it. If I think my personal opinion about a song is strong enough to color my opinion of the performance, then I mention it. Otherwise, I'm listening more for technical quality (e.g., blend and ensemble), as well as for the quality of the arrangement and how that arrangement is interpreted by the group. I believe it is possible to create and perform an excellent arrangement even of the worst musical material, so I prefer to base my scores on those aspects of the performance rather than the more subjective merit of the source material.
4 total reviews including 4 reviews from before May 1998, which predate our database and are not listed here.
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