January 20, 2019

“Brothers, Sing On” festival celebrates the male voice

Sunday's program featured a culminating combined set that included all the singers from Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus, Boston City Singer Fellas, the high school's Men's Chorus, and the Yale Wiffenpoofs. (Matt Lieberman '16)

“Brothers in song, sing on” was just one the many lyrics sung on Sunday when four different choral groups gathered in the high school to celebrate the male voice. Taking place in the Katherine L Babson Jr. auditorium at 3 p.m., The “Brothers! Sing On” festival featured the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the “Fellas” of Boston City Singers and the Wellesley High School Men’s Chorus.

The festival began with an introduction from Mr. Linus Travers, a native of Wellesley. Mr. Travers served as the compere of the event and praised his hometown’s backing of the arts.

“I’m so proud of my former town, who supports the growth of the arts and music in this way,” Travers told the audience, which consisted of music lovers of all ages.

The first group to perform was the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, a group of about 60 male choristers from around the Boston area. The Saengerfest Men’s Chorus performed songs such as “Shenandoah” and “The Wren’s Song.”

Prior to the show, one member of the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, Ben Doyle of Weston, said he was excited to perform for a specific reason.

It is exciting to “perform among groups of different ages and backgrounds coming together for the enjoyment of singing.” Mr. Doyle.

Next up was the Boston City Singers Fellas, a group of high school-aged boys, who opened up with the song “Keep Us Whole.”

“It’s been a great experience getting to perform with all the talented men,” said Patrick Creedon of Burlington, a Boston City Singers Fellas soloist, and member of Burlington High School’s Class of 2018.

A notable aspect of the Fellas’ performance was their performance of “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” which featured an African drum and a verse of spoken word.

“We wanted to do something to give it more depth,” said Omar Grey of Boston, a member of Codman Academy’s Class of 2016, who wrote and performed the verse of spoken word. “I thought we’d give it what it needed.”

Other members of the Fellas said they found the experience of this concert to be unique.

“I really don’t see guys singing like this often, or at all, so it was an enlightening experience,” said Zachary Kelly of Dorchester, who is also a member of Codman Academy’s Class of 2016.

Next up was the high school’s own Men’s Chorus, which performed “Up On The Roof,” “In the Still of the Nite” and “Come Go With Me.” The performance featured soloists Will Fulginiti ’18, Ryan Accardi ’16, Jack Grossi ’18, Ben Matejka ’17, Cam Ayer ’18, Will Cramer ’16, Leon Xiong ’17, and Anand Ghorpadey ’17.

Members of the Men’s Chorus said they enjoyed seeing the unity among different chorus groups.

“The experience was truly wonderful to see men of all ages come together and express themselves through singing,” said Henry Benson ’16.

Dr. Kevin McDonald, advisor to the high school’s student-directed a capella program, acted as the conductor for the high school’s Men’s Choir performance

“Anytime you get a group together with the sole purpose of making something beautiful.. you have  to take advantage of those opportunities,” Dr. McDonald said.

The last group to perform was the Yale Whiffenpoofs, who represented a long-standing tradition as the first and oldest collegiate a capella group. The group of Yale University seniors performed a medley of songs to cap off the group performances, including well-known tunes such as “Carolina in My Mind” and “House of the Rising Sun.” All of the pieces performed by the Whiffenpoofs had been arranged by current or former Whiffenpoofs members.

After the Whiffenpoofs invited Yale University alumnus in the audience on stage to perform “The Whiffenpoof Song,” the four groups converged on stage.

“It was nice to watch them all go singular and then watch them all go together,” said Will Fulginiti ’18.

Finally, the four groups performed “Brothers, Sing On,” a final celebration of the male voices that joined together at the high school on Sunday.

(Matt Lieberman ’16, Editor-in-Chief)

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