“Cape Cod Sings! A Cappella Festival” at Cotuit Center for the Arts
Cotuit Center for the Arts presents “Cape Cod Sings! A Cappella Festival” Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 3 PM on the Main Stage. Featured are Centertonix, the Cape Cod Surftones, the Cranberry Shores Chorus, and three high school a cappella groups.
“A cappella music is enjoying a wonderful resurgence and being part of this second annual festival is a great opportunity to spread the word about a cappella singing,” David Anthony, business manager for the Surftones.
“Our mission is to educate as well as entertain,” said Steve Stein, music director for Centetronix. “A cappella music has a very long history, and we are presenting pieces that represent different genres of that history. There’s vocal jazz, show tunes, doo-wop, spiritual music, barbershop, and a cappella pop. It’s very popular, especially among young people, very alive and dynamic.
“We’re happy to include three high school a cappella groups in this concert. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to perform on the Cotuit stage, and a great opportunity for us to hear their contributions to the genre—more recent pop tunes, vocal percussion, and beat-boxing,” said Stein.
The participating high school groups are Soulfege from Falmouth High School, Mashcapellas from Mashpee High School, and Half Step Down from Sturgis Charter Public School East. Each group will showcase several songs from their repertoire.
Centertonix, the host a cappella group, has a diverse group of members: male and female, young and older (ages 14 to mid-70s), with wide-ranging experience. They sing jazz, show tunes, pop, spirituals, and doo-wop numbers. Just over a year old, they debuted at the Center’s Derby Day celebration last May, organized the first Cape Cod Sings! A Cappella Festival in October, and have since sung at the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, the Mashpee Senior Center, and at nursing homes. They presented a Holiday program at various locations, including the Hyannis Village Christmas Stroll.
“We will be singing some well-loved songs: ‘Tonight’ from ‘West Side Story,’ ‘You Raise Me Up,’ and ‘Nature Boy,’ made famous by Nat King Cole,” said Stein. “The a cappella arrangement of ‘Nature Boy’ was done by the Real Group, a very influential Swedish a cappella group.
“It’s a stunning arrangement. I almost broke down crying when we rehearsed it—it is so exquisite. It is also the most difficult song we have ever attempted, but it is a joy to learn,” said Stein.
The Cape Cod Surftones, a barbershop harmony group led by Don Taylor, was founded in 1975 and is a member of the 76-year old Barbershop Harmony Society. The Surftones recently qualified for the district level of the Society’s international competition.
“A unique set of harmonies is created in the barbershop style,” Anthony said. “The four voices—whether in a quartet or in a chorus—blend together and create overtones, which almost sounds like a fifth voice, something we enjoy very much.”
The Cranberry Shores Chorus is the Southeastern Massachusetts chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of 30,000 women who sing barbershop harmony. Founded in 1986, Cranberry Chorus has 22 active members and performs throughout the Cape and Southeastern Massachusetts.
“It’s a really fun, very welcoming chorus; very warm friendships develop when you sing together,” said Paulette Rio. “Studies show that singing together improves your mood and your health. It’s a nice bonding experience—making wonderful harmonies together, when the chords lock and ring—what’s better than that?”
Tickets are $20, $17 for members and students. The concert sold old last year, so those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets early. For tickets, and more information, visit artsonthecape.org, or call 508-428-0669. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28 in Cotuit.