By Ben McLeod | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Josh Weaver
VoiceMale, a nine-person all-male a capella group from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., performed in downtown St. Augustine last week on its yearly spring tour.
VoiceMale tour manager and member Aiden Horowitz said the group was touring Florida for a week, singing in cities such as Miami, Jupiter, and here in St. Augustine.
“We go on tour once a year in February, whether it is the East coast or West coast,” Aiden Horowitz said. “We also travel all around Massachusetts and New York on the weekends when were back at school.”
Voicemale member Nick Maletta said VoiceMale does not restrict any genre of music.
“We do everything from rock, pop and country, to theatre music and classic oldies,” Maletta said.
The group had plans to sing in Gainesville at the University of Florida, Tallahassee, Daytona and Orlando.
“We plan in advance by emailing high schools, community centers and colleges,” Aiden Horowitz said. “We get to sing and have a great time for a week.”
Although the group has traveled pretty far, the trip is no fancy vacation.
VoiceMale member Daton Horowitz said the group doesn’t stay in hotels.
“When were on tour, we day with the collegiate groups that we sing with, or we find relatives in the area,” Daton Horowitz said.
The group was in St. Augustine because a member’s grandparents live here. This was VoiceMale’s first time in Florida.
VoiceMale president Doug Friedman, a senior at Brandeis University, said the VoiceMale members come from different backgrounds and from all over the country, and that most of them aren’t theater arts majors.
“We all come from very different backgrounds and are from different parts of the country,” Friedman said. “But we all have one common passion which is that we love to sing.”
Friedman said the group, which formed in 1994, has a lot of turnover.
Photos by Josh Weaver
“Last year we lost three seniors, and then two of our lowest voices left,” Friedman said. “There are eight people different now than there were last September.”
The group is constantly reassigning all the voice parts, but according to Friedman, they do well no matter what.
VoiceMale’s success isn’t hampered by the constant turnover. The group’s album, Suit Up, is Nominated for four Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, including Best Male Collegiate Album and Best Scholastic Original Song.
Friedman said VoiceMale is a not-for-profit group and is barely recognized by the university.
“We are not given any money,” Friedman said. “The flight down here was paid entirely by all the money we raised through concerts and selling CDs.”
“No one gets any money, but a lot of money comes into the group,” Friedman said. “When I joined the group four years ago, we were in debt, and now we are very well in the green.”
In between selling CDs, rehearsing 7-10 hours a week, and performing for thousands of people every weekend, the members are very diligent in their schoolwork. The members’ majors range from theatre arts and music, to computer science and pre-med.
Friedman said the group is an outlet for the members, where they can just have fun and not worry about school.
“We throw everything aside once were on stage or on the street, and just get going,” Friedman said.
Adam Levine, whose grandparents live in St. Augustine, said the group is as close as can be.
“We are a tight group, and musically, our singing is about the group as a whole,” Levine said.
Aiden Horowitz agrees.
“I have never had a group of people that just enjoy walking down the street and singing,” he said. “It’s nice to have these other people with you.”