Watervliet native part of quartet competing on national stage k electric share price

WATERVLIET, N.Y. >> A Watervliet native and three of his college mates were recently named as a winner of the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Competition. The Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., focuses on identifying, elevating and celebrating the work of young musicians living with disabilities.

This year marks the 34th anniversary of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program that recognizes talented, emerging artists ages 14-25 with disabilities from all over the world. The four young musicians who have been named winners of the 2018 award are: violinist Eva Casado Ariza, age 22; Dennis O’Keefe, a 25-year-old percussionist; 18-year-old cellist Madeline Sheard; and the Out of Time Barbershop Quartet.

The Out of Time Barbershop Quartet has been entertaining audiences in the Capital Region since 2016. Devin Canavally (lead, Watervliet), Burke Herrick (tenor, Schoharie), Christian Gomez (baritone, Schenectady), and Bobby Frazier (bass, Fort Plain) are vocal performance majors at Schenectady County Community College.

A barbershop quartet is a group of four singers who sing music in the barbershop genre of singing, which uses four-part harmony without accompaniment by any instruments such as piano, a style called a capella. It consists of a lead, the vocal part which generally carries the tune/melody; a bass, the part which provides the bass line to the melody; a tenor, the part which harmonizes above the lead; and a baritone, the part that completes the chord with the note not being sung by the lead, bass, or tenor singers. The baritone can sing either above or below the lead singer.

As members of SCCC’s acapella club, the four friends decided to form the quartet and have developed a classic and tightly harmonizing sound. Out of Time performed at many local venues, including a recent performance with the Albany Symphony. In the summer of 2017, Herrick, who has cerebral palsy and visual impairments, performed as an ensemble member in Porgy and Bess at the internationally acclaimed Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown.

“Our friend Burke Herrick, who is the one who has cerebral palsy, told us about this competition, how like it shows off those who have a disability that can still perform and we were all really excited to get on that and help him do something this big and this grand,” explained Canavally.

“Getting to do this with people that I really do know and care about, basically think of them as brothers now because we spend so much time together,” Canavally said. “It really makes it so much better to be able to up on a stage and it doesn’t even feel like acting anymore, it’s just you’re playing off of each other so well and it fits so nicely and I think the audiences can really feel the connection and the bond that we created with each other and that’s what makes it so much fun.”

All of the winning recipients, each receive a $2,000 award and will spend May 28 and 29th participating in pre-professional development activities including rehearsals and roundtable discussions with music professionals. The visit culminated with a performance on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on May 30, which will be streamed online at www.kennedy-center.org.