It was a dark and stormy night…wait, no, that’s not right.
It was a sunny and bright fall morning. This fateful day saw a high school sophomore sleepily stumble across Simms St. into Chatfield Senior High. After dozing through Algebra II and American Literature, Don found his way into his third period choir class. Little did he know that his next class period would change his life forever.
No, it wasn’t another day that Mr. Roberts would launch into a near-incomprehensible rant about orphans in Bosnia or refugees in Somalia (these happened regularly, trust me). A guest group had come to perform. A graduate of CSH, Tony Huerta, had brought his 5-person a cappella group, Exact Change* (a lot of these memories are pretty hazy, so don’t quote me on the group name…or anything else) to perform. They were all students at the University of Northern Colorado, renowned for its vocal jazz program. As a young, impressionable student lacking any instrumental abilities, Don was inspired. Between this group and watching Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Don’s future musical endeavors (endeavours for our British fans) were now set in stone. These influences led to numerous high school a cappella group performances (including If I Ever Fall in Love, Up the Ladder to the Roof, Never My Love, Sittin’ in Limbo, and Everything to Me), Don went on to sing with not one but two a cappella groups in college…and now he spends some time singing as well.
So why bring this up now? Well, we got a new sound guy. This move was born out of both necessity and selfishness: necessity, because we’ve got more set, more lights, more sound, and more diva attitudes than ever (that last one is not true), so somebody needed to keep Korby from strangling one or all of us; selfishness, in that we wanted to free Korby from the confines of the sound board and be available for answering our questions and being there for the folks who run the venues – basically, being our road dad, like our real dads, only younger, more patient, and with more hair and more motorcycle experience.
So we got a sound guy with considerable singing experience of his own. Trist Curless is a member of M-Pact, an a cappella group that SNC actually sang with when some of us were in college.
I imagine you’re still confused. When I mentioned to my high school buddy Matt (an a cappella dork in his own right) that Trist was going to be on tour with us, it was he who remembered that Trist was also in Exact Change. I can’t imagine that Trist remembers it, but he and I met in 1992, when I was about 15 years old. Making sense yet?
So my guess is that Trist will have no idea that we met before until he reads this blog. Small world, eh?
*Trist notes that the group was called Exact ¢hange (with a cent symbol for the “c”).