Steph Quaye here!
Welcome! A little bit about me - Music and community-building are incredibly important to me, and my passion lies at the intersection of the two. I’m based in Brooklyn, and I spend most of my time singing, playing guitar, accounting for things (Certified Public Accountant in the building!), writing songs, and gallivanting around New York City. In this blog, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all things music, community, and of course Kuumunity. Hope you enjoy!
I've always had a deep appreciation for layered vocals - I was in an a cappella group in both high school and college, and I love performing in small groups where we meld our voices to create beautiful musical moments… those who know me well might say I’m addicted to harmony (shoutouts to Kuumunity Director Sheldon Reid for enabling my addiction).
When I first saw Pentatonix on NBC’s show “The Sing-Off” back in 2011, they tapped into my love for blended voices in a major way. Part of what got me so excited about them was that they had such a full sound, and they didn't rely on the over-enthusiastic gesticulation that many a cappella groups use to get the energy of their music across. 5 years and 2 Grammys later, they have kept that rich sound and have toured all around the world. I must admit that I’ve become a bit of a stan over the years... I tell everyone I know about Pentatonix, watch their videos religiously, and loop their songs on the subway as I try to learn all their parts (including those of their amazing baritone, Avi Kaplan… though I’m a Sopralto o.O). I've been fortunate enough to have see them live 3 times, and at each show I was engulfed in their voices - from the mellower songs like “Run to You” to pumped up songs like “Natural Disaster”, the members of Pentatonix make sure that you feel the emotion behind each of their tunes.
But they don't just have emotive voices… Let's just talk for a second about their arrangements. They consistently blow me away! Each member of the group has such a wide range and a variety of talents - the combination of which allows them to create melodies and complex beats that stick with you long after the track is over. The Kuumunity Collaborations choir definitely shares this talent with Pentatonix, and I can't wait to hear their interpretation of “Run to You” at the concert on July 17th! Get your tickets for the show here!
‘Til next time,
Note from the Director:
One of the groups that continues to amaze me is Pentatonix. Not just because of the incredibly full sound they are somehow able to create with only 5 voices, but also because of the beauty of their arrangements.
I chose to do "Run to You" because it is a perfect example of how a writer/arranger can achieve power and beauty while maintaining simplicity. The piece has an honesty... a musical purity couched in beautiful harmonies that manage to be complex without making the song complicated. The music is ripe with a feeling that amplifies the lyric line. I love listening to music that can do that. I knew I would also love to perform it.