About Amadeus Arrangements



What got you into a cappella?





Singing with A Whole Step Up, Feburary 2008.







"I sang in high school choir and in the small 'madrigal singers' ensemble, along with the musicals, but I remember always wanting to sing barbershop — which I would only finally realize about 10 years later, actually, at SDSU with 'Danny Boy' ! — When I got to Lehigh University, I made my best friends and future roommates in the university choir, and we decided to start Lehigh's first all-male a cappella group, A Whole Step Up. I learned so much from that experience, especially from my good friend Dan Halle, the musical director of A Whole Step Up.

"What I would quickly discover is just how much fun an a cappella group can be, especially with a bunch of college guys who want to entertain audiences with fun songs, make them laugh; as well as singing beautiful songs that make people melt. It was a blast. A real joy.


"So when I graduated from Lehigh, I definitely felt like a part of who I was, was missing, you know? I started graduate school at San Diego State University, and I heard there was an a cappella group but I wasn't able to find them for a while. Then when the first season of the Sing-Off aired, I realized how badly I missed a cappella, and finally found the Sunset Clefs, and I got in!"


So what was the first song you arranged?



Singing "Low Temperature Mama" with Sunset Clefs, April 2010.




"Well, I had doneparts of a few arrangements back in A Whole Step Up, but it wasn't until I joined Sunset Clefs at SDSU that I decided that arranging was something that I wanted to do. The Clefs didn't have any arrangers at the time really, but I knew the group had a lot of potential, if only we could start singing some of the newpop hits on the radio!

"So, learned how to arrange, and I went for three hip hop songs, mashing them together into 'Low Temperature Mama.' That was my first true arrangement. It was pretty ambitious! But it went very well and we had a great time with it in Clefs."


Why did you start Preposterone?

Singing "Mother Lover" with Matthew "Ace" Acevedo and Preposterone, May 2012.








"Sunset Clefs is a co-ed group, and I was enjoying singing with them a lot, but I also missed the camaraderie of a male a cappella group, like in Whole Step. Since Clefs were the only SDSU group at the time — and really, there is no limit to the amount of a cappella groups there should be, ever — I founded Preposterone. And because I was the leader, the musical director, as well as the main arranger, I was able to take the group in whatever direction I chose. We experimented with a lot of stuff, mostly funny and entertaining songs, but we also did a few really beautiful songs like 'Lullaby' and 'Danny Boy' that we enjoyed as well.

Preposterone performing "Lullaby," April 2012.

"I'm really proud of those guys, and what we accomplished together, all for the love of music. And now I'm happy to say that they're continuing on without me, stronger than ever — and still singing new arrangements I send them! "


What's your favorite part about arranging?

Rapping the Pit Bull part in "Give Me That Sexy Good Feeling," April 2012.






"Wow, thats a tough one to decide! I'd have to say that seeing the song performed, hearing all the pieces come together, that's my favorite aspect of arranging a cappella. Of course, what I really loved was being able to sing the song I arranged with my own group, but now just being able to see a video of a customer's group entertaining a live audience, that makes me really happy."

Singing "Stand By Beautiful Girls," March 2012.



Why "Amadeus" ?








"You mean besides because it's my middle name? Heh, well, I like the associations with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for a few reasons. Mozart's music is incredibly sublime and the pinnacle of Classical music, yet Mozart the man was a vulgar prankster, and loved to make immature jokes all the time — watch the 1984 movie Amadeus to get a good sense of what Mozart was like. And the fact that I have gravitated towards arranging songs that tend to be fun, funny, and even vulgar, and certainly that comedy Mozart would have loved, seems like a poetic circle in the grand scheme of things.

"Naturally I'll never approach Mozart's musical genius, but his example is always before me as a source of inspiration."



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