They may have all gone off in different directions, but they’re still Out of Time.
The barbershop quartet formed at SUNY Schenectady in 2017, when members Burke Herrick, Devin Canavally, Christian Gomez and Bobby Frazier were all students there. They went on to win the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Competition, later performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
“We looked forward to it for such a long time. We practiced like crazy and it paid off because when we got there it was a great venue and a great audience. When we look back at the videos it just gives us chills,” Gomez said.
But after last summer, they went their separate ways; Herrick to SUNY Oneonta to study jazz and vocal performance, Canavally to the Crane School of Music to study vocal performance and education, Gomez taking a gap year before heading to Crane School of Music and Frazier to finish out his degree at SUNY Schenectady.
Though they’re technically off from college for the summer, they’re still living up to their name, being short on time but disciplined enough to make reuniting this summer possible. They’re all either working and/or involved in productions. Burke is in the chorus of “Show Boat” at Glimmerglass Festival and Canavally is preparing for the production of “Marriage of Figaro” he’ll be performing next semester.
“It was pretty exciting and nerve wracking because we were talking about how after not performing together [for] such a long time how it was going to sound when we got back together. But once we did it was incredible,” Gomez said.
“We were already even better than where we left off because, individually, we’ve all still been training our voices and we’ve all improved so much individually that coming back together was just a new experience,” Frazier said.
“Not to mention we were all very responsible about this. We hunkered down and I think we rehearsed more this summer than we had even before, on our own and together,” Canavally said.
Since late May, they’ve been rehearsing together around four times a week, for several hours at a time, running through their favorite songs to perform mixed with new tags (or endings) and a few new pieces they’re building into their original repertoire.
“So it set a precedent for rehearsals moving forward. We would talk about what styles and genres we wanted to do, maybe even some new languages, which we’re talking about for next year,” Canavally said.
Beyond rehearsals they’ve also made simply spending time together a priority.
“We think that having fun is just as important as working hard because you have to love spending time with each other and you should always do things that strengthens your bond because then the audience can see it, you can bounce more energy off of each other,” Canavally said.
A strong bond is especially important for barbershop style singing, which is dependent on hitting certain tones and delivering those quintessential “rings.”
“It makes you a better musician for sure. You have to listen to the other parts because if you don’t then you’ll never have the ring, you’ll never have the blend,” Frazier said.
Throughout the summer, they’ve found opportunities to perform and on Friday, they’ll be performing in the Addy at Proctors, rolling out some of their new material, like “Hello My Baby,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and a mixed-up version of “Be Our Guest.”
They’re also inviting the Vintage Harmonics to sing with them and the Electric City Chorus.
Many barbershop singers tend to be older than the members of Out Of Time, which is something they hope to change.
“I’m studying vocal performance and music education. So I’ve been looking into how to teach other students. I very much want to take barbershop knowledge to the next generation. That way it can keep living,” Canavally said.
This fall, they’ll all have to go back to college and this time none of them will be local, as Frazier is heading to the opera studies program at the conservatory of music at SUNY Purchase.
However, they already hope to get back together next summer, no matter how little time they have.
Barbershop in the Addy
WHEN: Friday, August 9, 7:30 p. m.
WHERE: The Addy Theater, Proctors
MORE INFO: proctors.org