Four Friends Use Their Music to Create Connection
Submitted by Cynde Cerf, Chandler Center for the Arts
When you hear the story of Sons of Serendip and how they came to be, you understand that their name is a fitting tribute to the serendipitous way the group was formed. Talking to Micah Christian, lead vocalist of the quartet, it is difficult not to smile back. His wide grin and bright disposition are infectious.
“We all met at Boston University, while we were in graduate school,” says Christian. “We all played an instrument and started to get together just to play. We had an instant connection.”
“I saw something about auditions for America’s Got Talent. I thought it would be fun for us to do. What did we have to lose? So, we made an audition tape,” continues Christian.
The group was informed that they would be on the ninth season of the show. They started getting together in the evenings to rehearse, all while doing their regular jobs during the day.
Christian was teaching. Kendall Ramseur, cellist, was working on a solo music career and teaching music. Mason Morton, harpist, was teaching middle school. And, Cordaro Rodriguez, pianist, was a lawyer.
“We didn’t know what to expect, so we just rehearsed to be as prepared as we could,” says Christian. “Sometimes we were rehearsing at someone’s house at 10 p.m. or later, wherever we could fit it in.”
This group of friends, who were not a formal band before auditioning for AGT, became finalists on the show, connecting with a whole community of other performers. Their fresh string-centric approach to arrangements of popular songs gained attention and loyal fans.
Since being on AGT in 2014, the ensemble has pursued a music career with tours and albums. They just recently finished their fourth album, Mosaic, filled with 14 songs that were composed and arranged in the midst of the pandemic.
“The last year was rough, but we used the time to tap into our passions and other creative outlets,” says Christian. “We did virtual performances and learned how to use the technology we needed to present high-quality concerts with high-quality sound.”
To stay inspired over the last year, Christian and Rodriguez, put aside time to meet over Zoom to create and compose music. The experience led to scoring their first film. Ramseur recorded an album of solo cello.
“While we have all found ways to be creative, we are looking forward to getting back on the road with our holiday tour this December,” continues Christian.
Chandler Center for the Arts has presented Sons of Serendip with their holiday show and it is something pretty special to experience.
“We create a moment of sharing, creating a space together,” says Christian. “We perform songs that people already know and love with our creative spin on them. It will be like hearing them again for the first time.”
Woven in with the music are personal stories – some humorous, some touching. They also do a Q & A with the audience to connect and hear what is on hearts and minds. During the performance, audience members will also have the chance to put an ornament on a tree, in honor of someone special.
“It is a time to connect, reflect and share a moment filled with music,” says Christian. “It is what the holiday season is all about. And, I think after the last 18 months, we are all going to need it more than ever.”
Before signing off, we asked Christian a few more questions. What has he been listening to? “Ólafur Arnalds. Icelandic piano with a string quartet. It is really relaxing music.”
What was his first concert? “I can’t remember my first live concert, but I can remember the first concert I watched on DVD. Yanni. I loved it. It is how Cordaro and I connected; he was inspired by Yanni too.”
The velvety vocals and soothing strings of Sons of Serendip are coming to Chandler Center for the Arts on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now, $32 – $44, online at chandercenter.org or by calling the box office at 480-782-2680.