Alisa Manning – soprano
When the call came about a new singing group in the works, Alisa Manning knew something special was in the works. Over the years, both good friendships and good music have filled her heart.
Raised in rural New York State, music was present in all aspects of her upbringing. Alisa began singing in her church’s children’s choir at a young age, listening to classical music on the radio with her parents, and attending concerts at the local college. Alisa was a “music geek” in high school and was a member of the Boston University Choral Society after she moved to the big city. Although she sang with several groups after graduating, she has found a musical home with NOTA.
With busy days as a diabetes genetics researcher and busy nights as a mom of two, singing with the NOTA gang provides a welcome and timeless respite to life’s craziness.
Angela is thrilled to be a part of NOTA and flex her a cappella muscles with such a talented and knowledgeable group. Music has always been a part of her life as her mother is a singer and she started taking piano lessons from her aunt when she was five. Growing up, she performed in church and school choirs as well as school and community theater. Angela has both a B.M. and M.M. in Voice Performance from The Boston Conservatory and spent many years performing opera in the New England area. Angela is also the soprano section leader at Quincy Point Congregational Church. When Angela isn’t singing with incredibly talented musicians, she’s the Interim Executive Director at Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers, a Boston nonprofit.
Deb Abberton – alto
Deb’s love of a cappella started in college singing with UNH’s New Hampshire Notables, loving all aspects of it, the ringing chords, the ability to sing anywhere the pitch pipe can go, and the never ending quest for locations with great natural reverb (bathrooms, stairwells, underground subway stops). From there it was a series of forays into bands, barbershop groups and musical theater performances trying to find the right musical fit. Where could she combine her desire to join her voice with others in a series of complex harmonies and yet occasionally get to ham it up on stage? How could she balance the schedules of work and family and music? This all felt into place when she landed in None of the Above in the fall of 2003. Since then it’s been a history of making beautiful music, having unforgettable (and want to forget!) performance experiences, and best of all forming lifetime friendships.
Jean Pace – alto
Jean discovered a love for singing when she was cast as an elf in her fifth grade musical. Fifth grade was also when she found her other musical love, the clarinet. Jean studied English literature at Northwestern University, while spending almost as much time performing as she did reading. When she made it to Boston, Jean got an MFA in writing at Emerson College and also met the man of her dreams and started a family. One of her first jobs after university was as an opera orchestra clarinetist. Hearing those incredible voices encouraged her to pursue singing for herself, and she joined a 16-voice chamber choir. She found making music in small groups especially challenging and rewarding (she was also a founding member of a couple of professional woodwind chamber groups) and loves tight harmonies, crazy chords, and the wonderful diversity of the NOTA repertoire. In addition to singing, Jean teaches clarinet and piano in her private studio and performs on clarinet around the Boston area.
Charlie Hodges – tenor
Charlie has found the joy of music and singing to be a complete and important contrast to his career in science. He first performed in numerous musical roles in community theater productions, including the tenor role in the quartet in “The Music Man”. This began his lifelong love of harmony singing, and led first to a 5-year run with the Sounds of Concord barbershop chorus.He first heard the fantastic a cappella recordings of the Singers Unlimited (SU) in the mid 80’s, which created the desire to sing more complex a cappella harmonies. He joined what was to become Boston Jazz Voices, an 18-member group dedicated to singing the incomparable SU arrangements of the great Gene Puerling. He joined soon afterward with another BJV member and became the first tenor in the Shawsheen River Rats, an all-male quintet that placed third nationally in Harmony Sweepstakes in 1993. Charlie also sang first tenor with the Boston Gay Mens Chorus, sang alto with the Patterson Chorale gospel ensemble, sang alto with the 200-voice Millennium Gospel Choir, and was the bass in the mixed a cappella quintet Fretless with previous NOTA baritone Matt Ettore. It is through these wonderful groups that he has been able to perform at most of the major musical venues in Boston, as well as in San Francisco, Denver, Paris and Pont Aven, France, and Yerevan, Armenia. Charlie is proud to be a member of the NOTA family, where he has had over 8 years of great fun singing in a mixed-octet format with 7 other very talented singers.
Tony Vuolo – tenor/director
Tony knew when he joined NOTA in 2008 that this could be the start of something big. It was an easy decision for this kid from Red Bank (carpe diem, tempus fugit); so he covered-up your tattoo, cancelled the outbound plane for his 40 days and 40 nights safari to Africa, said “I’m going home,” and settled into this harbor for his musical expression. “I’ve often thought of tribulations of my heroes like MLK, Ilyach Kavanevsky and Boo Radley, but my silver lining is that I don’t miss trouble or misery at all,” he would exclaim, “I can keep singing those beautiful words and choo-choo ch’boogie-ing along!”
Tony started off his musical life playing piano, guitar and any wind instrument he could get his hands on. In high school, he played in countless groups (big bands, rock bands, Dixieland combos, all-state and regional orchestra and jazz bands) primarily on oboe, clarinet, and piano. He has been singing since elementary school and started his a cappella journey at Yale, first in Yale’s Out of the Blue, and then the Whiffenpoofs of 1995. Together with his favorite duet partner (his wife, Rachel) he leads the music at the childrens’ service every Sunday at St. Peters church in Worcester, MA. He is a prolific arranger and witty lyricist – 18 titles of his compositions and vocal arrangements are hidden in the previous paragraph. Can you find them all?
Matt Wulf – baritone
Matt started making music at 7 when he took up the piano, and he began singing not long after. He first sang a cappella in his high school’s select chorus and continued in college as a bass in Redhot & Blue, Yale’s first mixed a cappella group. During a one-year stint singing bass with Mizmor Shir (Harvard Hillel’s former singing group) after college, Matt arranged a version of the folk song “Cuando El Rey Nimrod” that eventually ended up anthologized on “The Best of Jewish A Cappella, Vol. 2”. Throughout his post-college days (years?!), Matt has played accordion with a klezmer band, music-directed several summer stock and community theater productions, and sung a lot to/with his wife Sarah and their three children. He has missed singing in a group, however, and he’s excited to have this opportunity to do so again.
Brian Parker – bass
Brian started playing the flute in 4th grade, moved to saxophone and then to tuba. Following his voice changes apparently. He sang a few semesters with the UNH New Hampshire Men glee club and the Concert Choir in the early 70’s ( yes 70’s ). Then he stopped music, got a job and didn’t sing again until 1999. That year he sang at a memorial concert for Dr. Cleveland Howard, his former singing conductor. Since rediscovering his love of singing he has performed in community groups, musical theater, Amare Cantare in Durham, NH and the Tanglewood Chorus in Boston. Singing in a group like NOTA is his favorite thing of all and he is truly thrilled to be a part of it.