The Boston choral scene is a vibrant one, teeming with artistic outlets for those singers passionate about ensemble performance. Therefore, it always struck me as strange that so few groups exist in Boston that are devoted to the wealth of repertoire written throughout the centuries for men’s voices. Although our members sing with numerous professional choruses, chamber ensembles, and opera companies, the rich sonority and chummy camaraderie found in men’s singing groups have always held a special place in our performance careers. Fortunately, we eventually came to find that we were not alone in harboring this specific variety of musical sentimentality. After consistently running into a few familiar faces on the gig scene and forming close friendships with exceptionally ambitious and artistically inspiring fellow singers, we all agreed that the time was ripe for Boston to gain a new professional-level men’s ensemble. In January of 2014, armed with some hastily procured sheet music and full of nervous excitement, the founding members of Renaissance Men (Eric Perry, Alex Nishibun, Peter Schilling, Will Prapestis, and Tony Garza) entered a New England Conservatory practice room ready to make history.
Eight mainstage concert series’, three Holiday Galas, numerous outside gigs (including a musical retrospective of the year 1965 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and a few new faces in the mix later, we are thrilled to now play an established part in the national choral music scene, and are especially honored to present our first studio album, RENMEN LAMENTS. Performed live both in Boston in 2016 and at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans under the auspices of the 2018 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Convention, the combination of challenge and abundant vocal riches found in this repertoire made it a natural choice for our debut recorded offering. We hope it is the first of many, and we thank you, our wonderful RenFriends, for your support along our journey.