It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I fully immersed myself with singing in a choral ensemble and an a cappella group. I tell everyone this all the time; I was a "late bloomer" when it came to singing in choir! That's the point...it's never too late to go and try something new.
A week ago, I had the opportunity to help kick off the start of the new school year for ALL of the teachers in Westborough, MA, the town I grew up in, with my brothers in Ball in the House. To be able to perform at my alma mater, to be able to talk about my life story, to be given the chance to say thank you to many former teachers of mine (some are still teaching!), and to be able to share my passion…I am beyond blessed for the life I have…it’s the Westborough Public Schools that created the foundation of my life, along with showing me that I have a voice to create harmony, not only through music, but, in life. Thank you will never be enough.
It's because I took a leap of faith and tried something new, all those years ago, that I now make a living making music! My literal dream since high school. Though, I think it was really in middle school that I told myself: "Hey...you're not half bad at this; I can see myself doing this!". I never could have imagined this journey of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and so many zig zags in directions I never thought I'd go (this whole sentence is a post for another day). Even today, I still feel like I'm on a road that will take a turn to a new place, or something will happen that will challenge me, and flex my musical chops to its fullest. In my opinion, a musician's life is one of the greatest joys and most rewarding, satisfying jobs you could have, and yet, it's one of the hardest fields to navigate. Though, that's the gig we signed up for, isn't it? I'm looking at all of you, creatives!
The souls and hearts of musicians, and all creatives, are some of the most durable and fragile (and everything in-between) personalities that exist in this world. The amount of preparation (i.e. practice), mind compartmentalization, patience, and persistence it takes to be ready at a moments notice for any type of gig is mind boggling. The versatility one must have to "be a musician" involves so much more than just music. You need to understand business, marketing and branding, know how to talk to people effectively, and how to be able to collaborate and work on a team. You are a producer. You are a teacher. You are a critic. Let me tell you, criticism will follow you everywhere, and you can make it your greatest ally, or your worst enemy. However, in my short 16 years of being immersed in the music industry, showing kindness and respect everywhere you have the privilege to go, will take you far. People will remember that. Always.
To all upcoming musicians and creatives who are just starting out, to the well-experienced, seasoned professional musicians and beyond...a simple reminder:
Be kind to others (especially yourself), work efficiently and on time, try...and fail many times (you will learn more from failure than anything else), never give up, and show up. It's never too late to go and try something new.
I'm rooting and cheering for you. We've got this.
Looking back on the day of my wedding, there were so many wonderful moments that Alex and I will cherish forever. It was an absolutely beautiful day of celebrating our love and happiness. We're so blessed. We knew right from the start of planning the big day, we wanted a special moment involving something we both love: music.
We knew we wanted a musical number during the ceremony, and we (I, especially) wanted it to be an a cappella performance -- no brainer, right? We both wanted a song that would represent our excitement for our future together - we ended up choosing "A Million Dreams" from The Greatest Showman. From there, it was all on me to make it happen...so I arranged the music, got a group together, sent out the music just under a month before the wedding, and we rehearsed the song, all together for the first time, for 1 hour only, on the morning of the big day!!
There will never be enough words, or ways to give thanks, to express my love for this group of men. They inspire me, motivate me, and push me to set the highest of standards not only in music, but in life. What's also great about this group: for me, it was an incredible representation of my a cappella/musical journey; from where I started and where I am now: members of this super-group consisted of friends I sang with in high school (Abe Katz and Mario Barrenechea), my college a cappella group, Ithacappella (Austin Kiley and Nate Tao), my first post-college a cappella group, Redline (John Bower, Dave Raiser, Andrew Kenyon, and Matthew Craig), and my professional a cappella group, Ball in the House (Wallace Thomas, Montario Hill, and Jon J Ryan). Gentlemen, I will spend the rest of my life praising you and giving you thanks for sharing your talents on that special day...thank you, for everything.
The big surprise here for Alex was that she didn't know what the performance itself was going to sound like, and that I added a little excerpt of "From Now On", also from The Greatest Showman, at the beginning of the performance, AND that I was going to sing at the end of the song! I barely got through the ending there, as I was just beyond emotional, and so happy with how it all came together PERFECTLY, and exactly the way I envisioned it to happen. I'm so happy this was caught on video, thanks to my sister, Beth!! I hope you all enjoy!!
I love you, my sweet Alex ❤️ 🌻
Yesterday, Ball in the House released their newest original song, "Ordinary Day", to all of the world to hear! It's available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and many other music streaming and download sites!
Check it out below to listen, stream, and/or download!:
Written by Wallace Thomas
Arrangement by Wallace Thomas
Additional Arranging by Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Lead Vocals: Wallace Thomas
Vocal Percussion: Jon J Ryan
Bass Vocals: Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Baritone Vocals: Montario Hill
Tenor Vocals: David Guisti
Claps: David Guisti, Jon J Ryan, Wallace Thomas
Auxiliary Vocals: Kevin Cincotta-Guest, David Guisti, Montario Hill, Wallace Thomas
Choir: David Guisti, Montario Hill, Wallace Thomas
Vocal Harmonica: Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Executive Producer: Ball in the House
Producer: Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Vocal Production by Ball in the House
Vocals Engineered by Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Editing by Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Mix Engineer: Kevin Cincotta-Guest
Mastering Engineer: Bill Hare [www.billhareacappella.com]
Recorded at WCTV: Wilmington Community Television, Wilmington, MA, USA, and the residence of Kevin Cincotta-Guest, Westborough, MA, USA
Recording began with the first sessions at WCTV: Wilmington Community Television in Wilmington at 9:00 AM on Thursday April 29, 2021, and concluded with the last day of mixing the track on Tuesday June 15, 2021
I'm really proud with how this turned out! We absolutely loved the recording and writing process, and having Bill Hare's magic touch on the final product -- he's a **Grammy-Winning** producer/engineer who has worked with world-class a cappella groups such as Pentatonix, Home Free, The Swingles, Voces8 -- we're truly blessed! I had an absolute blast producing and working on the track too!
This is just a TASTE of what's to come for our full-length, original album! And remember that music video we were talking about in previous social media posts....stay tuned, it's coming VERY SOON!!
Happy listening, and please, STREAM, DOWNLOAD, and SPREAD THE WORD, and SHARE EVERYWHERE to your heart's content!
Thank you for all of the continued love and support!
I'm so excited for what's to come!
Hello everyone! It's been a good while, and I just want to say THANK YOU, to all of you, for sticking around and following me elsewhere through other social media formats! I hope all is well with you and that everyone is healthy and safe! It's great seeing so many groups getting back into it! It's certainly been a BUSY year for me, especially outside of #music and #acappella! Now that life is slowly coming back to normalcy, you'll definitely be seeing more regular posts from yours truly!
Some highlights over the past 5 months:
- I GOT MARRIED!! 5 days ago to be exact, and after a long year and 4 months of planning, my (now) wife and I had the best day of our lives; it was an absolute dream. Celebrating our love with many of our friends and family made our big day that much more special. I love you, Alex Cincotta-Guest ❤️
- My Cut Off Studios family have been working HARD, with many productions and online educational events. After a loooong time, we're finally having an IN-PERSON event coming up soon! Here are the details, there's still time to sign up:
When: Saturday November 6, 2021
Where: Catholic University of America, Washington DC
Time: 9 AM - 5PM EDT
Go HERE for all the details and to sign up!
- Ball in the House has been touring the past month out in the Midwest -- don't worry, I came home early from the tour to get ready for my wedding! We're all home now, and along with performing a bit more regularly in-person with the group at schools and theaters (again, getting back to some normalcy!), developing new educational shows, and revamping our virtual shows and online presence, we've made some great progress on our new originals album! We actually are about to release the first single in 6 DAYS! Take a listen to the teaser right above! I did all of the production work -- recording, editing, and mixing -- and the master was done by none other than THE Bill Hare. We're really proud how it turned out!
Stay tuned for more content from us, coming your way soon!
AND IT BEGINS!!
We at Ball in the House have laid down our first track of vocals, marking the official beginning of making our NEW ORIGINAL ALBUM!!
Last week, we spent some time at WCTV recording our first song! This is the first of many tracks to be recorded for our upcoming album! We couldn’t be more excited to be producing new original, a cappella music, and I get to wear my a cappella production hat for this album! Blessed to be doing what I love 🎶 🎤 🎧
Make sure to keep reading my NEWS section here, along with following us on all Ball in the House social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as we'll be sharing tidbits and some behind-the-scene happenings with the making of this album, so stay tuned!
So a month ago, Executive Director of Wilmington Community Television (WCTV - Wilmington, MA) Ryan Malyar, after a morning of running several virtual school shows for Ball in the House, day dreamingly said something along the lines of, "It'd be cool if WCTV had a jingle, we've always wanted one!"
So the next day, Dave Guisti (fellow bandmate in BitH) came up with a melody (he recorded it on his phone) and sent it to the rest of the band, and with that...well, I ran with it! I arranged the rest of the jingle around Dave's melody, recorded the guys within the day, and then edited and mixed it on the weekend...and here was the final result! This was SUPER cool to produce, and a great team effort on all fronts!
Hello all! I hope the Spring-time air has been refreshing and rejuvenating for everyone...I say that, and I look outside my window and it's SNOWING right now!! Crazy weather we're having here in MA!
Along with the website overhaul I made last month, I've also been spending some time reorganizing, updating, and cleaning up my a cappella arrangements available at Sheet Music Plus, the "world's largest sheet music selection". Along with updating charts, in the spirit of "spring cleaning", I have decided to make my arrangements more accessible to all, by dropping the prices!!
We're talking as low as you can go, $1.89 (US) per copy, with only an extra $2.00 ($3.79 (US) per copy) for charts that are featured singles or are a part of EPs and albums!!
Take a browse through my growing catalog; I've even included a plethora of my award-winning charts! A cappella arranging is one of my deepest passions, and my goal is to always share that love to all, and beyond! If you ever want to talk shop on any aspects of a cappella arranging or looking for custom work, please drop a line, I would love to hear about your project!
Hello everyone! I hope all is well and that you're enjoying the start of Spring! I can't believe it's been over a year since we've all been social distancing and following COVID-19 safety protocols! It's been a long, difficult, and tiring year for sure, but thankfully we've all been able to keep music making and singing in our lives in some way, shape, or form, safely of course!
So grateful to see many friends, educator friends, and family starting to receive COVID vaccines -- myself included, I had my first dose of Moderna a couple weeks back! There's a light at the end of the tunnel! Let's all continue to support and uplift one another, more so than ever, as we head back towards some "normalcy"!
Some news! I did a little over haul of my website (as you can see), and really happy how it turned out! Please, browse through and take a look!
Also received some praise and BEYOND KIND words from the #acappella man himself, Deke Sharon!! Thanks, Deke!
"Kevin's one of the new wave of talented a cappella Renaissance men who get it, he does it all, and that cohesive experience informs everything he does and teaches."
Hope everyone is off to a strong and fun 2021 with your music making! #acappella and #choral rehearsals and meeting up to sing can be tricky now-a-days, especially with COVID-19 still floating around. So how do I continue to stay on top of learning new rehearsal techniques and grow my knowledge in the choral and a cappella world? By READING!!
I'm really excited to dive into this new book I received as a gift over the holidays! The Choral Conductor's Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes, and Facts.
Compiled and Edited by Brian J. Winnie.
The title says it all!! It's really cool to see some articles written by some wonderful and brilliant teachers I know! Dr. J.D. Frizzell (J.D. Frizzell Facebook page), Dr. Emily Young Frizzell (Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Memphis), and my former choral conducting teacher, Dr. Janet Galván (Janet Galván, Conductor Facebook page), at Ithaca College!
I can't wait to dive deeper into choral singing and continue to expand my knowledge! There are even some articles about contemporary a cappella! #reading #musiced #musiceducation #music #singing #IthacaCollege
Happy New Year everyone! 2020 turned out to be one incredible year. Along with plenty of (socially distanced) music making with Redline & Ball in the House, teaming up with the A Cappella Education Association to offer my own virtual classes, and working on arranging, education, and production projects with my Cut Off Studios family, I am lucky to say that I also got engaged!! I'm truly blessed to live a wonderful musical and #acappella life, and my lovely fiancé is now along for the ride!
Despite challenges and times of uncertainty that 2020 brought, we all prospered and made it the best we could! Thank you to all groups who I had the privilege to work with this past year! The talent and passion grows more and more! Thank you Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School's Accent A Cappella, Chelmsford High School's The Crescendos, University of Pennsylvania's Dischord, Avenue A Cappella, University of Rochester's Trebellious, all groups who took a part of school assemblies and shows with Ball in the House (pre-COVID and virtual), and all groups who attended the first ever Virtual LENS with Cut Off back in November!!
---------- What's on the horizon? ----------
- NE Voices is THIS weekend, Saturday January 16! - 4 more days until #nevoices2021, and you can register and find out more information today at www.ne-voices.com!
- More virtual school assemblies and concerts with Ball in the House! We're still rescheduling our big Allied Tour in the Midwest, so stay tuned...and a new album?! - Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and go to www.ballinthehouse.com for all updates! Music teachers & choir directors -- if you're looking for any virtual school assembly, masterclass, or concert opportunities, we're booking now!
- More music with Redline! Thank you for all the love with our single "Treat You Better" that we released last April, and we're itching to (safely) get back in the studio to record more music! - follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and checkout www.redlineboston.com!
- More arranging, production, and education projects with Cut Off Studios! Another virtual LENS? Coming soon! - follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out www.cutoffstudios.com for more information about all of our services!
Lets make 2021 the best year yet! For questions about any of my cappella arranging, education, and production services, please don't hesitate to contact me! Cheers everyone!