Our ongoing series of interviews with the singers brought together by October Project on the Sounds True recording, The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace continues this week with tenor Sam Bolen. Sam’s mellifluous vocals are featured throughout Chapters Two & Three.
Sam Bolen is a tenor from Delouse Falls, Minnesota, who is featured on the songs “Shadow”, “Someone”, “Light”, “Joy”, and “Ready” on the Book of Rounds. In the same Yale Whiffenpoof group as rounds arranger Keiji Ishiguri, October Project was excited to include Sam in the recording of Chapters Two & Three of the album. “I answered the call,” Sam says.
The Book of Rounds is just one of many collaborative projects Sam has undertaken with fellow Yalies. At present he is working on a musical which he co-conceived alongside writer and composer Mark Sonnenblick ‘12. The show, entitled Midnight at the Never Get, tells the story of a 1960s divebar cabaret singer during the height of the white gay rights movement and includes an original score fashioned after the Great American Songbook. The show has already been widely praised after its premiere at New York club and cabaret Don’t Tell Mama. “It’s such an exciting opportunity,” he says. “We’re aiming to do a full run in the near future,” he says.
And while, at present, Sam is ensconced in the world of musical theater, he says he will always have an affinity for a cappella, harkening back to his days singing a cappella at college. “To just put singers together – to have a raw power and pure potential – a cappella is a celebration of that,” he offers. Sam sang with the all-male group the Yale Spizzwinks(?) for three years before becoming one of 14 selected to join the Whiffenpoofs, Yale’s prestigious all-male senior a cappella group.
Sam’s favorite song on the Book of Rounds is the all-male “Someone,” as it reminds him of a large part of his college experience. He joins fellow alum Jessy Tomsko in his love for the song. “It’s a great group of guys singing on this record.” Jessy recalls. “I love hearing them rock it and do their thing.”
The song “Shadow” can be listened to here: https://youtu.be/zAZzNXrweeI
By Lucy Tomasso
Lucy Tomasso is a prospective Theater Studies major at Yale and an avid a cappella singer. A member of Yale’s Redhot and Blue, she is honored be a descendant of the Redhot lineage that includes October Project’s Marina Belica. Looking forward, Lucy hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, particularly writing for either the stage or screen.
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