Alex Engler, 23, grew up in Weston MA playing piano and singing from a young age, and after the rollercoaster of puberty discovered he could make some pretty low noises, which was pretty cool. After leading the Weston High School Town Criers, he went on to music direct the Dartmouth College Brovertones in addition to acting as president of the Dartmouth College Glee Club and studying classical voice. He graduated from Dartmouth in 2012 with two degrees in Biomedical Engineering, and currently works at Harvard's Wyss Institute designing medical devices to treat infants with birth defects. He joined Funkin' A! in 2013, and is thrilled to get to produce pleasing low musics from his facehole and arrange songs for such an awesome group!
Funkin' A! is an irreverent 7-part vocal band covering an eclectic mix of pop tunes and deep cuts from the 50s to the present. Based in Boston, we've been proud to perform at street festivals (Harvard Square's Mayfair), charitable events (The AIDS walk), vocal showcases (WERS's All A Cappella Live), local venues (The Landsdowne Pub), and private functions. Click the thumbnails on the left to learn about our individual members.
What can we say? The girl loves to sing. Though she always sang around the house, Mary did not start singing publicly until college when she conquered (most of) her shyness and sang with Maiden Harmony, an a cappella group at the University of New Hampshire. When she's not singing, and even sometimes when she is, Mary is studying to be a pediatric nurse practitioner at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Mary loves all types of music but has a soft spot for the likes of Otis Redding and James Taylor. Mary is new to the group and PSYCHED to be a part of Funkin’ A!
Cheryn Couter was born in Boston and grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Cheryn loves to jam on the piano or the guitar, but her first love will always be singing. She sang the National Anthem multiple times at Fenway Park for the Red Sox during the 2013 season. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Neuroscience from Emmanuel College, and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Public Health. She joined Funkin’ A in 2013 and works at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School studying the interaction between the microbiome and the immune system.
Ilan Grossmann is a 21-year-old laboratory experiment. He was grown in a small and relatively unknown lab at a small hospital just outside of Philadelphia, PA. The experiment's purpose was to artificially grow and construct a human being capable of producing more noise from only the mouth than most commercial synthesizers. Despite being initially declared a failure, the project was resumed when the subject reached the age of 14 and it was determined that his noise replication abilities had progressed. Though this was not the initial purpose of the experiment, the subject's noise replication abilities are easily confused with a skill known as "vocal percussion" and in the common vernacular, "beatboxing." While the subject is currently a student at both the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, he is currently taking a leave of absence to undergo continued tests. We will continue to observe the subject at his various performances with Funkin' A. This concludes the report.
Dayna Brown LOVES to sing. She does it at home, in the car, and in public around strangers... too much? She holds a BA in Music Perfor-mance and Business from UMASS Lowell and has been performing for forever in myriad bands and ensembles. She is formally trained in classical, choral, opera, and jazz singing, but some of her favorite stuff is hip-hop, R&B, soul, and electronic music. Deebs brought her clarion alto to Funkin' A! in 2011, where she has also been a prolific arranger. Fun fact: she has a bunch of freckles on her arm in the shape of the Big Dipper!
Joe Pierandozzi has no formal training in music, but he'll be damned if that stops him from singing. Since high school he's performed in jazz bands and rock bands (all unofficially), and since 2010 he's been lending his voice and new-found arranging ability to the soulful stylings of Funkin'A!. When he's not singing tenor and trying to sell the group on yet another Beatles/Ben Folds song, Joe hangs out in Somerville and works at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square with Liz.
Kyle Lad hails from the woods north of Bangor, Maine and is wicked proud to have survived The Great Ice Storm of '98 by subsisting on the traditional winter foods of his people. During his time at Dartmouth College, Kyle sang in the Dodecaphonics with Liz, played lead Bobby Strong in a production of Urinetown: The Musical, danced "creatively" in the inaugural Dartmouth Idol competition, and prattled about onstage as the Major General in Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance as a member of the Glee Club. He joined Funkin' A! in 2011 and otherwise works as a software engineer fighting bank fraud at Memento, Inc.
Liz grew up in Seattle, but has been hanging in Boston since her 2008 graduation from Dartmouth, where she sang with and directed the Dodecaphonics. As a toddler, she demanded that her mother sing songs with her from Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes for hours daily, and has been in love with music since. You can sometimes catch Liz playing keys and singing originals or belting out wedding faves in a GB band. Otherwise, she's an Operations Associate at the Cambridge Innovation Center along with Joe. Liz has been super pumped to be with Funkin' A! since 2010.