HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Jeeves Murphy

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James "Jeeves" Murphy
http://www.casa.org/users/jeeves

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

Back in high school, I started singing with a barbershop quartet called GQ (The Gentlemen's Quartet).  That was my first real experience singing a cappella music in an official capacity.  I also sang with the Madrigal Singers at my school as well.  So I got a few years of experience with both "classical" and "contemporary" a cappella genres before I hit college.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

I first became involved with CASA after meeting the former Maryland Ambassador back in 2003. He was singing with a co-ed group at Goucher College called Red Hot Blue, and I had invited him and the group to sing with my a cappella group, The UMBC Mama's Boys, at our seasonal concert.  We met, geeked out a lot about a cappella, and we talked about CASA.  Eventually, he would move back to NY and bestow the position on to me in 2005. 

What area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

I do my best to cover the state of Maryland as well as branching out to Virginia, DC, and Delaware.  I've worked with groups as far west as Fredrick, far east as Salisbury, far north as Towson, and far south as Alexandria.  It's a huge area with a very active a cappella community.  So, as soon as they legalize cloning, I'll be good to go!

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

I tend to say that, as an ambassador, I'm just a really active a cappella fan!  Lately, I've been trying to make contact with as many groups and people as I can to let them know I'm around and available for whatever their needs are.  I try to support groups by going to their shows whenever possible.  I've also done some coaching as well.  That being said, I have some plans for Maryland area a cappella, and I can't do it without the help of the groups I'm here to serve!  I've recently started blogging on my personal website about what's going on in the MD/DC/VA, but I'm only one person and can't get to every show around the area.  I'd like to recruit a couple of people to help blog about what's going on (write, take pictures, take video, etc.).  I'd like to have a place where MD/DC/VA groups can go to see what concerts are coming up in the area OR so that groups touring in the area can see some shows they can attend/perform at.  I'd like to have a forum where these groups can go and discuss arrangements, rehearsal strategies, etc.  I want to help build the best a cappella community right here on the East Coast - right here in Maryland!

What do you do for work and play?

For money, I'm currently working full-time as an ITS Engineer for a security company in Maryland and studying at UMUC part-time for a Masters degree in Information Assurance.  For play, I'm an instrumentalist  as well as a singer.  I play bass guitar, keyboard/piano, cajon and am learning guitar.  I keep up my a cappella blog and also write for CASA on occasion.  Lately, I've been getting my money's worth of Netflix.  I love to cook to de-stress, try a new wine, and long walks on the beach.

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

As far as singing goes, people are usually surprised about my voice.  I sing high-tenor, though I've been asked if I'm actually a countertenor.  I've sung with co-ed groups before and I tend to have a higher range than most of my female counterparts in those groups.

Other than that, people are usually surprised by what I studied in school.  I was an English Literature major.  That's right... I'm a Lit Major musician who works as an IT guy during the day.  Sounds like a really crappy super hero comic book!

Favorite a cappella group?

I change favorites here and there depending on new recordings that come out, but I always say my all-time favorite is and will always be Rockapella.  It was Rockapella's album "Lucky Seven" that originally turned me on to contemporary a cappella music back in high school.  The song?  "Lisa, I Love You."  I'm sure it didn't hurt that I had a crush on a girl named Lisa at the time, but that's another story!

Favorite type of music?

Would it be stupid to put A cappella here?  I appreciate all music, I like most music, I love some music, but a cappella, for some reason, touches me in a much different way than any other genre.

Favorite a cappella concert?

Wow... I've seen a lot of great concerts - ICCAs, Harmony Sweeps, college shows, professional gigs.  My first ever concert was a highlight - October 20, 2001, I was at a free outdoor concert with Rockapella for the re-opening of the Walters Art Museum.  But I think the BEST show I've ever seen would have to be the Swingle Singers at VoCALnation 2011.  Four standing ovations, the 1812 Overture a cappella, me being moved to tears, all while forcing me to question my ability as a singer! haha It was an absolutely amazing experience!

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

There is a huge a cappella community in the MD/DC/VA area, and it is one of the best communities I've ever had the fine pleasure of being a part of.  We have some amazing pro and semi-pro groups, and some of the best college groups on the circuit!  I'm really proud to be the CASA ambassador of Maryland and will do everything I can to help make this state the best place for a cappella on the East Coast!

~James "Jeeves" Murphy, www.imjeeves.com
imjeeves@gmail.com
Maryland State Ambassador, CASA.org
Co-Founder, UMBC Mama's Boys http://www.umbcmamasboys.org
Co-Founder, UMBC Cleftomaniacs http://www.umbc.edu/studentlife/orgs/cleftos/

Comments

Jeeves is a great ambassador!

As a Maryland local I'm uber-impressed with howw supportive Jeeves is of local groups. If you are in DC/MD/VA, make sure you get in touch with him!

Coaching

Hi, Jeeves!

I'm one of the codirectors for Manchoir, the men's a cappella group at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. In the past two years, we've placed in the SingStrong high school competition in Reston, VA. This year, we won second place. 

Do you ever visit schools to coach groups? I think that'd be a great experience for Manchoir.

Sincerely,

Daniel Perkes

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