Local a cappella artist prepares for post-college musical debut

Sep 17, 2017

Wareham-raised singer and songwriter Peter Carboni is getting ready for his solo performance, “Back to the Boro,” in Middleboro on Sept. 29.

Carboni just graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in psychology and a certificate in sustainable food and farming. Now that he's a graduate, Carboni said he’s exploring options for a career in music and is excited to see how he can get Wareham residents involved.

Wareham Week sat down with Carboni to learn about his musical endeavors.

WW: Now you know that you want to pursue music professionally, but when did you first realize you were interested in music?

PC: I always knew that I could sing. I would sing in the shower all the time and my parents would be like, ‘Shut up please!’ But I never would. I actually was in a [Church in the Pines] youth group in middle school and I was way too shy to sing at any of the events where they had music. After that, I decided to just suck it up and go do [Annie Get Your Gun] in high school...I kind of continued that trend until college, when I discovered a cappella.

WW: How did you get into a cappella?

PC: In college I did the Doo Wop Shop, which is an all-male group. It’s the oldest group on the UMass campus; they’ve been around for 24 years. We had a group of nine and we would do a bunch of gigs. We had two or three concerts a semester and we performed for nursing homes and pretty much everywhere, all over the Amherst community. We record albums too, which is a lot of fun.

WW: What musical opportunities have you had since graduating from college?

PC: My music director from my college group told me about The Hyannis Sound, he said, ‘Hey, you should audition with me,’ so we both went to Boston and auditioned. It’s Cape Cod’s all-male, professional a cappella group. It’s been around for 23 years and there’s a rigorous audition process that happens in Boston. They pick however many new guys they need and you all reconvene in the summer in one house in Hyannis. You perform almost every single night of the summer and you get paid. It’s great.

WW: You just finished performing with The Hyannis Sound and working as their public relations manager for the summer. Now that you’re back home in Wareham, are you glad to be done living in one house with everyone else in the group?

PC: You have to learn how to not only work with these people, but constantly live with them. You’re picking roommates and co-workers and best friends at the same time. Living in a house with nine other guys is a bit difficult, to be completely honest, but at the end of the day everyone loves each other so much that it’s completely worth it. It doesn’t really feel like work because you just feel like you’re hanging out with your best friends.

WW: What is your plan to pursue music professionally now that you’ve graduated?

PC: I’m trying to land a bartending gig because that’s what I did all throughout college. I also joined a semi-professional a cappella group called Fermata Town. That’s my third a cappella group that I’ve been in this year, which is kind of ridiculous. My big plan is trying to get booked for cruise lines, because cruise ships will hire a cappella groups for six-month contracts.

WW: What can people expect from your “Back to the Boro” performance on Sept. 29?

PC: I’m probably going to do four songs and just opening for comedian Matt McCormick’s show. It’s just going to be me, a keyboard and some background tracks. I have a couple original songs that are not on the internet yet, so that will probably be the debut for a couple of those.

WW: After that, do you plan on bringing more music to Wareham?

PC: I was thinking about reaching out to a couple different cafes and trying to get together an open mic situation. To my knowledge, there’s nothing like that in Wareham as of late. I think it would be great to get a small, weekly open mic together. It’s a good way to meet local artists and I feel like a lot of younger people will go and do open mics for the performance experience.

WW: How can people listen to your music?

PC: My YouTube channel is Peter Carboni Music. The channel is predominantly covers...I love singing Stevie Wonder. You can just jam to his songs and it fits my range really well. I use his songs for auditions and everything like that.

WW: What are your interests outside of music?

PC: I do have a pretty extensive garden. I have a bunch of different succulents; they’ve traveled back and forth with me from college for the past couple years. It’s my pride and joy. My jade plant is my favorite, but it’s not doing too well. I was a bad plant owner and left it out in the rain and it did not like that, but it’s recovering now.

Carboni’s performance, “Back to the Boro,” is Sept. 29 at The Alley Theater, 133 Centre Street in Middleboro at 7 p.m. For more information, call The Alley Theatre ticket line at 508-946-1071. To listen to Carboni’s a cappella performances, check out UMass Amherst’s most recent studio album, “Tie Breaker.”

For more information about Carboni’s other groups, check out The Hyannis Sound and Boston-based Fermata Town. Find Carboni on Facebook at Peter Carboni Music.