Acentech's Got Talent Blog Post
September 27, 2017 |

Acentech’s Got Talent!

When I came to work at Acentech, it took a very short time for me to realize that I was surrounded by very special and talented colleagues. This didn’t come as a surprise since music is such an important part of so many of our employees’ lives. A majority of them became acousticians because of their passion for music.

It is not unusual at Acentech to receive an invitation from a co-worker inviting members of the staff to his or her performance taking place on a weekend or an evening during the week. I was very fortunate to attend a few performances by our Senior Consultant, Nicole Cuff, who is part of an acoustics duo, called the 94’s, as well as an a capella group Vinyl Street. I also attended a Cambridge Symphony Orchestra concert where our Principal Consultant, Robert Berens, played the French horn.

After seeing these shows, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be if all my colleagues could also benefit from witnessing the very diverse talents we have at Acentech. Since everyone is busy and not always able to find time outside of regular working hours, I felt the best way to make this happen would be to organize an event during the work week. I shared my idea with the Marketing Department and they agreed it would be a fun event for me to help organize.

As soon as the plan was conveyed to the entire company, many consultants were on board and promptly signed up to participate. I was so pleased that “Acentech’s Got Talent” (the name of our Talent show) was going to become reality. We set a date when as many people as possible would be available to attend.

Our Director of Marketing and Business Development, Sarah McGillicuddy, had the wonderful suggestion to also invite employee family members and friends to join us. It was terrific that everyone was so enthusiastic.

Once I had an idea of how many people would take part in the show, all performers met to discuss and share what they intended to present and what kind of equipment would be needed to make these acts possible. Our wonderful Consultant, Andy Carballeira, who is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, a Jazz Organist in two groups (The Left Ear Trio and The Lean Two) had all the necessary music gear which was a great help. Acentech’s Systems Group also helped to set up the proper sound needs of this production.

President Jeff Zapfe kicked it off with a string figures demonstration.

The next step was to decide on the line-up of our numerous gigs:

  • Our President, Jeffrey Zapfe, opened the show with his amusing String Figures demonstration.
  • Kat Sanford, one of Acentech’s administrative assistants, played the ukulele and sang a nice song she wrote.
  • Director of Marketing and Business Development, Sarah McGillicuddy, who has a lovely voice, then performed a song together with her daughter, Cora, and her husband, Peter, who played the guitar.
  • Kelsey Hochgraf (Consultant), a trained classical pianist and a drum major, followed and executed a flawless piece (Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in D Major, Opus 23: No. 4) on the piano. She was followed by Ryan Edwards (Consultant), who has already released six albums (three hip-hop albums, one drum & bass album and one collaborative album with a violinist). Andy Carballeira assisted by dropping samples.
  • Then Ethan Brush (Senior Consultant and part of the saxophone ensemble, The Saxyderms), Ben Davenny (Senior Consultant and upright bass player), Nick Dragoni (Lab Technician and a saxophonist), Jonah Sacks (Senior Consultant, a passionate cello player) and Andy Carballeira teamed up to offer us a joyful mini concert with upbeat tunes.
  • Next came Jay Epstein, one of our IT and Security Senior Consultants, shared his piano skills which very few of us knew he possessed. Kat Sanford provided accompanying vocals to Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.”
  • Afterwards Matt Azevedo, our Staff Scientist, gave us a very interesting demo using a modular synthesizer through a subwoofer array to improvise music that is both heard sound and felt vibration. You can view some of Matt’s work here.
  • Near the end of the show, Acentech’s Orchestra and Choir assembled. Many Acentech staff members brought a lovely piece to life, put together by Jonah. To see a large number of employees come together was incredible and, without a doubt, all could feel the dedication and love for music in the room.  Jonah is also part of several groups: the Empty House Cooperative and the Steve Walther Orchestra
  • To close the show, Bob Berens performed with his fabulous brass ensemble, The Lokensgard Blechblaser.
  • Finally, the Master of Ceremony was our own Marketing Coordinator, Maylin Pavletic. Not only is she able to captivate everyone’s attention, but she is also extremely funny and writes sketch comedy in her spare time.

The Acentech Orchestra preparing to play.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to use my organizational skills to bring to the forefront the wonderful gifted employees we have at Acentech, and I hope the talent show can become a yearly tradition! It was a fabulous way for everyone to get to know each other better and enjoy truly great talent.

You can also get a preview of Acentech’s Got Talent by viewing this video!

Author: Viviane Benchaya

“At Acentech, I enjoy being able to assist our consultants, and learn about acoustics, which is a completely new field for me.” Viviane joined Acentech in late 2015, referred by…

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