Not Too Sharp is an all-male a cappella group from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. Begun in 2002, the group performs live on the UNH campus, at other colleges, and for fundraisers, shows, businesses, and private parties in the New Hampshire community. Their annual benefit show supports the American Cancer Society. The Recorded Acappella Review Board says of Not Too Sharp, “All male, slightly goofy and possessed of an infectious energy… Charisma just drips out of the speakers.”
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 10 - 80 minutes
What to Expect
- We can do custom songs with fair notice
- Sets can last up to an hour and 15 minutes
- Max set time may be shorter if the semester is just beginning
- Though we are a college group, we can try to make summer gigs work; feel free to contact
UNH students Jamie Saucier ’03, Jason Reed ’05 and Kevin Cleary ’05 conceived the group during a trip with the UNH Chorus to perform background vocals at a Barry Manilow concert. A discussion of a classmate who had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable but treatable cancer, led them to gather a group who could perform to raise money for cancer research. That friend later became the group’s first business manager, and only female member.
The group was barbershop-based in its early days, something that could distinguish them from the other a cappella groups on campus at the time. The very first show was held in the basement floor of Congreve Hall in 2002. The group rehearsed during the walk across campus, and relied on paper music during the show. This was the first of over 25 performances for the group in their first year, earning them recognition as “the group who sings everywhere.” The group’s first major concert was held May 3rd, 2003, in UNH’s Johnson Theatre, hosted by members of fellow group Alabaster Blue. Over 200 people attended this first semester-culminating show, raising $2,000 dollars for the American Cancer Society. It was also when the group debuted its first album, “On Our Way,” which consisted of many traditional barbershop arrangements, recorded live in the MUB Theater.
Since the first year, the group has continued to perform live around the region, performing at commencements, weddings, private parties, and even the New Hampshire State House. Their audiences have included school kids, the elderly, and fellow college students. Each year they have hosted a benefit show, adding to the total donated to cancer research, and building ties with other initiatives like UNH’s Wildcat Santa toy drive.
A self-titled album released in 2006 reflected the group’s growing interest in popular modern music. Fall Out Boy’s track “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and classic rock like The Eagles’ “Hotel California” appeared alongside barbershop arrangements like “Chordbuster’s March.” The 2009 album “Shifting Gears” furthered the group’s move away from its traditional barbershop roots, with tracks like Spoon’s “The Underdog” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Gone.” A unique arrangement of The Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water” also demonstrated the group’s talents beyond singing, as music director Harrison Kisiel contributed an arrangement that, according to critics at the Recorded A Cappella Review Board, “solves this Riddle of the Sphinx with a head-turning arrangement packed with creativity, maturity, and deep southern funk.”
In 2011, the fellas went back to the studio to track their 3rd studio album entitled “May Contain Nuts.” Highlights of the album include a soul-filled mash-up of jazz classic “St. Louis Blues” by W.C. Handy and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” plus a powerful take on Phil Collin’s “Take Me Home.” But the group made its first break into the national a cappella scene with the high-energy take on Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin’.” It was selected for the national collegiate a cappella compilation album “Voices Only 2012″ and featured the entire group with a brilliant arrangement by Mark Taipan.
The hits kept coming with Not Too Sharp’s most recent foray into studio a cappella, “Haywire.” With genius producer David Longo and the rest of The Vocal Company at the helm, NTS received several national and international accolades, solidifying their place in the a cappella scene. The passionate take on Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” was selected as for the “Best of College A Cappella 2014″ compilation, featuring an emotional solo by Alex Rich. Next came the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award nomination for Not Too Sharp’s first original song, “Electric,” with a solo by Anthony Richards, written by members Eric Schaaf and Jim McCann, and co-written by producer David Longo. In 2014, Not Too Sharp was placed on “Voices Only 2014″ with their cover of the rock cover of The Crash Kings’ “Mountain Man.”
Not Too Sharp seems to keep picking up steam as time goes on, with more and more recognition from the greater a cappella community, and an ever increasing devotion to the art. The group is always looking forward, and you should be excited for what they have in store!
Additional Booking Notes
We do not need any sound system, but if one is available we normally request 3 solo mics and one area mic. We can make any sound setup work.
Past Booked Events
|December 19, 2014||Christmas Party|
Changes every semester.
No equipment required