History teacher and Crimson 7 director David Baker has been singing his whole life and continues to pursue this passion at KO.
Mr. Baker began singing choir in elementary school and started studying classical voice lessons in the ninth grade. He also started a capella in the ninth grade at Conard High School and sang in a group there. He said that he was part of an a capella group there because the choir director had created a group for students who were interested.
After coming to KO, in his senior year Mr. Baker formed an a capella group with a few of his friends, which they called Crimson 7.
“I loved it [singing group at Conard] so much I started it [Crimson 7] with Billy Crowe, a friend who was in the choir, and we convinced five other people to sing with us,” he said. It is only fitting, then, that when Mr. Baker came back to teach at KO, he took over as the director of Crimson 7 and has been directing the group since 2008.
Also during his senior year, Mr. Baker applied for a scholarship at Skidmore College and received it, mainly for tenor voice. There, he continued to audition and sing in choir groups as well as continue his lessons.
During his freshman year of college, Mr. Baker was invited to sing during the summer in the Vineyard Sound a capella group, a semi-professional musical group. “I sang there for three summers; that’s how I got into mainstream a capella,” he said. “Throughout college I trained as a classical tenor and did a senior piece.”
Mr. Baker currently sings at different events or just for fun. For example, he sang at the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, a professional orchestra; he has sung as a section leader and guest soloist for various church concerts, as well, including at a Christmas concert this past December.
Mr. Baker said he always enjoys connecting with the audience, who is not just listening to the performance, but are actually an essential part of the concert. “It is emotionally powerful to perform, because you share something with others and they share it with you,” he said. “I’ve always loved singing; some things you can’t explain why you love.”
Even though he continually sings when he can, Mr. Baker said he wishes to do more with music in the future.
Junior Matthew Marottolo, a member of Crimson 7 and one of Mr. Baker’s students, said that Mr. Baker maintains a fun environment while still creating a productive one. Matt also said that Mr. Baker is a great singer and always inspires him to compete in singing competitions and do his best. “He loves singing the music that can be made at KO,” he said.
Matthew, who has been part of Crimson 7 since his freshman year, said that he is grateful to be taught by Mr. Baker, who has a great level of expertise and knowledge in the world of music.