In many concerts around the Kingswood Oxford campus, you’ve most likely seen senior Daniel Raymond demonstrating his musical talents in multiple ways; whether it be by singing in Crimson 7 or by playing the saxophone in the Jazz Combo, Dan certainly has a knack for the performing arts.
Dan started singing when he was just five years old as part of a church choir. However, his singing career took a brief hiatus when he left the church choir after eighth grade and stopped singing for a year. But in the spring of his freshman year, Dan decided to jump back into and pursue his passion for singing by auditioning for and ultimately being accepted into Crimson 7, one of KO’s select vocal ensembles. Since then, being a part of Crimson 7 has greatly impacted Dan’s time at KO, especially regarding the strong bond the group has formed. “The relationship between everyone is great,” he said. “We’re all good people.”
Dan sings the tenor-one part in Crimson 7, and he has been a soloist multiple times. Director of Crimson 7 David Baker said Dan’s vocal range makes him well-suited for this role in the group. “Dan has a really big range,” he said. “His full voice is more than a baritone voice, but he’s got a really rich head voice that is almost fully a falsetto but a really strong one.”
Dan noted that since he started singing at KO, his range has improved greatly to get to where it is today. “I used to only be able to sing in upper octaves, and I could only use my head voice, which is a higher range of the voice,” he said. “But now, my range has grown, and I can sing more notes.”
Mr. Baker discussed how Dan has improved in other important ways as well as a member of Crimson 7. “He’s grown in confidence,” Mr. Baker said. “I’ve noticed him auditioning for solos more in the last couple of years.” Additionally, Mr. Baker believes that Dan has become a strong leader in the group. “He’s definitely somebody that I’d say younger guys in the group look up to,” Mr. Baker said. “I think he does a good job of managing the balance between having a really good time and working hard.”
When Dan thinks back to past performances with Crimson 7, he said that though he has loved all the songs that they have performed, his favorite piece is one they are currently learning: “Wellerman Sea Shanty.”
Senior Crimson 7 member Nate Welsh said that Dan’s passion for singing makes being part of the group much more enjoyable. “Dan’s enthusiasm and vigor in Crimson 7 is infectious,” he said. “He’s a great member of the team, and he brings a level of energy and seriousness to the group that we all value and learn from.”
On the other side of his musical spectrum, Dan began playing saxophone in fourth grade through his elementary school’s music program. Dan has been a saxophonist in the Jazz Combo since his freshman year, but he also sings solos when needed, incorporating his love for vocalizing with his love for jazz. His favorite performance with the Jazz Combo was “The Girl from Ipanema” for which he was a soloist at last year’s Arts Night concert.
In addition to being a talented musician, Dan is also part of the varsity football and varsity track and field teams, finding success not only on the stage but also out on the field.
Even though he doesn’t intend to major in music, Dan hopes to take what he’s learned from his music career – such as hard work, determination, and the importance of taking risks – to help him be successful in college. We wish Dan the best of luck as he continues to pursue his passions!