Six Guys. Six Mouths. That's It." This is the how their T-shirts describe Ball in the House. But until you actually see them perform, it's hard to believe there are no instruments. That's because they have Jon Ryan and Mike Benard on percussion and bass. Instead of a drum kit, Jon uses his mouth to make the sounds of a beat box, and Mike's naturally low speaking voice provides the perfect bass accompaniment. The group's other four members, Scott Harris, Dave Giusti, Stephen McNulty and Jason Downie, do the singing. Although he usually sings baritone, on some songs Scott creates a knockout guitar sound with his voice.
I talked to some of the teenagers in the audience to get their impressions. "They're incredibly talented," said a tall girl named Alex. "I first heard them when they performed at my school, Lexington High, and I've been a fan ever since." Another girl told me Scott was her favorite--why--because she thinks he's the cutest.
After their set, I had the pleasure of talking with five of the group's six members, Scott, Dave, Jason, Jon and Stephen (Mike had another commitment and had to leave soon after their performance). All of them were charming and personable, but it was easy to see why Scott got particular attention. He has extraordinary blue eyes and poster-boy looks. Here's what the guys had to say.
Q: How did you get the name "Ball in the House"?
Jon: It comes from old Brady Bunch episodes and the fact that the Brady Bunch kids were always being told not to play ball in the house.
Q: How did you guys meet?
Scott: Jon, Jason and Dave went to St. Paul's Choir School together in Cambridge. Then Jason went to college in Philly and met me there. All of us were doing some vocal singing in various a capella groups, so Jon met Mike at a singing competition. Later, I met Stephen through a friend who knew that we were looking for a tenor.