My background is not particularly unique. I did some voice lessons in high school, picked up the guitar to impress the girls, was force-fed piano from a young age (gratefully), and sang in choirs from age 13 to 35. Perhaps the most unique part of my background is also the most nerdy: I sang in a barbershop quartet for about 6 years in my earlier years.
But my great passion is creating my own music through arrangements and song writing. I wrote my first song for my sister’s wedding when I was 14. After that, I wrote quite a few songs for weddings for family members, and a few others here and there. I found that I love doing it. Love songs are my kind of music, and love stories are my kind of content. Don’t be surprised if you hear shadows of John Denver, James Taylor, and 90s country (still the best era of country music, I’d say), that is what I grew up on.
I grew up outside of Portland, OR, across the river in Vancouver, WA. I’m the third of five kids and have a hard middle child complex. Basically, that means that I like to exaggerate how much I was the one always being forgotten or passed over. In truth, I had a pretty great childhood. It was long ago that there were small forests to explore just around the corner from home. Of course, living in the northwest is pretty much living in a forest anyway, but our neighborhood was still largely undeveloped.
Music was a big part of my upbringing. We would hold family talent shows, prepare family numbers for church and school events, and we all took piano lessons starting from age seven. I was also really lucky to grow up in a school system with phenomenal music programs. I will forever remember and be grateful for my time singing for Randy Frasier at Wy’East Junior High and then Janet Reiter at Mountain View High. If there is a better environment to come up in for a young singer, I haven’t found it.
I’m sure at least a few of you are holding back chuckles while curious for more information about my barbershop quartet singing. Let me end the suspense: it’s about as geeky as you would guess. At the same time, it is one of the most challenging and rewarding styles of music I have ever been a part of. I kind of backed into the barbershop world thanks solely to my friendship with Tad Harris. Long story short, he knew a couple guys who sang barbershop, we found a fourth, and things went on from there. We ended up competing in a few competitions with some success and recorded three CDs. Singing with those guys is one of the great highlights of my life.
I married in 2002, and we had a son. That marriage ended in 2007. That failure is an experience that stings even today. I share that because I want no pretense of perfection or infallibility.
In 2010, after a few years of expecting to never love again, and just four months after we met, I married my lovely wife, Maggie. We have three children and are still together as of this writing (hopefully long after that as well.) Marriage is hard. Raising children is hard. But, love has been created from this marriage and an exponentially larger amount from the children. It is worth every hard night, day, week, year … I’m grateful for them.
The Full Story
Reprise is a male quartet that specializes in all forms of a cappella music. The talents of Tim Workman, Joel Gillespie, Tad Harris, and Rex Kocherhans met each other when they were members of the world renowned mixed choir, the Brigham Young University Singers. From Jazz to Barbershop, Secular to Spiritual, their multiple musical talents come together to form a rich blend seldom achieved by many a cappella groups today.