Ten & Change

HISTORY of T&C

Ten and Change started in February of 2000 when four friends decided to rekindle their love for a cappella singing. After a few name changes, sputters, starts and restarts, “Ten and Change” was born. Ten and Change began practice in its members’ respective NYC apartments (to the initial dismay and subsequent unbridled joy of countless roommates and significant others), out on the street (where the group was encouragingly pelted by spectating fruit vendors), and Central Park (though those summertime outdoor rehearsals were eventually discontinued due to an arresting number of nubile distractions). Eventually, the group settled for a once-a-week rehearsal schedule and a fixed rotation of rehearsal space, including some midtown office conference rooms and some pretty nice roof decks.

Ten and Change began performing in 2001 and has since performed at several venues, from humble beginnings on the top floor of a member’s apartment (with the not-so-humble NYC skyline in the background) to such well-known venues as CBGB, the Knitting Factory, The Living Room, Crash Mansion, Joe’s Pub, Upright Citizen Brigade Theater, St. Marx Cafe and Nessa. The group has performed the National Anthem at Shea Stadium and Harbor Yard (home of the Bridgeport Bluefish) and frequently entertains in large venues such as Central Park and Grand Central Station. Ten and Change also regularly does volunteer concert work at various locales in New York City and has provided entertainment for PR campaigns, corporate events, and private parties.

Our alumni now rank over 40 strong, with some alum (and current members) singing since the group’s founding and others joining only for a year or two. Check out the current members of the group, the complete listing of our membership since our much-hailed inception, or the following synopsis of our sordid past.

Now that we’ve lost your attention, here’s a more interesting and highlighted version of what you just read:

In February 2000 the group was born with the mission of spreading the joy of a cappella to the greater metropolitan and tri-state areas and advancing the appreciation of goats. They adopt the name The Extraordinarily Nimble & Casually Harmonious A cappella Neophytes & Goat Enthusiasts or T.E.N. & C.H.A.N.G.E for short. In March 2000 after an unfortunate run in with the animal rights league and subsequent court order the whole goat thing is dropped.

Nuno SáCouto named first musical director and voted the member with the least pronounceable name.

Yungjin Oh (‘Yunger’), co-founder of the group, voted member with the most Asian sounding name.

Aeran Doron (‘Google’) disputes ‘least pronounceable name’ verdict, and has an unfortunate goat accident.

Yungjin Oh disqualified in asian sounding name contest once it is discovered that he is in fact Asian; award goes to Andy Emeritz (‘Titz’).

John Ericson (‘Niles’) vows to solve energy crisis… pays electric bill.

In October 2000 Ten and Change performs at first gig. A Cappella version of Megadeth’s ‘Skull Beneath the Skin’ goes over like a fart in church.

Group member Jeff Williams discovers the secret to faster than light travel: sportsmanship!!!

Andrew Babcock farts in Church. Oddly, it reminds him of Megadeth.

Sam Lubell (‘Mauler’) thinks identical twin brother, Dave, is ugly. Dave Lubell thinks identical twin, Sam, is foxy. Similarly Sam thinks the glass is half empty, Dave thinks the glass is foxy.

Brad Richter (‘Diesel’) also thinks glass is foxy, but not so sure about Sam.

Stephan the Incognito still missing.

In 2001, Ten and Change inducted into the New York Post Collegiate A Cappella Hall of Fame or NYPCACHOF.

Also in 2001, a Horse in Midtown suddenly sprouts wings and flies off to battle the Kraken of the East River with his muscular and Oily Demigod Master, armed only with the head of the Gorgon. Who knew?

Tyler Hirschey (‘Fight Club’) forgets lyrics to Happy Birthday, and first Ten and Change private gig, but claims he honestly thought the words were “blah beblah blay blah boo blah hodehooday to you” and is pummeled.

In 2002 Neil Van Ker Hove (‘Vanker’) appears on the Today Show as a water bottle. No really.

Also in 2002, in a scandal that rocked to group to its core, it was reported in Post Collegiate A Cappella Gazette, that NYPCACHOF was actually created by Ten and Change and Ten and Change is the group’s only voting entity, thereby nullifying any significance whatsoever of Ten and Change’s induction, and revealing the act as nothing but pure self-aggrandizement.

Ben Hirschfeld (‘Truck’) gets persuaded by Fight Club to join, promptly reintroduces the whole goat idea. He makes no headway, but finds he really likes Ten and Change, especially on Tuesdays, especially when he remembers it’s a Tuesday.

Rob Pearson (‘Beeker’) joins the group and quickly establishes himself as by far the beekeriest baritone.

Christopher Lee joins group, learns he has no shot at the “beekeriest” title, rubs belly, invents styrofoam cheese, and flees to Korea.

In 2003 Ben Townson (‘Pits’) removes shirt in rehearsal revealing enormous armpit stains on his undershirt. His nickname suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

Myles Hayes (‘Committed’) is committed to an insane asylum after losing his mind trying to figure out what the hell Ben’s nickname referred to before the fabled armpit stain incident of aught 3, and suddenly his nickname takes on a whole new meaning.

Cormac Bluestone has no nickname. Brad ‘Diesel’ Richter suggests ‘Superfly’ and is pummeled.

Jared Johnson grows third arm from his head. After a brief stint as the tallest member of the group, and a regular guest on Maury, he loses the arm in a poker match.

Joe Lampe emerges from the seventh layer of hell with the best chicken wings ever and an epic harrowing tale of sorrow, strife and fine free range poultry.

Ezra Marbach joins and quits, but not before delivering a fierce rendition of Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it On the Rain” to an awestruck group of gerbils at city hall.

Evan Gregory exposed as spy (really, we swear to God). Tenor is the perfect cover.

Robert Kennedy finds his name all over the internet, wonders why.

Mike Ogurick discovered to be the illegitimate love child of Cosmo Kramer and Buddy Hacket, geneticists boggled.

Greg Yu meets lovely young asian woman Jennifer Mi, and hilarious Abbott and Costello-esque scene ensues. Yungjin Oh attempts to clear up any confusion and fails…miserably.

In 2004, surprise email reports appear on long-departed members. Chris Lee, who fled to Korea, has now fled from Korea to Hong Kong (for somewhat murky reasons) (he reports that summer is “hotter than ball sack” but inexplicably claims he’s having an “absolute blast”).

Andy Emeritz lives in an old cheese factory in Williamsburg, in a bedroom he built himself. Neil Van Ker Hove tired of teaching idiots how to use oral thermometers and re-arranging bookshelves and now manages improv theater. All appear happy and well.

Aeran Doron (‘Google’), learning of the above, gets epiphany and rejoins group after absence of almost a year. No one can figure out why.

Aeran Doron, realizing the above, promptly leaves again.  No one can figure out why.  Again.

In 2004, Josh Ruzansky (“Low”), the most sportsmanlike person of all time, joins the group and travels the galaxy, all before dinner.

Also in 2004, Tom Blanchard first appears in Ten and Change.  Seriously – he just appeared out of nowhere.  Who is that guy?

Nadav Tanners (“Nads”), also of Sixteen Feet from Swarthmore, Evan’s former group, joins this group.  If Evan is James Bond, and many believe him to be, Nadav is his CIA contact Felix Lighter and will ultimately be eater by sharks off the Florida Keys in License to Kill. Bummer.

Nate Zeitz joins the group a year later to round out the baritone.  Sadly it is discovered that his baritone is a rhombus.

Carson Hinners comes to the group at this time and quickly became the cute one.  Tyler is miffed (but let’s face it, he never realy was that cute).

Rob Haber joins the group to be the first third bass since the former second bass, Mike O’Gurick, fled the country to avoid indictment for goat wrangling, allowing the third bass Josh Ruzansky to become the second bass.  Leaving the spot open for Rob (the new Rob) to come in as the third bass.  Joe’s response:  “There is really no difference, just so long as everyone knows that I am first bass, dammit!! ”  Joe later adds sheepishly, “I always wanted to play first bass and they never, never let me so now I am first bass.  Period.  So stop talking about it.”

Paul Alexander has the distinction of being the only member of the group with a superfluous nostril.

In August of 2005, Nadav Tanners is eaten by sharks off the Florida Keys. Told you so.

The following year, Jaron Argiz joins group and is discovered to be the very legitimate love child of Aeran Doron and Jared Johnson, though all will deny it to their death. Cosmo Kramer and Buddy Hacket are offended.

Not offended is Tim O’Brien who, when not watering plants, racing million dollar yachts or polishing his tow-nails, is actually a very good singer. Or so he claims. Before he gets pummeled.

Larry Collica, a person from another planet, a place of perfect pitch, arrives, obviating need for pitch pipe or piano. Inexorably he corrects group pitch repeatedly each week, and promptly gets pummeled.

Then, from the depth of the ocean, or perhaps the highest lofts of the mountains (no one really knows), Brian Lindvall appears. He does not stay long, but the residue of goat smell lingers afterward. This is curious.

Greg Rubin, an astonishing creature who can sing high tenor, bass, baritone and tenor 2, depending on mood and the current astrological sign, reflects on the goat smell left by Brian Lindvall. Unfortunately his reflections don’t produce anything of value, and Greg falls back to his job as a rebellious spirit in a musical corporate tool world.

Will Moller arrives, replacing the memory of Carson Hinners as the cute one. This makes Will very happy. Until Will gets pummeled.

Josh Koffman joins group in 2008 after lying about his prior experience. Not about singing, which all readily admit ample, but about occupational experiences of tracking down serial killers and very, very angry people who do unnamable things. No really. So this is what you choose to do with your life? Oh and yes, sometimes he produces high-minded documentaries

Sam Orleans decides to balance out Josh. Or at least not go after serial killers. He assists orchestras that need help. No really. So this is what you choose to do with your life?

In 2009, fearing the end of the first decade of the first century after the twentieth century which falls in the first millennium after the first millennium of the common era (not to be confused with Gorgon), Ken Browne joins group. Why remains a mystery. But he seems OK, and stays. Mysteriously, Ken does not get pummeled. By anyone. Ever.

Heath Pendleton, the member with the least-sounding Asian name, also finds himself at auditions, then at rehearsals, then in concerts, and comes to conclusion that at some point he must have joined the group as well. This makes his non-identical roommate, Tyler Simmons, very happy, and while Tyler is not so sure about Heath, he is sure that he also, somehow, is in the group as well. This makes the aforementioned foxy glass half empty, but very happy as well.

In other news, former musical director Evan (“Prof”) Gregory quits his day job, leaves the Big Apple, and begins touring with his brothers in their familial-named band. Which no one really has heard of. Yet.

Tom Porter thinks that three is a very bad number, with very bad properties, and consults Myles. Myles agrees, which troubles Tom, but convinced that three new members will be a bad omen, Tom also joins at the same time as Tyler, Heath and Ken, rounding out Nate’s baritone now to a convex polygon.

After some time incorporating the aforementioned Gang of Four, and learning about Fung Shui under the influence of perhaps one-too-many Boston lagers, the group decides that its balance is still all wrong and decides to add high tenors. Since the group really only has one high tenor, who never, ever, ever will be first bass. No of which makes sense, but since four is divisible by two, and yields two (all the math the group can do in its current state), this seems a fine idea at the time, and the group promptly admits high tenors Ben Piper and Adam Zamora to the group. Unfortunately, it does so before learning Ben has spent sustained periods on a boat, and Adam has spent sustained time in Williamstown, where there are many cows, sheep and…goats.

In other news, former musical director Evan (“Prof”) Gregory is still singing with his brothers’ band. Which no one has heard of. Which makes yet an better cover for his Bond like tendencies, but also produces boredom, so Evan returns to the Big Apple, but not before suggesting that his brothers produce music videos. Which they do. Which go viral. Which are seen by millions and millions and millions of people. No really. Google it. This leaves the group with a very proud feeling.