Interview with Ball in the House
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.