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Noteworthy Performances

Notescape will be performing at 2 p.m. on December 11 and 12 at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 508-495-1878 or visit highfieldhallandgardens.com

Published on December 14, 2021

Noteworthy PerformancesDocs Hit All the Right Notes

What do two Cape Cod Healthcare doctors, a retired superintendent, a renewable energy specialist and a professional musician have in common?

The gift of song, spreading joy to local communities and hitting all the right notes in their all-men’s a cappella singing group, Notescape. The quintet, comprised of Dr. Peter Hopewood and Dr. Douglas Mann (both affiliated with Falmouth Hospital), Peter Clark, Joe Hackler and Tom Goux, sing classic American tunes spanning Gershwin and Ray Charles to the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The group’s music blends a cappella styles from barbershop to “mouth marimbas” percussion.

“We enjoy singing together and singing to the audience,” says Dr. Hopewood, adding they have more than 100 songs in their repertoire. “We are like brothers in crime. It’s creative play time.”

Decking the Halls at Highfield

On Dec. 11 and 12, Notescape will perform three, 20-minute sets from 2-3:30 p.m. at Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth. Hopewood says the group will sing a range of low-key and high-energy tunes, including a jazz version of “Silent Night,” “Rock Around the Christmas Tree,” “Blue Christmas,” “White Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Deck the Halls” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Notescape at Highfield“Sometimes we change our song sets in the middle by just looking at the audience, the age, what seems to work with the first two songs and what the audience reacts to,” says Dr. Hopewood. “This is not a sit-down event,” says Hopewood. “People will be cruising through the different rooms, Santa Claus will be there. It will be fun and lively.”

The quintet, who has been performing together for close to 20 years, sing at libraries, churches and dinner parties all over the Cape. About half of the songs are without any accompaniment, but on occasion, string bass, clarinet and steel drum musicians will join them. Before Covid, they could often be seen performing at Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth Housing Association, nursing homes, churches, a variety of fundraisers and an annual end-of-summer Woods Hole concert.

Creative Performances During Covid

During the height of the restrictions, they continued to rehearse together once a week at an open greenhouse at the New Alchemy Institute in Hatchville, a 12-acre farm in East Falmouth. “On a Sunday at 1 o’clock, we’d be singing with the goats and chickens and ducks,” says Hopewood. Since they couldn’t perform in person earlier this year, they created a special Valentine’s video featuring the song “The Day Isn’t Long Enough,” by The Four Freshmen, which took many individual takes and Herculean high-tech efforts to synch everyone together.

The singers come from a variety of different backgrounds. Dr. Mann sang the lead in musical productions such as “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Man of La Mancha” in his youth and sang with the New Haven Chorale during medical school while at Yale University. Dr. Hopewood sang in an Italian parish in the Bronx, New York; Peter Clark (former Falmouth schools superintendent) sang in the Whiffenpoofs a cappella group at Yale; Tom Goux, who also plays guitar, is a Smithsonian/Folkways recording artist; and renewable energy scientist Joe Hackler is preparing to perform in a spring production of “TOMMY” at the Cotuit Center for the Arts.

“There’s nothing like singing to get directly to your emotions,” says Mann, “especially with the beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyrics of our American Songbook. At times, just singing with these guys has literally brought tears to my eyes.”

Notescape will be performing at 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 12 at Highfield Hall & Gardens, 56 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, 508-495-1878. Tickets are $10. Attendees are required to register and reserve a two-hour time block at highfieldhallandgardens.com

To watch videos of previous performances by Notescape, visit: https://notescapesingers.com/sample-music.

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