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HouseBlend Biographies

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Bill's Photo
Bill DeGarmo

 

HouseBlend’s tenor, Bill, has enough love for musical theatre that he graduated from college with a degree in drama. Before graduating, Bill managed to play such roles as “Rolf” in The Sound Of Music, “Matt” in The Fantastiks and “Lancelot” in Camelot. After college, Bill went into business, but continued to study voice privately for several years. Bill had expected to be heavily involved in community theatre at this stage of his life, but has found his role in HouseBlend better than anything he expected. Luckily, life doesn’t always turn out as planned.

Bill sings in the Chancel and Chamber Choirs at Concord United Methodist. Combine that with HouseBlend rehearsals, and Sundays are very busy.

Bill lives in Martinez with his wife, Maureen, where he works out of his home as an independent insurance agent.

Doug's Photo
Doug Emigh

Doug is the “lead” with HouseBlend, which does not mean that he leads HouseBlend, but rather that he is usually the person singing the easy, melody line. Considering the hard work required of Kent, Bill and Jim to learn and memorize their parts, Doug’s election to sing lead demonstrates a subtly discriminating, relative intellect.

Doug has been involved in music and singing all of his life. He graduated from California Institute of the Arts where he specialized in voice and German lieder. He is a retired choir director and orchestra conductor as of September 2014, teaches vocal pedagogy privately and is actively involved in music composition and arranging. He loves ballad, Karaoke, R&B, CW, the classic vocal repertoire, opera and oratorio. He has performed them all on a more-or-less professional level, but his favorite is HouseBlend.

All occupational endeavors in Doug’s life have been secondary to his music career. He is the only member of HouseBlend who has never really worked his entire life.

Celebrating 13 years of marriage with his wife Darlene in Concord and is making better music than ever before.

 

Jim's Photo
Jim McGuire

Jim graduated Cal, Berkeley where he played clarinet in the Cal Marching Band. His music background includes singing with church choirs for over 40 years. He is currently singing with the Chancel and Chamber Choirs at Concord United Methodist Church where he has been a longtime member.

Jim’s unofficial title in “HouseBlend” is “Daddy Sang Bass” and is the only “Irishman” in the group.

“HouseBlend” always warms up before performances. But Jim’s highly developed social skills often make him difficult to locate, thus coining the phrase, “Where’s Jim?”

Jim retired in 2000 after a career in advertising, marketing and customer relations. In his retirement, he keeps busy as a devoted “Papa” to his three grandsons.

He spent six years in the USAF finishing his career there as a navigator with the rank of Captain. He lives in Walnut Creek, loves bicycling and has been married to his “Saint Nana,” Sue, for 50 plus years.

 

Kent's Photo
Kent Parr

Kent, aka HouseBlend’s “rhythm police”, has been with the group since its inception, singing the baritone part. He is also the sound effects performer/mouth percussionist, which, as a child, got him into a lot of trouble with various authority figures, including parents, teachers, choir directors and ministers. Now he gets paid to make these sounds. Kent also has arranged and composed some of HouseBlend’s repertoire. Prior to life with HouseBlend, Kent played trombone and toured with The Statesmen Big Band.

Unable to make a living from HouseBlend’s wages, Kent has maintained his day job, a law practice in Concord where he practices in the areas of construction, business, real estate and general civil trial and appellate law.

Kent enjoys life in the Bay Area, where he hikes, brews a fabulous ale, enjoys going to theater, fusses over his cats and has the privilege of dining out every Friday with his wife, Pam. Life is good.