Before NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Micah Christian was a teacher. Now, Christian and his three bandmates — who also were working as teachers and one as an attorney — are touring the country as Sons of Serendip.
On Friday, March 29, the band, which earned fourth-place on Season 9 of the reality show, will perform in Kokomo as part of the Kokomo Community Concerts series and bring the message that it’s never too late to pursue a dream.
Christian said he believes the group’s relatability, in addition to its uniqueness, contributed to much of its success on “America’s Got Talent,” which aired in 2014.
“When we made it to the finale, I think a lot of it had to do with our story because a couple of us were working odd jobs in order to make ends meet. I was teaching. One of us was a lawyer. I think we represented what a lot of people experience where they’re working a job, but they have a dream to do something different with their lives. Oftentimes it’s in the arts, and so we were taking a chance and putting ourselves out there to make a dream happen. I think that story resonated with a lot of people,” he said.
The group’s success on the show opened up opportunities for the members. The biggest opportunity Christian said it opened up was the chance for them to quit their jobs to pursue music full-time.
It happened fast for Sons of Serendip. In fact, the members’ audition tape to “America’s Got Talent” was the first time the men performed together.
Christian, who’s a tenor, knew keyboardist Cordaro Rodriguez, cellist Kendall Ramseur, and harpist Mason Morton through their time in graduate school at Boston University. At one point, Christian said he realized the potential the four of them could have together.
“I was like, ‘Guys, there’s something here. I’m a singer. You’re a harpist. You’re a cellist. You’re a pianist.’ We felt we had something that was unique. We joked about it for a little while,” he said.
It was two or three years later, in 2014, when they decided, on a whim, to send an audition tape to “America’s Got Talent.”
Three weeks later, they got a callback, inviting them out to the show.
“We were like, ‘Guys, we have to figure this out. Are we going to be a band?’ We did one performance before the show, and it was for like 20 people. And half of them were my family members,” Christian said. “When we actually got up on that stage (on ‘America’s Got Talent’), that was the first real performance in front of a real audience that we had ever done as a group.”
The show catapulted their careers. They’ve performed at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, opened for John Legend, and performed on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.
Christian said it’s surreal. If he and his bandmates hadn’t sent in an audition tape five years ago, he said he would still be in a classroom.
“I had a moment when we were on the red carpet at the Emmy’s, and I was just sitting there like, ‘This is crazy that this is happening right now. It was just a couple years ago I was in a classroom, and now I’m sitting here taking photos on the red carpet.’ It’s been a real blessing and something that we don’t take for granted at all,” he said.
While the group is known for taking popular music and rearranging it to put a fresh spin on it, Sons of Serendip recently has taken to “digging deeper” and writing original songs and music. On Valentine’s Day, the group released its first original song, “Love You Still.”
“We’re trying to show a little bit more of who we are and our own melody and our own words and our own music,” Christian said, adding that Sons of Serendip still will continue doing covers as well.
During the Kokomo concert, Sons of Serendip will perform “Moon River” by Andy Williams, “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “Happy” by Pharrell, “Yesterday” by Lennon/McCartney, “Stop in the Name of Love,” by Diana Ross and The Supremes, “My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder, and “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5.
The performance takes place on Friday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at Kokomo High School Auditorium, located at 2501 Berkley Road. Tickets are $20 and available at the door 30 minutes prior to the show or by calling the ticket hotline at 765-210-0686 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The concert is supported in part by the Community Foundation of Howard County, Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Indiana Arts Commission.