In the fall of 1986, Morgan Inniss and Craig Hickman, two college freshmen, noticed that there was something missing from Harvard’s music community. Two lovers of R&B music, they wanted to be part of an a cappella group that focused on soul, both in song choice and musical style. Seeking to diversify the a cappella community, the two of them founded the Callbacks and the rest is history.
Since that day almost 30 years ago, the Callbacks have grown in musicality, reputation, and friendship. We have received national recognition for our unique and challenging arrangements (6 Best Arrangement awards from the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella), impressive soloists (2 Best Soloist awards from the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and 3 Best Solo nominations from the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America), and high quality of recording (consistent selection for Voices Only and Best of College A Cappella compilation CDs). The Callbacks now tour annually to New York City and Puerto Rico, perform at functions in and around the Boston area, and hold a concert in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theater each semester.
Now well established as a premiere a cappella group, we continue to develop a broad repertoire while maintaining our passion for music, friendship, and fun.
The Callbacks perform at a variety of venues throughout the year, including galas, business conferences, bar and bat mitzvahs, high school workshops, campus events, and other private functions. In addition to producing one main concert on campus each semester, the Callbacks are available for hire to sing in and around the Boston area, and travel on charity tour to Puerto Rico each January. Our performances range from short and casual to black tie affairs, and we are happy to tailor our performances to suit any particular event. Some particularly special past performances include singing for the United States ambassador while on tour in Prague, serenading a couple at the moment of their engagement, and singing for a group of kids at Children’s Hospital, San Juan.
The Callbacks go on tour each year in order to spread their music and grow closer in friendship. For the last week of January break, the group ventures down to tropical Puerto Rico, where they enjoy a vacation from the stresses of classes and the cold Boston weather. A charity tour, the group spends a couple of days singing at convents, children’s hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations. The group enjoys the island’s beaches, snorkeling, and nightlife while also performing at a variety of venues. A true highlight of being a Callback, Puerto Rico tour is something group members look forward to each year.
In November, the group travels to New York City for an extended weekend. On New York Tour, the group bonds with new members, reconnects with alumni, and grows in friendship while singing at a variety of venues. The past few years have brought us to Trump Towers, the Harvard Club of New York, the Manhattan Jewish Community Center, South Street Seaport, and more. We always conduct at least one high school workshop on this tour, as well.
In addition to these tours, the Callbacks take a brief ski trip each spring semester. Singing in exchange for ski passes, we are able to enjoy (and embarrass) ourselves on the slopes in one of our favorite brief getaways.
Praise for the callbacks
"The Callbacks start with a bang and keep it coming the entire time. A pleasure to listen to. They sing with such raw emotion and guts. I love hearing soloists like this...it just doesn't get much better."
- The Recorded A cappella Review Board
"Don't Wake Me Up" on 1986 selected for Voices Only 2016: The Best of Collegiate A Cappella CD
"Jane Doe" on Sincerely selected for Voices Only 2009: The Best of Collegiate A Cappella CD
Soloist K'idar Miller in "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Outstanding Soloist - International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) New England Quarterfinals 2007
“Don’t Change Your Plans” on …and three wishes Selected for Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) 2006 compilation CD
Soloist Christina Vargas ’04 in "6 Underground" arranged by Chris Shutzer ’04 Selected for Best of Collegiate A Cappella (BOCA) 2003 compilation CD
"Princes Familiar" arranged by Matt Thompson and Marcel Laflamme Best Arrangement - International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) New England Quarterfinals 2002
"I Will" arranged by Matt and Chris Shutzer Best Arrangement - International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) New England Semifinals 2002
"Like a Prayer" originally arranged by Nick Wagle '99 and Esther Riggins '99, rearranged by Derek Smith '00
Best Arrangement - National Championship of College A Cappella (NCCA) Quarterfinals - 2000
"Two Points For Honesty" arranged by Sasha Haines-Stiles '02
Best Arrangement Honors - National Championship of College A Cappella (NCCA) Semifinals - 2000
First place - National Championship of College A Cappella (NCCA) Semifinals - 2000