Editor’s Note: The singers of WomenSing bestow an honorary Singer Spotlight upon our accompanist, Paul Caccamo!
Paul Caccamo is much more than the accompanist for WomenSing. He is a key element of WomenSing’s artistic creativity and vocal excellence. Paul first became involved with the choir in 1999, playing a few concerts. Since 2007, he has been our regular accompanist and leader of sectional rehearsals.
Paul CaccamoEvery Wednesday at 6:15 PM, an hour before rehearsals begin, Paul is in the rehearsal room, ready to run a short sectional rehearsal to not only drill notes and rhythms, but to turn those notes and rhythms into expressive music. Of accompanying singers, Paul says “it is mostly about listening as intensely as possible.” Every member of WomenSing has benefited from this listening, as Paul not only helps us learn the music, but provides feedback on artistry and phrasing as well. With his guidance in sectional rehearsals, and helpful pitches when we just can’t seem to get the right note in rehearsal, WomenSing creates beautiful and expressive music, thanks, in large part, to Paul Caccamo.
Born in England but raised in Moraga, Paul began taking piano lessons at the age of seven because, “it was the instrument my parents wanted me and my brothers to play…it is as simple as that.” He also learned to play guitar in his 20’s, and hopes to one day learn the cello. Additionally, Paul is an excellent vocal coach. He chose to become a professional musician because he “never wanted to live a ‘normal’ life,” saying, “it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been very rewarding on multiple levels.” In addition to WomenSing, Paul accompanies the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus and Piedmont Choir, as well as works freelance making recordings, playing in performances, coaching, and leading choir rehearsals for Campolindo High School’s spring musical.
When he is not busy making beautiful music, Paul spends as much time as he can with his wife Paula, and daughters Sierra, age eleven, and Cora, who is less than one year old. He also has a great love of the outdoors, and estimates that he has backpacked close to 6,000 miles since 2001, exploring the backcountry of California, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho: “A week of sleeping on the ground and living off of only what you can carry on your back is an extraordinarily liberating experience,” says Paul. One day he hopes to share this experience with his baby daughter, Cora.
Musically, Paul is inspired by artists who can express, “genuine emotion through music,” and states that his favorite WomenSing songs are “No Time” and “Bright Morning Stars.” Both songs “overflow with emotion, and in our best performances of them, the effect on choir and singer both is palpable.” Paul enjoys working with WomenSing because it is never boring and he always gets to learn new music. WomenSing, he says, can “perform such a wide range of styles and genres with aplomb…we work hard but we have fun too. If you’re doing music and you’re never having fun, you are doing it wrong.” The members of WomenSing have benefited immensely from working with Paul. We deeply appreciate the dedication, artistry, and kindness he brings to the choir.