In no particular order...
Zachary Weston Z'21E
Tenor I/Tenor II
Nickname: Wack Zeston
The long-lost lovechild of Marvin Gaye and Liza Minnelli, Zach won his first Grammy for his triple-platinum debut album Straight Out the Womb. Unfortunately, his career took a turn for the worse after playing the title role in the national tour of Annie. Thereafter, he found himself in the sunny, sweaty paradise of Orlando, Florida, where he spent his formative years avoiding theme parks. Like most ex-child stars, he treasures his privacy and asks that autograph requests be withheld unless sung with ukulele accompaniment. When not jamming onstage with the Zumbyes, he can be found serenading cats, complaining about the weather, and inhaling massive quantities of unhealthy food. He also indulges in board games, shopping, and the occasional jog around campus.
Photos to come soon…
Jordan Rubenstein Z'19
Nickname: Ruby, Boobenstein
Jordan was born and raised in New York City. Growing up, Jordan never sang. Instead, he spent most of his childhood picking flowers and looking at clouds. At the tender age of 18, he discovered he had an ancient demon sealed inside him at birth. After a really long and cool adventure, Jordan earned the powerful demon's respect and he was bestowed the gift of song. A week later he climbed aboard a ship and set sail for Amherst, Massachusetts. Nobody is quite sure why or what the connection is here.
Oddly enough, Jordan has never seen the color orange. His favorite food is birdmeat and he is always down for a good time. When Jordan isn’t singing with the Zumbyes he can usually be found building Legos or trying to figure out what makes lightbulbs work. We're thinking it's got to do with the wires!
Wesley Guimarães Z'19
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nickname: Zeke, Lesley
In 1996, Wes was born in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city of great summers, wild carnivals, and Bossa Nova. Because of that, he will likely not make it through New England’s harsh and unforgiving winter; his people start to freeze at 55°F. It is unclear how Wesley ended up in Amherst, Massachusetts, but current consensus in the scientific community suggests that he was “going with the flow”.
It was by going with the flow that he ended up in Italy in 2013. It was in the boot-shaped country that Wesley first fell head over heels for jazz. To his roommates’ dismay, has been singing ever since, and he looks forward to singing jazz with the Zumbyes, the most dangerous a cappella group on the planet.
Andrés Pascual-Leone Z'19
Son of Shakira and Enrique Iglesias, Andres has never been a stranger to shakin’ what his momma gave him. Contrary to popular belief his mom, Shakira, actually wrote the song “Hips Don’t Lie” about him. Not only do his hips not lie, Andres is also a truth-seeker. His hips usually lead him into fantastic discoveries of truth and validity. In one particularly astounding case, he discovered that, after many long years of research and study, clouds are actually made from cotton candy, not water vapor. This “water vapor condensation” myth was created by Willy Wonka to hide the fact that they were testing out new cotton candy recipes. Classic Willy.
Aside from salsa dancing at 2am and his investigative service, his hobbies include: competitive scooter racing, Troy Bolton fan-girling, and sometimes playing soccer. His singing career, much like Troy’s, started in his shower. While young Andres lathered his luscious locks (points for alliteration), he started to sing his favorite song: Circle of Life. He heard loud noises once he reached the end of the song and when he got out of the shower all the animals of the New England Kingdom had come to his home and were awaiting his action. With the animal kingdom’s backing his singing career took off and has led him all the way to this wonderful group.
Cesar Centeno Z'20
Nickname: Skeezar, King Centurion of the Eight Armies of Alexandria
*Plays Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Them Song instrumental version*
Now this is a story all about how
Cesar’s life got flipped-turned upside down
And he’d like to take a minute
And spit a verse
Tell you how he became a Zumbye in a place called Amherst
West of Philadelphia born and raised
Listening to Soul and the singers he praised
All the while, learned their style, so fly and so cool
and began singing some Bee-Bop outside of the school
One day he heard a weird sound, round the corner, not good
It was a horde of zombies tromping in his neighborhood
Had to take a minute to get all calm and collected Heard the TV say, “the whole town ain't slick, every one is sick and infected”
He was't nervous, no fear from his eyes
Climbed to the top of a building with his powerful thighs
Everyone was swarming , screaming, seeming all too obscure
But Cesar knew that only beautiful riffs were the cure
Stood atop his facets, looked upon all the masses
Knew there was fire to spit, too bright, so he put on sun glasses
Zombie horde looking, he sang so all could hear
Lyrics strike like lightning, infections start to disappear
Few months later, got auditions at 7 or 8
No zombie hordes in sight or battle of fate
He is ready to sing, dance, and slay
Next to the Zumbyes, spitting hot fire day by day.
Greg Franklin Z'20
Tenor I/Tenor II
Nickname: G-Reg, Grego
The name is Greg Franklin, and that's no lie,
He's pumped to leave Chicago and say bye bye
The city is where he wants to live, but first
He'll try the rural life out here in Amherst
He loves to sing songs, as you can tell,
But other things strike his fancy as well.
Like riding his bike all across town
Or golfing or football or just sitting down
He also loves comp sci, havn't you heard?
It's cool though. Please don't call him a nerd.
If he could work for Google, his dreams will be met
He can also solve a rubik's cube without breaking a sweat.
Favorite movie? Interstellar, I think I might add,
He also loves the TV show that's called Breaking Bad
He's stoked to be a Zumbye, and sing all day long
Fun fact, "Sunday Candy" is his favorite song.
Well that's him wrapped up, time for the last line
...but sadly, I cannot think of a rhyme.
Tommy Mobley Z'20 (Business Manager)
Nickname: T-Mobile, Timmy
Tommy grew up down by the banks of the river Charles, in Newton, MA. Although he was the son of a preacher man, he had a hard time making young ladies feel the same way that Dusty Springfield did. Instead, Tommy spent his days playing basketball and listening to the discographies of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and The Temptations. Legend has it that one day in Sophomore math class, a girl asked Tommy out on a date, but he said that he could not go out with her because “basketball is my true love.”
Here at Amherst, Tommy is still the same guy that he has always been. You can usually find him getting shots up in the gym, studying chemistry in his room, and singing sweet soul music with the Zumbyes. Where you will not find Tommy is anywhere that there are women, because quite frankly, his game with the ladies is slacking. Because of that, Tommy made his agenda quite clear quickly after he was accepted into the Zumbyes: “I need help with the ladies!” he said. Hopefully, as he learns about tri-tones, harmonic blend, and choreography, the veteran Zumbyes can also teach him a thing or two about how to talk to women.
John Ballard Z'20 (Music Director)
John Stewart Ballard was born in Kansas City, MO. He then moved to Houston, TX, then to Sumter, SC where he spent the majority of his days, then back to Houston for his senior year of high school. It is a testament to his own individualism that he made it out of the dark destitute hole that is the state of South Carolina with any sense of morality. Despite this, he comes from a very diverse background being raised by an opera singer/choral director and a college football player. It is from this upbringing that John began to hone his crafts, and today, he is fortunate enough to carry on his parents’ legacy while playing football and being a part of the most talented a cappella group in all the land, otherwise known as the Zumbyes.
Although he has followed in his parents’ footsteps, he actually made the great trek up to Amherst College to find himself, as some believe him to be the illegitimate child of comedian, Jon Stewart, who lives nearby in NJ. It is said that John’s parents may have added “h” in John to hide his true identity. With the wisdom and guidance of well-trained Oldbyes, John hopes to discover his true father in his time here, so he can finally be at peace.
Photos to come soon...
Tony Taitano Z'21
Nicknames: Tony Tone, Tonal Tony, An-Tony Bocelli
When Tony isn’t oozing liquid angelic gold from his twin infoldings of mucuous membranes during phonation, he pumps iron to the sweet croons of Sam Smith, his step-brother thirty-six time removed. Legend has it that Tony’s mother, Mariah Carey, had to have an emergency premature birth nine months early because the need to hear Tony’s voice was just that urgent. Legend has it that Tony also existed as an ethereal entity during the times of Ancient Greece, and that when Homer wrote of the sirens that called to Odysseus, he was really writing about Tony. “Can anyone rival this man’s singing?”, you might ask. The answer is: yes. Tony’s only rival comes from his remarkable ability to astrally project a version of himself that competes with his real self in a competition to see who can sing harmonics better.
Few have seen the actual Tony Taitano in person. This is because the real Tony is usually off in some Tibetan valley doing vocal warmups between two mountains, causing frequent avalanches to occur.
Wesley Combs Z'21
Nickname: Combs, Wes 2.0
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Chris Zimmerman Z’20
Nickname: Zim, Big Zim, The Zimminator, Rumplestilts-zim
Here’s an acrostic of facts about Chris:
Can identify 57 different types of animal tracks
Houston - born and raised, not like that poser John Ballard
Raced Usain Bolt and lost, but it was like super close, trust me
Inspired the song ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ by former flame T Swift
Second place in the 2007 Cup Stacking Junior World Championship
Two peanuts were walking down the street and one was assaulted…peanut
Often found in Study Room 1 on Frost A level
Participated in the world’s largest coconut orchestra (actually true)
He’s getting super tired of this whole acrostic thing
Elbows are double jointed
Really has a lot of letters in his name, holy cow
Zumbye lore says Chris descends from Frank Zappa
Is pretty upset he picked this format, but he’s in too deep now
Mother is Reba McEntire’s life coach
Macgyver is loosely based on Chris’s memoir
Elected Treasurer of 7th Grade Student Council
Rokay I’m just going to abandon this stupid format
Mwow, did you know that one third of the letters in his last name are ‘M’s
Ajust one more to go, almost there
Nfinished; now maybe the Oldbyes will get off his a** about writing a bio
Photos to come soon…
Elijah Gaddy Z'21
Nickname: Mr. Gads, Daddy Gaddy
Coming soon to a theater near you….
Based on a true story….
The origin of Elijah is shrouded in mystery. There are rumors that he has been sent back from the future to avert a robot uprising. Other rumors suggest that he is the son of a king from a hidden city in Africa. Other rumors suggest that he crash landed in upstate New York years ago. If that last one is true, one may wonder why he couldn’t have crash landed in Hawaii and just lived there, or at least been given some Reese’s Pieces to curb his intense hunger.
While in Latham, Elijah performed many feats. He joined his archaeology teacher on adventures to acquire ancient artifacts. He attended boarding school for those who are magically gifted. He mastered every single type of martial arts in a simulated reality. He even went to jail and crawled to freedom through 500 yards of foul-smelling garbage you don’t want to think about.
Now he faces his biggest challenges yet at Amherst College. Waking up for 8:30 am classes, eating at Val, stairs, juggling homework assignments, and his greatest test: singing with the Zumbyes. No amount of specialized training could have prepared him for the most stylish and intense a cappella group. He’ll have to be careful; one sour note and the group will banish him to another dimension with their powerful harmonies.
Photos to come soon…
Scott Romeyn Z'22
Nickname: Scoot, La Lechuga
The genetic combination of The Energizer Bunny™, Billy Joel, and the aquatic legend Michael Phelps, Scott Romeyn is one crazy cat. An 8-year-old boy at heart, he’s always on the move, often spotted whipping around campus on his bicycle at outrages speeds or chasing and photographing the many campus squirrels that cross his path. His spirit animal, the trustworthy and loyal Golden Retriever.
Scott grew up in Durham, Connecticut, its main attraction: the Durham Dari Serv, yes its spelled that way, and their ice cream is most delicious. This small cow town is where he began his music career, and where he discovered his love for ice cream. He enjoys eating this delectable treat while watching movies and television shows including, but not limited to The Office, Finding Nemo, Psych, National Treasure, etc.
Fortunately for him and his health, Scott is a swimmer, and can often be found grinding hard in the pool or getting swole in the gym. His aquatic achievements include singing songs with blue whales, racing the powerful tuna, and swimming with the king of the ocean, the Great White.
He is an artist. He is a lover, not a fighter. He encourages all to seek the joy of being alive.
Photos to come soon…
Guillermo Rodriguez Medina Z’22
Guillermo reincarnated from his previous life as an emperor nautilus into Caracas, Venezuela, where he spent most of his childhood wrangling grasshoppers. Shortly after coming to terms with his limited level of sentience as a sapiens, he decided to explore the invisible world of harmonious sonic vibration, where he managed to make 6 friends. At age 16, he decided to start wearing glasses to make it public that he identifies as a nerd. One serene August night, John Lennon came to him in a dream and told him to leave his home and go “find himself” in Asia. Without any rational explanations, Guillermo decided to leave hallacas and the alphabet behind and move to syllable-land, otherwise known as Hong Kong. Upon his arrival there, he fashioned the most powerful pseudonym in all of postmodernity: Memo. During his time in syllable-land he further developed his true superpowers: sharing food, listening, and sweating through his scalp when he eats spicy food. Overwhelmed by having spent his first 20 years as a sapien surrounded by 7 million other sapiens, he kindly asked the people of rural Amherst College to host him for four years, to which for some reason they answered “yes.”
Memo is many things: a skilled Pokémon trainer, a Rick, a Morty, a nap-taker, and much more. His archenemy is cilantro, and in his next life he would like to be a three-toed sloth.
Photos to come soon…
Emma Ratshin Z’21
Nickname: ‘ma, Elmo
There is nothing different about Emma Ratshin.
She was born in the rough-and-tumble streets of Seattle and quickly became one of the strongest, swole-est babies the nurses had ever seen. Every time she went in for a baby physical, the doctor remarked upon how she must be seriously getting her pump on at the gym, I mean, just LOOK at that vascularity! When Emma was four years old, she was cast as “baby #4” in an musical based on her life—unfortunately, she was passed up for the role of herself because her voice was “too bright” and “didn’t blend”. This sent her into a deep depression and she refused to sing in protest for many years.
In high school, she rediscovered her love for singing through school musicals and a cappella, though she didn’t get into the a cappella group for two years because her voice was “too bright” and “didn’t blend”.
When she got to Amherst College, she very quickly noticed that, as she walked through campus, people would jump out of the way and hide in bushes at the sheer sight of her bulging muscles, highly toned after years of pushin’ numbers and clappin’ plates. Naturally, she thought her first endeavor in her new school should be auditioning for a cappella, it being the most intimidating activity on campus. Unfortunately, her voice was “too bright” and “didn’t blend”, and she resigned to continue getting juiced at the gym all day instead. After a year where it was always gains o’ clock, she jumped back into the a cappella scene with the Zumbyes. When singing with the group, they said her voice was “just bright enough” and “blended well”. Three months after letting her in, one member did a double take, and said, “Wait a second, are you a girl?”
Photos to come soon…