Music Co-Director, Social Media Manager
Member since August 2021
Alyssa is a New Jersey native who moved to Chicago in 2014 from Miami, FL (in a polar vortex!) after completing her undergraduate degrees in music therapy, music education, and psychology at the University of Miami. She now runs a thriving music therapy practice in the western suburbs of Chicago and is pursuing her master’s degree at Colorado State University.
Alyssa joined The Uptones to bring the joy of singing back to herself! She sings every day at work, and was so excited for the opportunity to make music for fun again. She has been singing since age 8 and has been an avid a cappella-er since high school; she traveled the US with youth a cappella group, the Rock 'n' Roll chorus from 2007-2009. At the University of Miami, Alyssa was a frequent soloist and business manager of BisCaydence.
Outside of work and The Uptones, Alyssa loves binge watching TV dramas, makeup, and spending time with her husband and their pup, Rey!
Member since April 2017
Solos: One Fine Day, That's the Way It Is, Bye Bye Bye (Boy Bandpalooza), Go the Distance (Disney Medley), Something in the Water, Sing
Annie grew up in Chicago, and she’s excited to be back in town feeling the Uptones funk. In college, Annie sang with the Harvard–Radcliffe Veritones. Now a lawyer by day, Annie just couldn’t stay away from a cappella. Oh hai, doggies!
Member since July 2019
Elyse has been singing since her debut as Helen of Troy in her fifth grade musical, Odyssey Rock. She continued her love of singing at Penn as the music director of Dischord and for a short year in Boston with Collective Measures. She moved to Chicago in August of 2018 to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at UIC (no, she cannot read your mind), and she joined The Uptones because she desperately wanted to once again sing beautiful music with beautiful people.
Apart from singing and mind-reading, Elyse enjoys running by the lake, exploring the local coffee scene and trying to befriend every dog in the city.
Member since September 2013
Solos: Be Alright, I'll Make Love to You (Boy Bandpalooza), I'll Be There, Waving Through a Window, Go the Distance (Disney Medley), Cages, Love Yourself, Don't, Story of My Life, Say Something, Man in the Mirrors
Ethan is an alumnus of Washington University in St. Louis, and of their award-winning co-ed a cappella group Mosaic Whispers. He is a computer programmer, and dislikes writing bios.
Member since November 2021
Isabella was raised in Chicago and has been singing for as long as she could make mouth noises. In high school, she sang in an award-winning chamber choir and was perfectly typecast as Rizzo in Grease. She went on to McGill University in Montréal, where she sang in Tonal Ecstasy and learned that she thrives as a tenor.
By day, Isabella is a licensed clinical social worker, and she currently manages a housing program for folks coming out of homelessness from shelters and encampments. She also does community organizing with multiple grassroots organizations in Chicago working towards prison abolition and supporting LGBTQ people re-entering from incarceration. She loves vegan junk food, family dramedy television series, playing drums, and making candles. She is also a regular at karaoke bars around Chicago.
Member since September 2013
Solos: Carry Me Through, Addicted, Under the Sea (Disney Medley), Let Me Down Easy, Not Over You, Morning Comes, Man in the Mirrors, Story of My Life
Born to a Spanish mother and a French father, Jim often pretends he hails from the tiny principality of Andorra, which is nestled in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. However, he is actually from the city of Belleville, IL, the town with the longest official Main Street in the world (9.2 miles, if you’re wondering). Jim’s family is one of those musical, von Trapp kinds of families, except they do not speak German and there are no Nazis… that he knows of. He learned to play piano by ear in the summer of 1994 and, as such, considers himself forever indebted to the Swedish group Ace of Base, whose popular songs at the time led him on a path of singer-songwriter stardom. A veteran of musicals, show choir, undergrad (The Stereotypes) and grad school (The CEOhs) a cappella groups, Jim did not hesitate when his pal Jen encouraged him to audition for The Uptones, a group started by the same folks with whom he started his grad school group. He did not realize how awesome and talented his new friends would be until he met them, but now that he knows them, well, he just can’t seem to get enough of them.
Outside of the group, Jim is a professor, a marketing guru, an improv actor, and an avid traveler, often to Italy, where he is known as pop music megastar Giuseppe Salvatore.
Member since March 2022
Joe grew up in Oak Park, IL, and graduated from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in 2020, where he started an a cappella group in college called Identity Crisis that’s still going strong!
He received training from some of the leading a cappella experts at A Cappella Academy in 2015 and 2016.
Apart from The Uptones, Joe is a member of the Connexion wedding band and teaches piano and voice at School of Rock.
Member since June 2022
Kevin grew up north of Atlanta, GA and went to school in Ohio at the University of Dayton. He moved to Columbus, OH after graduating, where he sang with the Columbus Gay Men's Chorus and their auditioned ensemble, Vox. He has made singing a part of his life since middle school, participating in every musical he could and joining high school choir.
When not singing, he currently works as a Senior Auditor in the insurance industry, and he's also part of a kickball team where he minimally contributes.
Kevin is so excited to be part of The Uptones and to have music become part of his life again in a new way!
Member since August 2021
Rod is a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University. He was raised in a musical family and used to play music professionally before grad school.
Singing and harmonizing is his main love, but Rod is also a guitarist and is learning to play the piano. He has a handful of albums of original material which he wrote and recorded in the UK, which you can listen to on his website.
Member August 2014–May 2019, June 2022–Present
Solos: Pony, You Are, Stacy's Mom, Beauty and the Beast (Disney Medley), Rock Bottom, Rather Be, Little Talks
Steve has been a member of The Uptones for years now. He wants you to know that you're just as special as anyone else.
Steve loves bulldogs and arranging music for his favorite a cappella group, The Uptones, the a cappella group of which Steve is a member.
Steve's favorite Uptones moments are:
In addition to the incredible people both past and present that make up the group, Steve's favorite thing is the new opportunity that each year brings. The continued growth of the group, Steve thinks, can be attributed to the quality of its members. And Steve is happy that he continues to get to be a part of it all!
Member since January 2015
Solos: Love Me Less, Pony, How Will I Know, Diane, Colors of the Wind (Disney Medley), Rock Bottom, Hello, Bad Blood (Taylor Swift Medley), Chandelier
Taryn originally hails from Cleveland, OH. She has been singing as long as she can remember — as the daughter of a choir director, she was often called upon to sing solos and various vocal parts to assist her mother. She has participated in many choirs (classical, contemporary, and show choir) over the years, including the DePaul Community Chorus. She attended Indiana University (HOO! HOO! HOO! HOOSIERS!) and received her bachelor's in Theatre and French.
After moving to the Windy City, Taryn completed her master's in Early Childhood Special Education. She is currently a Special Education Kindergarten Teacher and Developmental Therapist.
Taryn loves the theatre and has been an active thespian since elementary school and still performs to this day in various Chicagoland productions. She thanks her fellow Hoosier and Uptones alumnus Steve Boblak for introducing her to The Uptones... although she only came to learn he was in an a cappella group when he had a concert the same night as her classical choir.
Member July 2010–June 2014, July 2015–Present
Solos: Ocean Avenue, Closer, Stitches, Homegrown, Everywhere You Look/Full House (TV Medley), Story of My Life, I Want It That Way ('90s Medley), Just a Kiss, High and Dry, How to Save a Life, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Thor grew up all around the Midwest and, growing (mostly) done, attended Northwestern University, where he majored in film and sang with co-ed a cappella group Extreme Measures. He's currently the longest-serving member of The Uptones.
When he’s not singing, he works as a copywriter for an ad agency. When he’s not doing that, he’s probably surfing the Internet, cycling, writing movie scripts, or working on his own music. He lives in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood with his fiancé, Robert (also a singer, with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus); their two cats, Apollo and Artemis; and their in-unit washer/dryer.
You can visit his website to learn much more about him.