Brian O'Neil was introduced to barbershop music at a very young age thanks to his dad, Jack, who sang in the Pine Barons Barbershop Chorus in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Though always enjoying the vocals of singing acapella, his only organized singing, until joining the Green Bay chorus at age 22, was briefly in junior high school. Brian started barbershopping as a lead, but switched to tenor when the chorus needed more support in that voice part. It was this move to tenor that opened the door to quarteting.
Starting in a pickup quartet as a timid tenor, Brian stuck with those other three guys to form Generation Gap, known locally as the Gap. In those first couple years, while learning to sing in a quartet, Brian progressed from a stick man with a voice on stage to a comfortable, experienced tenor as a member of GQ4. Brian had the privilege of singing with his dad, Jack, for two years as members of GQ4.
Brian's most recent music quest is that of joining the Schola d Arrezzo, a Chant singing group, along with GQ4 partner, Scott. Brian commented that Chant is a very challenging style of music. Learning to read and sing Latin isn't the easiest thing to do; next is figuring out when to breathe!
Technology is the center of many of Brian's interests, hobbies and even work. Whenever possible, techie stuff enters the scene, whether digital camera or camcorder, electronic pitch pipe, Pocket PC, creating videos or photo slideshows, a five computer network at home, MP3 players that play audio books or music, the list goes on. Learning computer programming languages, as well as creating and maintaining web sites are also on the list of interests. Scott has been a big help with Brian's web sites, mentoring him since 2001.
Spending time with his three children is taking growing importance for Brian, as the need for homework help, soccer coaches, playing ball and working around the yard increases. "I just love it when my four-year-old asks if we can snuggle together on the couch," says Brian. Great big squeezy hugs from my kids are just great, too.
On singing with GQ4, Brian says, "Singing with GQ4 is a blast. We take on a different personality when we're performing. We have a lot of fun together, especially when we can sing for people when they least expect to have a singing group appear, seemingly out of nowhere. It's great to see the eyes of the younger generation light up when we start singing without accompaniment. One of my favorite comments we hear is, 'You guys rock!'"