The Harvard Opportunes were founded in 1980 by a group of talented men and women who shattered gender barriers so they could unite their voices. Over time, the group has changed and grown, but it still values the importance of a close-knit and diverse group of co-ed singers. Comprised of Harvard undergraduates, the Opportunes are entirely student-run: students arrange, direct, and sing music, publicize themselves, and attend to their own business and accounting. The Opportunes rely upon CD sales and paid performances to support their equal passions for music and fun. Members of the Opportunes study a variety of fields, from Economics to Molecular and Cellular Biology to English, and they go on to work in just as diverse a range of professions after leaving Harvard. They hail from all parts of the country and form inimitable bonds in this talented, good-natured, and fun-loving family of singers.
Highlights of their year include a performance each semester in Harvard's historic Sanders Theater (tickets available from the Harvard Box Office) and two yearly tours, one to New York in January and the other during spring break to various locations around the globe. Previous spring tours have included the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico, Miami, and the Bahamas. The Opportunes also enjoy singing at various social and corporate events in Cambridge, Boston, and beyond, and they are available for hire via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Off the Page, released in 2008, is the Opportunes' 8th CD and the first to be available digitally and through sale on the internet. It is, like all of the Opportunes' music, a mixture of contemporary songs from a broad range of time periods and genres, including pop, country, classic rock, folk, and others. The songs selected for the CD were chosen by the members, and they represent the diverse musical tastes that exist within the group. Though the group sings mostly cover songs, its creativity, talent, and musicality brings a new life and energy that makes each song unique to the Opportunes.
The penultimate track, "Let the Music Play," is a favorite of the Opportunes'. The original song by Shannon was first arranged and performed by the group at the height of its popularity in the 80s and is used as a framework into which snippets of the radio chart-toppers during Off the Page's two year recording process are inserted. The result is an intricate pop medley, representing the group's ties to its past as well as its current taste and preferences.
The album's title was inspired by the lyrics of its first track, "We Built this City," which was included in the 2008 collegiate a cappella compilation CD Voices Only. Selection for this elite compilation is a great honor and a testament to this album's high quality. It is hopefully the first of many awards to come.
Off the Page was recorded in The Attic Studio in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. It is 100% a cappella.