Common Ground, a male vocal quintet, is performing Jan 27 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Everett. (Common Ground)

Common Ground, a male vocal quintet, is performing Jan 27 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Everett. (Common Ground)

Common Ground can’t keep from singing at this Everett concert

The Snohomish County male quintet will perform “Oh Danny Boy” songs and a Four Seasons tribute.

Sunday’s concert by the Common Ground quintet is themed “How Can I Keep From Singing.”

The musical chops of the well-known quintet will be fully displayed, with a mix of songs from “Oh Danny Boy” and a tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

The group is performing as part of a series of concerts by the Port Gardner Bay Music Society led by Lee Mathews, the long-time former director of the Everett Chorale.

Mathews took over as director of the Everett Chorale from Common Ground member Patrick Castro.

While Mathews was still directing the Everett Chorale, one piece the group was performing by Mendelson called for an additional male ensemble, so he contacted Castro about having Common Ground perform with the chorale.

Mathews said he and his wife went to one of the quintet’s concerts last spring and invited them to perform in Everett as part of the Port Gardner Bay Music Society’s series.

“There’s a lot of beautiful music in there for all ages,” Mathews said of Sunday’s event. “They’re just terrific.”

Here is more about each member:

Patrick Castro, second tenor and bass. He was the choral director at Snohomish High School and served as conductor of the Everett Chorale from 1988 to 1993.

Joel Cummings, tenor, is a real estate agent who also sings with the Seattle Opera Chorus.

Jon Cummings, second tenor, is a deputy prosecuting attorney in Snohomish County. In addition to singing, he plays flute and saxophone.

Tom Lafferty, bass. You’ve likely heard his voice even if you haven’t been to a Common Ground concert. He’s the guy making the announcements at Everett AquaSox games.

Jeff Thoreson, baritone, is an elementary school teacher in the Snohomish School District.

In addition to “Oh Danny Boy” and the tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, the concert will include “Loch Lomond” and “The Water Is Wide,” an arrangement of Verdi’s opera aria, “La Donna e Mobile,” a medley of vintage TV theme songs from the past, and, of course, “How Can I Keep From Singing.”

This is the fourth in a series of concerts presented by the Port Gardner Bay Music Society during its 2018-19 season.

Two more concerts are scheduled: On Feb. 24, “Music for Romance” flute ensemble and, on March 24, Sound/Counterpoint Duo, on violin and harpsichord. Both concerts begin at 3 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Everett.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

If you go

Common Ground, a Snohomish County male quintet, will perform at 3 p.m. Jan 27 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 215 Mukilteo Blvd. in Everett, as part of the Port Gardner Bay Music Society’s series of concerts. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and members of the military. For more information, go to

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