Audience swoons over Sons of Serendip


By Dawn Hatfield

GREENVILLE — On April 22, music enthusiasts poured into St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville to welcome Sons of Serendip, a self-described “musical group of four friends, who through a series of serendipitous events, came together in graduate school at Boston University. They have each been playing their instruments since childhood, but in 2014, they came together to begin what they know will be a long beautiful journey of creating music that touches people’s hearts.” Following a very successful run on “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) Season Nine, where they finished in fourth place, the group has since released four albums and has been touring across the United States, performing 60 to 100 shows per year, “hop[ing] their music will resonate deeply with listeners and that, in some way, it will make their lives a little better – even if just for a moment.”

Considered a part of the classical crossover genre, Sons of Serendip’s core members include Micah Christian, a former teacher from Randolph, Mass., as the lead vocalist of the group; Cordaro Rodriguez, a former attorney from Charlotte, N.C., as the pianist and guitarist; Kendall Ramseur, a former cello instructor from Charlotte, N.C., as the cellist and additional vocalist; and Mason Morton, who is a former teacher from Atlanta, Ga., as the harpist for the quartet. On this special night, Nate Taylor, from Philippines and Washington, D.C., played cello and provided additional vocals. Taylor also shared a special story of how, at age five, watching an episode of “Sesame Street” with Elmo and guest musician, Yo-Yo Ma, sparked a love of cello deep within him. In addition to playing with Sons of Serendip, Taylor also plays with Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit organization based in Portland, Maine.

With poise and grace, lead vocalist, Micah Christian, began the show with contemporary pop favorite, “Somewhere Only We Know,” artfully arranged to feature the elegance of cello, harp, and keys. Classic rock hits like “Carry On Wayward Son” sounded as though they were always meant to be played by this quartet. Taylor’s haunting cello solo of “Nobody Knows the Trouble,” which he once played in duet with Yo-Yo Ma, left the audience speechless. Two Stevie Wonder hits, an incredible arrangement of Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game,” and beautiful originals peppered throughout the two-plus-hour show, like “Butterflies Fly Away” from their most recent album, “Mosaic,” blended seamlessly from one to the next.

More than just a musical performance, stories and meaning came flooding from the stage. Christian introduced “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, as “a song about hope.” Christian equated hope to “lighting a candle on a dark road.” He said, “It won’t show you what lies too far ahead, but it casts just enough light for you to see your way out of the present darkness. What’s beautiful about this image,” Christian continued, “is that when two or more come together with their candles of hope, they dispel more of the darkness and are able to see farther ahead, and they become beacons for others to find their way. Have hope.”

After a roaring standing ovation, Sons of Serendip shared an encore of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that blanketed the crowd with a sense of unity and left many reeling with emotion as well as music.

Just how did this miraculous group find one another?

Rodriguez was living with Morton and Ramseur when he first connected with Christian. Christian said, “When I first met Cordaro, he said one of his roommates was a cellist and one was a harpist. And I thought—oh, cool. I had a different vision in my head of what they were gonna look like. I showed up and was like, ‘Oh, you’re the cellist!’ and then I saw Mason and said, ‘And YOU’RE the harpist!’ I mentioned, ‘Yeah, I sing—guys, there could be something here.” Back in 2012 there were jokes about possibly doing something, but it wasn’t until later that a real opportunity elicited action.

When Christian first broached the idea of auditioning for AGT, Rodriguez was up for it. He spoke to the other guys, and everyone agreed, “Yeah, why not?” Christian recalled, “We got together and immediately, when we started to rehearse and go over songs, we instantly felt synergy. Right away, we felt connected musically and felt like we complemented each other really well.”

Per Wikipedia, the quartet has performed at iconic concert halls and performing arts centers, including Boston’s Symphony Hall, and The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and has also been featured guests at several charitable and private events, including Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Vision Tour closing party, Hank Aaron’s Chasing the Dream Foundation, Inc., the Ron Burton Humanitarian Award Dinner, and One Family’s 15th anniversary gala, where they opened for John Legend. Sons of Serendip has also collaborated with a number of orchestras, such as the Boston Pops, the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, oftentimes performing orchestrations written, arranged, and notated by pianist, Cordaro Rodriguez, and cellist, Kendall Ramseur.

Visit for information on the band’s latest music and news. To learn more about Taylor and Palaver Strings, visit

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

No posts to display