Dustin Domingo is living life a cappella
To Brandman University, Dustin Domingo is alumnus, an MBA student and a credential coordinator. To FOURTY4B, an a cappella group of seven spirited singers, Domingo is a baritone, at least when he isn’t being a tenor.
He’s also the newest member of the group named for the apartment number the original members once shared. Although only two of the original members are still with the group, they’ve kept the name even as they’ve added different members and expanded their repertoire. A friend and mentor, Glenn Clancy, introduced Domingo to the group.
“Music has always been part of my life,” said Domingo, who performed with the Moreno Valley Concert Chorale and later the Not So Sharp a cappella group while an undergraduate at UC Riverside and before working as a credential specialist at Brandman’s campus in Moreno Valley (now in Riverside) and then as a One Stop specialist.
While working at Brandman he earned his M.A.E. in educational leadership and moved to the Irvine campus so he could continue working in higher education and use his expertise in credentialing to guide students through the process. He’s working on his MBA, in part to help understand the business side of the music industry if or when FOURTY4B starts to hit it big. He’s already making use of his current classwork to develop skills in collaboration and communication, both needed when working in tight quarters with six other vocal artists.
FOURTY4B has already won accolades for their ability to rework radio hits. Some of their most popular arrangements include songs originally performed by Tori Kelly, Sam Smith, and Selena Gomez. They released their first self-titled EP in April, featuring five original arrangements and a holiday album releases Nov. 3.
“A cappella offers musicians a challenge to get a message across without instruments. You have to sound like a whole band,” said Domingo. “We focus on contemporary music, arrangements of what you might hear on the radio.”
Each member of the group has a slightly different musical background. Some sing or have sung with barbershop quartets, others with choirs and others in musical theater.
“It’s the smallest ensemble I’ve been in. Most my other choirs were at least 20 people, so this is particularly challenging. I really have to be accountable for my music. It’s definitely obvious if you mess up,” said Domingo. He’s the oldest member of the group and the only one who didn’t go to UC Irvine.
What they all share is a passion for music, using YouTube to put music videos out regularly. “We can use it as a platform and share our music, but then again a lot of different groups are doing that. It’s so difficult to be able to stand out,” he said.
He sees performing and singing as a “regular thing that I can do even if the income isn’t there,” but would love to perform and sing and have that be a sustainable income.
In the meantime, the group is busy trying to line up performances for the holiday season and hope their new album will spark interest among those booking public and private events.
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