Jarod Baker is a self-described people person with boundless energy and a talent for singing and making friends. All of that comes into play in his role as a member of the Macombers, the touring troupe that represents the College in performances and competitions across the state.
“I first heard about Macomb when I was in middle school,” says Baker. “Then I saw posters at Dakota and it was good to know that Macomb was here for me. I can say I haven’t had a bad teacher since I’ve been here. And, it has saved a lot of cash for me and my family.”
Baker enrolled at Macomb as soon as he graduated from Dakota High School in 2016. He auditioned and earned a place on the Macombers his first year and has successfully re-auditioned twice. He will be graduating next May and intends to pursue a degree in musical therapy. Still, he wouldn’t mind extending his performing career for a few years or a lifetime longer.
“I would love to do professional work,” says Baker, who receives a partial scholarship in exchange for the hours he practices and performs as a Macomber. “I love doing something that I enjoy and getting paid for it.”
Baker played the French horn and euphonium (brass-wind instrument) in high school, but didn’t begin singing until his junior year. At Macomb, he is also a member of Expressions, an a cappella ensemble that took fourth place in the Great Lakes quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella last February. Both the Macombers and Expressions are under the direction of Todd Moses, one of Baker’s teachers at Dakota before he joined the faculty at Macomb.
“It’s comfortable here, and I have been very inspired,” says Baker. “The Macombers are like a family. I enjoy the music and the people, and I have learned a lot.”
But an even greater joy comes when the houselights go down and Baker reaches out in song to an audience inside a darkened auditorium. That’s when he connects with his muse and belts out the set playlist, with Flat Foot Floogie among his favorites
“Performing on stage is exhilarating and I love it,” says Baker. “It has taught me to believe in myself.”