The five members of Karousel—Maya Ronick (guitar and vocals), Luke Jordan (bass and vocals), Sammy Krimstein (lead guitar and vocals), Maddie Aponte (keys and vocals) and Jack Husted (drums and vocals)—shone at Kentlands Under the Lights on June 15. Taking the outdoor stage at 9 p.m., Karousel’s signature harmonies, classic and contemporary covers, and original compositions brought the bigger-than-ever community event to a close around 11 p.m.
They came to Kentlands Under the Lights fresh from their June 9 MoCo’s Got Talent first place musician/band win at the Fillmore Silver Spring.
“We weren’t expecting it because everybody was so talented there,” Ronick said of the win.
“We were up there and when they called Karousel, we all kind of looked at each other. We weren’t really sure what to do. We were like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Krimstein said.
“Maddie was jumping up and down,” Ronick added.
More than 160 students participated in the sixth annual MoCo’s Got Talent competition. As a first-place winner, Karousel received 10 hours at Omega Recording Studios in Rockville. Before they went on stage, an official told Karousel that “‘There are no weaklings in this (entire) group (of competing bands). Everybody has talent,’” Ronick recalled. “She was completely right. It was a really tough competition.”
The five bandmates credited their instructor, Alex Applebaum at Bach to Rock, for their win. Applebaum, Krimstein said, “really helped us with our stage presence.”
Karousel performed an original, “People Change,” to win the competition. As part of the feedback after their performance, a judge told them, “You guys should start working on some original songs,” Husted said.
All five bandmates agreed this was the best compliment. They can’t wait to record their third original song next week at Omega.
But Applebaum is credited with much more than helping the band with their stage presence. He was instrumental in bringing them together and helping them to find their signature sound, one known for compelling harmonies.
It all started in June 2017 when the five musicians enrolled in a one-week Bach to Rock Gaithersburg summer camp. Krimstein explained, “Me, Maddie and Jack, we already knew each other from school, and then Luke and I, we had been playing together in another band since …”
“You were in third and I was in fourth grade,” Jordan finished.
“And I had done musical theater with Maya, and we all had connections,” Husted said.
But that summer it gelled. “We all had similar musical tastes,” Ronick said. “We all liked the Beatles.”
These days, with Ronick a rising junior and Krimstein, Aponte and Husted all rising freshman at Quince Orchard High, and Jordan a rising sophomore at Wootton High, the band loves the Beatles so much that “sometimes (unplanned) we all end up wearing Beatles t-shirts,” Husted said.
“And we all sang. (That summer) our teacher told us we should do songs with a lot of harmonies, and that started our style,” Husted said.
Karousel’s set list includes songs by the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin as well as the more contemporary Black Keys and Foreplay. Their band name also came from that serendipitous summer. “We were taking a walk,” Ronick recalled.
“At Bach to Rock, across the lake at RIO, there’s the carousel,” Husted said.
Jordan came up with the “K” for Karousel. “I was like, the ‘C’ just isn’t enough,” he said.
“My dad pointed out that since we all kind of do lead vocals on different songs, we all kind of trade off, it’s kind of like a carousel—so now it’s become kind of metaphorical,” Ronick said.
“We take people on a ride,” Aponte added.
“Yeah, it’s fun,” Husted agreed. “That’s the main thing about our band—we have so much fun doing it, so I guess that’s symbolic because carousels are fun.”
At Kentlands Under the Lights on a beautiful Saturday night, their harmonies took everyone on a fun-filled musical ride. Learn more at www.karouselband.com.