The Cimorelli parents, Mike and Lynne, were both huge music lovers, although in very different ways. Lynne had her Master’s Degree in Music with a concentration in piano performance. She was a classically trained pianist and vocalist, and the music she liked to play around the house was a diverse mix of classical pieces by some of her faves (Mozart and Tchaikovsky) and greatest hits CDs from the ‘80s (she loved bands like Toto and Jefferson Starship).
Mike was never taught music in a formal setting, but he loved to blast music in the car while driving his kids around, or out in the garage while working on a car or project. His music taste was much more classic rock-focused, including bands like Pink Floyd, Warren Zevon, Neil Young and 10CC. Although Mike claimed he wasn’t a good singer, his kids noticed whenever he (loudly) sang around the house, he had a very nice voice and he also had an ear for intonation.
Lynne wanted to experiment with how early kids could learn to sing in harmony, so she began teaching her kids how to sing harmonies when they were around ages 2-4. (You could say this was where the band, Cimorelli, was born, as harmony is the main hallmark of the group- but more on that later!) Lynne also wanted to pass on her love of piano to her kids, so she taught all of them to play the piano.
The girls of the family especially loved playing the piano, and they would even argue over whose “turn” it was to play the family piano. Along with teaching her kids to play the piano and sing in harmony, Lynne also started a children’s choir at their church so they could start learning pieces of music and singing them at church. She taught them complex harmony arrangements and they started building their knowledge of classical music as kids.
From children’s choir, their exposure to musical opportunities and experiences grew. Their grandma, Phyllis, recommended the older 3 girls, Christina, Katherine and Lisa, learn some 3-part harmony arrangements of barbershop songs so they could perform them at nursing homes and small community events. They learned songs like Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and Take Five and began performing them when they were around the ages of 10, 9 and 7.
Lynne also put the girls in dance classes, and eventually they found their way to musical theatre, which became a huge part of their lives. In 2002, the Cimorelli family joined a local youth musical theatre company. They spent several years doing 3 shows a year and all the Cimorellis who participated, including some of the brothers, really enjoyed the shows. They learned a lot about performance and how to put together a great show.
During their time in musical theatre, many of the siblings also took dance classes including tap, jazz and hip hop, and workshops and classes for acting and improv. Their love for music continued to grow as they performed in musicals like Annie, The Wizard Of Oz, High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and Seussical The Musical. As they entered into their teen years, the older Cimorelli family was as obsessed with music as ever, and there always seemed to be music in the house, whether someone was singing, playing the piano, drums or guitar, or writing a song. Music became one of the central elements of the Cimorelli household as the kids started growing up.
TO BE CONTINUED... next week, you’ll learn about the early days of the band, and where it all started!