Bret Fanshaw

Nickname: Bert Fernshaw
Hometown: Stoughton, WI
Joined FS: Fall 2005
Graduated FS: Spring 2009
Birthday: August 8

FS Solos: “Jesse’s Girl,” “Trouble,” “Pardon Me,” “The Luckiest,” “Feels Like Tonight”

What are your favorite recorded a cappella tracks? After years of late nights with Vince and Lee (and yes Cameron, you too), I would have to say the following: “Take Me Home” by the Tufts Beelzebubs, “Lately” by Brandeis Voicemale, “Don’t Cry” by Hyannis Sound (or anything Micah Cristian, really), and just to mix it up, “Crazy Train” by the UNC Clef Hangers.

What are your favorite (non-UW) a cappella groups? Hyannis Sound, The Bubs, MIT Logs, Brandeis Voicemale, UNC Clef Hangers, and I also want to give props to my roommate who was in the Dartmouth Cords.

What was the first a cappella song you ever heard? Almost certainly “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” by Rockapella – I used to watch that show all the time.

What is your favorite Fundamentally Sound memory? This is a tough question…  It could be when we first hit the groove for “High and Dry” and that arrangement finally came to life…  It could be coming back from Ecuador in ’08 to a group who had fought so hard to stay together and succeeded, becoming that much more mature in the process…  Or it could be the unbelievable amount we were able to accomplish in ’08-’09, and being around to see us finally hand off something we had worked so hard to build since that first rehearsal in the basement of Chadbourne in ‘05…  And everything in between, really:  Late nights with the Wagon, parties at Joey’s house (sorry Peter), tour, recording and finishing an album, learning how to arrange and teach music, pre-gaming with Derms, and those long group discussions that never seemed to end…

What was the first song you ever performed with Fundamentally Sound? “Jesse’s Girl,” duh.  *Swings fist!*

Have you ever won the Fundamentally Sound March Madness pool? No, but I do have a pool at my place in Arizona.

What are you up to now? I work as an associate for Environment Arizona in Phoenix.  We are a state-wide non-profit environmental advocacy organization, working to protect Arizona’s air, water, and open space.  I run the program work for the group and organize political campaigns at the state and federal level.  Right now our top priorities are to pass comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation, restore Clean Water Act protections, and make sure Arizona’s State Parks stay open and are funded sustainably.  If you are interested in political organizing or environmental work, just shoot me an e-mail and I’d be happy to set you in the right direction – I know a couple good groups that are hiring.


Bret Fanshaw was nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) in February 2010 for his arrangement of “High and Dry” by Radiohead as recorded by Fundamentally Sound on Stratosphere (CARA Nomination for “Best Male Collegiate Arrangement”)


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