If you have ever visited or passed through the Hoboken Museum in uptown, chances are you’ve heard the delightfully cheery tunes of Alessandro Pierpaoli echoing through its passage way. Or perhaps you know him better as Singin’ Sandro.
Sandro loves playing his guitar for Hobokenites, passersby and children. Because of his vast knowledge and deep passion for music, Sandro seems to be a human music machine. He always has a tune for everyone and anyone, regardless of age or background. We wanted to learn more about him, so we sat down and chatted with Singin’ Sandro, and he told us his Hoboken music story:
About his life and what brought him to Hoboken:
I was in born in Brooklyn in 1944. I had 27 cousins all living on the same block. I had a wonderful childhood. Lots of colorful characters and differing cultures. I think that’s why I loved Hoboken back when I first came here in 1966. Because Hoboken was very reminiscent of Brooklyn. I was a professor teaching chemistry, engineering and psychics at Steven’s Institute of Technology. Later on, I worked for the government via the EPA on environmental and water quality issues. Then, I worked as a high school teacher before retiring. I have a wonderful wife who has just retired + two sons that I am very proud of.
About his musical background:
I was so lucky to be raised in Brooklyn where I was exposed to so many different kinds of music from an early age. I was 13 years old when I seriously first got into music. I became part of an acapella group and I was the youngest. We were very good and even went on tour. While touring, I met tons of famous people before they were famous — like Bob Dylan and The Drifters. I didn’t learn to play an instrument until I was 15 when I bought my own guitar and taught myself. The rest is history.
His favorite type of music:
I don’t have a favorite specifically because I love everything. However, if I had to choose I’d say classical music. In my teenage years in the ’60s, folk music became popular so I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I do love all music. Anything that sounds good!
How he got the name Singing’ Sandro:
My middle name is Randall. Growing up I was always known as Randy. But, when I first came to Hoboken, I came across several other men named Randy. So people wouldn’t confuse me with them, I told people to call me Singing’ Sandro!
His most popular request:
Old McDonald Had a Farm for sure! The kids love it! Since the museum has story time classes, they’re always stopping by. That’s the number one song. I usually do pretty well with most requests. I’m not too good with the recent stuff that kids are listening to nowadays but I know pretty much the classics.
What brought him to the Hoboken Museum:
I love talking to different kinds of people from all walks of life and I enjoy sharing music. I get to do both things here and it makes me happy.
Have you met Singin’ Sandro? We’d love to hear about the experience in the comments below! And if you know someone you think we should feature, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!