Chance brings together the musicians of Sons of Serendip

Cordaro Rodriguez ’08 and his group, Sons of Serendip, made it to the finals of the reality-TV talent competition America’s Got Talent.
Cordaro Rodriguez ’08 and his group, Sons of Serendip, made it to the finals of the reality-TV talent competition America’s Got Talent.
Courtesy Sons of Serendip

Serendipity has played a pivotal role in the life of Cordaro Rodriguez ’08. When the self-taught piano, saxophone, and guitar player arrived at Princeton, he was delighted to find that roommate John Fontein ’08 was an aspiring music producer. The two soon were collaborating, and went on to land gigs co-writing music for singers such as pop star Kylie Minogue.

When Rodriguez decided to study law, chance came into play again. He applied to Boston University’s School of Law, he says, by accident — he thought he was applying to law school at Boston College. That led him to reconnect with childhood friend Kendall Ramseur, a cellist who also was studying at B.U. The two started making music as a duo.

Earlier this year, while Rodriguez was working part time as a lawyer, he and Ramseur teamed up with singer Micah Christian and harpist Mason Morton to audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent, a reality-TV talent competition. Drawing on classical influences, R&B, and pop music, the four called themselves Sons of Serendip, a nod to the serendipitous way they had come together. 

When they performed the alternative rock song “Somewhere Only We Know” on the show in June — after being selected from among tens of thousands of people who auditioned — it was only the second time the four had played together in front of an audience. The group appeared on the show throughout the summer, surviving several rounds of eliminations. Sons of Serendip made it to the final broadcast in September — when six acts competed for the $1 million prize — before being eliminated. But Rodriguez, who plays piano with the group, plans to keep at it: “I had let music go, and it’s come back to me.”