Vocaldoings, Fall 2012

It’s been awhile since I got around to doing one of these, but there’s so much going on in the a cappella world, that if you took a day or two off from Twitter/Facebook/alloftheweb, you missed a lot. So, here goes.

The big news, of course, is the upcoming U.S. release of the film “Pitch Perfect,” which should open in most theaters tomorrow, Sept. 28. The full list of international release dates is available here.

I attended a screening for an upcoming post for CASA, and I am curious to see how the general public feels about this movie. For now, you can find the beginnings of what will be a variety of “Pitch Perfect” articles on CASA’s website right here and you can see the recent Mike Thompkins video for “Starships” which features a number of the actors from the movie here.


Duwende announced that longtime bass Ari Picker will be leaving the group. I first saw the group 11 years ago, and only he, Ed Chung, and Abbey Janes remain from that version of the group. It’s a shame, because he and Ed have consistently produced, over the years, one of the most locked-in rhythm sections I’ve seen. We all wish him the best, and hope they can find a worthy replacement!

Notable newcomers “The Lost Dogs,” featuring (among others) Ithacappella alums Rob Deitz,  Nate Tao, and Harry Nichols and Cornell Chordials alum Ariel Arbisser have changed their name to “The Funx.” You can check out their new Facebook page here. They also released a snippet from a new original song here, and are currently touring in western New York.

Danny Ozment at Emerald City Productions has been busy lately, with his new blog “Behind the Aca-Curtain,”  and his new self-recorded, mixed, and most importantly, performed cover of “Mercy” by the Dave Matthews Band which you can check out here. The most interesting note to me personally, however, was that ECP is going to be releasing a collection of children’s songs performed by a number of terrific a cappella folks like Peter Hollens, Rajaton, and Postyr Project, among others. For those of us in the a cappella community with young children, this sounds like a must-have album and something I talked with Chad Bergeron (Acapodcast) about back in April at the BOSS festival. Looking forward to more details on this collection!

Cut Off A Cappella, from Rochester, NY, have a new Kickstarter campaign to help fund their debut CD. Check it out here.

The Vocal Company has announced a new service where they rent you, the singers, equipment and provide advice which will help you do the recording yourself. The service is called DIY A Cappella, and you can check out the details here.

The Sing Off China has concluded, and congratulations to the winning group, Freeman. The first runner-up was MICappella, a group I have featured previously on the AcaVids segment. For some great commentary on the entire season of the show, check out the blog “I Speak in Song” right here.

Sled Dog Studios is gearing up for another, shorter version of their workshop, this time called “Next Level 1.5” which will feature Dave Sperandio (instead of Tat Tong), James Cannon, Dave Longo, Tom Anderson, Kari Francis, Ted Trembinski, Jeston Lewis, and Benjamin Stevens. You can find out more on the workshop right here.

Sing Off Season 3 competitors (and terrific ones at that) Afro Blue have officially changed their name to Traces of Blue. You can check out their new website here.


In less than a month, AcappellaFest will be taking over the midwest in Chicago, IL. The professional showcase will feature The Edge Effect and Sonos, and there are a number of new workshops and presenters, so if you’re available and have the funds, it looks to be a great festival. Find more info here.

Overboard is currently on tour across the eastern seaboard and midwest. A few of their gigs will feature guest singers Johanna Vinson from Delilah and Musae and Donovan Davis. Check out the tour info here.

International alert: Florian Stadtler at the Vocal Blog has a new post about a German festival called Sangeslust which is coming up very soon. You can find the post here.

Future festivals alert: SoJam will be celebrating its 10th year with a ridiculous collection of talent for the main concert that includes Fork, Pentatonix, and The Edge Effect. Check out the SoJam website for more details here.

Sing Strong has officially multiplied, as 2013 will feature two separate festivals, one in Washington D.C. and a second in Chicago. No details on each festival yet, but there is also a tantalizing link which says “Start a SingStrong in my area.”  As of now, when you click, it only says “Info Coming Soon…” Stay tuned to http://www.singstrong.org/


The Exchange, the new “vocal boyband”/supergroup featuring Alfredo Austin, Christopher Diaz,  Aaron Sperber, Richard Steighner, and Jamal Moore have released their first clip, a cover of Jessie J’s “Domino,” which is quite good and which you can listen to right here.

The lovely ladies of Musae have a new video of them performing “Without You,” which is lush and moving, and which is located here.

The Boxettes have a new live video from a performance at the National Theatre London, which you can find here.

A few weeks ago, Peter Hollens released a second video with Lindsey Stirling, again featuring stunning nature backdrops, this time dedicated to “Game of Thrones,” which is available here. His most recent video is a parody on the hypocrisy and pandering of national politicians in a cover of Bruno Mars’s “The Lazy Song” which he and Luke Conard call “The Lazy Politicians Song.”

*Late Addition: Pentatonix released this quickly thrown-together video today. How do they make it look so easy? This.


One of the biggest entertainment outlets to mock, er feature, a cappella music over the past few years was NBC’s The Office, where Ed Helms has repeatedly referred to his former Cornell group, “Here Comes Treble.” Well, it appears that his former Daily Show co-star (and current Comedy Central host/icon) Stephen Colbert will be appearing on an upcoming episode of The Office as “Broccoli Rob,” a former member of the Cornell group. You can read the rest of the article here.

Ben Folds is known to many in the a cappella community as a judge for all 3 seasons of The Sing Off and the guy who compiled an entire album of college groups covering his own songs. For those of us a little older, he was the former bandleader of the terrific trio, Ben Folds Five. This band was one of the best I have ever seen at harmonizing while rocking out, and their witty and punchy songs were extremely popular with college a cappella groups (including my own) in the late ’90’s. The good news is, they’re back together with a brand new  album which I already love. It is available for purchase in all the typical web outlets.

What do you think?