AcaVids- Week of June 30

Hello Everyone!

Summer has started, and if you are a teacher like me, you have the next two months to unwind! This weeks acavids is focusing on a few things: Live Looping, Vocal Percussion and America!  I have been avidly watching the World Cup and cannot be more excited with how the USMNT has been playing.  Combine that with the  celebration of our nations independence and you can’t help but feel super patriotic: possibly even more patriotic than Captain America eating Apple Pie at a Baseball game.

As for the focus on vocal percussion, I received some great news earlier this month.  I was informed that I  have been accepted to present at the National American Choral Dirctors Association (ACDA) Conference this coming February on ” Vocal Percussion in Contemporary Choral Music”.  I could not be more excited to represent the A Cappella Educators Association (, ACDA, and the A Cappella Community on a national level.

On to some videos:

Kid Beyond– Wandering Star

Kid Beyond is fantastic at what he does.  A former vocal percussionist for The Housejacks, Andrew Chaikin went on to make a name for himself as Kid Beyond.  His music has actually been featured in video games and watching his live show is fascinating and entertaining all at once.  The use of looping pedals and Ableton Live make his performances possible.  Enjoy!

Mike Why

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Why in 2005.  I was with the Sons of Pitches out of Ithaca and we were performing and giving a clinic at the East Coast A Cappella Summit.  Mike made the trip from Pittsburgh and had many questions about how to start up an a cappella group.  He was very adamant about bringing the a cappella scene to Pittsburgh.  Two years later, my group The Fault Line, reached the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals.  Turns out, so did Mike’s group Doubleshot! It was great to see Mike push for a cappella in Pittsburgh and make it successful. Now, Mike has been into live looping full time for a little over a year, still making a name for himself in Pittsburgh and has just released his debut EP.  Check him out at


Dave Baumgartner with Bobby McFerrin- Impromptu Beatbox Duet

Another guy I had the pleasure of working with a while back was Dave Baumgartner.  Dave filled in a few times as vocal percussion for the Sons of Pitches and The Fault Line, and had a successful run with Almost Recess out of North Carolina.  He posted this video a while back.  He had the opportunity to hop up on stage with of my idols, Bobby McFerrin.  He did not disappoint.


The Gaither Vocal Band- Star Spangled Banner

This Friday is Independence Day.  What better way to get in the spirit than with a gorgeous rendition of the National Anthem performed by the Gaither Vocal Band.


NANOShorts Entertainment- The American Horror Story Theme

This one is silly and just for fun.  American Horror Story is one of my favorite shows.  If you asked me if the opening theme song could be done a cappella, I would have said no.  These guys make it fun, silly, and awkward at the same time.

Before I go,  I have to make a shameless plug.  My students’ a cappella group is gearing up to perform at Carnegie Hall with Deke Sharon and many other a cappella singers from around the world.  They could use a little help with fundraising.  Please consider going to our GoFundMe Page and making a small donation.  The link is below.

Help the Eldred Key Elements get to Carnegie Hall!-

Here is to a wonderful summer!



What do you think?