The leaves have fallen, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the annual holiday music aca-outpouring has begun. This is a busy time of year for all of us, so forgive us if we missed anything and for the brevity of the “Releases” and “Videos” sections this month.
– Pentatonix leads the news once again with their performance at the American Music Awards, where they were introduced by Harrison Ford (!) and then performed a Star Wars medley. Read about it here (with video). Also at the AMA’s, Pitch Perfect 2 won the Top Soundtrack and Anna Kendrick thanked Deke Sharon and Ed Boyer in her acceptance speech. In other Pentatonix news, the group appeared on ABC’s The Muppets program and announced the winners of the MACY’s a cappella challenge. Congratulations to Briarcrest Christian School’s One Voice, UCD’s MIX, and Orange Center Elementary School.
– The Swingles performed with and opened for jazz vocalist and composer Kurt Elling at the London Jazz Festival, and the Guardian offered a very positive review. The Swingles will be performing in the United States, Italy, and Russia this coming month, with a lot more to come in 2016. You can check to see if they will be near you on their website. Lastly, the group released their new Christmas album, Yule Songs Vol. II, which is available online now.
– Deke Sharon had a busy month, going to Facebook HQ and working with their resident group The Vocal Network; he also did Q&A which was available to watch live on his FB page. The new book “A Cappella,” which Deke co-authored with Ben Spalding and Brody McDonald, was released and is available for purchase on Amazon here. The press release for Deke’s Vocalosity tour was issued with a promo video. Deke also serves as a judge and adviser on the upcoming Lifetime television program Pitch Slapped. The first episode of the show is available here and Deke announced on Twitter that applications for Season are now being accepted. Deke issued another entertaining video rant, this time about arranging for women’s a cappella music. Lastly, Deke called in to talk with Claude McKnight of Take 6 about his projects and the state of contemporary a cappella music.
– The House Jacks recently had their first official show with their new lineup at their home venue in Berkeley, CA, The Freight and Salvage. Special shout out to Mark Joseph for making a great impression on the home base crowd, and to Nick Girard for singing for ten days with bronchitis – you’re both champs! Troy – so good to have you back!
– Home Free were featured in an article on Billboard.com for their recent video with Kenny Rogers. Congratulations, guys! The group’s own Chris Rupp also announced his official website for some side projects he has planned, which you can read more about here.
– Jerry Lawson was individually inducted into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame and performed with the Groove Barbers (3 original members of Rockapella plus Kevin Weist), and you can watch that here.
– Camp A Cappella registration is open now, and you can save $50 by registering now.
– Our friends at A Cappella The Musical (featured here and reviewed here back in July) won the New York Music Festival Stage Rights Publishing Award. Congratulations to Greg, Vynnie, and the whole team!
– Canadian vocal band Eh440 bid farewell to beatboxer Mike Celia but welcomed in new member Jake Stern. The band then hit the road to perform for much of the month in Germany, and you can see a lot of highlights on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Eh440.
– Music notation software company Noteflight announced the winner of their a cappella competition, Brandy Kay Riha. Brava, Brandy!
– On November 29, Straight No Chaser streamed a concert live from Durham, North Carolina.
– Here at Acatribe, Aaron Director, from Acaville Radio and regular contributor here, wrote about the “naturalism debate” in a cappella here and Matt Warren wrote about high school a cappella and teacher evaluation systems right here.
– SoJam was held for the first time in Atlanta, GA this year. UCD’s Lark won the Friday night competition and were interviewed for the Phoenix A cappella blog here. Naturally 7 and Women of the World headlined the festival and by all accounts both groups were excellent.