AcaVids 5-19-14: Women of the (a cappella) World

This past weekend was the final round of the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, and for the second year in a row, a somewhat non-traditional, all-female group won. Congratulations to Women of the World! These ladies are immensely talented and really interesting- you should take a look at their bio right here.

This week’s AcaVids pays tribute to them, and some of the other wonderful female groups in our community right now.

Since they won the national  competition, Women of the World lead off and get a double dose of love.

Next up, the 2013 Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions, Honey Whiskey Trio. I know we’ve featured them before, but they are just. So. Great.

Another favorite and successful competitor is the charming and overtone-tastic GQ.

From my neck of the woods, NYC’s own Stiletta.

Here’s the latest from the lovely ladies of Jaded.

I can’t help it, I’ve been a fan of The Boxettes for a long time now.

And, finally, some women who have been doing this so well for so long, Sweet Honey in the Rock.

AcaVids You Oughta Know: Hyannis Sound

The sun is finally peeking through the clouds and the summer season is so close that I can taste it! Everyone loves the summertime, and everyone is infinitely happier when they can waddle around in shorts and sundresses. There’s ice cream to be eaten, sand castles to be built, and fresh air to be inhaled vigorously.

As a new-New Englander, I know that this summer brings lots of firsts. I’ve never swam in the ocean because open and dirty water terrifies me to the core, and I’ve never seen Hyannis Sound perform. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone?

If you know a cappella, you know that Hyannis Sound is essentially a stepping stone for a cappella greatness. Alumni include Roopak Ahuja of MO5AIC, Alfredo Austin of The Exchange, Jeff Eames formerly of Overboard, and Ed Boyer who…I don’t have time to list stuff out, he does everything. As you may have noticed, the membership bar is set pretty high. Droves of gentlemen who are currently still attending college (between senior year of high school to senior year of college, to be exact) audition for a coveted position within the group. I say coveted because there are only ten spots each and every summer, and Hyannis Sound is kind of a big deal.

Since 1994, these guys have been singing in and around Cape Cod, making the commitment to live and perform there all summer long. From Memorial Day on, they perform at various venues, from private events to the streets of the Northeast. The group has been wildly successful with their albums, nabbing two 2014 CARA nominations for Best Pop/Rock Album (Over the Bridge) and Best Pop/Rock Song (“Somebody That I Used to Know”, Over the Bridge). It’s also impressive to note that they’re one of the only a cappella groups I know to be sponsored by companies. Not just little companies that your mom’s friend owns…companies like Vineyard Vines.

…right?

I think I’ve set the stage for you. Ten talented gents, the summer sun, melodies to make your heart melt.

HS does all of their own arrangements with a wide rep to please both you and your sweet ol’ granny. They sure do know how to work a crowd and a stage in true male a cappella group style: goofy, playing the audience, and that serves them well.

So clearly this one makes all the ladies swoon, because who doesn’t love a poppy summer jam? (NOTE: I am not, nor have I ever been a Directioner. Thank You.)

Yeah, Hyannis Sound does a really great job with choosing phenomenal solo voices. You may or may not recognize one Nate Tao slaying it. Who am I kidding…how could you MISS him?

And last but not least…

The first HS video I had ever seen and I was absolutely blown away. To hear ten guys sing so genuinely, and that solo…THAT SOLO. It brought me close to tears, and that’s really what a cappella is all about: emoting and expressing through music. Hyannis Sound is clearly doing it right.

So here’s the deal: come to the Northeast, enjoy the ocean breeze, and let the 2014 members of Hyannis Sound serenade you into summer. I’ll be there with floaties on (because I don’t want to drown in the ocean, of course).

– Heather

AcaVids 4-29-14: Spanning the World (April 2014)

Every once in a while I like to look outside the most popular American circles for a cappella which might have escaped the attention of many/most American fans. You can see the last edition of this campaign here.

Now, I realize readers from the countries, regions, or continents represented in the following post may be familiar with these groups, but I suspect that quite a few of our readers are not.

France’s Ommm

and their most recent

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AcaVids-April 20: Happy Easter!

Good Morning All! Happy Easter to all, or Passover to those who celebrated this past week. We are a week past BOSS 2014 and congratulations to all who won CARA’s! Special congratulations to Rockapella, a group I have admired since childhood, for winning the first ever CARA Lifetime Achievement Award! While I was unable to get to Boston for what was an epic weekend, I am happy to say that my students had the opportunity work with Deke Sharon, and what an experience it was. He was able to make a stop in NY’s Hudson Valley before hitting the road to Louisiana, where he has started production for Pitch Perfect 2! What an honor, and what a great person to learn from.

Onto some videos!

 

ARORA- Morning Light

The official video for ARORA’s “Morning Light” is beautifully shot, and brings the story to life. When their album Bioluminescence was released, I was one of the first to purchase it. It was unlike any other a cappella album I’ve heard. The songwriting is excellent and they have certainly mastered their craft. CARA judges felt the same as ARORA beat out Pentatonix for the Best Album CARA this year. Well deserved. While many may not realize that ARORA is a Sing Off alum (as SONOS), they hopefully will start getting more recognition for their talent and abilities.

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