A group after my own heart, License to Trill has made perhaps one of the biggest splashes recently in collegiate a cappella and beyond, turning heads left and right out of seemingly nowhere. License to Trill brings a freshness to college a cappella, and the community in general -- one where sheer determination and talented singers have catapulted this group into one of the greats. It's no wonder that License to Trill is nominated for two CARAs this year -- one for Christopher Diaz's Best Professional Arrangement for a Scholastic Group, and Best Mixed Collegiate Song.
The Yale University Spizzwinks(?) just might be a testament to the longevity of modern a cappella. With their trademark (?) appended to the end of their not-so-punny name, the Yale Spizzwinks(?) maintain being the nation's oldest underclassmen a cappella ensemble, while continuing to kill the game over a hundred years later. Like a fine wine, the Spizzwink(?) saga gets better with age.
From The Sing Off to the ICCA Finals Stage, Pitch Slapped has been a household name in a cappella for over a decade. People have always loved them for their classic black and white elegance and ability to turn basically any pop hit into a legendary, jazz-infused bop.
When Jacob Tourjeman takes on a project, he studies, practices, and puts his whole heart into it until it comes out better than you could have ever imagined. Well, he's humble, so he wouldn't tell you that, but if you've heard his work you'll understand what I mean.
Every few weeks on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, you'll spot a boy or two with a dashing red tie featuring an odd pattern - a series of tiny Abraham Lincolns. These unique pieces of formal wear are a long-standing tradition passed down through generations of the men of the Boston University Dear Abbeys.
“Hey everyone! Drop me a line and let me know about the stuff you are most proud of! It’s so great for all of your instructors to see and hear about your accomplishments.”
Northeastern University - where the winters are so cold you walk to class in tunnels, and the water is filled with minerals that makes everyone *really* good at a cappella. It's also the home to one of our favorite all-female groups of all time - Treble on Huntington.
Topics: Fam Feature
These days, more and more groups are arranging their music in house, especially in scholastic a cappella groups. Purchasing arrangements from the pros isn't going out of style anytime soon, and professional arrangements can be great tools for studying vocal arranging and getting into it yourself! For beginners and veterans alike, one of the most tried and true ways to improve your arranging is to talk about it with other arrangers.
Elliott von Wendt finessed his a cappella career at Berklee College of Music, where he took the reins as music director for the school’s all-male group, the CharlieChords. During his tenure, he brought them from modest beginnings to ultimately placing at 2015 Northeast ICCA Semifinals. After graduating, Elliott continues to mentor and arrange for many groups in the Boston area and beyond. Currently, Elliott serves as music director, arranger, and bass for The Nor’easters, most recently bringing them to to their win at the 2017 ICCA Finals.
Elliott’s training at the prestigious Berklee College has given him a rich musical palette — he has experience arranging and performing classical, jazz, pop, and electronic styles of music and is dedicated to making every arrangement he works on specially tailored to the unique singers in the group.
We reached out to Elliott to give us some of his insight on a cappella arranging and how to bring out the best in your arrangements by sharing some of his own experiences.