The Vocal Company Blog

#FamFeature: TCU License to Trill

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Apr 5, 2018 12:45:00 PM

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.

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Topics: CARA, Fam Feature

#FamFeature: The Yale Spizzwinks(?)

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Apr 4, 2018 4:15:00 PM

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.

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Topics: CARA, Fam Feature

#FamFeature: Berklee's Pitch Slapped 

Posted by AJ Marino on Apr 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: CARA, Fam Feature

Jacob Tourjeman: Expecting the Unexpected 

Posted by AJ Marino on Apr 3, 2018 4:23:00 PM

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. 

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Topics: CARA, arranging, Fam Feature

#FamFeature: The BU Dear Abbeys

Posted by AJ Marino on Apr 3, 2018 11:50:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: CARA, Fam Feature

Jill Clark: From Sapphire to Live Sound Savant

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Mar 30, 2018 1:15:00 PM
Jill Clark's live mixes are nothing to joke about. As our Director of Live Sound, Jill has mastered the art of turning your rehearsals into next level concerts. From humble beginnings, to becoming the 2008 SoJam Champions, and having several VP awards under her belt -- Jill Clark has blessed our ears with her vocal percussion prowess and her command of the stage. Whether you're bumpin' one of her mixes between your earbuds or jumping out of your seat at one of our concerts, it's safe to say there isn't anything Jill can't do.
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Topics: a cappella production, CARA, Humans of A Cappella, Fam Feature

Reaching Your Next Level

Posted by Shannon McNulty on Mar 28, 2018 1:00:00 PM

“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.”

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Topics: the vocal company, shannon mcnulty, next level

#FamFeature: Treble on Huntington

Posted by AJ Marino on Mar 12, 2018 3:45:51 PM

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

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Topics: Fam Feature

Jon Smith: From Self-Taught to Swingle

Posted by AJ Marino on Mar 9, 2018 10:18:34 AM
Jon Smith has many titles. Educator. Singer. Arranger. Director. Friend. Leader. No matter where he goes, he is the resident over-achiever. What makes him so successful isn't just his talent, though he has that in spades; what makes Jon Smith a superhero is his boundless passion for what he does.
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Topics: Humans of A Cappella, arranging, Fam Feature

Arranging Sorcery with Elliott von Wendt

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Feb 1, 2018 11:48:58 AM

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.

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Topics: elliott von wendt, arranging