The Vocal Company Blog

AJ Marino

Recent Posts

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

5 Books Everyone in A Cappella Should Read in 2018

Posted by AJ Marino on Dec 29, 2017 3:07:00 PM

With the holiday season wrapping up, it's time to start looking towards the New Year. Many of us start to looking towards way to get healthy and start living life to the fullest - and what better way way to do that then by challenging your mind with a great book? We're adding "Read More" to our list of New Year's Resolutions....join us! Get cracking on these books, and you may even get a special deal with the links below. 

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Topics: a cappella, a cappella books

5 A Cappella Audition Myths Debunked

Posted by AJ Marino on Sep 7, 2017 5:45:53 PM

No matter what kind of group you are, every group goes through the grueling yet exciting process of auditions. While it may happen every year, finding new members is no easy fit. Finding new members that are the perfect fit?  That's even harder. 

As an alum of 3 a cappella groups (and counting), I've been through my fair share of auditions - some great, some not so great. In my conversations with groups, I realized many of the same audition problems and questions kept coming up - so I wanted to investigate. What are the pros doing that helps them find the best new members every year?  I asked the current and former directors of groups of all levels and sizes to see what they do to prevent common audition mistakes.

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Topics: Rehearsal Strategies

How to Run a Branding Meeting with Your Group

Posted by AJ Marino on Aug 30, 2017 10:00:00 AM

It's the heat of August - you're probably enjoying the final days at the pool, huddling inside air conditioning, or finishing up your most recent jaunt around the world. In the back of your mind, though, is the constant reminder - Fall is coming, and with it, the start of another school year.

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Topics: Marketing, Projects

Aca-Wrap Up: ICCA and ICHSA Week #3

Posted by AJ Marino on Feb 15, 2017 3:58:02 PM

This past weekend, Varsity Vocals put on a whopping fourteen events but don't stress - we'll help catch you up on everything that went down! Skim to your favorite region or get the full update, we've got everything you need to stay in the loop as we head into peak a cappella competition season.

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Topics: Competition, ICCA, ICHSA

Aca-Wrap Up: ICCA and ICHSA Week #2

Posted by AJ Marino on Feb 2, 2017 7:26:50 PM

We're back for the second installment of The Vocal Company's Facts Only Varisty Vocals Aca Wrap Up. This past weekend saw 7 new events across ICCA and ICHSA, and we're here to give you the inside scoop on what went down. 

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Topics: Competition, ICCA, ICHSA

Aca-Wrap Up: ICCA and ICHSA

Posted by AJ Marino on Jan 23, 2017 6:55:28 PM

The 2017 Varsity Vocals season is in full swing, but we know it can be hard to keep track of all the awesomeness going on in every region. Whether you're making an ICCA bracket or competing for the first time in ICHSA, we want to help you stay in the loop! Every Monday, we're going to give you a facts-only wrap up of the weekend's events so you can follow along as the groups make the journey to New York City!

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Topics: Competition, ICCA, ICHSA

How To Get Paid Gigs: 7 Steps to Get You Started

Posted by AJ Marino on Sep 21, 2016 2:52:12 PM

When most groups think about starting new recording or video projects, the question on every leader or treasurer's mind is: How are we going to pay for this?

I'm going to let you in on a secret....every a cappella group has struggled with fundraising. Even the biggest success story you can think of, at some point or another, ran into an issue where they had to find more money to get them to that next step. There's good news though - there are real life cappella groups just like you out there making money right now, and with some concerted effort, you can too! Once you're ready to take the plunge, here are some good first steps to get you started making money through paid gigs. 

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Topics: Marketing

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest In A Music Video

Posted by AJ Marino on Mar 7, 2016 11:25:44 AM

 Ever since the introduction of YouTube to the digital world, the music industry has never been the same. These days, content is king, and the best kind of content to share with your audiences is video. How many days have gone by in the past week where you haven’t watched a funny cat video, seen a 30 second clip of a chicken parm recipe, or watched a music video of one of your favorite artists? Chances are if you are online, you are consuming thousands of minutes a video a year – yet a cappella groups rarely take up the opportunity to do a professional music video and share it with their audiences. We think that should be different, and we have four reasons why.

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Topics: Projects

3 Quick A Cappella Competition Tips for ICCA Semifinals

Posted by AJ Marino on Feb 12, 2016 6:39:34 AM

 ICCA has been constantly changing and growing, and what's become more clear in recent years is that winning is anybody's game, and groups are using it as an opportunity to work harder than ever. While almost everyone who's interested gets the chance to compete in Quarterfinals, only some have earned the chance to sing at the Semifinals level, and the question for these recent winners is - what now?

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Topics: Competition