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Max Kuchenreuther

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#FamFeature: Vox Pop

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on May 22, 2018 5:15:00 PM

Vox Pop is a contemporary vocal group from the Washington, DC area. Since 2003, the group has earned a reputation as being one of the most entertaining local groups of their kind. Vox Pop has been featured as headline performers at such venues as The Music Center at StrathmoreMaryland Hall for the Creative ArtsWorld Cafe Live at the Queen, and Jammin' Java. The group has an award-winning performance style, having earned top prizes at the Aca-Challenge (2015) and SingStrong DC Aca-Idol (2016) competitions, as well as 2nd Runner Up at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes. In 2017, Vox Pop was a headliner of the National A Cappella Convention in Memphis, TN.

The group has also made a name for themselves in the recorded a cappella world. Vox Pop's latest release, Very Good..., is the culmination of hard work refining their sound and style, resulting in a slickly produced album that is energetic from start to finish. The group recorded the album in the Fall of 2017 with producer Angela Longo from The Vocal Company.

Vox Pop's talents have been recognized with Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nominations in 2014 and 2016, including Best Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) Album, Best CAL Song, and Best Non-Scholastic Arrangement.

Biography courtesy of https://www.voxpopdc.com/.

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Topics: angela ugolini, a cappella production, Fam Feature

#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

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

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

Meet Your SoJam XV Competitors!

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Oct 26, 2017 11:00:00 AM

On the eve of SoJam XV, we're taking a closer look at each of our six awesome competitors this year! Representing Florida and New York, our six groups will be vying for the glory of being the SoJam XV Champion, one of the most heavily sought-after titles in contemporary a cappella. We've got the details on all your favorite groups after the jump.

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Topics: Competition

Humans of A Cappella: Christopher Diaz

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Oct 13, 2017 6:15:00 PM

Meet Christopher Diaz. Hailing from Newport News, Virginia, Diaz is a singer, songwriter, actor, arranger, and vocal coach for thousands of performers across the world. From humble beginnings at Florida State University, Diaz earned his Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance and led a cappella powerhouse group, All-Night Yahtzee to ICCA Finals from 2006 - 2008. If you've ever listened to any a cappella compilation albums, then you're probably more than familiar with his work, with his arrangements featured on every major compilation album in the biz. Diaz is a regular at festivals across the world, and served as a vocal coach and arranger for NBC's The Sing-Off. After The Sing-Off, Diaz co-founded a cappella pop sensation, The Exchange, touring in over 25 countries and six different continents, including touring with The Backstreet Boys during their In A World Like This tour. The Exchange went on to become the runners-up of Season 5 of The Sing-Off, culminating in headlining The Sing-Off Live Tour in 2015. Now, post-The Exchange, Diaz continues to perform with Freedom's Boombox, a trio consisting of Diaz and former Exchange members Alfredo Austin and Richard Steighner. We got a chance to talk with Chris about his journey from collegiate a cappella to being a leading a cappella educator today.

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Topics: Humans of A Cappella

Humans of A Cappella: Tat Tong

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Sep 28, 2017 2:15:00 PM

Meet Tat Tong. Hailing from Singapore, Tat Tong might just be the one of the most successful Asian producers in the world. After studying composition at the Yamaha Music Foundation and Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Tong looked to the future and broke away from that life to become a full-time producer in 2011. While at Cornell, he was a member of the male-identified ensemble, Last Call. With over sixty Top 20 Hits worldwide, 20 number-one hits, and a 20x Platinum discography, Tong is absolutely a force to be reckoned with in mainstream music. In 2014, Tong co-wrote and produced South African-Australian Troye Sivan's breakout single, "Happy Little Pill," off of Sivan's third EP, TRXYE, smashing iTunes charts at number one in 55 countries and certifying Gold in Australia. Tong is also a staple clinician and instructor at several Next Level seminars, most recently NLSWAGACA in 2016. We got a chance to pick Tat's brain and talk about how vocal music has influenced his artistry today.

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Topics: Humans of A Cappella

Humans of A Cappella: Katy Geraghty

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Sep 14, 2017 10:45:00 AM

Meet Katy Geraghty. Hailing from Gloucester, Massachusetts, Katy is no stranger to the a cappella world. While studying theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Katy made it big in the a cappella community as one of the core members of the six-member, collegiate-turned-pro group, The Hexachords. In 2016, The Hexachords were featured on the second season of Pop TV's ICCA docu-drama, Sing It On. Her lofty soprano notes and killer high belt can also be heard on their 2017 CARA-winning album, Move. Post-a cappella world, Katy has transitioned to the Big Apple, making her Broadway debut in Groundhog Day, nominated for seven 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Director, as well as winning the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical. We had a chance to sit down with Katy and talk about how her a cappella experiences shaped her as an artist today.

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Topics: Humans of A Cappella

Humans of A Cappella: Jacob Collier

Posted by Max Kuchenreuther on Sep 7, 2017 10:45:00 AM

Meet Jacob Collier. Hailing from London, England, Jacob Collier is a singer, songwriter, and master instrumentalist. Known by some as "The Future of Music," Jacob Collier is a world leader in experimental music. Getting his start on YouTube creating 12-part vocal harmonies to iconic songs like "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" and "Fascinating Rhythm" and possessing his trademark vocal harmonizer skillfully crafted by MIT Logarhythm alumnus Ben Bloomberg, Jacob Collier carefully weaves live looping and master-level music theory into sonic masterpieces that blur the lines between jazz, choral music, pop, funk, and more. We got the chance to sit down with Jacob and pick his brain on the next steps for him and his music.

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