AACI Merges with CASA!
January 30, 2009
The AACI is pleased to announce that, as of this year, it will be merged with the Contemporary A cappella Society (CASA).
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, CASA is a non-profit organization that has been working for two decades to foster and promote contemporary a cappella music throughout the world. In addition to serving as the gathering place for a growing community of contemporary a cappella singers and fans, CASA fulfills its self-described mission to "spread harmony through harmony" by means of numerous charitable programs, including sending a cappella recordings to high school choir students, as well as providing financial grants to people and organizations that spread a cappella music and use the artform for charity.
"We at CASA have been continually impressed with the standard of excellence set by the AACI in their events and charitable endeavors," remarked CASA president Julia Hoffman. "A partnership with them allows us to leverage the creativity and manpower of both organizations as a means to better serve our common mission."
Initially focused primarily in the southeastern United States, the AACI was founded in 2003. The organization's original purpose was to create the SoJam a cappella festival, held each fall in North Carolina. SoJam has become a flagship event for a cappella groups, especially at the collegiate level. By 2008, the event saw groups flying in from many states away. Part of the merger deal agreed by both sides was that SoJam would continue into 2009 and beyond.
The AACI also brings to CASA a widely regarded compilation album series simply titled Sing, which features what the producers call "an international amalgamation of creative talent" of efforts by "groups at all levels... to push the envelope" in recorded a cappella music. CASA leaders felt that although appearance on a Sing album is a tremendous honor for an a cappella group, adding the program would not be any competition with the Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards, CASA's annual equivalent to the Grammys. Just as both organizations are reportedly merging peacefully, they believe their programs will work well together also.
"I'm thrilled to finally be working hand-in-hand with the AACI team," said former CASA president Dave Brown, who was instrumental in the merger negotiations. "Not only do we at CASA admire these talented people, but they're also our friends."
The CASA Board of Directors opened several slots on the Board for AACI personnel, and the remainder of the individuals in both organizations that are not sitting on the Board are assuming positions elsewhere in the new, joint organization. As if paying for their proverbial dinner with a song, CASA is an non-profit with limited economic resources, and consequently runs its myriad of programs almost exclusively via volunteer labor.
The new organization is already making a plea to the a cappella community for more volunteers. The new organization's Web site, newly designed by CASA web engineer Joe Antonioli and released just today, declared, "Where else can we use a hand? Honestly, wherever! We're interested in having you give whatever you have to share.... No matter what your level of skill or experience, we've got a place for you. Join us!"
The new CASA is not only bringing together former CASA leaders and AACI personnel, but also other renowned individuals in the a cappella community. Varsity Vocals president Amanda Newman, who also serves as the executive director for the widely known International Championship of Collegiate A cappella (ICCA and its sister program for high school groups ICHSA), has also joined the Board of Directors. Tim Jones, founder of numerous ensembles including the comedy group moosebutter, and host of the A Cappella Originals Podcast, has joined the Board as well. Ben Stevens, coordinator for the Recorded A cappella Review Board (RARB), rounds out the new leadership team.
The organization is reportedly also in talks to bring aboard several other leaders from the a cappella community.
"This is a long time coming;" noted AACI founder Dave Sperandio. "I'm thrilled to be able to bring the momentum and synergy harnessed by the AACI over the last 6 years into the fold of an amazing organization like CASA. As a united front, we're positioned to bring the entire contemporary vocal music world together, and I'm incredibly excited about what the future holds in store for all of us."
VI VOCIS VNIVERSVM VIVVS VICI
By the power of the voice, I have conquered the universe
The AACI is proud to announce the tracklist for our newest installation of the Sing series... Sing V: Groovus. The album will be released at SoJam 2008, but you can pre-order your copies TODAY by following the instructions at the bottom of this page.
Before we announce the tracklist, we'd like to extend a huge "Thank you" to all of the groups who submitted. The selection committee had an incredibly difficult time picking the inclusion's for this year's compilation. We believe that, with the tracks we have selected, the Sing series will continue to progress the a cappella artform and inspire everyone who hears it.
Special thanks to the selection committee: Julia Hoffman, Thomas King, and Jon Pilat. Without you all, this endeavor would not have been possible.
This year's line-up includes a plethora of incredible vocal music from around the world. We are psyched to have 9 originals. Without further ado, here is the tracklist:
Naturally 7 - Wall of Sound
UNC Clef Hangers - Ain't Nothing Wrong
UGA Noteworthy - Move On
Ghost Files - Come Back Home
Rescue - Unleashed
Mauf - Freedom
Cornell Chordials - The Moment I Said It
Stouxingers - When Love Comes to Town
Fairmont Eleventh Hour - She Will Be Loved
Duke Pitchforks - As You Go
U of O Divisi - Mama Who Bore Me
Lilli Lewis - Sanguine Song
Liquid 5th feat. Mia Renwall - Tourniquet
MIT Logarhythms - Blower's Daughter
Cluster - Let You Go
Rutgers Casual Harmony - Stronger
Mosaic - Manhattan Groove
Vox 11 - Two Sisters
Stanford Harmonics - The Sound of Silence
Duwende - Young Leaders of Tomorrow
11 professional groups. 8 collegiate groups. 1 high school group. 6 countries represented. And, again, 9 original songs.
A HUGE congratulations to all the selected groups!
Some interesting information:
- Sing V includes two world exclusives: Naturally 7's "Wall of Sound" and Cluster's "Let You Go"
- Mosaic has just won MTV's Next Top Pop Group
- Two collegiate originals (Pitchforks and Noteworthy)
- An international collaboration (go Liquid 5th and Mia Renwall of Fork!)
Sing V can be purchased in advance and during the weekend of SoJam 2008 for $15.
Clips and online pre-order information will be posted soon!
Call For Sing Five Submissions
The Alliance for A Cappella Initiatives (AACI) is elated to announce the opening of its call for submissions for the latest installation of its recorded a cappella series... Sing.
During the past four years, the Sing series has grown from a regional selection of recordings to an international amalgamation of creative talent. We have seen a wide array of excellent music grace our tracklists, ranging from unique collegiate rock/R&B covers to funky professional recordings to surprisingly fresh high school originals to deliciously interesting international pieces and more. This year the AACI hopes to continue our bi-dimensional outward trend (both geographic and artistic), and Sing provides a perfect opportunity for groups at all levels to show off their own efforts to push the envelope.
In accordance with the overall mission of the AACI, the goal of Sing is to present a slice of the best contemporary a cappella to both current vocal music fans and to the unexposed masses. The album gives talented groups and individuals on the high school, collegiate and professional levels an opportunity to be heard on a worldwide stage. In showcasing groups on all tiers, Sing strives to foster cross-pollination between scholastic and professional groups. As the compilation has grown, the series has begun to thrive on choosing groups and tracks that stretch the limits of the genre. This year's recording will continue to emphasize the trend, trumpeting the unity we all share as vocalists despite our differences in age, location, ethnicity and language. In listening to any Sing album, our hope is that each listener will appreciate the growing creativity of the a cappella art form and will be inspired to bring this ingenuity into their own local spheres of vocal performance.
The proceeds received from the Sing series will aid in funding further AACI endeavors, including SoJam and the A Cappella Endowment (ACE). The ACE was created to provide both need- and merit-based scholarships to scholastic a cappella groups and their leaders everywhere. The A Cappella Fund will seek to afford talented, dedicated and focused K-12 and collegiate a cappella groups opportunities for growth and advancement, with an emphasis on innovation, leadership and excellence. More details will follow later this fall regarding the application process for this funding!
Executive Producer: Thomas King (TeKay)
Production/Organization: Julia Hoffman
Selection Committee: TeKay, Julia Hoffman, Jon Pilat
Nomination Committee: Jared Allen, Blair Baldwin, Mark Chen, Pete Hollens, Andrew Rozynski, Rene Ruiz, and Ben Stevens
1. The album/song must be a mastered studio or live recording released after 1/1/07.
2. Submission must be on a physical CD; online submissions will not be accepted. Please contact the producer if you have questions.
3. Both original works and covers will be considered for selection. Groups are encouraged to submit originals when available!
4. Contact information will be collected via this online submission form: Sing Submissions 2008
5. For unreleased songs/albums (CD-R), please put the group's full name and school (if applicable) on both the CD & case.
6. The AACI will be responsible for securing all mechanical licensing for Sing for cover tracks.
7. If selected, all groups will be required to pre-purchase 50 copies of Sing at a rate of $5/album, for resale and/or distribution.
If your group would like to be considered for Sing, please ship TWO (2) copies of your album to the AACI:
1354 W. Hedding St.
San Jose, CA 95126
Deadline for Submission: SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
Track List Announced: NOVEMBER 1, 2008
Available for Purchase: SOJAM 2008, beginning NOVEMBER 7, 2008
Mail in your submissions today! Remember - the online form mentioned above (guideline #4) *MUST* be submitted in order to meet eligibility requirements for Sing. If you have questions, email TeKay at tekay [at] allforacappella [dot] org or call (919) 672-0244.
We look forward to hearing the newest round of submissions!
SoJam: BLACK. Preparations are being finalized for this awesome collaborative effort between the AACI, the SoJam 2007 winners, and selected SoJam 2007 participating groups. Read more about it in this recent blog by AACI Founder Dave Sperandio.
Submission information for Sing V will be announced early next week. Get your creative juices flowing and your recordings polished!
We're just a few months away from the sixth annual SoJam vocal music festival. Look out for more updates regarding our Professional Showcase, online ticket sales, class structuring, and vocal clinicians at the SoJam website next week.
Sing IV Review Receives 5.0!
The Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB)
recently posted its (near "perfect") review of the newest installment to the Sing series
(Sing IV: Good Medicine). We were incredibly excited to receive such positive comments from each of
the three reviewers...
"From choirs to collegiate groups to pro groups, Sing IV seems to have it all." ~ Jonathan Minkoff
"It's not a question of if you should add it to your collection, rather how soon you can get it in your hands." ~ Randi
"Sing IV: Good Medicine has hit this one out of the park with one effortless and
powerful swing..." ~ Brian Haverkate
Randi Stanley has offered the AACI a challenge in saying, "It's hard to imagine that subsequent Sing compilations can top this incredible highlights disc from some of the best professional and collegiate groups performing today." As the fall approaches, we look forward to meeting that challenge with selection of our tracks for Sing 5... and we challenge YOU, the a cappella community, to help us continue making the Sing series better and better!
2008 AACI Board Announced
Greetings all from the AACI!
We are pleased to announce our Board of Directors for the 2008 year. They are as follows:
President – Joseph Bates
Founder – Dave Sperandio
Secretary – Mark Hines
Treasurer – James Wallace
Creative Director – Alli Brooks
Public Relations Director – Matt Emery
Networking Coordinator – Kurt Walker
Scholastic Coordinator – Christopher Diaz
Recruitment Coordinator – Thomas King
We are thrilled to see what this coming year holds for a cappella music and to continue taking an active part in the growth of our community. We will be working to make SoJam 2008 the biggest and best yet, Sing 5 the most expansive and impressive
international mix of vocal music, and the A Cappella Endowment a potent avenue for creativity and ingenuity. We have also expanded our general team membership and will be brainstorming over the next several weeks and months for new ways to reach out to groups across the country, particularly collegiate and high school groups. More details to follow in the near future!
Looking forward to serving the community,
Purchase Sing IV TODAY!
Released at SoJam 2007, Sing IV includes some of the best a cappella music being performed from around the world. As an
amalgamation of rock, pop, traditional, soul, religious, and much more, this newest installation will
be sure to please any listener! We're very excited to include five original songs on this
Can't Get You Out of My Head - Basix
My Love - Clef Hangers (University of North Carolina)
D'ror Yikra - Six13
Mama's Room - After Dark (Washington University)
Aankhon Mein Tu Hai - Penn Masala (University of Pennsylvania)
New Hymn - Whiffenpoofs (Yale University)
Digging in the Dirt - The Beelzebubs (Tufts University)
We Need a Resolution - Vocal Line
Ohureo - Talisman (Stanford University)
My Sin - Fork
Cells - The Harmonics (Stanford University)
Magic Tree - Sweet Signatures (Elon University)
Canned Heat - Out of the Blue (University of Oxford)
Ready For Love - Hyannis Sound
Minstrel's Prayer - Midnight Ramblers (University of Rochester)
On the Edge - McLemore Brothers
Secret - Tar Heel Voices (University of North Carolina)
Heaven's a Lie - Faux Paz (University of Maryland)
Whispers - transit
Can't Stop Thinking About You - Firedrill!
Pricing of Sing Compilations
Sing IV - $15
Sing 3 - $10
Sing 1 and 2 - $5
Bundle (includes all Sing Albums) - $35
Order yours today!