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jduchan's picture

“The Old Familiar Choruses”: A Peek Into 19th Century Glee Clubs

Contemporary collegiate a cappella developed from earlier styles and genres present in the United States: the major ones are classical choral music, barbershop and vernacular close harmony, and popular music. In this article I’d like to explore the first one by peeking into the world of college singing in the 1800s. As you read, see if you can spot some aspects of these historical ensembles that still ring true in your a cappella experience today. In histories of (Western/choral) music, American music tends to be an afterthought. But it has its own story, which emphasizes music education and amateur music making at least as early as the “singing schools” of colonial music educator and publisher William Billings. The founding of societies dedicated to choral singing is also important, the most famous of which is the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston (1815).

thatwesguy's picture

Ask Wes: On Buying Equipment

{mosimage}Q. Russ from Freeport, ME asks: Our son Nick is a freshman at Syracuse U and is into a cappella and beatboxing. He has asked for a speaker/amp/mic setup that he could use for beat-boxing. Can someone offer some guidance as to what we should look for and where we might find it for a fair price? A. Russ, I get this question frequently, and there isn't a single best answer, because in addition to budget, beatboxing style plays a huge part in sound system component selection. However, here are some guidelines that should help make the problem significantly more manageable.

rjsharette's picture

American A Cappella Alliance Formed

On October 12, 2005, a new a cappella organization was officially launched to serve avocational singing groups across the North American continent. Its goal is in harmony with other organizations such as the Contemporary A Cappella Society and the Barbershop Harmony Society, but its aim is perhaps more specific. This new consortium of a cappella ensembles, incorporated in the District of Columbia as the American A Cappella Alliance, includes ten member organizations at this point, each of which provides a representative for the AACA board of directors. The board held its first official meeting on November 5, 2005 in Boulder, CO. The current president is Roland Sharette of Colorado member group New Wizard Oil Combination and the vice president is Gretchen Boehmler of Philadelphia area ensemble Counterparts. Other members include groups in the Chicago, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington and Detroit areas. The AACA is a nonprofit corporation seeking to support a cappella jazz and other contemporary programs on behalf of its member groups and the public at large.

DekeSharon's picture

BOCA 2006 Lineup Announced

It's that time of year again: Turkeys roasting on an open fire, and holiday music streaming from store speakers before they take down their halloween decorations. And, most importantly, time to announce the line up for BOCA 2006:

JonathanMinkoff's picture

Inside Oreo: A Jingle for Record Companies

{mosimage}Mi, mi, re, re, do, do, ti-sol. Hum it. Sound familiar? “Milk’s Favorite Jingle” is the name, but you know it as the Oreo Cookie Theme. September 2005 marked the Finals in the nationwide competition to replace the well-known melody with a brand new one. CASA reported that Blue Jupiter won first place, becoming the new voices for Oreo on a national radio commercial with CASA board member Diana Preisler providing the voiceover and co-production by CASA president Jonathan Minkoff and the Studio of American Idol's Randy Jackson. But that’s just the beginning of the role a cappella music plays in this story.