CASA is run by a very dedicated team of a cappella enthusiasts. If you want to contact any of us, send to our individual emails listed below, or send a general email to email@example.com
Board of Directors
Tom Anderson President
Tom Anderson is a professional arranger specializing in a cappella music. Originally from northern Minnesota, he was a member of professional Minneapolis aca group Four Shadow at age 19. While studying music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Tom was the original music director of UWEC a cappella group Fifth Element and played piano in the jazz band that DownBeat Magazine named the best in the country. He also had his first brush with CASA, serving as Wisconsin CASA ambassador and as the inaugural coordinator of the A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs). After college, he returned to the road as a member of Boston pro group Ball in the House before leaving to attend law school.
After a five-year detour as a practicing attorney, Tom is now back where he belongs, making music full-time. His clients - through his studio and arranging shop, Random Notes - include some of the top names at all levels of a cappella, from "Sing-Off" competitors (Committed, On the Rocks) and ICHSA champs (Limited Edition, Vocal Rush) to pro groups (the Swingle Singers, Cluster, Peter Hollens) and "mainstream" entertainment companies (Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Disney theme parks). Tom is a frequent instructor and masterclinician at a cappella festivals and workshops and also serves as CASA's Director of Media Development. He is a diehard Twins fan and is certain that 2016 is their year. @RandomNotesLLC
Greg Rubin Vice President
Greg was raised in Boston and started his a cappella career as a member and Musical Director of The Trinity Pipes at Trinity College. In 2005 Greg started Custom Acappella, an arranging and vocal consulting company, and in 2008 Greg assumed his current position as Musical Director of the NYC based group Ten & Change. He also directs a group at a high school in the Lower East Side and is an ICCA judge. Greg's professional background includes time as a strategy consultant and as a marketing director at Sony Music and Jive Records. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife. Greg holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. @greg_rubin
Deke Sharon Founder
Deke Sharon has been singing a cappella since the age of five and spent his formative years with one foot in traditional choral idioms (church choir, San Francisco Boys' Chorus, madrigal groups, barbershop quartets) and the other in rock bands. The two came together during his tenure as music director of the Tufts Beelzebubs, and he formed CASA in hopes of creating a community of like-minded acappellaheads.
Often called the "father of contemporary a cappella", Deke has played a prominent and influential role in the formation of CASA's many outreach programs. Most recently, he founded the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL), a national network of a cappella groups for post-collegiate and adult singers.Deke founded and has been singing in the vocal rock band The House Jacks since 1991. The group has produced seven full-length albums and completed multiple world tours. He arranges and directs the groups on NBC's a cappella competition reality show, "The Sing-Off". @dekesharon
Stefanie has had extensive involvement in the vocal music world. She began singing as a baby, to alert her family to remove her from her crib (hey, it beats crying and screaming) and joined the Cherub Choir at church at age four, and continued singing throughout her youth. She graduated from Carthage College where she sang in both the women's choir and the Carthage Choir, supposedly the second oldest touring choir in the United States. While at Carthage, she minored in Vocal Music Performance and was active in the music fraternity, Lambda Kappa.
Stefanie loves to sing but equally enjoys working behind the scenes to produce and promote great shows. She booked many a cappella acts to perform at her college and, since graduating, has publicized, promoted and helped numerous a cappella acts (Sean Altman, The Bobs, Da Vinci's Notebook, Minimum Wage, Kid Beyond, and Duwende, to name a few) book shows in the NYC area. She served previously as CASA's Co-Ambassador Coordinator, and Membership Director, has been a CARA judge for the last 3 years, and has coordinated the merchandise sales at both SoJam and the East Coast Summit.
Stefanie loves turkey bacon, despises mushrooms and the song "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang, and currently resides in Northern Virginia, where she spends her days working with IP attorneys in DC.
Steve Ryan Treasurer
Steve Ryan got his first taste of the a cappella experience as a performer with the Georgia Tech Sympathetic Vibrations, starting in 2004. By the time Georgia Tech was finished with him, he had started (and eventually finished) the group's second CD project, and founded a new multi-cultural vocal group dedicated to a fusion of various global musical styles. Steve continues to work closely with a cappella groups in the Metro-Atlanta area and around the southeast as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, and general consultant.
In 2008, Steve started volunteering with the SoJam production team to make the event bigger and better than ever, and is excited about working directly with CASA to promote the performance and appreciation of contemporary a cappella. He'll be acting as the Treasurer and continuing to work on the SoJam Festival each year. @stevejohnryan
Joe AntonioliDirector of Technology
Joe Antonioli started performing a cappella in 1992 with the University of Vermont Top Cats. After college, he started two summer high school groups, Vermont's Own Class Act, and Vermont Velvet. He is one of the founders of Random Association, and is currently performing with Root7.
In 2002, with Marisa Debowsky and Philippe Charles, Joe started the Vermont A Cappella Summit. This event is currently hosted at Middlebury College, where Joe teaches and supports media technologies. Joe joined CASA in 1996 as the Vermont Ambassador, and since then has taken on many roles, including a term as President. He is currently sitting on the Board as the Director of Integrated Technologies.@JoeAntonioli
Blair Baldwin Director of Festivals and Events
Blair Baldwin first joined the aca community in 2004 when she was accepted into the UNCG Sapphires. She served as director, arranger, and percussionist for three years, and helped to produce the group's debut album, Eve. Since then, she has judged several Varsity Vocals events, served on the Sing selection panel, and was the Executive Producer for Acappellafest 2012. Blair is a graduate of Columbia College with a degree in Arts Management, and currently lives in Chicago. If you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for performance opportunities at CASA festivals, please email Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian ChambersDirector of Communications/PR
It is a proven fact that Chambers (he goes by many names and wears many hats) is the least prestigious and talented graduate of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Montclair High. He left and became #13 of the original member of the University of Delaware Ychromes. His Ychrome logo is still being used by the group many centuries later ... thus, a career in branding was born.
Later, he was a founding member of Rutgers Casual Harmony and Deep Treble. The latter was the youngest group ever to advance to the ICCA Finals. The championship director at the time dubbed them, "the Antichrist of collegiate a cappella." He took that brand and used to market group nationally ... thus, a career in communications was born.
In 2007, he created and performed with the Red States, one of the initial groups of CAL (Contemporary A Cappella League). They won many awards, accolades and opened for Randy "The Cowboy" of the Village People.
As he was known for in the collegiate a cappella world, he still loves Golden Grahams and you but not necessarily in that order.
Seriously, he aims to communicate to and for every voice in the a cappella world from newest, quietest fan to the most experienced critic. And thus a career in difficult but rewarding promises was born.
Director of Programs
Julia Hoffman Director of Awards and Compilations
Dr. Julia Hoffman started her a cappella career as a member, and later director, of the Stanford Harmonics. For two years she served as the West Region Producer for the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella (ICCA), and has been a frequent judge and coach in the years since. Julia continues to annually judge the finals of the ICCA, as well as the International Championship for High School A Cappella, at Lincoln Center. Julia began to participate in CASA's awards programs in 2000 and she joined CASA's Board of Directors in 2004 to become Director of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), the Grammies of a cappella and the A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs), the People's Choice Awards of a cappella. She additionally is the Executive Producer of CASA's compilations, including the multi-award winning Sing compilation series and the Contemporary A Cappella Society Collection (CASC) series. Julia served in various leadership roles on the board, first as Secretary for 2 years (2007-2008) and later as President of CASA for 4 years (2009-2012).
Danny Ozment Member At-LargeDanny Ozment grew up in Richmond, VA and began his a cappella career at James Madison University where he founded Exit 245 and received a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters degree in Conducting. Along the way he has taught all forms of choral music at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and professional levels. In 2004 he became the Assistant Conductor of the Master Chorale of Washington and in 2008 joined the staff of the Cathedral Choral Society at the National Cathedral as Director of External Programs. In 2009, Danny started Emerald City Productions, an a cappella production company based in Springfield, VA offering recording, editing, mixing, coaching, and arranging services. He has served as a CASA Ambassador since 2009. @DannyOzment
Kate Pientka Director of Development
Kate is a classically trained singer and instrumentalist who got her first taste of a cappella in high school. It was love at first song and she went on to found the Colgate University Dischords then continue with several other groups after graduation. She currently runs jam sessions for a cappella singers in the Atlanta area, is an ICCA and CARA judge, and arranges for various groups through FiboMusica. Kate holds her MBA from Emory University's Goizueta School of Business and after a decade of working with various organizations from non-profits to Fortune 100 companies she joins the CASA team to help connect businesses and organizations with the enthusiastic community of musicians CASA touches. @katepientka
Marc Silverberg Director of Education
Ariel Arbisser Program Manager: MarketingAriel Arbisser currently sings with The Funx and start Lady Jaye, but may be best known for her time singing with the Cornell Chordials at Cornell University where she won the 2010 CARA for Best Solo and was featured on the CARA-winning track “Ramalama (Bang Bang).” Her solos, including her guest track "Dog Days Are Over" with Overboard, have been featured on Sing, Voices Only, and Voices Only Forte. After Cornell, Ariel devoted a year to writing, producing, and performing in Sex, Drugs, and A Cappella: An Original Web Series. She still lives in Ithaca, NY where she is a vocal coach, sings with multiple bands, serves on the Board of Trustees for a non-profit musical theater company, and recently graduated from The Actor's Workshop of Ithaca. In the near future, she plans to move to NYC and continue singing! @arielarbisser
Shane Ardell Program Manager: Infrastructure
Shane began arranging music at an early age and ventured into arranging a cappella music at the age of 16. She started her contemporary a cappella career at Georgia Tech as a performer, arranger, and eventual president of the all female group, Nothin' but Treble. While still in college, she also began singing in a rock/gospel semi-professional group, Breakdown, in Atlanta. Shane continues to arrange and coach groups as well as judge for the ICCAs. She also helps to maintain acaspot.com, an online a cappella group management tool that stemmed out of Georgia Tech. An engineer at heart, Shane spends her days as a marketing consultant and project manager for a web application design and development firm. @shaneardell
|Diana Blanchard Program Manager: Sponsorships |
Diana Blanchard is a third year MFA Candidate at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts studying Performing Arts Management. She is a classically trained vocalist and holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the FloridaState University. A Central Florida Native, Diana now resides in Winston-Salem, NC. During her time at UNCSA, she has been focusing on non-profit marketing and fundraising. She is excited to combine her passion for fundraising and music while working with CASA. @DLBlan
Dan Campagna Program Manager: Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL)Dan is the co-founder and business manager of CAL's very own Fermata Town, a Boston-based mixed group. Behind his leadership, Fermata Town released its debut album titled Hold That Thought which was nominated for four 2013 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA's) including nominations for Best Album and Best Song. An active member in the Boston a cappella community, Dan enjoys attending local shows and volunteering for Varsity Vocals during ICCA season. Prior to Fermata Town, Dan sang collegiate a cappella at Emmanuel College in Encore!, the college’s first-ever coed group which later changed its name to In Good Company.
Outside of a cappella, Dan works fulltime at Emmanuel College as the Assistant Sports Information Director while also serving as the Assistant Commissioner/Director of Media Relations for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Dan is also an Assistant Coach to the UMass Boston Women’s Soccer Team and an adjunct professor at Lasell College where he teaches a sports journalism course.
Bill Hare Program Manager: Forum
Bill Hare has been a full-time recording engineer/producer for 28 years, and has specialized in contemporary a cappella production since 1989. Over the last two decades, Bill has recorded and/or mixed acclaimed albums for some of the best contemporary a cappella groups around the globe, including England's Flying Pickets, Swingle Singers, King's Singers and Voces8, Denmark's Basix and Vocal Line, Norway's Apes & Babes, Italy's Cluster, The Ghost Files, and Maybe6ix, as well as working with many top American acts including Nota, Duwende, Street Corner Symphony, The Backbeats, and The House Jacks.
Collegiate A Cappella clients include The Beelzebubs, Divisi, and about 80 others. Bill is the world's most awarded individual contemporary a cappella producer, including over 60 appearances on BOCA, over 120 CARA nominations, over 30 albums in the RARB "Picks of the Year" lists, and 11 "DeeBee" awards since 1987 in the Vocal Jazz category from Downbeat Magazine. In 2010 he added a Grammy Award to this list in the Classical Crossover Album category for Christopher Tin's "Calling All Dawns".For more information, visit Bill's website – www.dyz.com. @billhare
TeKay (Thomas King) Program Manager: Ambassadors
TeKay was one of the first ambassadors for CASA back in the early '90s. He's a member of Contemporary A Capella League group DeltaCappella and served as a CAL-rep for SoJam. He's been a RARB reviewer for several years and is one of the sing series producers. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of A Cappella Initiatives as a jack-of-all-trades and the Executive Producer of the Sing series of recordings. He was the Associate Editor of the Contemporary A Cappella News magazine for more than a decade and was the South Regional Producer of the ICCA from 1998-2004.
Carrie Leonard Program Manager: Social Media and Communications
Upon graduation, Carrie founded Atlanta-based vocal band Catatonic, and continues to arrange and perform with them in and around the Atlanta area. Carrie joined the CASA team in 2013 as Festivals Bookkeeper and has since taken on the role of Program Manager of Social Media and Communications. @turtlegurl
Amy Malkoff Program Manager: CASA Podcast
Involved in a cappella since college, Amy Malkoff was a founding member and bandleader of the groups Deadline Poet and All About Buford, and she has appeared on stage and in the studio with such luminaries as Wayne Brady, Jonatha Brooke, The Persuasions, Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, GrooveLily, Patty Griffin, and Dar Williams. She has a degree in music from Kenyon College, with music studies at Youngstown State University and masters-level coursework at the New England Conservatory of Music.Amy is a certified adjudicator for the International Championships of Collegiate and High School A Cappella, Harmony Sweepstakes, and various other competitions, and was the launching editor-in-chief of CASA.org. She serves on the board of directors of the Women's A Cappella Association, and is an associate producer on the weekly webcast, Inside A Cappella. She is a writer and designer (www.amymalkoff.com), as well as a singer/songwriter (www.amymalkoffmusic.com). Amy's music has appeared on both the Rounder Records and Hear Music/Starbucks labels. @amalkoff
Liz Mongrello Program Manager: VolunteersLiz began her a cappella journey with Groove A Cappella at Smith College, her beloved alma mater where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music. She spent much of her musical career at Smith in leadership positions, serving as Business Manager and Co-Director of Groove as well as President of the College Chorus and Glee Club. Pursuing a graduate degree from CCSU in Student Development in Higher Education, Liz took a break from performing herself, but was happy to advise the CCSU A Cappella Society, which consisted of four different groups. After a two-year hiatus, Liz saw the need to have music back in her life. She found her way to Fermata Town and has been singing crunchy jazz harmonies with them for over a year.
When not at rehearsal or just spending time with her Fermata Town family, Liz works with the training and sales teams at the Boylston Street Apple Store. She thrives in an environment full of really cool products and amazing customer service. You might also find Liz running through the streets of Somerville, attempting not to keel over after three miles. If you find her laying on the sidewalk unable to breathe, please give her a ride home - she would like to live to see another CARA.
Heather Newkirk Program Manager: Social Media and Communications
|Ben Spalding Program Manager: High School Outreach Ben Spalding is the head Choral Director at Centerville High School in Dayton, Ohio. At Centerville, Ben directs all of the choirs and the a cappella group Forte. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Kentucky. Ben’s a cappella roots go back to college, when he was a member of the University of Kentucky AcoUstiKats and a semi-professional group called 5 by Tuesday. His love for music goes as far back as elementary school and music has and always will be a major driving force in his life. @HSacappella|
Chris Tess Program Manager: Tunes to Teens
Chris Tess has been on the CASA Board of Directors since 2003, when he created Tunes To Teens, a CASA program that sends donated a cappella CDs to junior high and high school choruses. He also created the A Cappella Originals Podcast / mp3 Library and the CASA Videos page.Chris received his undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, where he sang with the Pikers, as well as several other vocal ensembles. He also created and directed the Notochords at St. Louis U. School of Medicine, and sang in and wrote for MACH 1. More recently, Chris sang in Redline, a CASA League group. In 1993 he co-founded the Recorded A Cappella Review Board ( RARB) and headed that up until 2004. He has served on multiple occasions as a judge for the CARAs and the NCCAs/ICCAs. In his spare time, Chris is a doctor. @christess
|Alexis Weisbrod Program Manager: Grants and Annual Campaign Manager |
Alexis A Weisbrod is an educator, dancer and choreographer. She received her BFA in Dance Performance at University of Minnesota, her Doctorate in Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside, as well as a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy. Alexis was introduced to a cappella after meeting her husband, Corey Slutsky, the founder and owner of Voices Only A Cappella. Since that time she has become a huge fan of the genre, promoting many groups through the use of their music in her dance classes and choreography. Alexis has also worked with a cappella groups on visual performance and choreography. In addition, she has spent recent years working with several nonprofit arts organizations, assisting with grant writing, fundraising, financial management, and program development. Alexis is excited to be part of CASA and help with the organization's future growth!
Matt Woodward Program Manager: Event EducationMatt Woodward sang tenor in a barbershop quartet called the Nile Manski Trio, which took 3rd place at the International Collegiate Barbershop Contest in 2002 and 2004. He was a tenor section leader of the San Marcos Marcsmen, the 2008 International Youth Chorus Grand Champions. He frequently records learning tracks for the TMEA Region music in San Antonio. In 2012, he taught a class on warmups and overtones at BOSS and SoJam. He currently teaches choir at MacArthur HS in San Antonio. His group, PFC, was the 2011 ICHSA Champs, 2012 Southwest ICHSA Champs, and has won every award Varsity Vocals offers except 3rd place. His passions in life are his gorgeous wife, arranging, cooking (eating), and snobby hi-fi audio. @mwoodward710
Zakk Wooten Program Manager: Membership
Zakk Wooten has been singing a cappella since he was 15 years old. He co-founded the professional group No Better Cause during his junior year of high school. After high school he joined the group Soul’D Out where he traveled the high seas with Celebrity Cruise Lines. Zakk then got his degree in Vocal Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. There he founded and directed the a cappella group Rocktavo. Zakk led Rocktavo, in their first year, to the ICCA finals where they placed second and his arrangement of 'Figaro' won “best arrangement.”After Zakk graduated he was hired by The Cat’s Pajamas to start a franchised group called The Cat’s Meow, where he traveled the world aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. In October of 2010 The Cat’s Pajamas offered Zakk a position with the group in Branson Missouri. Zakk sang with the Cat’s Pajamas until December of 2011. The year 2012 brings wonderful new opportunities for Zakk. He has recently joined forces with some of his 'a cappella family' to create the group re:Voiced. Zakk lives in Denver with his gorgeous Siberian Husky, Rilo. @zakkwooten
Tina Yip Program Manager: Event Social Media ManagerBorn and raised in Hong Kong, Tina first got involved in a cappella when she was in middle school. She attended Boston University and served as the president and vice president of the school’s co-ed a cappella group, In Achord. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in business management and marketing. Tina’s first CASA event was BOSS 2012, and after attending this life-changing event, she was determined to stay active in the a cappella world post-college. Outside of CASA, Tina lives in New York and does social media strategy for Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not gushing all over an a cappella video, she’s probably reading about technology, startups or getting tickets to Broadway shows. @tina_yip