HomeAcaNews: What Happened In May?

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When I first joined CASA (years ago), the membership included a subscription to the semi-regular Contemporary A Cappella Newsletter (CAN). It was an actual newsletter, printed on actual paper and sent via the actual postal service.  This newsletter was an invaluable tool for me to keep track of what was happening in a cappella albums, tours, competitions, and group news. Though the CAN disappeared sometime in the early ‘00’s, there is still a need for a cappella fans to find current information. Yes, there’s Twitter and Facebook, but it can be difficult and potentially irritating to try following 300 groups and 40 different festivals just to find out what’s happening on a regular basis. With that in mind, CASA has decided to offer a monthly News column which can update you, the loyal a cappella community, on things you may have missed in the previous month. Sure, it may include a new video that you saw appear 20 times on your Facebook timeline (hello again, Pentatonix!) but it may also include something which social media shouted from the rooftops for twenty minutes on a Tuesday when you were busy at work and which was replaced by some similarly important news item by the time you got back to your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed. Enter the CANO (CAN Online?). Well, maybe we’re still working on the name.

If you have news you would like to submit for a future update, or are interested in helping us compile these regular updates, please email us at: news@casa.org

In any event, here’s some of the news you may have missed in May:

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News

The 2013 Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions are: Honey Whiskey Trio! Congratulations, ladies! You can hear a little bit of what they do here.

The Aarhus Vocal Festival 2013 in Denmark was a success in May, featuring groups like Postyr Project, Vocal Line, Rajaton, and The Real Group, and moments like this. If only Denmark were a little closer...

Oreo brought a cappella music to NYC as part of its new “Wonderfilled” campaign. Check out related videos here, here, and here.

A cappella legends Take 6 were busy in May as part of the celebration of their 25th anniversary, with a weeklong stint at the famous Blue Note, a recording session with Stevie Wonder, and an appearance on Good Day NY, among other local morning shows.

Deke Sharon was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) for “All Things Considered,” which you can check out here.

The Tufts Beelzebubs celebrated their 50th anniversary, and you can get a peek inside the weekend celebration here and here, as well as with some creative searches on YouTube.

CASA is bringing back the A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs)! Nominations for categories were accepted in May, and nominations for recipients will run from July 1 to August 1 at the CASA website.

A new a cappella streaming radio website, Acaville, launched in late April. Check it out here.

VoCALnation, the festival devoted to Contemporary A cappella League groups, will be held in July in Philadelphia and feature headliners Groove For Thought.

There’s a new group on Facebook devoted to A Cappella Sound Technology, which you can check out here.

Albums

On May 7, Straight No Chaser released their new album “Under the Influence” via digital and physical outlets. The album features collaborations with a few artists who you may have heard of, including Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, Dolly Parton, Rob Thomas, Seal, and Elton John. They also appeared on some TV show called “The Today Show” on May 12.

Duwende released a new EP, “Versus,” featuring some of the songs they have covered in YouTube videos. It is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.  In other Duwende news, they will be appearing on “The Winner Is!”, a new television program on NBC this summer.

Six Appeal, winners of the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes competition, have a new album called “Plan A” which is available on iTunes, Google Play, and CD Baby.

Singapore sensations (and The Sing-Off: China runners-up) MICappella have a new album, “Here We Go” which is available for online purchase at iTunes and Amazon.

British a cappella group The Magnets have released a new album called “All This Time” which is available online in the UK and physical copies may be purchased from their record label.  No word on when it will be available online in the U.S. yet.

Though they officially called it quits in 2008, 2000 Harmony Sweepstakes finalists The Ex-Boyfriends have put out a new album called “Happy Ending” which is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Perhaps you have heard of a group called Sonos. Perhaps you enjoy their music. Perhaps you are dying of anticipation to get your hands on their long-rumored new album. Well, the group started suggesting in April that the album was finished, and then in May there was a tweet from Vocal Mastering that the new album was being mastered.  According to the Sonos website, the album will be released on July 23, 2013. More information as it becomes available.

Groups

British group The Boxettes successfully completed a Pledgemusic campaign and released a professional-looking video for their new single, “Puppet on a String.”

Female quartet GQ launched a Kickstarter campaign which surpassed its goal in a ridiculously short period of time.

The Swingle Singers began a Pledgemusic campaign for a new project celebrating the 50-year history of the group.

Two new female groups featuring some well-known singers from the community announced their presence on Facebook. We introduce: Jaded and Lady Jaye.

Italian vocal group Cluster released a new video which hopefully means there’s a new album on the way?

About the writer:
Dave Bernstein is the founder of NYU's all-male group Mass Transit, a former music director of the Potsdam Pointercounts, and (sadly) current member of no a cappella group. After studying music business in college, Dave co-founded Liquid Productions, a small recording studio in Long Island, New York, which produced a handful of collegiate recordings, demos, and commercial projects before going under. Eventually, he went back to law school where he worked for the famed Innocence Project. He currently works as a public defender in New York. In October 2011, he started acatribe.com, a blog devoted to news, analysis, and general love for all things a cappella.  In summer 2012, he joined The Recorded A Cappella Review Board as a reviewer.  He continues to sing in various classical choirs in the New York metropolitan area, and hopes to someday rejoin the active ranks of the post-collegiate a cappella community.