HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Ross Hammond [Chicago, IL area]

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Ross Hammond

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

I first became involved in college (Grand Valley State University).  I saw audition flyers for a group on campus, watched a lot of YouTube, and it got me hooked.  I didn't end up making it in the group, but started another instead.  I started becoming super involved with the beginnings of my college group, and it wasn't until my last year in college that I really devoted a lot of time to a cappella.  It's crazy to think that what started as a little obsession turned into a full blown passion in five years, and how much it impacted me and my focus.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

I had always known about CASA but never involved myself in it until about a year and a half ago, and haven't looked back.  The people and networks through CASA are so valuable and irreplaceable.

What geographical area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

I was the Ambassador for the state of Michigan initially, but now I cover the Metro Chicago area!

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

I like to think of myself as the less serious but more business focused Ambassador.  I'm always here to answer questions about anything from arranging, directed, establishing group hierarchy, or just to talk about what's going on in groups around the world.  I'm also available for group consultations, feedback, or anything else CASA-related.  I'm just here to help!  I'm a great listener and have some really strange ideas.  I also cook a lot, so if you find yourself in the Chicago area, feel free to contact me at rossmusic@gmail.com directly!

What do you do for work and play?

I've switched my focus from a traditional career to just music.  I'm slowly building relationships with a cappella arranging and consultations, but am writing a CD and learning about music production as well.

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

I look super clean cut, but I have 15 tattoos.  Yes, fifteen.  Mom is so proud.

Favorite a cappella group?

Oof.  I pull bias to Euphoria at Grand Valley State University, solely because it's the group that I started and devoted a lot of time to.  I have a lot of respect for the UCLA Scattertones and Berklee Pitch Slapped, as they were groups that I really modeled our group after and strived to be.  I have so many favorite a cappella groups though.  It's impossible to name them all here.

Do you perform or did you perform with a group? Which one? Tell us a little about it.

Euphoria at GVSU (Boom. See above).  It was a small little coed group that started off singing for 15 people at an open mic night to performances at the ICCAs, recording tracks, singing in front of 17,000+ people on ESPN Televised Detroit Pistons games, and becoming a well known and established music group in the greater Grand Rapids, MI area.

Favorite type of music?

I don't really like country.  Otherwise, I'm open minded.  I love when people bring me new music :)

Favorite a cappella concert?

Again, this isn't quite fair.  There have been so many memorable performances I've had the opportunity of seeing over the last few years, I couldn't name just one.  SoJam, ICCAs, just to throw out a couple.

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

I'm relatively new to the area, but Chicago is beautiful!  The people are great, and I'm always willing to meet up over coffee or drinks if people are in the area!