HomeAcaNews: What Happened In October?

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October means…a fresh chill in the air, the World Series and football, pumpkin-flavored everything, and discourses on the vocalizations of "The Fox". Let’s jump right in.

As always, 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 what you may have missed in October:


Unless you live in a bunker (and possibly even there), you probably heard that season 4 of "The Sing-Off" will premiere on Monday, December 9 on NBC. This season adds Mark Burnett, producer of reality shows such as "The Voice" and "Survivor" (among many others), as Executive Producer.

Camp A Cappella, the weeklong high school a cappella summer program run by Deke Sharon and Brody McDonald, will be back in June, 2014, at Wright State University. Even more exciting? There will be a separate weeklong program for adults, college students, and everyone else who is not in high school and loves vocal music.  Plus, the latter program will qualify for undergraduate or graduate-level credits. You can learn more right here.

The Vocal Company has been busy. How busy? Well, in October they:

-       presented the second installment of acappellaEd at the University of Central Florida, which was attended by seven groups from UCF and Florida State University and included a closing concert which was open to the public;

-       hosted the first Next Level High School A cappella seminar, which featured workshops and masterclasses with groups from eastern Massachussetts and concluded  with the launch of a college-to-high school mentoring program called The Vocal Connection; and

-       unveiled a new resident arranging team which includes long-time a cappella aficionado (and former Transit member) Joseph Bates, award-winning director/arranger (and Firedrill! member) Nathan Altimari, "Sing-Off" veteran Johanna Vinson, and Music Director emeritus of 2013 ICCA champions NU Nor’easters Shams Ahmed.

You can learn more about all of the exciting projects from The Vocal Company right here.

Wisconsin will be hosting its first ever a cappella festival "Acapocalypse 2014" at Port Washington High School in Port Washington Wisconsin on April 5, 2014. They will be bringing in ARORA and the University of Wisconsin Mad Hatters for master class and clinics in the day and an evening concert as well.

The A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs) were announced during ACappellaFest, and the full list is available here.

The Clarkston A Cappella Festival, will feature Eleventh Hour and is happening November 2 at 7:30 p.m.  You can find out more here, and tickets are available here.

Peter Hollens was mentioned in this article on Huffington Post for his Disney medley with Alex G (which surpassed 250,000 views in 4 days!)

CASA's Texas A Cappella Celebration 2014 date announced: March 8, 2014. To be held at MacArthur High School, San Antonio, TX


Straight No Chaser released Under the Influence: Holiday Edition, which features collaborations with (or vocals from) artists like Paul McCartney, Colbie Caillat, Cee Lo Green, and Otis Redding. I mean, it was mentioned by Rolling Stone magazine. And that first guy was, like, a Beatle or something.

Pentatonix announced that their new album, PTX Vol. 2, will be released on November 5 and is available for pre-order from digital outlets right now. They also released some videos, which are discussed below.

Italian group (and Italian X Factor runners-up) Cluster completed their mini-tour of the United States, managed by Clear Harmonies, which included performances in New York, Boston, Maryland, and North Carolina and opening CAL groups Satellite Lane, Fermata Town, Redline, Restated, and Euphonism. If you haven’t seen them perform, you really should make an effort next time they’re in the States.

Postyr recently toured Taiwan, with a performance at Taichung Jazzfestival in front of an audience of 20,000, and the group was featured in local morning television with a short interview available on their Facebook page here.

KeyStone A Cappella headlined an all-a cappella show at the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia and opened for The Bobs at Melodies Café.

The Bobs have been touring in support of their recent album, “Biographies,” which they describe as an “album of songs about famous and (not-quite-so-famous) historical figures.”

MO5AIC got a nice write-up from the Las Vegas Review-Journal which you can check out here.

The Tufts Beelzebubs continue their 50th anniversary celebration with a concert at the New England Conservatory of Music featuring other college groups the BU Dear Abbeys, the Dartmouth Aires, Tufts Amalgamates, Tufts Jackson Jills, UVA Sil’houettes, and the Yale Whiffenpoofs. Details are available here.  The group also released their newest album, “Helix,” which you can find here and on other digital outlets.

Australian group The Idea of North won the 2013 ARIA (Australian version of the Grammy Awards) for Best Jazz Album for “Smile.”

A new professional a cappella group called “After Party” is based out of London and includes alumni from UK groups Out of the Blue, the Oxford Gargoyles, the Alleycats, the Oxford Belles, Alternotives, and In the Pink.  You can learn more on their website.  Members from some of these groups were featured in this article from The Oxford Student


Lots happening on the YouTubes this month…

Early in the month, Pentatonix released their cover of Lorde’s “Royals” which you can see here. Their version was featured on Billboard’s “Royals” Poll, right here.  Towards the end of the month, they released a video covering the “Evolution of Beyonce,” once again proving that they can throw together a killer medley better than perhaps anyone out there. You can see that here.  Oh, and that video has surpassed 1 million views in a few days, was featured on Buzzfeed, and was mentioned on Facebook by Beyonce herself, with the single adjective “Amazing.”

Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus, and the Roots did an a cappella version of “We Can’t Stop” which you can see here.

Israel’s Quinta and a Half released this cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

Finally, I saved it for last, let’s talk about The Fox. Not Michael J., not the network or those of Fleet, but this one by Norwegian band Ylvis which has racked up over 161 million views. No wonder it’s getting a lot of a cappella coverage lately, including the following versions (in no particular order):

VoicePlay- http://youtu.be/8j01FaN0rWk

Ball in the House- http://youtu.be/dhVyzeaPi2U

Satellite Lane- http://youtu.be/VN0jKTSlNpY

The Cornell Hangovers- http://youtu.be/p_G70kbjUgE

And a few other variations out there.

I’m sure we can expect more (and more). But will any bring the gravitas of Oscar-winner (and multiple nominee) Morgan Freeman (at 0:50)?


Apologies to any groups/news we missed, but remember- the best way to ensure we include you is to email us at news@casa.org.

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.