HomeAcaNews: What Happened In November?

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November was an explosive month for a cappella, led by Pentatonix hitting the Billboard Album charts and the Disney Channel, the AcaBelles going viral, and announcements for season 4 of The Sing Off. These are exciting times to be an a cappella fan.

Anyway, 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 November:

News

The biggest (continuing) story of the month was Pentatonix, who released their new album, “PTX Vol. 2.” The album landed at number 10 on the Billboard’s Top 200 album chart and number 1 on iTunes album charts, astonishing accomplishments. They also released a Daft Punk video (17 million views in less than 3 weeks), appeared on Ellen, ABC World News, and other shows, were written up in the NY Times, won a YouTube Music Award, and began a tour in Europe. Oh, and there’s a petition going around to get them on Saturday Night Live, which you can see/sign here. NBD.

The soundtrack from “Pitch Perfect” won an American Music Award for Best Soundtrack!

Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, and Sam Tsui produced covers of “Teen Beach Movie” music for a television version of the film which aired on November 17. Check out this article from Extra.

The Sing-Off has announced Season 4 contestants, which includes 10 groups featuring a high school group, two collegiate groups, and a whole lot of diversity in non-scholastic groups. You can see the whole list here and learn more about the groups here.

Also in BIG news, the Florida State University AcaBelles have, with the help of The Vocal Company, garnered significant attention (more than 5 million views!) for their video cover of Lorde’s “Royals.”  The video was featured on Huffington Post, CNN, Elle, local news affiliates, and elsewhere. Congratulations ladies and to the folks at The Vocal Company.

A recruiter for America’s Got Talent is apparently seeking a cappella groups for the show. Audition information is available here.

When Caroline Shaw won a Pulitzer Prize for her composition, “Partita for Eight Voices,” for vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, it had never actually been performed in its entirety for a single audience. That has been rectified with their recent, sold-out performance at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. More here.

A cappella education progress continues with the announcement of A Cappella Academy, founded by Avi Kaplan, Ben Bram, and Rob Deitz. You know who these guys are. The Artists-in-Residence? Pentatonix, of course. Learn more at http://acappellacademy.org/.

The Women’s A Cappella Association is now accepting submissions for a Best of Women’s A Cappella compilation album. They hope to create a tradition which will celebrate all-female studio recordings and are currently looking for the very best of what groups around the world have to offer.  Learn more here.

Also, WACA is offering membership opportunities which will include a variety of perks, not to mention the knowledge that you are taking part in the evolution of an exciting new organization. Join or learn more here.

CASA announced the tracklist for sing 10, which is now available for download to CASA members or for purchase.

Voices Only is accepting submissions from non-scholastic groups for the Forte III compilation. You can find out more here.

RARB (Recorded  A Cappella Review Board) is continuing its 2.0 for 20 celebration by asking for community submissions to highlight albums released at least five years ago which still hold up today. If you would like to recommend an album released prior to 2008 which you enjoy and which you believe holds up, email your thoughts (less than 1000 words please) to submissions@rarb.org. (The RARB editorial team reserves the right to accept or deny any submissions, and to edit for clarity and factual accuracy. Numerical track and overall scores will not be used for Rediscovered Album reviews)

A cappella copyright specialist (plus SingStrong founder and member of Blue Jupiter) Jonathan Minkoff has a new article on his informative A Cappella 101 blog about songs in the public domain, available here.

If you’re looking to support groups trying to get albums made, there are now Kickstarter campaigns available for Breath of Soul and University of Oregon’s Divisi. There is also an Indiegogo campaign for the Aarhus Vocal Festival which met it goal but is still active. You can find it here.

Tom Anderson’s Random Notes announced the addition of heavyweights Jessica Friedman (ARORA), Troy Dolendo (Edge Effect), and Erik Bosio (Cluster) to the arranging team. More info here.

Varsity Vocals announced the list of 2014 competitors. You can find them all right here.

British trio Juice Vocal Ensemble was featured on an episode of WNYC’s Soundcheck, which you can listen to in its entirety here.

Bristol Studios in Boston held its annual “A Cappella Armageddon” competition. The winners were Yale’s Out of the Blue. Full results are available here.

Acaville Radio is getting ready for a solid month of holiday a cappella music. Head over there from November 29 through December 26 for your favorite holiday acatunes.

A new app which might draw interest from some in the a cappella community is a multi-tracking app called “Keezy,” and you can read more in this article on The Verge.

Auditions

Musae is looking for a vocal percussionist! Applications are available here.

Stiletta, the female group in New York City, is holding auditions now. Interested ladies can sign up here.

Festivals

The London A Cappella Festival has announced information about its January 2014 events, which will feature performances by The House Jacks, The Swingle Singers, The Real Group, and more. All information is available here.

The Los Angeles A Cappella Festival has announced that one of the competitors from Season 4 of The Sing-Off has already agreed to headline the festival in early 2014. No clues about the identity of the group yet, but speculation will begin when the show premieres on December 9 on NBC.

UCD’s Mix took home the top prize for the collegiate competition at SoJam 2013. Congratulations to the group, which also won the competition at BOSS back in April. The festival also featured an international potpourri of performances from Eh440 (Canada), The Swingle Singers (UK), and MICappella (Singapore).

When The Swingle Singers left SoJam, they headed to Chicago for a few shows and while there were written up in the Chicago Sun-Times.

When MICappella returned to Singapore, they were awarded the Best Local Artist award at the 2013 Singapore Hit Awards. Congratulations guys!

November 8 & 9, Kettering Fairmont High School (home of Eleventh Hour and Fusion) played host to 54 high school groups from 8 states for the 6th annual National A Cappella Festival. The festival concluded with Fusion, Eleventh Hour, and Pentatonix performing to a max-capacity, 3,000 seat arena show at KFHS' own Trent Arena.

Albums

Sing-Off season 2 contestants Groove For Thought have released a holiday album, “Songs of Good Cheer,” which you can find here.

Also from that season, Kettering-Fairmont High School’s group Eleventh Hour released its new album “Tightrope,” and you can find out more right here.

Season 3 contestants the University of Rochester Yellowjackets have released their new album, “Fifty Shades of Yellow,” and you can listen/order it here.

In the Pacific Northwest, The Portland Timbre have released their first album, which is available here.

DC-based CAL group Vox Pop released their debut album, "Mandate", on Oct 29th, 2013. The Mandate project is nearly 2 years in the making, beginning with a $10k Kickstarter campaign launched at VoCALnation 2012 that went on to be successfully backed by over 170 supporters. Mandate is now available for purchase via A Cappella Records on iTunes or Loudr.

Finnish vocal rock stars Fork have a new live album from their recent performances on the “ElectroVocal Circus,” which is available for purchase at AcappellaZone right here.

Denmark’s a cappella choir Vocal Line have a new album called “Precious Things” which you can order here. (Preview here)

2013 ICCA champions the NU Nor’easters have a new album, “Equilibrium,” which is available for purchase here and digitally here.

Videos

The guys of Six13 have a new video celebrating the wonder of Thanksgivukkah.

Canadian group The Rainbows released a video for “Atlas,” a song from the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, which you can see here.

The ladies of Jaded have another video with their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.”

The Edge Effect has released their new song, “All Night,” via YouTube right here.

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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.