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I’ve been asked by several people recently, all of them “non-acas”, that is, people who aren’t incredibly familiar with a cappella music, how and why I devote so much of my time to my a cappella pursuits. I’m reminded in my conversations that many of these people haven’t been lucky enough to share in the camaraderie that comes from singing in an a cappella group, and that a lot of them don’t have similar passions. So with that in mind, my most common response (after some introductory chatter on my responsibilities and roles in the community) is that I work hard because I’m inspired by the selfless tenacity of my peers.

Since beginning my work with the AACI a few years ago and carrying a lot of that over to CASA, I have come in contact with some of the most hard-working and inspiring individuals. These men and women give up hundreds of hours to make CASA and many other aspects of our community grow and thrive, and it excites me a great deal to work hand in hand with them to present the Ambassador program.

I recently relocated to Charleston, SC for work, and upon arriving was instantly reminded of why I feel so passionately about the huge potential for the Ambassador program. As an active singer, plopped in a new city for an indeterminate amount of time, it would be so fabulous to know exactly who to contact in the area to get involved with local a cappella. It would be fantastic if I could log into CASA.org and access not only a list of all of the groups in my area, but the name of a person or people who are interested in and willing to talk to me personally about opportunities in the area. Likewise, it would be great if that person could help me get in touch with the groups in the area, and maybe let them know about me.

Well ladies and gentleman, those things that I hope for are only a small ways away. For the past few months, I have, with the help of the CASA Board and many willing volunteers, begun laying the groundwork for the Ambassador program. I’ve been fielding emails from many willing individuals, collecting contact information, meeting and chatting with motivated singers, and working with our Tech team to create a networking system clear and efficient enough to support the program’s needs. All that remains is the tying up of some logistical loose ends and the recruitment of even more motivated volunteers.

It is my sincere belief that this program will be so much more than a link to the Acapedia and the occasional audition notice- instead, I envision the Ambassadors fostering a fresh sense of synergy within both the regional and national a cappella community, such that the exchange of ideas and music, as well as perhaps the singers who create them, will be more easily shared. Very much in the way Tunes to Teens provides outreach to the scholastic community in the form of donated CDs, and the way the CARAs reach out to a cappella singers by way of recognition, the Ambassador program will foster growth and artistic exchange by, simply put, making it easier for us to find one another. The more, the merrier in this volunteer effort, hence the name of this blog- strength in numbers.  The possibilities, I think, are vast and exciting!

As we head towards the formal program launch, I appreciate your patience and look forward to more emails with questions and inquiries at ambassadors@casa.org. We can’t wait to unveil this program that will mean so much in the way of truly defining a cappella singers as a community!

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Comments

I'm Excited!

Great post, X-topher.  There are so many future aca-leaders out there all over the world looking for an outlet through which to channel their energies, and the Ambassador program offers a perfect platform for doing just that.  I truly beleive that this is one of CASA's most promising - and potentially rewarding - programs.  A bit of an a cappella United Nations, if you will.  There is so much going on around the world in a cappella music; CASA needs these regional leaders to step up and help us share both the good news and the challenges that they face in their efforts to grow our artform.

Bottom line - if you're interested in being the "go-to" aca-individual in your state, region, country, planet - drop Christopher a line!  If you're up for the committment, we've got plenty of cool stuff in store for you, and we'll welcome you, and your experiences and perspective to our ranks.

Dave

www.davesperandio.com

About Me Diovoce Studios CASA Board of Directors

Just tried e-mailing

Is there a problem with my e-mail system?  I tried sending ambassadors@casa.org an e-mail to volunteer, and it bounced back with the message that the address doesn't exist.  =(

Joel Levitz, SoCal CASA Ambassador SoCal CASA Embassy

oops!

I thought we'd fixed that. Apparently not. You can contact Christopher directly at christopher@casa.org, and if for some reason that doesn't work, I'm amy@casa.org.

Amy Malkoff http://www.amymalkoff.com/harmony CASA (Contemporary A Cappella Society) Program Manager + Director of Web Content - http://www.casa.org Judge - ICCA, ICHSA, Harmony Sweepstakes, etc.

The Wonderful World of A Cappella

Speaking as a (ok, I'll say it) die-hard fan of a cappella music and from an outsider's POV (meaning I'm not in any a cappella group of any sort) I have to tell you that CASA has been a godsend for me.

Over a year ago, I could have told you that my a cappella exposure was limited to pretty much Rockapella and its peripheral groups like XRP and the Groovebarbers.  That is to say, VERY limited.  Through fate, I found out that a local radio station near St. Louis, KDHX 88.1 plays a set of a cappella music for two hours every early Saturday morning... it's on FM too!!!  Since I learned this, I have not missed a single Sat morning show (yeah, I may be in and out of consciousness but I listen).  It has opened my ears exponentially to what sort of a cappella music is out there.  And what I've heard just floors me.

And the a cappella community has been very welcoming.  I was excited to hear about the Ambassador program.  I think it's an excellent idea.  As much as I would like to represent St. Louis, I don't think I would have the time devote to it, nor the connections, but I'm hoping someone can step up to the plate. 

One of the questions I've wanted answered since I got into being such an avid fan has been "Where do I find out where and when these groups are playing?"  Silly me, I thought I would be able to look up "a cappella" and "St. Louis" and a list would automatically appear telling me where not only local groups like the WashU Greenleafs and the Ambassadors of Harmony were playing, but also visiting groups like Straight No Chaser (which is coming to a venue two hours from StL) and Chapter 6 (which is based out of Southern Illinois--where I am).

Which brings to wonder how far is the radius for each Ambassador.? --I'd say it depends on how far the ambassador's willing to travel.  ;)  (In which case, my driving five hours to Chicago to catch the House Jacks is quite a considerable radius).

The fact is I'm just glad to see someone's taking the initiative to even do something of this magnitude, and though I feel ashamed that I cannot be a part of it.  I think you should know, directly from a fan, how much it's appreciated.

Looking forward to it

Really looking forward to this program taking off, Christopher!

Sweet Awesome!

Do you have a tentative date of when the program will launch that you can give us?

very excited! looking to

very excited! looking to volunteer in any way i can!

Bryan Guffey Singer, Technologist, Dreamer, soon-to-be podcast creator and host!

upload a recording

Why don't you record a few mins of your next sessions with your a cappella group and load it up here on the blog. I would love to hear it. I love a Cappella singing

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