Home"The Sing-Off" Group Profiles: SoCals

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NBC’s “The Sing-Off” is a television first: a 4-night-only event that pits 8 a cappella groups of varying styles against each other, each vying for a Epic Records/Sony Music recording contract and a substantial cash prize. No lip-syncing or studio magic allowed. Show dates are 12/14-16 from 8-10pm, with the live finale on 12/21 from 8-10pm. The competing groups represent a variety of styles, ages and approaches, and come from all over the US, and Puerto Rico. The show will be hosted by Nick Lachey, with guest judges Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and Nicole Scherzinger.

Group Name: SoCals
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Established: 2009
Configuration: 8 singers, mixed

The SoCals are an octet formed specifically for NBC's new a cappella reality show "The Sing Off". The group consists of seven alumni and one current member of SoCal VoCals, a legendary a cappella group from the University of Southern California (USC). Formed in 1996 by Brock Harris, they have toured the United States, recorded 4 albums and opened for mainstream music stars Ben Folds and Katy Perry. In 2008, they won first place in the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) which landed them national a cappella glory and a live performance on NBC's "Today Show". Most of the eight SoCals were members in that 2008 award-winning group.

Ben Bram is a current member of the SoCal VoCals and arranger for all the new songs that the SoCals will perform on the show.  We spoke about arranging for the Sing-Off schedule and the new challenges it presents. "Normally I have weeks or months to work on an arrangement.  For this, I get a few days or sometimes a few hours.  I'll receive a call from one of the producers saying that they need the song tomorrow and I'll just have to churn it out in a couple of hours. It's been like boot camp but I've really enjoyed it."

I was surprised to hear that the SoCals were only allowed to bring one song into the show. This is their opening song and was part of the award-winning setlist at the 2008 ICCA finals. Every other song is a negotiation between the group and the producers to fill certain categories such as Guilty Pleasures and Medley. Ben talks about the show being a very good experience so far. Unlike regular network reality shows "[NBC] is doing a very good job of putting everything in a positive light. Coming off the tail end of "Glee", those viewers will be very happy about this." This reality show is less about the drama and more about music.


SoCal VoCals

-Chris Crawford

Tufts Beelzebubs: http://www.casa.org/node/5633
Solo: http://www.casa.org/node/5636
MAXX Factor and FACE: http://www.casa.org/node/5629
BYU Noteworthy: http://www.casa.org/node/5639
NOTA: http://www.casa.org/node/5910
Voices of Lee: http://www.casa.org/node/5981
SoCals: http://www.casa.org/node/6157


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