HomeContemporary A Cappella Recording Awards - CARAsCategories and Awards

The Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards honor artists in a variety of categories. Specific categories and number of awards is subject to change each year based on the number of submissions received. Despite this variation, there are several broad categories that tend to recur every year, which are listed below along with which groups are eligible for each.

If you have any questions about particular categories and/or the likelihood of a category existing this year, please contact the CARA Director, TeKay, at tekay@casa.org.

Group Definitions:

  • Professional : Artists who are not associated with a school fall into this category, regardless of what percentage of their time or income come from this enterprise.
  • Collegiate: Groups that are in any way associated with a college or university fall into this category, regardless of their source of funding or official affiliation. Most college groups have no faculty advisors/directors but the CARAs have no restriction on this for eligibility in the CARAs.
  • High School: Groups that are in any way associated with a high school fall into this category, regardless of the source of funding or official affiliation.

Album Awards

Professional

League

Collegiate

High School

Continental Awards

Any continent with sufficient submissions will see their best rewarded!

Best African Album 

x

x

x

x

Best Antarctic Album 

x

x

x

x

Best Asian Album 

x

x

x

x

Best European Album 

x

x

x

x

Best Oceanic Album 

x

x

x

x

Best South American Album 

x

x

x

x

Category Awards

An album is considered if more than one half of the tracks are in the genre specified.

Best Pop/Rock Album

x

x

Best Jazz Album

x

x

x

x

Best Hip-Hop/R&B Album 

x

x

x

x

Best Classical Album

x

x

x

x

Best Barbershop Album: Male/Female Quartet, Chorus

x

x

x

x

Best Religious Album

x

x

x

x

Best Folk/World Album

x

x

x

x

Best Holiday Album

x

x

x

x

Best Humor Album

x

x

x

x

Best Freshman Album

An album is considered in this category if the artist has not produced an album before.

Best Freshman Album 

x

x

x

x

Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL)

Groups that are part of CASA's CAL Program may compete for this award.

Best Contemporary A cappella League (CAL) Album 

x

Scholastic Awards

For each of the awards below, male, female, co-ed, and high school groups are judged separately.

Best Collegiate Album

x

Best High School Album

x

Song Awards

Professional

League

Collegiate

High School

Originals

Songs written by a cappella artists are eligible. Previously, professionals would only be eligible for best original if their track was in the pop/rock category. Due to the excellent originals we have been receiving in recent years that fall into other genres, any original song by a pro group is eligible.

Best Original Song by a Professional Group

x

x

Best Original Song by a Scholastic Group

x

x

Category Awards

The best song within each of the genres below.

Best Pop/Rock Cover Song

x

x

Best Jazz Song

x

x

x

x

Best Hip-Hop/R&B Song 

x

x

x

x

Best Classical Song

x

x

x

x

Best Barbershop Song

x

x

x

x

Best Religious Song

x

x

x

x

Best Folk/World Song

x

x

x

x

Best Holiday Song

x

x

x

x

Best Humor Song

x

x

x

x

Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL)

Groups that are part of CASA's CAL Program may compete for this award.

Best Contemporary A cappella League (CAL) Song 

x

Scholastic Extra Song Awards

For each of the awards below, male, female, co-ed, and high school groups are judged separately.

Best Song

x

x

Best Solo

x

x

Best Arrangement

x

*to be eligible for best arrangement, a song must be arranged by a CURRENT member of the group. The intention of this award is to reward creativity and foster excellence in collegiate artists. Professional arrangers and alumni who are not featured as singers on the album will be excluded from this award.