HomeACB Interview: Julia Hoffman

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Julia Hoffman is one of the busiest women in a cappella. Hoffman’s resume includes a Contemporary A Cappella Society presidency, directorship of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards and, most recently an appointment as one of the judges for this Saturday’s ICCA finals. With so much going on, it makes it all the more remarkable that Hoffman took time to offer questions from The A Cappella Blog.

The A Cappella Blog (ACB): You will be one of the judges at this year’s ICCA finals. Without giving too much away, what are you looking for from this year’s finalists? What do groups need to do to stand out on collegiate a cappella’s biggest stage?

Julia Hoffman (JH): By the time groups get to the finals, we can be pretty sure that they’ve got the basics covered: tuning, dynamics, phrasing, rhythmic accuracy, etc. The thing that differentiates the winning groups for me is how the group sells their set. I don’t want to see how hard they’re concentrating. It has to look effortless and real. In the end, this is a performance competition, and that means bringing the audience (including the judges) into the emotional content of the song. At the end of the set I want to feel like we’ve been through something together, not like the group did something they rehearsed a million times in front of me.

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