Home Meet Your CASA Ambassador: Yarden Cohen [Israel]

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Yarden Cohen
https://www.casa.org/users/yarden

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

I started singing in my high school a cappella group (only 5 singers then) when I was on 10th grade. We used to sing in school events but soon enough we started preforming out of school in local events in town. We've been singing ever since (7 years now), and we are obviously not a high school a cappella group anymore. We are singing in all sorts of private events (weddings, bar mizvas, birthdays, company events...), in official Israeli ceremonies, in a couple of TV shows (Israeli Idol is one of them) and in our own open crowd gigs.

Our name is Quinta and a Half - http://www.facebook.com/QuintAandAHalf

When did you first become involved with CASA?

A couple of months ago, through Ben Bram who came for a visit in Israel and introduced us to the out-of-Israel a cappella world.

What geographical area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

Currently I'm covering Israel, which should give me enough work for now :)

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

My main motive is to make a cappella music more popular in Israel. Right now it's considered old fashioned and it's more related to classical music than to contemporary music. By doing that, I also hope to inspire young singers to open a cappella groups in their local high school, or maybe even to open one in the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces).

What do you do for work and play?

I'm a QA programmer in an information security company, but in a year I'll be starting my music degree in Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance (JAMD).

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

For almost 22 years I used to have a fire phobia (I still don't like going to bonfires, it freaks me out a bit) and that's why I didn't cook much (lighting the gas was also something that I didn't like doing). Recently I managed to overcome it, and now I'm really into baking. I'm not all that good yet, but people still like my cookies :)

Favorite a cappella group?

Definitely, hands down - The Swingle Singers.

Favorite type of music?

I don't have a favorite type... also, saying "a cappella" for an answer would make me a bit predictable...

Favorite a cappella concert?

The Swingle Singers, October 2011, Haifa, Israel.

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

The Israeli a cappella industry is still in its diapers, so give it a little time :)