Event Details


Nov 13-15, 2015


All Day


Atlanta, GA

In SoJam’s 13th year, we’re reaching out to the most talented people we know in a cappella and challenging them to help shape a festival better than any in our history — all in an unforgettable interactive format designed to challenge, educate, and inspire.

Full Festival Registration



- Special pricing for evening activities*
- Workshop Admission
- Networking events
- Eligibility for competition, masterclasses, performance opportunities**

Collegiate Competition


Hosted by:

- Vanderbilt Melodores

Pro Concert



- Naturally 7
- Competition Winner

* The price shown is the total cost without taxes/fees, including the cost for tickets to the evening events that must be purchased through the Emory Box Office.
** Groups only. Competitors selected by a panel, submissions must be received by the submission deadline. Masterclasses and AcaBombs assigned on a first come, first serve basis.


Naturally 7

Naturally 7

Saturday Concert Performers

Naturally 7 is more than just your average singing group. Its members have perfected an intriguing a cappella style they’ve branded as “Vocal Play”—singing as instruments. Stepping beyond R&B and pop, Naturally 7 taps into various genres from traditional gospel and rock to 17th century baroque that on the surface don’t seem to mesh. But in the hands of musical director/first baritone/rapper Thomas and his six enterprising cohorts—brother Warren Thomas (drums, third tenor), Rod Eldridge (first tenor, turntables, trumpet), Napoleon “Polo” Cummings (fourth tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (second baritone, trombone), Garfield Buckley (second tenor, harmonica) and Armand “Hops” Hutton (bass)—the impossible becomes possible.


Women of the World

Women of the World

Saturday Concert Performers

Women of the World was formed to bring women musicians from across the globe onto a common platform to collaborate and create, not only through the sharing of music, but also to explore and celebrate the differences in ideologies, and cultural tenets that exist in the daily lives of women all over the world. Honoring global folk traditions, their repertoire spans music in 27 languages. In many ways, the ensemble is a microcosm of the world, with members working closely together, not just to create and perform music, but also learning about each other’s countries, cultures, languages, beliefs and practices.


Vanderbilt Melodores

Vanderbilt Melodores

Friday Competition Hosts

The Melodores were formed in 2009 by a group of guys dedicated to the creation of a long lasting musical brotherhood. Just two years later, The Melodores were performing on an international stage and placed third in the world at the 2011 International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella. Last fall, the group was selected to compete in Season 5 of NBC’s The Sing Off in Hollywood – the judges crowned them Sing Off champions, where they received $50,000 and the opportunity to travel throughout the country performing on The Sing Off Tour.

This year, The Melodores have performed across the country in Kentucky, Illinois, California, Florida, Georgia, and New York City as well as embarking on an international spring tour. The group will also be releasing their debut Christmas album on the night of SoJam, titled “A Melo Little Christmas”


  • interactive workshops
  • mindblowing masterclasses
  • surprise performances


*Schedule subject to change. Specific times and locations of all activities still to be announced.

Friday, November 13, 2015
5:00 PM Registration (open until 8:00 PM)
Emerson Concert Hall Lobby, Schwartz Center Emory University
7:30 PM Competition
Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center, Emory University
10:30 PM Afterparty
Saturday, November 14, 2015
8:30 AM Late Registration (for those who did not attend Friday evening activities)
Entrance of White Hall, Emory University
9:00 AM Arranging 101
Jon Smith
The Vocal Jam
Revathi Murthy
Get Your Album On Track
Alex Green, Alexander Koutzoukis
Vocal Percussion for the Fresh and Curious
Nic Parsons
Acappellaoke Demo
10:15 AM Open Masterclass
Women of the World, Competition Winner
Advanced Arranging Techniques
Tom Anderson
Performing in a Post Glee World: Beginning Staging for the Non-dancer
Solo Consultations
Ariel Arbisser
11:30 AM Masterclasses / Lunch
12:00 PM Barbershop Concert
1:00 PM
2:00 PM Open Masterclass
Naturally 7, Competition Winner
Creating an Effective Rehearsal Environment
Jon Smith
Advanced Vocal Percussion
Paul Koziel
Solo Consultations
Ariel Arbisser
3:15 PM Creating an Identity for Your College A cappella Group
The Sing-Off Champs: Vanderbilt Melodores
Sing it Like You Mean It
Ariel Arbisser
Singing in All Styles
Erin Hackel
No Such Thing as Semipro
Kevin Badanes
4:30 PM Riff-Off Competition
Marc Silverberg
Stuff We Hate
Alex Green, Alexander Koutzoukis
Smarter Recording
Rich Thomas
5:30 PM Dinner Break
7:30 PM Professional Showcase feat. Naturally 7, Women of the World
Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center, Emory University
10:30 PM Afterparty
Sunday, November 15, 2015
10:00 AM Music Director’s Roundtable
Jon Smith
DIY Recording: From Idea to iTunes
Michael Smith
11:15 AM Choreographer’s Roundtable
Put Out the Dumpster Fire: The Art of Notation
Tom Anderson
12:30 PM CASA Forum
Festival Team

Class Descriptions

Advanced Arranging Techniques (Tom Anderson)
Got a few arrangements under your belt? Ready to really get your hands dirty? One of the top names in contemporary a cappella arranging takes you under the hood and shows you how to make your charts purr like the pros’.

Advanced Vocal Percussion (Paul Koziel)

Arranging 101 (Jon Smith)
Have you always wanted to arrange but had no idea where to start? This is the class for you! Learn the step by step process of how to arrange from start to finish, what to do when you hit a road block, and how to get creative with it!

CASA Forum
Come chat with the team behind CASA, and have your voice heard regarding compliments, complaints, and everything in between.

Choreographers Roundtable (TeKay)
A roundtable discussion for performance directors and choreographers. When your bend and snaps no longer whip and crack! Limited Enrollment (request your spot).

Creating a Successful Rehearsal Environment (Jon Smith)
Creating a successful rehearsal environment is key when directing an a cappella group. Learn how to prepare beforehand, how to control a rehearsal, and how to establish a camaraderie between you and your peers. Taking your group to competition can be stressful, hear how Jon Smith dealt with that and took a group who had never placed at a Quarterfinal, to placing 3rd at ICCA Finals. You’ll also hear tips on vocal exercises, how to address problems of pitch, blend and rhythm, tips on arranging and much more.

Creating an Identity for Your College A Cappella Group (with The Sing-Off Champions, The Vanderbilt Melodores)
From small college campuses with a few groups to huge universities that have as many as 20 groups, the number of collegiate a cappella groups is daunting and constantly growing. How can you make your group stand out on campus and in the national spotlight? The Melodores will be giving an overview of their approach to arranging, directing, performance, and marketing that will help your group make a name for themselves in the collegiate a cappella community. The workshop will be led by Musical Director James McHugh and will feature a special performance by The Melodores.

DIY Recording: From Idea to iTunes (Michael Smith, Logan Emlet)
Thinking about recording an album? Its easier than ever to do so in a home studio setting! Learn tips and tricks that the pros use to get the best sound out of performers when recording a track, as well as gain insight into the technical know-how needed to make your track shine. Attendees will walk away with an in-depth understanding of the recording process for use on their next project.

Get Your Album on Track (Alexander Koutzoukis, Alex Green)
Do you record albums every other year just because “that’s how it’s always been”? Are you a new group looking to get your name out there? Whatever the impetus, come join us for a discussion about WHY you’re making an album and HOW to get the most out of the relationship between you and your producer(s) and get all involved parties excited about what you’re making. Topics will include the particulars of song selection, how/where/when to record, the studio process, normal costs involved, album artwork and liner notes, printing CDs, and online distribution, to name just a few.

Music Directors Round Table (Jon Smith)
Meet other MD’s and discuss different ideas, tricks and tips on how to get your group to be their best! Limited Enrollment (request your spot).

No Such Thing as Semipro: All Things Money (Kevin Badanes)
If you are a working ensemble, or getting ready to move into the world of singing for pay, this is for you. How do you get gigs? What are the realities of the professional a cappella scene, and how can you monetize what you love to do? This seminar/roundtable will give you a chance to ask questions and get a firm grip on everything you can expect to face when competing for a presenter’s dollar.

Performing in a Post-Glee World: Beginning staging for the non-dancer (TeKay)
Staging for a cappella concerts can be a lot of fun, but what happens when you’ve put all your time into your ICCA/ICHSA set and have a 2-hour fall concert to perform. This is the class for you. As much as purists like to pretend it isn’t, a cappella is as much a visual medium as it is an aural one. This intro class is for performance directors who want to break the semi-circle habit that plagues many groups. But also quell members’s fear of becoming a show choir. Using some basic principles of staging and movement you can put together a quick(yet well-designed) show.

Put Out the Dumpster Fire: The Art of Notation (Tom Anderson)
If they can’t read it, they’re going to have a hell of a time trying to sing it. This workshop teaches you simple but important practices that make your scores cleaner and easier to read, so that your group can spend less time breaking the Enigma cipher and more time making music.

Riff-Off Competition (Silverberg)
Grab your friends and prepare to compete! The second annual Sojam riff off is about to begin. Come watch the competition and then join the fun in a free-for-all riff off showdown!

Sing It Like You Mean It (Ariel Arbisser)
These days it seems like singing is all about belting into the stratosphere and riffing as much as humanly possible – but in this class it’s about being genuine, vulnerable, and taking your audience on a journey with you. Learn techniques to not only connect with your performance as a soloist, but also as a supporting group singer, and how to consider arranging, choreographing, and performing the song in a way that will enhance your message rather than distract from it.

Singing in All Styles (Erin Hackel)
This class will overview the basics of singing in all styles. Basic physiology, anatomy and technique will be discussed and put into practice by the whole class. We will spend time discussing how to belt healthfully and how to completely eliminate the dreaded “crack” in the voice.

Smarter Recording (Rick Thomas)
So you understand the basics of recording: what a mic is, what editing and mixing do, and generally what it takes to make a contemporary a cappella track. But what if you’re looking to take your tracks to the next level and really make some studio magic? CARA-nominated and RARB-recognized producer Rick Thomas of Richard Thomas Music will walk you through how to bring your A-game to your group’s recording projects in an interactive session designed to answer your most pressing questions, discuss some of the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them, and reveal some tips and tricks of the studio!

Solo Consultations (Ariel Arbisser)
Attend my first workshop “Sing It Like You Mean It” and then apply the Meisner Techniques you learned to the solos you’re working on in this open masterclass! I’ll break down a solo with you to help you get the most effective performance possible. Not only will we discuss the meaning of the lyrics and make sure you’re connected and using all the tools at your disposal to “live truthfully within the imaginary circumstances” of the song, but we’ll also touch on the more detailed and technical things such as breath support, intonation, ornamentation, and interpretation. Limited Enrollment (request your spot).

Stuff We Hate (Koutzoukis, Green et al)
Join a panel of a cappella professionals as we (attendees included) discuss the stuff we hate, from on-stage gripes to song selection to recording ticks and everything in between, as well as our suggestions for alternatives and solutions. Participation is encouraged, so come prepared with your own hates and help for others!

The Vocal Jam (Revathi Murthy)
Can singers “jam” like instrumentalists? Can singers spontaneously compose a song together? Can exercising your improvisation muscles make you and your group invincible? Yes, Yes and Yes! Come fill your improvisation toolkit with techniques that you can use as a soloist, as well as a group member!

Vocal Percussion for the Fresh and Curious (beginner) (Nic Parsons)
Vocal Percussion is fun and with a solid set of basic principals and motivations, it can stay fun and serve you through your college career and beyond. This class will give any curious soul the the simple mechanical “Brooms-n-Stats” (you’ll come out knowing what VP is and how to help your group) but you’ll also get first hand experience in how playfulness and experimentation are and will always be at the center of today’s motivating and inspiring vocal percussion.


Masterclasses will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Purchase your tickets today to reserve your spot!


Scholastic Competition

Friday, November 13, 2015
Emory University



  • Acaphiliacs (Florida State University)
  • All-Night Yahtzee (Florida State University)
  • KeyHarmony (University of Central Florida)
  • Lark (University of Colorado Denver)
  • Reverb (Florida State University)
  • Voicebox (University of Central Florida)


Groups are eligible to apply for the SoJam 2015 Competition if they are made up entirely of full-time students OR are a recognized student group affiliated with a high school, college, or university and adhere to their school’s student group bylaws. All questions about this rule should be directed to a SoJam producer.

We want to see your group’s personality in your submission video! Videos should be approximately five minutes long, and must feature your group singing two stylistically contrasting songs, with at least two different soloists. Show us the creativity and musicality you will be bringing to the SoJam stage! Your submission must be a live performance and must consist of the current school year’s group members (2015-2016). Hopefully this goes without saying, but all entries must consist of vocal music only (no instruments/backing tracks). Please email your videos to amy.pruitt@casa.org.

In order to be considered for the SoJam 2015 Scholastic Competition ALL group members must purchase All Access Passes/tickets to the concerts. No exceptions.

A diverse selection of a cappella judges, experts, and enthusiasts will serve on the Selection Committee for SoJam 2015 and will choose the top 6 groups they would like to see perform in the Scholastic Competition. Neither the Competition Judges nor the SoJam producers are part of the Selection Committee to ensure as fair a competition process as possible.

Dates to remember:

  • Sunday, October 11: Submissions due no later than 11:59pm
  • Friday, October 16: Competitors will be announced
  • Friday, October 23: All necessary set and group information is due
  • Friday November 13: SoJam 2015 Scholastic Competition

Competition Format:

Round 1: Bells & Whistles (6 groups)
We want your group to show off as much choreo/movement/costumes/flair as you can (‘Pitch Perfect’ it up!). Over-the-top is the name of the game. You will have 8 minutes to strut your stuff for the crowd and the judges, who will choose only 4 groups to move on to Round 2.

Round 2: Show Your Strength (4 groups)
In round two you will have 5 minutes to showcase what it is that makes your group unique. Are you masters at vocal play? Avant-garde arrangements? Telling a story with your staging? Highlight whatever it is that makes you YOU. Only 2 groups will progress to the Final Round.

Round 3: Stand and Deliver (2 groups)
In the final head-to-head round you will have 8 minutes to sing. Just sing. There will be NO choreo in this round* (*minimal movement such as changing formations between songs or soloists moving forward and back from the group is allowed. Try not to overthink it, but do ask us if you have any questions). This round is purely about voices, arrangements, and musical execution. Outfits should be simple (possibly even all black). May the best vocal group win!


  • 1st Place
  • 2nd Place
  • 3rd Place
  • Best Soloist
  • Best Vocal Percussion
  • Best Arrangement
  • Best Visual Performance
  • Best Execution of Theme(s)
  • Other (at the discretion of the judges)

**Please note that only CURRENT group members will be eligible for special awards.


Emory University


Location of All Official Festival Activities

Recommended Hotel

Emory Conference Center Hotel

1615 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
$129.00/night plus tax
Call to book and mention group code ‘CASA’

SoJam is a weekend-long a cappella extravaganza brought to you by The Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA). Now in its 12th year, the festival is jam-packed with Concerts, Competitions, Master Classes and hands-on workshops led by some of the biggest names in the vocal music universe! SoJam has established itself as one of the most exciting a cappella gatherings in the world. We invite you to come see and hear for yourself – you just may change your life.

Since its founding by Dave Sperandio in 2003, SoJam has hosted hundreds of talented groups and individuals from around the globe. Each year, we strive to bring the hottest vocal talent to you, our audience. Professional groups and clinicians mixing with students and amateur singers of all sorts, hailing from locations around the world.


Blair Baldwin - CASA Director of Events
Kevin Badanes – SoJam Executive Producer
Shane Ardell - Web & Registration Manager
Alexander Koutzoukis - Graphic Designer
Liz Mongrello - Volunteer Manager
Meron Mogos – Sponsorships
Lauren France – Social Media
Matt Woodward - Education Manager


Aural Pleasure Sojam Picture

Aural Pleasure, Emory University

Founded in 1994, Aural Pleasure is Emory’s oldest co-ed a cappella group. This is not your mother’s “glee club”– AP takes pride in bringing intense energy to performances and an edge to its arrangements, sound, and style. In addition to annual concerts and various campus events, AP often journeys outside of the Emory bubble for local performances, as well as expeditions in other states! Most recently you may have seen AP competing in the ICCAs during the 2014-2015 school year where they won quarterfinals and advanced to semifinals in Florida. In the coming year, Aural Pleasure hopes to continue to take the a cappella world by storm! Be sure to stay updated on all things AP – to contact them or hear more of their aurally pleasing tunes, check out their Facebook page!


SoJam would not be possible without the generous aid of various groups, companies, and benefactors over the years. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their financial and material contributions to the SoJam A cappella Festival.

The Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities like SoJam and the Sing! series to students throughout the US. We appreciate the continued and growing support of everyone that has contributed their time, money and other resources available to further promote our cause.

Sponsorship is a vital part of any non-profit venture’s success, and CASA is no exception. With your help and contributions, we can not only continue to produce SoJam and the Sing! series, but continue to develop and move forward with the promotion of the genre through Scholarship programs and other initiatives.

Over the years, the SoJam festival has grown from a local gathering of collegiate and professional groups to a national and even international consortium of vocal music enthusiasts. Groups and individuals are now coming from far and wide to experience the magic of our festival. Time and time again, groups thank us for urging them to participate, relating to us how SoJam has changed their group or their appreciation for a cappella music forever.

So how can YOU help? Well, in addition to attending this year’s event (highly encouraged, of course!), you can support us monetarily. We are constantly looking to expand our ability to support and challenge the a cappella community. Some current goals include:

  • more professional groups and clinicians to teach and perform
  • multiple microphone setups in each classroom for dynamic teaching capabilities
  • promotional materials to reach out to even more groups, students, and youth interested in vocal performance
  • high-quality recordings of classroom content and professional performances for instruction and enjoyment of the SoJam festival that extends far beyond the weekend.

Interested in sponsoring SoJam? Contact Meron Mogos.


A ‘masterclass’ is a session in which your group works privately with a SoJam instructor or instructors: a chance to receive real-time, constructive criticism from a cappella’s best and brightest! Masterclasses will be available all weekend during class times (Saturday 9:00-5:00, Sunday 10:00-12:00). Masterclass registration is part of event registration and the schedule will be released no later than a week prior to the event.

Certain limited-enrollment workshops and all masterclasses require advance registration, which will open a few weeks prior to the event. We will contact all pass holders when registration opens as well as post details on how to register on our blog and on social media.

Lunch is not included in the pass, although the Saturday schedule includes enough time for lunch at local restaurants.

An All-Access Pass includes admission to both Saturday and Sunday workshops, the Friday evening Collegiate Competition, the Saturday evening Professional Showcase and all afterparties.

Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster. Please see the Tickets section of the website for details.

No, only individual tickets or passes are available to purchase using the CASA Membership discount. If you have some members of your group who are paid CASA members and would like to receive the discount, they can purchase their tickets individually. Make sure they indicate that they are part of your group, and we will have all of your group’s materials together for pick up at registration.

If your group placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 2014 Collegiate Competition, Virginia DeMoss will be in contact with you about how to register for SoJam 2015.

If you should receive passes to SoJam 2015 as part of a 2014 or 2015 sponsorship package, please contact Shane Ardell and we will hold these passes for you at registration / will call.

Be sure to check out the submission instructions to be a part of the competition.

The submission deadline for the competition is listed under the Important Dates section here.

If you have already registered and indicated in your group registration that you are applying to compete, but at the time of registration you did not have your video ready to upload, you can email the link to sojam-submissions@casa.org.

Groups selected to compete will receive a detailed schedule including registration and sound checks from the production team after they are selected to compete. Please plan to be available by 3pm on Friday, October 10th. If you have any specific questions please contact Virginia DeMoss.

We have worked out some discounts with local hotels for the weekend of the conference. Information about how to book using these discounts is posted in the Getting Around section of the site.

All data collection and payments are completed on the Ticketmaster website, with the exception of the Collaborative Recording Add-On which is collected via Paypal.  For information about their payment options and security features, see Paypal’s website.

Before purchasing tickets, carefully review your selection. Policies set forth by our clients, including venues, teams and theaters, prohibit us from issuing refunds after a ticket has been purchased. Regretfully, if you elect to make changes to your plans, tickets cannot be cancelled, exchanged or refunded unless the event has been cancelled or postponed.


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