In Sojam’s 11th 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. Featuring a competition with some of the best collegiate a cappella in the nation hosted by Eh440 on Friday, incredible and inspiring workshops Saturday and Sunday, and a professional showcase of incredible talent from MICappella and the internationally-renowned Swingle Singers Saturday night, SoJam 2013 is set to rock. Are you ready?
*not including taxes and fees
** Preferred Seating option will be presented once you have selected the All Access Pass.
|Friday, November 8, 2013|
|5:00 PM||Registration (open until 8:00 PM)
Memorial Auditorium, Duke Energy Center
|8:00 PM||Collegiate Competition (hosted by Eh440)
Memorial Auditorium, Duke Energy Center
419 Glenwood Ave Raleigh, NC 27603
|Saturday, November 9, 2013|
|8:30 AM||Late Registration (for those who did not attend Friday evening activities)
|Withers 232A||Daniels 434||Mann 216||Daniels 218||Mann 323||Withers 140||Withers 120|
|9:00 AM||Warms Ups 2.0
|Intro to the Asian A cappella Scene
|Vocal Percussion Intro and Use
|Hands On Live Sound
|Arranging Like a Storyteller
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Swingle Ladies
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Business Plan Contest
|10:30 AM||Group Dynamics
|Advanced Arrangement Techniques
|Starting Your Post-Collegiate Group
|What Can We Learn From Barbershop
Ozment, Barbershop Harmony Society
|Sing It Like you Mean it
|Create the Show
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Staging
|12:00 PM||Lunch Break|
|1:00 PM||Headliner Masterclass
|Healthy Belting – Intro to Belting
|The Science of Vocal Sound
|Active Listening for Drummers
|Celebrate the Critic: RARB’s 20 Years
|Aca-Jedi Mind Tricks
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Arranging
|2:30 PM||Seeing Music
|Riff Off Contest
|Perform Your Identity
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Advanced VP
|4:00 PM||Essential Listening
|A Cappella for One: Live Looping Basics
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Advanced Belting
|5:30 PM||Dinner Break|
|8:00 PM||Professional Showcase (featuring the Swingle Singers and MICappella)
Memorial Auditorium, Duke Energy Center
Mosaic Wine Bar
517 W Jones St Raleigh, NC 27603
|Sunday, November 10, 2013|
|10:00 AM||Collaborative Recording**
|Daniels 434||Daniels 218||Mann 323||Withers 140||Daniels 341||Daniels 216|
|10:00 AM||Get Your Album on Track
|Serving Up Social Media Strategy
|Going the Distance
|Casual to Serious
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Say Stuff on Stage
|11:30 AM||Singing With Strangers
|In’s and Out’s of Live Sound
|Post-Collegiate/Adult Round Table
|LIMITED ENROLLMENT: Live Sound Consultation
**Access to the collaborative recording requires purchase of an add-on. Detailed schedule not yet determined.
Tom Anderson’s arrangements can be heard on multiple issues of the BOCA, Sing!, and Voices Only compilations and on the hit NBC a cappella showcase “The Sing-Off”. His arranging clients include 5-time Grammy winners the Swingle Singers, award-winning a cappella solo artist Peter Hollens, ICCA champions Pitch Slapped, and dozens of other vocal groups across the country (and occasionally beyond). A former member of pro a cappella groups Ball in the House and Four Shadow and original music director of UW-Eau Claire Fifth Element, Tom is the founder and owner of Random Notes LLC, an arranging service specializing in vocal music for groups of all styles, makeups, and abilities, and situated cozily online at www.random-notes.com.
An Iowa native, singer, vocal coach, and actress, Ariel spent the past seven years in Ithaca, New York where she attended Cornell University. At Cornell she sang with the Cornell Chordials and won the 2010 Contemporary A cappella Recording Award for Best Mixed Soloist, and was voted Runner-Up in the A cappella Community Awards for Favorite Female Vocalist of 2010. She’s been a featured soloist on several a cappella compilation albums and co-wrote, produced, and starred in Sex, Drugs, and A Cappella: An Original Web Series. After Cornell, Ariel graduated from a 2-year Meisner Technique training program with the Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca. She currently serves as Program Manager of Marketing for the Contemporary A cappella Society and on the Board of Trustees for the Melodramatics Theatre Company, Inc. Ariel is a member of The Funx and recently helped start Lady Jaye. In Ithaca she performs regularly with The Jeff Love Band and moonlights with bands around the country.
Dr Kevin Badanes has been directing and singing with cappella small ensembles for twenty five years. His Virginia Tech Chamber Singers were the only American choir selected for the San Juan Coro international festival in 2002. Badanes is the founder and musical director of Avante, the professional a cappella vocal jazz octet based in the Triangle. He is in demand as a clinician, conductor, and arranger, and has presented performers and classes on small ensemble singing at the American Choral Director’s Association festivals in New York, Virgina and West Virginia. Kevin Badanes has conducted clinics with high school and college ensembles on subjects of rehearsal efficiency, blend, tuning, and how to listen.
Blair Baldwin first joined the aca community back in 2004, when she was accepted into the UNCG Sapphires. During her tenure in the group, she served as the percussionist, arranger, and Musical Director, leading the group to numerous top-two finishes at ICCA and SoJam. She currently lives in Chicago, where she works as a wedding coordinator, and directs the pro group Vocal Chaos. Blair is a graduate of Columbia College with a degree in Arts Management, and believes that soy chai lattes are the key to happiness.
The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA), is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash in 1938, the organization quickly grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages.Just under 25,000 men in the United States and Canada are members of this organization whose focus is on a cappella music.
Dave Baumgartner, or “dB” as he is nearly universally known, is a remarkably versatile vocal percussionist who drums with a talent that is beyond his years. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Dave is a self-taught percussionist who began developing his craft while he was still in high school, and he hasn’t stopped drumming ever since. Dave has toured the world as a sought-after instructor, performer, and workshop panelist. He was declared “The Picasso of Vocal Percussion” by the Washington Post, and has been featured in print, TV and Radio media all over the globe. Dave has performed with Vocal Tonic, Toxic Audio, 4:2:Five, Almost Recess, InPulse, Street Corner Symphony, and most recently Overdrive, to name just a few of the fantastic groups that he’s had the privilege to work with. Dave has been to almost every SoJam, and as he remembers his first SoJam performance 10 years ago, Dave feels lucky to be able to share his love of vocal percussion with you.
Alli Brooks has served as the Executive Producer of SoJam A Cappella Festival (2008 & 2009), Creative Director for the Alliance for A Cappella Initiatives (AACI), and as a member of the CASA Board of Directors. She is an alumna of Florida State University’s All-Night Yahtzee, which, during her tenure as Business Manager, dominated the South region of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), becoming the first group to make three consecutive appearances at ICCA finals and ultimately winning First Runner-Up in 2008. More recently, Alli has become familiar to many as The Voice of Mouth Off!, the award-winning podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary a cappella music, “from news to reviews to personal views.” She currently resides in Boston, where she continues to participate in the a cappella community as an instructor at CASA festivals and by serving as an ICCA adjudicator. In her spare time, Alli enjoys telling jokes and spends a considerable amount of energy crafting preposterously elaborate song parodies.
Matt Caruso has been involved in contemporary a cappella for over 13 years. As the owner of the production company/studio, ACappellaPsych, Matt has broadened his a cappella horizon from only singing to directing, arranging, producing and managing. In addition to running ACappellaPsych, he has spent 4 years as a music proctor for the American Boychoir School. Combining his psychology degree and music education knowledge he’s been able to approach a cappella from a fresh, and revealing, new perspective. To learn more about Matt, visit www.ACappellaPsych.com.
Jill Clark got bit by the aca-bug in 2006 when she joined the UNCG Sapphires. During her four year run with the award-winning all female group, she won three Best VP awards at various SoJams as well as ICCAs. Since graduating college, she has joined up with the forces at The Vocal Company and Sled Dog Studios as an engineer. In addition to being a part of TVC, she is also a member of Deviate–a new professional group based out of Greensboro, NC (check ‘em out on YouTube).
Scott Cobban is a singer and vocal percussionist for Five O’Clock Shadow and a former member of Overboard. He’s also a recent graduate of the ImprovAsylum’s improv training program. Growing up, he tried his hand at a number of musical instruments, but started focusing on singing in high school. He’s been involved in a cappella since 2000 when he joined Clark University’s coed group the Clark Bars. Outside of a cappella, he’s a full-time web developer in Boston for the tech company Carbonite.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Amanda started her a cappella career as musical director of Special K at Hamilton College. After graduation she moved to rural Japan for 4 years where she founded, trained and performed with an international a cappella group called the Amigos. Since moving the the DC area in 2005, Amanda has founded and performs with Euphonism (CAL) and Snowday, a group that primarily provides a cappella educational programs in the Mid-Atlantic. She has served as a CARA nominator and judge and written numerous arrangements for groups around the world. She is currently the Vice President and Director of Events for CASA.
Robert Dietz has been arranging, performing, and critiquing contemporary a cappella music at all levels for over ten years. His career began in high school as director of the critically acclaimed group, Ascending Height, with whom he produced the first all-original high school a cappella album. Robert has studied at both the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, Australia, and at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York where he directed the award winning all-male group, Ithacappella. In 2011 Robert was a member of the creative team for season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA where he sings locally with Jazz/Soul group, Level and tours nationally with The Lost Dogs. You can find him online at www.human-feedback.com.
Colin Egan is a Chapel Hill native who grew up influenced by the local a cappella community. He immersed himself in a cappella beginning at East Chapel Hill High School’s all-male Chiefs of Staff, and went on to direct his co-ed group at Emory University. He returned to all-male a cappella with the award-winning professional group, Hyannis Sound, which he directed for two years. Since moving to New York City, Colin has expanded his musical career in to production, founding Five Spice Records.
Eh440 is an acappella group founded in Toronto, Canada in 2012. Of course, that means that they only use their voices to create their music. How Did It Start? Four vocalists and a beatboxer got together in 2012 and decided to form a new kind of group. Some had sung together before, some only knew of each other through their music, and some had even been childhood rivals. But they knew that they wanted to work together to start something fresh and new – recording and performing a modern side of contemporary acappella music. And, although the group is new, individually the members have vast experiences. Between them, they have released CDs that have topped the charts, been certified gold, and toured all over the world including coast-to-coast in Canada, the U.S., as well as Europe and Asia. How Do I Say It? Eh is pronounced the Canadian way (like the first letter of the alphabet) and then the number 4, and then the number 40.
Michael Eldredge began his love affair with music, specifically live music at a very early age in the form of musical theater. Throughout elementary school he was part of a local performing group called “The Singing Connection”. He continued his love of performance in High School where he lettered in Theater, competing in state theater competition and Shakespeare festivals. After high school he became involved with Hale Centre Theatre where he performed the role of “Young Scrooge” in the company’s production of “A Christmas Carol” for three years, during which time he was invited to be a part of “Encore”, a musical theater group at Utah Valley State University. He joined that company for a tour of Romania, returned home, and joined another local community theater group to play Conrad Birdie, in “Bye Bye Birdie”. It wasn’t until meeting Kurt Walker at Southern Virginia University that Michael was finally introduced to Contemporary A Cappella. He joined SVU’s mens a cappella group “Shameless” and took many road trips with Kurt to see performances by “The Ex-Boyfriends”, “Naturally 7″, and the ICCA competitions. All of these trips were amazing, but one would affect his life greatly for years to come. In 2004, he and Kurt drove down to North Carolina to check out a young a cappella festival called “SoJam”. A photographer by trade, Michael had his camera with him on those trips, and, with the encouragement of Dave Sperandio, has applied his talents in support of a cappella music for the last 7 years, covering events for SoJam, and now CASA. Working with a prodigious and eclectic collection of professional performers has given Michael a great appreciation for the power and artistry of well-crafted live a cappella.
Currently, Charlie is a member of the professional educational group, Snowday, which recently toured to Russia and Canada, as well as performing for the National Christmas Tree lighting at the White House. He is also member and director of the Washington, DC-based CAL group, Euphonism, which performed at the London A Cappella Festival in 2012. Charlie has coached, judged and taught at many festivals, workshops and competitions across the country, both a cappella-specific and choral, and is an accomplished arranger, having worked on songs for various ensembles worldwide. He is also an experienced live sound and studio engineer, and along with Amanda Cornaglia, owns and operates Clear Harmonies Productions in Maryland, with whom he has received multiple award nominations.
Alex was the Creative Director of Voices in Your Head from the University of Chicago from 2011 to 2013. As the group’s head choreographer and visual performance coach, Alex helped propel Voices to a first place finish at the inaugural BOSS:Boston Sings collegiate competition, earning a Best Staging Overall nod in the process. Her choreography was recognized at 2012′s ICCA Quarterfinal and Midwest Semifinal, and contributed to the group’s fourth place finish at 2012′s ICCA Finals and third place finish at BOSS 2013. Outside the aca-sphere, Alex works at a poverty law organization in Chicago, IL. She plans to one day save the world through the potent combination of civil rights law and slick aca-dance moves.
Joanna started singing at school in various groups including an a cappella group that she led herself. While still at school she joined the Ionian Singers, recording several contemporary music albums. She was a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, serving as soprano 1 section leader, and also sang with its chamber choir Laudibus. Joanna studied voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama before joining the Swingle Singers in 2006. As a session singer she has appeared on film soundtracks including ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 & 2’. She has also sung live backing vocals for alternative rock legend Elizabeth Fraser. Joanna’s arrangement of ‘No More I Love You’s’ on the Swingle Singers album ‘Ferris Wheels’ won the 2010 CARA award for Best Jazz Song. She was a Disney princess in a previous life.
Alex Green is a producer, recording engineer and co-owner of Plaid Productions with Alexander Koutzoukis. He spent his college career singing with and directing the Tufts Amalgamates, and has since worked on albums with groups from across the country and the world, and made countless soups. He enjoys the fruits of both labors.
Erin Hackel holds a Doctorate in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, and currently heads the Commercial Voice area at the University of Colorado, Denver. She specializes in eliminating the mystery and guess work surrounding belt voice singing, and is passionate about teaching contemporary singers to belt in a sustainable, healthy way. Erin directs CU Denver’s award winning a cappella groups, MIX and the 9th Street Singers.
Patrick Hockberger is a Chicago-based musician and entrepreneur who specializes in composing, directing, and performing vocal music. He has been a RARB reviewer, writer for CASA, and a CARA nominator and judge. While attending Northwestern University, he music directed The Undertones and oversaw the production of their album Rock Paper Shotgun. Today he sings with Vocal Chaos, the a cappella group that founded AcappellaFest in 2007. He has sung in venues all over Chicago including Orchestra Hall in Symphony Center, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Grant Park, and the Chicago House of Blues. As a composer he specializes in writing music for film, video games, and the stage. Earlier this year Patrick co-founded VoxLabs, a new a cappella business exploring experimental ventures in vocal music.
Bri’s relationship with a cappella began as a student at The University of Chicago. While serving as Music Director of Men in Drag, President of Voices in Your Head, and President of the UChicago A Cappella Council, Bri won the 2012 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) for Best Female Collegiate Arrangement and 2013 CARA for Best Scholastic Original Song, and her arrangements and solos have been featured on compilation albums Voices Only, Best of Collegiate A Cappella, and Sing. Bri is currently a producer with The Vocal Company, and is a founding member of vocal group, Lady Jaye. She’s completed the Soup2Nuts seminar with Deke Sharon and Bill Hare, served as the Assistant Educational Officer for CASA, is an Ambassador for the Women’s A Cappella Association, founded and directed high school group/camp FReestyle in her hometown, and was a counselor at the inaugural Camp A Cappella 2013. Bri is an avid songwriter and performer, and is looking forward to a lifetime career in music.
Alexander is co-owner (and producer, and engineer…) of Plaid Productions, a full-service a cappella production studio based in Boston, along with Alex Green. While attending Tufts University for computer science, he spent five years in the Beelzebubs, for two of which he was Music Director. He got his start in the field of a cappella production while working closely with Ed Boyer and Bill Hare on two award-winning Bubs albums (Pandaemonium and Play The Game) and continued along that path to help record and edit BATTLE, as well as about half of the Warblers tracks from Season 2 of Glee. He won a 2010 Best Male Collegiate Arrangement CARA for his arrangement of “All The Love In The World,” a 2012 CARA runner-up in the same category for “Kings and Queens,” and was also runner-up for Favorite Vocal Percussionist in the 2010 ACAs. He is currently Executive Producer of BOSS in addition to his graphic design work for both BOSS and SoJam.
Liquid 5th Productions was formed in 2005 with one goal: Deliver the best possible studio recording, live sound, and consulting service in the a cappella industry. While we strive to give each and every one of our clients the very best product, we believe that the most important part of the album creation process is the experience. With Liquid 5th, your musical vision and creative ideas are always at the center of your project. Through such close collaboration with our each one of our clients, we capture the best artistic elements and combine them with our technical expertise to make every album reflect the groups distinct style and musical ideas, while at the same time giving it the punch and sparkle to fit right in with the rest of the commercial music industry’s discography. We love what we do so much, that we often record and release our own tracks, simply for the fun of the project.
Mike is a founding member of Columbia University’s coed a cappella phenomenon Nonsequitur. His arrangement of Dido’s Here with Me won the 2004 Contemporary A Cappella Publishing award for Best Collegiate Arrangement, which he can also be seen dissecting in the 2009 documentary Sounds Good To Me about the making of college a cappella. These days, Mike is perhaps best known as the technical director for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board, a position that combines his dual passions of a cappella music and web-based technology. Even though he doesn’t write reviews anymore, Mike does listen to every single album sent to RARB. Really.
Jessie Louise Mark graduated from Duke University in 2011 with a B.A. in History, a minor in Music, and a lifelong love of a cappella. During her four years as a member of Lady Blue, Jessie served as assistant music director, “Captain”, and music director. In these positions, she led the group to many first time achievements, including the group’s first appearance at SoJam in 2008. Jessie lives in New York City, where she is the music director of the NYCbased CAL group, Empire. Since graduating, she has also served as an ICCA judge, coached an allfemale high school a cappella group, and tutored college and high school students in music theory. In Jessie’s free time, she works fulltime as a media buyer at an ad agency in Midtown.
Holli got her start in acappella as a member of the James Madison University BluesTones for five years, serving as music director and president and leading the group to many recognitions in the ICCA, SoJam, BOCA & CARA’s. In 2010, Holli moved to New York City, where her aca-community presence grew as the ICCA Northeast Producer for Varsity Vocals and the music director of all-female CAL group, Empire. For the last five years, she has continued to arrange and work as a clinician for high school and collegiate groups across the country through her personal studio, H&M Vocal. Currently, Holli resides in Northwest DC, serves as the ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer for Varsity Vocals, and is the founder/music director of DC’s newest all-female vocal group, The District.
Lindsey McGowen, the AcappellaFest 2013 Executive Producer, originally hails from the great city of Chicago, and started her a cappella career in high school as a founding member of Solace, at Glenbrook South High School in 1999. She went on to found Solstice, at Case Western Reserve University, and upon moving to Detroit in 2006, founded two CAL groups: Two Weeks Notice, and The Seekers. Lindsey is an avid arranger, an ICCA & ICHSA judge and producer, has a penchant for seeing songs in color, and a special place in her heart for lady-a cappella. Professionally, she is a Business Analyst in the software industry, and in her spare time enjoys all things related to Japan, vintage jazz dances, and being a giant nerd.
MICappella is an original Singapore vocal band with a contagious energy, bringing a professional, passionate, and edgy spin to a cappella performances. Fresh from their first runner‐up finish on Chinese reality TV singing competition The Sing‐Off China in early September 2012, MICappella’s unique blend of English and Mandarin mainstream rock, pop, R&B, club and dance music leaves music lovers yearning for more. MICappella has performed at prolific events like the Singapore E‐Awards 2011 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the Singapore Youth Olympics 2010. The band also represented Singapore at Taiwan’s premier singing competition Super Idol 5 in 2011 and was the only South‐East Asian group invited to perform alongside Singer‐songwriter Khalil Fong during the Hong Kong International A Cappella Extravaganza 2010.
Revathi Murthy is a multifaceted artist who participates in many art forms ranging from community theatre to a cappella composition to vintage social dance. Her love for improvisation stems from her decade of vocal training in classical music from southern India, in addition to her brief stint singing with the big-band Studio Jazz Ensemble at the University of Washington, Seattle (UW), where she collaborated with esteemed artists Fred Radke and Gina Funes. While in college, she acted in, then co-directed The Vagina Monologues, as well as two “a cappella musicals” with Seattle SoundBYTES, loosely based on The Hangover, and Jack Sparrow/Ocean’s Eleven, respectively. After moving to the DC area last year, she jumped back into the a cappella community by becoming the guest arranger at SingStrong DC 2013 with her mash-up, “Too Close for This Wicked Game”, co-arranged with Judy Fontana. Revathi’s always looking for new friends, sources of inspiration, and collaborators for her three ongoing efforts: 1) composing original arrangements or reimagined arrangements of lesser-known artists, 2) formulating an approach for adapting and/or codifying arrangements for the looping station medium, and 3) exploring the use of minimalist theatre in conjunction with a cappella music. If any of those three efforts sound compelling, please contact Revathi at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Heather Newkirk is a very small girl with a very large love for music. She began at Syracuse University with the all-female and fabulous Main Squeeze. In four years, she served as business manager, public relations director, music director, arranger, vocal percussion, and choreographer (Yes, all of those). She has been awarded Best VP and Best Arrangement at ICCAs, and led Main Squeeze to record their first EP. Her arrangement “Wolf & I” can be heard on Voices Only 2013. She also helped to co-found Volta who competed in the 2013 BOSS Collegiate Competition. When she isn’t doing a cappella things, she’s probably off being a nerd about computer games or eating food, or usually both at the same time.
Danny Ozment grew up in Richmond, VA and began his a cappella career at James Madison University where he founded Exit 245 and also sang with The Madison Project and The Overtones. He received a masters degree in conducting from JMU and then settled in Washington, DC where he conducted and prepared professional choirs at the Kennedy Center for the Master Chorale of Washington and the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, Danny started Emerald City Productions, a recording studio based in Springfield, VA offering recording, editing, mixing, coaching, and arranging services. He has received over 30 CARA award nominations in the professional and collegiate categories and his work has appeared on the SING, BOCA, BOHSA, Voices Only, and Voices Only Forte compilations. Danny has served on the CASA Board of Directors since 2011.
Chris Rishel was first introduced to a cappella music when he sang in a barbershop quartet in 8th grade, and has been hooked ever since. Throughout high school and undergrad, he continued pursuing barbershop until he finally entered the realm of contemporary a cappella during graduate school at the University of Chicago. There, he directed Voices in Your Head and has produced the group’s recent recordings, including the award-winning album, I Used to Live Alone and the singles “We Found Love”, “Titanium”, and “Life of the Mind”. He has won 3 CARAs for both songwriting and arranging, and has had his work featured on Sing, BOCA, Voices Only, and Ben Folds’s a cappella album. Additionally, several of his arrangements have won “oustanding arrangement” awards at ICCA quarterfinals and semifinals, and helped propel Voices in Your Head to a widely acclaimed appearance at ICCA Finals in 2012. He also founded the A Cappella Council at the University of Chicago, and has arranged, recorded, and edited for a number of groups in the midwest and beyond.
John Robinson has been involved with a cappella since his freshman year at the University of Central Florida where, in 2005, he became a founding member of the Crescendudes, UCF’s allmale a cappella group. After graduating he attended Georgia Tech for graduate studies and joined Infinite Harmony, Tech’s co-ed group. With IH, he recorded and produced their first EP and was their music director for the 2011-2012 school year. Having finally bid adieu to the collegiate vocal scene, John now sings bass in Catatonic, an Atlanta-based vocal band. He continues work in audio engineering with Box Spring Productions. During the day, he pursues a PhD in aerospace engineering specializing in radar systems.
René Ruiz is an accomplished voice actor, stage director and narrator. He created, directed and performed with the Off-Broadway acappella theatre show TOXIC AUDIO. This piece showcased the power of the human voice with smooth harmonies, vocal sound effects and musical improv. It won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for “Unique Theatrical Experience”. The group became the Harmony Sweeps National Champions in 2000 and their album “Chemistry” was crowned CARA Album Of The Year in 2003. He has performed as an announcer, director and vocalist for the Walt Disney World Co., Universal Studios Florida, Six Flags New England, Kennywood and Hershey Park. He has also narrated numerous audiobooks, documentaries, corporate videos and commercials.
Steve Ryan got his first taste of the a cappella experience as a performer with the Georgia Tech Sympathetic Vibrations, starting in 2004. By the time Georgia Tech was finished with him, he had started (and eventually finished) the group’s second CD project, and founded a new multi-cultural vocal group dedicated to a fusion of various global musical styles. Steve continues to work closely with a cappella groups in the Metro-Atlanta area and around the southeast as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, and general consultant. In 2008, Steve started volunteering with the SoJam production team to make the event bigger and better than ever, and is excited about working directly with CASA to promote the performance and appreciation of contemporary a cappella. He’ll be acting as the Treasurer and continuing to work on the SoJam Festival each year.
Marc Silverberg is a doctoral fellow at Five Towns College. He is the author of “Quest for the A cappella Major,” a blog that discusses the continuing education of contemporary a cappella music and group improvisation. He has presented workshops on vocal improvisation at several CASA.org sponsored festivals, as well as the American Choral Directors Association’s 2013 national convention. His CAL Group, Satellite Lane, was recently crowned the 2013 New York Harmony Sweepstakes “Audience Favorite,” as well as the recipient of “Best Arrangement.” In addition to being an a cappella clinician, conductor, and performer, he also writes original musicals and plays. His original work, He’s Not Himself, premiered Off-Broadway in 2012 as part of the New York Music Theatre Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Westminster Choir College.
SoJam Executive Producer Dave Sroka, obsessed with music creation and performance since the age of 4, co-founded Raleigh, NC-based CAL group Cognitive Resonance, for which he currently serves as Creative Director, primary arranger, and performer. He first ventured into vocal performance in college at Virginia Tech singing with the university’s Concert Choir, small chamber choir Camerata, and Early Music Ensemble, but never stopped nerding out over the school’s contemporary a cappella groups. He also performs with Chapel Hill’s classical vocal ensemble Cantari and stays active in the local arts community via theater and musical productions, group coaching, and consultations. Dave founded and runs Robot Factorial, a mobile application and game development studio.
Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Ph.D., is a professional educator and clinician. In a cappella he has directed education for CASA, coordinated RARB, and judged for the CARAs, ICCAs, and ICHSAs; currently he directs education for The Vocal Company. Outside of a cappella, Dr. Stevens specializes in Latin, Greek, and classical traditions, focusing on how ancient literature has influenced modern genres including science fiction and fantasy; he is currently at Hollins University. Follow him on facebook, Twitter, and his poetry blog.
TeKay was one of the first ambassadors for CASA back in the early ’90s. He’s a member of Contemporary A Capella League group DeltaCappella and served as a CAL-rep for SoJam. He’s been a RARB reviewer for several years and is one of the sing series producers. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of A Cappella Initiatives as a jack-of-all-trades and the Executive Producer of the Sing series of recordings. He was the Associate Editor of the Contemporary A Cappella News magazine for more than a decade and was the South Regional Producer of the ICCA from 1998-2004.
Brian has been involved/addicted to a cappella music since at least 2002, possibly earlier. While attending NC State, Brian performed with both the Concert Choir and Acappology, serving as the music director of Acappology for 3 years and helping to record and release the group’s first album in 10 years. After graduating and realizing that the “real world” isn’t all its cracked up to be, Brian started graduate school at Duke University and performed with Duke’s Rhythm and Blue for 2 years. During his tenure, the group recorded and released the album, House on Fire, which received several CARA and ACA nominations, as well as recognition as one of RARB’s “Picks of the Year”. Rhythm and Blue also won the SoJam 2010 Collegiate Competition where Brian received the award for Best Vocal Percussion. In addition to his collegiate experience, Brian has also taught at several CASA-sponsored festivals, performed as a percussionist for the NC-based professional group, transit, and currently performs with the CAL-group, Cognitive Resonance.
Upon receiving his degree in music education from Ithaca College, Caleb moved back home where he became a voice instructor at the Nantucket Community Music Center and directed the Nantucket Community Chorus. After moving to Boston, Caleb joined Five O’Clock Shadow and later founded and directed Slapdash Graduate and Blueprint. He is currently performing with all three groups and is also touring the country with the host group from Sojam 2011′s Friday Night Competition, Overboard.
Clare grew up in Kenya before moving to Manchester to attend Chethams School of Music, where she trained as a classical violinist and also studied classical voice. During this time she met bassist Steve Berry of Loose Tubes, and started getting into jazz. She followed on to Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London to study composition and voice on the jazz course under Lee Gibson, Pete Churchill and Tim Garland, as well as classical singing with Penny Mackay. Clare freelanced in London as a jazz singer, composer and arranger, and taught Music Theory and Harmony at the Academy of Contemporary Music, before joining the internationally renowned Swingle Singers in the summer of 2007. Although the group takes her abroad for much of the year, she still writes prolifically for her own ensembles.
Getting his start in A Cappella as the vocal drummer for DoubleShot!, Pittsburgh’s All-Vocal Band, Mike has garnered nine awards from the Harmony Sweepstakes for his live performance and arranging including an appearance at National Finals, and performed regionally and nationally as well as several appearances on local television, radio, and (perhaps most importantly in his hometown) all the major sports venues. He has been as a CARA nominator and a CASA blogger, as well as judge for the CARAs, Harmony Sweepstakes and ICCAs. As an event producer, he brought the first ever ICCA Championship to Pittsburgh and currently serves as the CASA Ambassador for Pittsburgh. As a mouthdrummer, he has trained under Wes Carroll, Dave Baumgartner, Ball in the House’s Jon J. Ryan, and Vox (Toxic) Audio’s Rene Ruiz.
Matt Woodward is a choir director at San Antonio’s own MacArthur High School. While at Loyola University New Orleans, he earned two international bronze medals with a barbershop quartet called the Nile Manski Trio. Later he was the tenor section leader with the San Marcos Marcsmen, 2008 Youth Chorus Grand Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Last year, his student acapella group, PFC, took home the championship at the ICHSA in New York. In his spare time, Matt cooks for his amazing wife, BriAnne, plays with his two miniature schnauzers, Choppa and Pickles, and enjoys listening to snobby hifi audio equipment.
The SoJam 2013 masterclass schedule is almost final and will be announced soon.
A Cappella for One: Live Looping 101 Basics (Mike Why)
Mouthdrummer, Live Looper, Maker of Funny Sounds, “One Man Band… Without the Band” Mike Why from Pittsburgh walks students through the fundamentals of being their own a cappella band using basic live looping technology.
Aca-Jedi Mind Tricks (Matt Caruso)
This very interactive workshop focuses on methods to achieve aca-cohesiveness. You’ll learn methods, tips and tricks from the psychological prospective of sensation and perception. Other topics discussed will include: Memory & Music and Non-Musical Recording Tips. If you’re looking for techniques to make to make your group better in less than 1 rehearsal, you need to attend this workshop!
Active Listening for Drummers (Dave Baumgartner)
This class will focus on listening to and dissecting songs to figure out what’s happening rhythmically within the song, and then working with the students to adapt that rhythm into something performable. I encourage students to bring songs that they’re struggling with so we could figure them out together.
Advanced Arrangement Techniques (Tom Anderson)
Less philosophy, and more specific how-to’s for the experienced arranger looking to add arrows to their quiver.
Advanced Belting – Limited Enrollment (Erin Hackel)
For students who have either completed Healthy Belting or have strong belt voice technique. This limited enrollment class is designed to take advanced belters to the next level. Students will have the opportunity to have one-on-one dedicated time with Dr. Hackel in front of other belters. Master Class format- please bring a belt voice tune, memorized, with music for an accompanist. Written out music or lead sheet chords.
Advanced VP – Limited Enrollment (Dave Baumgartner)
This class is for students who are sick of going to vocal percussion classes and learning anything new. Work with experienced drummers to overcome performance challenges, develop new sounds, patterns, more mic technique.
Arranging – Limited Enrollment (Tom Anderson)
Attendees (any skill/experience level) would bring in one arrangement they’ve done for me to give specific comments and critiques, with the caveat that my feedback on each arrangement is given in front of the whole group so everyone can learn together from everyone’s work.
Arranging Like a Storyteller (Rob Dietz)
Music is a story. Every aspect of your presentation is communication of this story. The tone of voice, arrangement, and body language of a performance will enhance or inhibit your audience’s experience.
Business Plan Contest (Patrick Hockberger)
Empower students with the knowledge and resources to start their own a cappella based business, and challenge them to create a business plan under the strict guidelines of a competition.
Casual to Serious (Amanda Cornaglia)
Want to elevate your group to a higher level of focus and commitment? Trying to figure out how to encourage a new standard of technical, musical, or logistical prowess? Join Amanda Cornaglia and Charlie Friday of Euphonism as they discuss how to determine if you are ready and the techniques to effectively up your game.
Celebrate the Critic: RARB’s 20 years of Talking Smack (TeKay, Michael Marcus)
Boo Ya! In honor of RARB’s 20th anniversary, we are bringing together current and former staff to offer highlights and insights on the trajectory of a cappella recordings from the stone age of our beginning through the present day and beyond. A bit of history, a bit of lightning, a lot of listening, plus an exclusive sneak peak at RARB 2.0 … and yes, there will be CAKE!
Create the Show (Rene Ruiz)
You’ve spent long hours perfecting those chords and rehearsing the perfect blend. Now it’s time to present your music to an audience. Here are the important things to remember when creating, designing and presenting your “show”. I outline the important steps to take when turning your music into a “visual” medium.
DIY Recording (Danny Ozment)
Want to record, but don’t have the budget for a professional company to do it for you? Let Danny Ozment teach you how to do you own recording from start to finish.
Essential Listening (Ben Stevens)
What is there to listen to, how might we listen to it, and why? In this interactive workshop we develop our critical-listening skills so as to recover our fundamental human capacity to be moved by music. A special focus is on songs, performances, and other moments that have been central to contemporary a cappella.
Female Arranging (Holli Matze, Jessie Louise Mark)
Calling all ladies! Break out of your comfort zone with Holli Matze and Jessie Mark in an interactive hour of allfemale arranging. Do you feel like you could be doing more as an arranger or director to stand out above competing coed and allmale groups? Have you ever felt that you could be doing more with your arrangements if you only knew how to move beyond your usual “din din din doh”? Competitions aren’t separated by gender, so us ladies gotta stick together! Join us to learn some acatricks of the trade: bring out your lowest voices, create powerful moments, make bold musical statements and carve out a place for your new and improved unique sound in the acapella landscape.
Fundraising (Blair Baldwin)
Your group needs money! This class will help guide you to financial success!
Get your album on Track How to plan and execute an album from the producers’ side of things. We constantly have groups come to us out of what appears to just be habit or routine. “Well, we record every two years, so it’s about time.” But WHY? What’s the goal? We want to talk about ways to create a vision for your project that will get the group AND the producer excited, and as a result, extract a better product from all involved parties.
Going the Distance (Alli Brooks, Brian Watts)
Are you in a group that makes fresh and original music, learns innovative arrangements, even performs mind-blowing choreography… but feels like it’s only being held together by a thread? Guess what: you’re not alone. Every year, groups of all ages, shapes, and sizes are faced with issues that can potentially kill momentum, or even cause a complete membership meltdown! Whether you’re bracing yourself for the graduation of over half your members, dealing with that baritone who seem to prioritize everything else before rehearsal, or struggling to keep up morale when all hope seems lost, this workshop can help: we’ll address the issues and equip you with the tools and tactics to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of your group’s success and longevity. Don’t let your flame burn out over membership turnover or mental barriers — learn how to set your group’s trajectory for greatness and then keep it there!
Group Dynamics (Clare Wheeler)
This class will guide you through the psychology of being in a group. Clare will show us exersizes and ideas to grow your inner group love.
Healthy Belting – Intro to Belting (Erin Hackel)
Always afraid your voice will crack? Feel like you have one voice for low and one for high? One of the best-reviewed classes at SoJam 2012 and Boss 2013, Healthy Belting introduces Dr. Hackel’s innovative and original belt voice technique. Learn the mechanics and anatomy behind a healthy belt voice and how to belt as high as you want without fear.
In’s and Out’s of Live Sound (Caleb Whelden)
A “how to” of live sound for your a cappella group. EQ mysteries will be revealed, bass and VP mics will be unmuddied, and feedback will be a topic for old ghost stories.
Listening/Tuning (Dr Kevin Badanes)
As we all know, regardless of the talent of your singers, your group can only go as far as its musicality will take it. Join Dr Badanes and Avante Vocal Jazz for an intensive, audience participation seminar which will show you exactly how to put down the microphones and fix your group’s issues of tuning and blend. Bring your full group and your toughest measures and learn how tuning is a function of the body, the ear, the vocal instrument and the realities of acoustics. As a bonus, Avante premieres Spinning Wheel with special guest baritone Tom Anderson!
Live Sound Consultation – Limited Enrollment (Charlie Friday)
Get a personalized plan for your specific live sound needs from an industry pro. At the end of this session, you will know exactly what you need, where to get it, and how to use it.
MD Class (Colin Egan)
Being an effective music director is much more than just teaching parts and playing the pitch. This class will give you strategies for becoming a better music director and a better group leader, drawing from experience as well as peer discussion.
Original Songwriting (Brianne Holland)
The past few years have seen more a cappella original music than possibly ever before. Where does one begin in writing a song? Where do ideas come from, and how do you keep them organized? What kinds of tools can be utilized if you hit a roadblock? How can you make your ideas as effective as possible? This course will break down the process of songwriting into manageable steps and give you the tools necessary to express your ideas and emotions in music.
Perform your Identity (Alexandra Gilewicz)
Can’t dance? No emotion on your singers’ faces? Struggling to shake that awkward “aca-bob?” This workshop will give you tactics to overcome these challenges and more. There’s no singular right or wrong way to approach visual performance in a cappella, but when you take the time to identify your group’s personality, goals, and capabilities, you can turn what appear to be your groups’ weaknesses into innovative, compelling performance. You’ll leave this class with new confidence in your group’s ability to engage a crowd in ways that take your shows to another level!
Post-Collegiate/Adult Round Table (Dave Sroka)
A VoCALnation hit, this lively discussion of adult groups regarding the benefits and problems associated with life as a post-collegiate group is designed for leaders but open to all. We breakdown the topics, lessons, and concerns unique to us with a wide variety of perspectives. You’ll leave with at least one thing that will make your group better and your life easier…guaranteed.
Riff Off Contest (Lindsey McGowen, Marc Silverberg)
Want to learn how to “Riff off” like in the movies? Come participate in this contest, and experience a real rush of improv excitement!
Say Stuff on Stage (Scott Cobban)
Learn how to use improv games and techniques to prepare for performances and general talking/hosting moments.
Seeing Music (Michael Eldredge)
A visual exploration of live performance through concert photography. Followed by a discussion about the nature of impression and expression using non verbal communication to connect with our audience and better convey emotional content. – See more at: http://vocal-nation.com/event-schedule/workshops/#descriptions
Serving up Social Media Strategy (Heather Newkirk, Tina Yip)
Your a cappella group is probably on social media, but are you using it correctly? We’ve scoured through many groups’ social media pages and realize that groups have missed many great opportunities to make themselves known! Come learn about effective SM strategy that you can use to promote your group. Who knows? Tomorrow you could be trending worldwide.
Sing It Like you Mean It (Ariel Arbisser)
Singing with Strangers: A cappella Improv (Revathi Murthy)
A hands on workshop designed to improve your improv! You will go through different methods and approaches to improv, all designed to open your mind to new sounds and ideas.
Staging – Limited Enrollment (TeKay)
Get some up close and personal instruction on effective use of staging.
Swingle Ladies (Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson)
Hair, make up, clothing, and stage style from the Swingle Ladies.
The Science of Vocal Sound (Steve Ryan, John Robinson)
What are you really hearing when you listen to someone sing? Why does a “din” sound different than a “joh”? This class will take a look at ideas like pitch, overtones, and formants to give an understanding vocal sound from a scientific perspective. (No scientific or technical background required.)
Vocal Percussion Intro and Use (Brian Watts, Jill Clark)
This will be the basic foundation for all your vocal percussion sounds. Learn basic technique and begin to craft sounds into coherent beats and grooves.
Warms Ups 2.0 (Chris Rishel)
In many musical ensembles, the performers take individualized lessons to improve their skills. However, in the frequently-casual world of a cappella, many singers do not actively take voice lessons (and some never have), meaning their abilities may not improve across a number of areas. While vocal groups often use warm ups primarily to begin engaging the voice, there is a great deal of potential to incorporate exercises that work on a broad range of musical skills and vocal techniques, such as tuning, blend, balance, tone, range, dynamics, phrasing, pitch accuracy, tempo control, etc. In this workshop, we will discuss these concepts and teach a number of exercises you can use with your own group to more effectively use the start of each rehearsal.
What Can We Learn From Asian A cappella (MICappella)
What Can We Learn From Barbershop (Danny Ozment, Barbershop Harmony Society)
With over 60 years of history under their belt, the Barbershop Harmony Society has skills and sounds that we can learn from. Come find out how your group sound can improve using techniques from barbershop harmony.
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Location of Collegiate Competition and Professional Showcase
Exact class locations to be announced
Location of Saturday and Sunday Workshops
SoJam is a weekend-long a cappella extravaganza brought to you by The Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA). Now in its 11th 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.
If you should receive passes to SoJam 2013 as part of a 2012 or 2013 sponsorship package, please confirm with Kate Pientka that you will be attending and we will hold these passes for you at registration / will call.