Event Details


October 10-12, 2014


All Day


Durham, NC

In SoJam’s 12th 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.

Collegiate Competition



  • Competition Admission

Pro Concert



  • Pro Concert Admission

Evening Bundle



  • Competition Admission
  • Pro Concert Admission

All Access Pass



  • Competition Admission
  • Pro Concert Admission
  • Workshop Admission
  • Eligibility for competition, masterclasses, performance opportunities**

* Early Bird pricing ends Sept. 26
** Groups only. Competitors selected by a panel. Masterclasses and AcaBombs assigned on a first come, first serve basis.
*** Preferred Seating option will be presented once you have selected the All Access Pass.

For group All Access Pass sales, contact groupsales@casa.org.

CASA Membership Discount

Active Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) Members receive a $10 discount on All-Access Passes. To purchase your All-Access Pass at the discounted rate, you must have an active (paid) membership, log in to CASA.org, go to the SoJam event page and follow the instructions in the right sidebar.

  • interactive workshops
  • mindblowing masterclasses
  • surprise performances


Friday, October 10, 2014
5:00 PM Registration (open until 8:00 PM)
Durham School of the Arts
7:30 PM Collegiate Competition (w/ performance by Julia Easterlin)
Durham School of the Arts
Saturday, October 11, 2014
8:30 AM Late Registration (for those who did not attend Friday evening activities)
Weaver Lobby (Durham School of the Arts)
Band Hall Downstairs Choir Upstairs Choir Orchestra T-104
9:00 AM The Rhythmic Body
Sing It Like You Mean It
Beating the Blank Page
Active Listening for Drummers
Going the Distance
Brooks, Watts
10:15 AM Keep It Together
The Funx
Making Barbershop Work for You
Adams, Woodward
You Be the Judge
Marcus & RARB Staff
Improve your VP
Beyond Recording
Longo, Ugolini
11:15 AM Masterclasses / Lunch
Various Locations
12:30 PM Barbershop Showcase
Weaver Auditorium
2:00 PM Advanced Arrangement Techniques
Nuanced Direction: Advanced Methods and Musical Leadership
A cappella in the Entertainment Industry
Knights of the Drum Circle
Get Your Album on Track
Green, Koutzoukis
3:15 PM The Prism Effect
Improve your Arrangements with Improv
Silverberg, Feist
So You Think You Have to Dance
Advanced VP
Serious Business
4:30 PM Performing Outside the Box
How To Maximize Your Ensemble’s Sound and Maximize Your Rehearsal
Science of Singing
Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Microphone
Recording Your Vocal Percussion
5:30 PM Dinner Break
7:30 PM Professional Showcase (featuring Duwende and The Funx)
Durham School of the Arts
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Band Hall Downstairs Choir Upstairs Choir Orchestra T-104
10:00 AM Lift The Hood, Y’all (How to Duwende)
Warm Ups and Rehearsal Techniques
11:15 AM Bass Summit
Adams, Kaplan
Rehearsal Techniques
AcappellaZone: The A cappella App
12:30 PM Behind the Scenes Q&A
Choreographer’s Round Table (Limited Enrollment)
CASA Open Forum
Event Staff
A Cappella Orphanage: Adopt a Singer or Find a New Home!



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

Class Descriptions

A cappella in the Entertainment Industry (Ben Bram)
Ben Bram leads a roundtable discussion/fireside chat/Q&A about his work with Pentatonix, The Sing-Off, Pitch Perfect, and Glee and how lessons from these mainstream projects can be applied to the world of scholastic/professional a cappella. This free-form session will be guided by participant questions, and will cover arranging, recording, touring, on-set music directing, and some behind-the-scenes knowledge of how it all went down.

A Cappella Orphanage: Adopt a Singer or Find a New Home! (Amy Pruitt)
New opportunity for people to come together, whether they want to start a group, find a group, or find new singers for an existing group. People can come prepared to sing/beatbox to show off their skills if they want. We will open with introductions & what everyone is looking to get out of the class, and then discuss resources and ideas on where to find a cappella groups in your city.

AcappellaZone: The A cappella App (Florian Städtler)

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 VP (Dave Baumgartner)
This class is for students who are sick of going to vocal percussion classes and not learning anything new. Work with experienced drummers to overcome performance challenges, develop new sounds, patterns, more mic technique.

Beating the Blank Page (Edward Randell)
This class is for songwriters or anyone who’s thought about bringing original songs into their group’s repertoire. Using games and exercises to kick-start creativity, we’ll write music and lyrics in a matter of minutes, and look at some of the tricks songwriters use to craft compelling stories.

Beyond Recording (David Longo, Angela Ugolini)
We will discuss the effect that technology has had on arrangement choice and what we can learn from the process of recording to bring back to our live set and vice versa.

Choreographer’s Round Table – Limited Enrollment (TeKay)
Choregraphers UNITE!!! Join in a discussion about what works, what doesn’t, and how to get the best from your choreo!

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.

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!

How To Maximize Your Ensemble’s Sound and Maximize Your Rehearsal (Dr. Bill Adams)
This class will focus on formational singing, how to get voices to work well together without compromising their individual quality (i.e., “blending”). Warm-ups, technique exercises, and rehearsal planning will also be discussed.

Improve Your Arrangements with Improv (Marc Silverberg)
Through a series of improvisational games, students will learn how to transform their a cappella arrangements from ordinary to outstanding. Warning: There will be a riff-off!

Improve Your VP (Matt Murphy)
This class will focus on how to rehearse and improve your VP skills. Regardless of your VP ability level, you can learn something new in this experience!

Keep It Together (The Funx)
The Funx will share their knowledge regarding maintaining a long distance group together, and some tips and tricks for all groups to work better together!

Knights of the Drum Circle (Paul Koziel)
Build your VP skills, share some beats, and show off your skills with this drum circle experience. Great for all levels of VP.

Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Microphone (John Robinson)
A discussion of microphones, focusing particular on using them as smartly as possible to maximized your groups sound. This is not a course aimed specifically at people involved in live sound. Instead it is aimed at choreographers, soloists, basses, vocal percussionists, and background singers. The objective is to show them how to intelligently use the sound system they have at their disposal (something over which they frequently have little control) to show them in the most flattering light.

Lift the Hood, Y’all – How to Duwende (Duwende)

Making Barbershop Work for You (Dr. Bill Adams, Matt Woodward)
Barbershop has been called the martial arts of a cappella. Come learn why from two card carrying bbshoppers! You’ll learn the how and why of barbershop, and get some skills to bring back to your own group!

Nuanced Direction: Advanced Methods and Musical Leadership (Diana Galeano)
Great leadership starts with a plan. Learn how to structure your approach to rehearsal for substantial group improvement. It starts with the warm ups, builds up through musicality and problem solving within the music, and finishes with how the director’s body language and vocal responses can change the culture of a ensemble.

Performing Outside the Box (Rene Ruiz)
When competition judges look for “originality”, what does it mean? We’ll explore how to to access the creative areas of our brain to innovate in your music, staging and performance to surprise your audience.

Rehearsal Techniques (Rob Dietz)
Learn how to rehearse like a professional, and take your rehearsal to a new level of awesome.

Science of Singing (Alex Green)
A lesson on the vocal apparatus and how sound/music works from a physics standpoint AND how to actually using this knowledge constructively and unobtrusively as a way to improve both your individual singers and your group as a whole.

Serious Business (Mark Hines)
You’ve been dreaming big: now learn how to dream better. In this interactive workshop we develop skills in strategic planning, public relations, marketing, and budgeting to make sure that your music becomes their desire. A particular benchmark is realizing $10,000 or more each semester!

Sing it Like You Mean It (Ariel Arbisser)
This course is meant to help singers move from planned out, robotic routines of their solos and actually connect to their emotions and “live truthfully within imaginary circumstances” in order to give a genuine and honest performance. By using the Meisner Technique (acting), I will teach the students basic repetition and give them a handful of tools to bring their performance to the next level. It’s not all about being loud and riffing as much as humanly possible – it’s about being real and vulnerable. This class is very interactive and a lot of fun!

So You Think You Have to Dance (TeKay)
Let’s talk about staging! TeKay guides you through what to do on stage and why.

The Prism Effect (Mel Daneke)
The soloist is the prism. The group is the light. Without any light shining through the prism, you can not project color out of the prism. When a group fulfills a deep understanding and connection (emotionally and physically) with the song and how the soloist is performing the song, then there will light projected through, and the audience will be able to see the performance in full color.

The Rhythmic Body (Julia Easterlin)
I am deeply passionate about time and rhythm, and have a deep belief that you don’t need to be a beat boxer to use time to your advantage as an a’capella singer. I believe in the idea that singers should internalize time in their bodies… natural movement and holding time in your body are so essential, and dancing makes you a better musician.

You Be The Judge (Michael Marcus & RARB Staff)
We all listen to a cappella, but what are we really hearing — and how do we convert that into written words? Join veteran members of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) and unleash your inner critic in this interactive seminar-style workshop. You’ll also have the chance to put your new skills to the test against BRAND NEW tracks from our SoJam headliners!

Collegiate Competition

Friday, October 10, 2014
Durham School of the Arts
400 N. Duke Street
Durham, NC 27701


  • Julia Easterlin
  • Pitch Please, Northwood High School

And our 2014 competitors:

  • AcaBelles, Florida State University
  • All Night Yahtzee, Florida State University
  • Grains of Time, North Carolina State University
  • Sapphires, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • The Stereotypes, Washington University
  • Voicebox, University of Central Florida

Dates to remember

  • Friday, September 19: Last day to book the SoJam group rate at the hotel
  • Friday September 26: Submissions due no later than 11:59pm
  • Wednesday October 1: Competitors will be announced
  • Friday October 3: ALL necessary set and group information is due
  • Friday October 10: SoJam Collegiate Competition

Competition Format:

Round 1: Who are you? (6 groups)
We want you to open the show by giving the judges a taste of who you are. What kind of group are you? What is your style, character, etc? You will have 8 whole minutes to convey this theme to the crowd and the judges, who will choose only 4 groups to progress to round 2.

Round 2: Where have you been? (4 groups)
In round two will begin the second half of the show. Your group will perform a 5 minute set to tell a bit of a story about your history. What have you been through? What has been important in shaping you to become who you are today etc? Only 2 groups will progress to the final round.

Round 3: Where are you going? (2 groups)
In the final head to head round we ask that you give the judges a glimpse of where you hope to head as a group. What is your trajectory? What can we expect to see from you moving forward? Both groups will have 8 minutes to present the their future narrative to the crowd and the judges. Only one will be selected as the overall winner.


  • 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.




Saturday Concert Performers

Duwende (Doo-WEN-day) is a six-person a cappella band best known for their fiercely original, bass-and-beatbox-driven funk/pop style of music. In 2011, Duwende released “Remember: The Music of Michael Jackson,” gaining them widespread acclaim, and leading them to performances for the United Nations, Save The Children Benefit dinner hosted by Hoda and Kathie Lee, Bill Clinton Global Initiative, the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, and a World AIDS Day Event in Amsterdam. With over 4 million YouTube views and counting, they have a growing fan base that circles the globe; and their music and arrangements have been used on TV shows internationally.
The Funx

The Funx

Saturday Concert Performers

The Funx are a soulful supergroup dedicated to bringing more original music to the a cappella world, featuring talent from some of your favorite TV competition shows. With arrangements and vocal percussion from The Sing-Off arranger and group coach Robert Dietz, and the incredible soaring tenor of Nate Tao from American Idol, The Funx has a complete arsenal of a cappella weapons. Sexy soulstress Ariel Arbisser is a vocal coach, actress, and a CARA-winning soloist. Long-time collaborator and funky bass, Crawford Doran, and powerhouse singer-songwriter, Harry Nichols, round out this pop/soul vocal band that met in Ithaca, NY and now hails from across the US and Canada. Traveling the country singing a range of covers and originals, The Funx will get you grooving and are excited to be gearing up for their first CASA festival!
Julia Easterlin

Julia Easterlin

Friday Competition Performer

Julia Easterlin, from Augusta, GA, grew up singing and playing piano. She attended the school of fine arts studying West African dance, American Jazz, Spanish literature and traditional Afro-Cuban music, among other things. From there, she was thrust out into the world and landed in several new places performing, giving clinics, and recording music. She now lives in New York playing with sound loops and badges, singing loudly, excited to present new music.



Durham School of the Arts

400 N. Duke Street
Durham, NC 27701


Location of All Official Festival Activities


Parking on site is VERY limited and should be reserved for the disabled or elderly. Please plan to park at one of the recommended decks listed below.

Brightleaf Square Parking
905 W Main Street, Durham, NC 27701

Durham Convention Center Deck
300 Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701
$1/hr. $8 max

Church Street Garage
109 S Mangum St, Durham, NC 27701
$1/hr. $8 max

American Tobacco Campus North Deck
305 West Pettigrew Street Durham NC 27701
*2 hr metered parking*

Morris Street Paylot
Corner of Morris St and Hunt St
$1/hr, max 8hrs

Also, the Bull City Connector, a free bus, runs until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights

Recommended Hotel

Hilton Durham near Duke University

3800 Hillsborough Rd
Durham, NC 27705-2328
(919) 383-8033
$104.00/night plus tax
Book by September 19, 2014 to receive the group rate
Book online or call 1-800-HILTONS and mention group code ‘SOJAM’

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
Tye Tavaras – SoJam Executive Producer
Shane Ardell - Web & Registration Manager
Virginia DeMoss - Competition Coordinator
Sarah Goodwin - Concert Manager
Alexander Koutzoukis - Graphic Designer
Paul Koziel – Merchandise
Carrie Leonard – Social Media
Yassee Mohebbi – Local Sponsorships
Liz Mongrello - Volunteer Manager
Heather Newkirk – Communications
Amy Pruitt – Outreach Coordinator
Matt Woodward - Education Manager


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 2013 Collegiate Competition, Virginia DeMoss will be in contact with you about how to register for SoJam 2014.

If you should receive passes to SoJam 2014 as part of a 2013 or 2014 sponsorship package, please confirm with Diana Blanchard or Alexis Weisbrod that you will be attending 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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