If you’ve ever been to a CASA festival, you probably already recognize the Collaborative Recording (CR) as the unique chance for singers, arrangers and engineers across the country to work together during an interactive, onsite recording. (Check out previous collaborative recordings).

On Sunday Nov. 10, SoJam’s pro groups (Swingle Singers, MICappella and Eh440), the first place collegiate competitors, 25 CR Singers who purchase limited tickets, and an engineering team from Liquid 5th will come together for an intensive daylong session to help each other learn music for, record and produce an exclusive a cappella track for future release.

In the months before SoJam 2013, we’re bringing you in on every step of the creative process, from conception to production. Here’s how it works:

Song Selection

Final Song Selection Voting to select the top 3 songs has ended. The song selections are:

- “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
- “Pompeii” by Bastille
- “Same Love” by Macklemore and Lewis feat. Mary Lambert

Arrangement Contest

Contestants are invited to create an acappella arrangement for consideration by our panel of experienced and highly qualified judges. Multiple arrangers can collaborate on a single submission. Arrangers must select from one of the three songs OR may offer an original (which does not have to be composed by the arranger.) Arrangers should also review the Creative Brief. To be considered by our panel, an arrangement must:

  • Use one of the voted upon songs OR an original (please identify the original and the composer).
  • Include a section of the song which is tailored to highlighting each pro group (Swingle Singers, MICappella and Eh440)
  • Feature multiple additional background parts (since this arrangement is for recording – take advantage of the numerous singers (>35) available beyond the pros)
  • Come with clearly notated sheet music
  • Optional (but encouraged!): Sample or mash up a classical piece, preferably a recognizable one.
Download Creative Brief


Our expert judges will provide detailed written feedback and choose the winning arrangement based on the following criteria:

  • Harmonic structure
  • Development of arrangement for recording (useful suggestions for multiple voices)
  • Clever, innovative sections for each group utilizing and stretching their unique sounds
  • Creativity in song sampling/remixing/arrangement style
  • Creativity and practicality in syllable choices

Each submission must include:

  • A PDF of your final arrangement accompanied by an audio file (mp3, wav, etc.)
  • A short video (less than 2 minutes long) to introduce the arrangers, describe in your own words what you were trying to do in your arrangement, and explain any extra tidbits from your arrangement that you feel might need explanation
  • The $35 application fee (this helps us support the Collaborative Recording administrative process and staff)
Submit Your Arrangement


Important Dates

  • Sept. 4-11 Song suggestions accepted via social media
  • Sept. 12-15 Final vote for top 3 song choices
  • Sept. 16 Arrangement contest opens
  • Oct 7 Submission deadline 11:59 pm ET
  • Oct. 21 Final arrangement announced
  • Nov. 10 SoJam 2013 Collaborative Recording Session