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May 8, 2008

A cappella is piping up everywhere

Vanity Fair

A cappella singing flowered during the Renaissance, and it’s been beloved by barbershop quartets, doo-wop daddy-o’s, and collegiate songsters off on a spree since Cole Porter was one of the first Whiffenpoofs at Yale. Today, this silky subgenre of vocal music (performed without instrumental accompaniment) has an ever bigger foothold in the culture, from pop to rock, to classical, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing arts, in Washington DC, is honouring that reality with a 10-day festival, “Singing Solo,” May 28 through June 6. The series includes free concerts on the Center’s Millennium Stage by the likes of Sweet Honey in the Rock, the U.S. Army Chorus, and the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters.

The highlight is a June 1 Show led by Bobby McFerrin and featuring a range of topflight groups including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award-Winning South African ensemble that shot to fame on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Meanwhile, Mickey Rapkin is coming out with a book, Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory (Gotham), which chronicles a year in the life of three ensembles around the country, interwoven with decades of lore (Jessica Biel was rejected by the Tufts Amalgamates, Brooke Shields by my alma mater’s group, the Princeton Katzenjammers). Even Hollywood is blowing its pitch pipe: J.J. Abrams, the hotshot writer-producer-director behind Alias and Lost, has an untitled a cappella project in the works.

Posted by acapnews at May 8, 2008 9:54 PM

Comments

This Web site's readers may be interested in knowing about Sweet Adelines International A Cappella Unleashed Singing Contest through Youtube.com. Only female contestants are elligible since it is a women's singing organization. The grand prize is $1,000 to the video with the most views. For more information visit our Youtube.com page at http://www.youtube.com/user/SweetAdelineIntl. Contest criteria, elligibility and offical rules are availalbe on our Web site at http://www.sweetadelineintl.org/YouTubeContest.cfm. Thanks.

Posted by: Ann-Marie Dowling at June 20, 2008 8:48 AM

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