September 30, 2003

The Hoya

Bobby McFerrin has won 10 Grammy awards, written one of the most recognizable songs of the late twentieth century and earned accolades all around the world for his musical versatility. But when he steps into Georgetown’s New North Studio A to face the school’s pep band, the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” singer-songwriter half-jokes to Jose Bowen, Caestecker Chair and director of music program, Jose Bowen, “I’ve never really done this before.”

It is McFerrin’s first day at Georgetown, where he is conducting intense workshops with several campus performing arts groups until Wednesday.

Previously today, McFerrin brought his inimitable brand of imaginative suggestions, eloquent musings and even the unexpected impromptu vocal improvisation to a faculty/student collaborative theater group and a class on the music of George Gershwin. Later tonight, he will work with three campus dance groups and then visit with various other groups on Tuesday — attending everything from a jazz improvisation class to a poetry slam prep to a choir rehearsal.

“I like the stimulus of inquiring minds … the environment of discovering new things about people,” McFerrin explains. “You just never know what is going to come up.”
More

Posted by acapnews at 3:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2003

BMG have invested £6 million in Amici, the world's first opera band, made up of three guys and two girls who look as though they should be fronting Blue Peter. After several appearances at sporting events, their first album, Amici Forever (BMG), is released on Monday. The press release claims that Amici are "set to take audiences around the world by storm with their spine-chilling performances". One of the band, Nicholas Garrett, is a former member of the Swingle Singers and the band can do the close harmony thing quite nicely.

Posted by acapnews at 5:55 PM | Comments (1)

REVIEW

London Times

If you live within 100 miles of London and possess two ears and half a soul, you would be mad not to look in on World Voice. It’s a 17-day festival that brings some of the world’s great choirs to the South Bank and other venues in the capital.

First up was the amazing Tapiola Choir. The repertoire specially written for them by Scandinavian composers used all sorts of wacky vocal techniques: jibbering, barking, glissandos, squeaks, even heavy breathing. It generally evoked primordial legends, and often incorporated ancient chants. These virtuoso numbers were interspersed with genuine folk songs. Whatever they sang, however, these remarkable children utilised beguiling, unforced timbres and put the music across with spellbinding vivacity.
More

Posted by acapnews at 3:12 PM | Comments (0)


Simon Carrington will conduct the 300-voice Independence Messiah Choir in the 87th annual performance of Handel's "Messiah". As a founding member and co-director of the internationally acclaimed The King's Singers, Carrington performed with the group from 1968 to 1993. His 24-year-career includes more than 3,000 concerts, 62 recordings and countless radio and television broadcasts including appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."

Posted by acapnews at 9:27 AM | Comments (0)

More than 7,000 school children will sing at the Manchester Arena - joining thousands of voices across the country in a bid to smash the world record for a second time. Leading conductor David Lawrence will be working with the massive chorus, made up of school children from across the north west, for a Christmas extravaganza. It is the eighth year that Young Voices in Concert, the largest children's choral event in Britain, has come to the M.E.N. Arena.

Last year, David Gray appeared at the Arena as Young Voices broke the Guinness World Record with 83,637 children across the country all singing at the same time.

Posted by acapnews at 8:50 AM | Comments (0)

TECH NOTE

Stereophile Magazine
New Cantus CD recorded by Stereophile's John Atkinson

Faced with the magnificent acoustic of the 1500-seat Washington Pavilion of the Arts & Sciences, the question facing recordist Atkinson was how to present what are still fairly intimate works while taking advantage of that supportive acoustic. He therefore set up three pairs of mikes, all at differing distances from the singers, to give the maximum flexibility when mixing the songs back in his listening room.

Two DPA 4011 cardioid mikes, set up as a quasi-coincident ORTF pair, were placed 25' from the choir's center point, with the singers arranged in a shallow arc 22' wide. The cardioids would provide a basic well-defined stereo image. A widely spaced pair of wide-bandwidth Earthworks QTC-1 omnis were placed to the sides of the DPA cardioids; these would add "bloom" and a better feeling of the size of the hall. Finally, a second pair of omnis, high-voltage DPA 4003s, were mounted either side of a Jecklin Disc 6' behind the cardioids. These produced a sound that was a little too "wet" to be used alone, but when mixed in with the other pairs of mikes would allow the apparent distance of the singers to be adjusted.
More

Posted by acapnews at 8:45 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2003

WACKY

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Who knew underpasses could be so useful. Not only do they provide a safe way for people to get from one side of the street to another, they apparently are the perfect place for a concert.

Catacoustic Groove, a seven-man a cappella group will be holding a free two-hour concert tonight at 7 p.m. in the Olive underpass, near the McClelland hall. Bruce Bayly, a mathematics associate professor and a bass singer in the group, said they have been practicing in the underpass for years.

“We love performing in there,” Bayly said. “We don’t need amplifiers because the acoustics are so great.”
More

Posted by acapnews at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

The judge in the Nellie Shabalala murder trial says he cannot hand down judgement until the prosecution finds a key state witness. Nkosinathi Shabalala, son of Ladysmith Black Mambazo leader Joseph Shabalala, and Mboneni Mdunge are charged with murdering Shabalala's stepmother Nellie who was shot dead in Clermont last year.

Both defence counsels closed their cases earlier this week and were expected to address their closing arguments to the Durban High Court yesterday.

Earlier in the trial the state produced evidence that Shabalala's cellphone had been used to contact Mdunge on the day of the murder. Shabalala admitted that the cellphone belonged to him but denied using it at the time. He said the phone was being used by a member of his singing group, Junior Mambazo. When questioned about the cellphone records, Mdunge said he had never owned a cellphone.

But Judge Brian Galgut cut short the proceedings and ordered that "every effort" be made to find missing state witness, Themba Hadebe who disappeared earlier this year after leaving the witness protection programme. Hadebe is a member of Shabalala Jnr's music group, Junior Mambazo, and toured with the troupe to New York in June this year.

The matter was adjourned until March 4 next year.

Posted by acapnews at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Financial Times

Moses Pendelton, co-founder of Pilobolus, brought Momix into being in l980 after performing a solo of that name at the winter Olympics. Over the years he has developed his form of gymnastic balancing and partnering into a dance-theatre company lesser in scale than Cirque de Soleil, less cerebral than Pilobolus, but still innovative.

Cactus, one of three evening-length programmes, is set to music as un-similar as Brian Eno, J.S. Bach and the Swingle Singers, whose voices can be heard as the curtain goes up on a star-studded desert sky against which a lone figure in a hammock rocks gently, gradually accelerating into wild, aerial aerobics. It sets the scene for the fantasy vignettes that follow.
More

Posted by acapnews at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

OPPORTUNITY

Enter the 3rd Shure Musical Roots Contest and you may find yourself performing as the opening act for a surprise artist at the House of Blues Anaheim, CA. The lucky winner will take in prizes including airfare, hotel, $5000 of Shure gear, and a cover story in On Tour with Shure magazine. Five runner-ups will also win a KSM27 studio microphone and an E2 earphone.

For your opportunity to win, enter your original song, along with a short essay telling us, "What genre and decade planted your roots?" by October 31, 2003
More Info

Posted by acapnews at 9:25 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2003

INTERVIEW

The Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne talks about their latest release "Couldn't Be Hotter". Listen

Posted by acapnews at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

Philadelphia Daily News
FOR ROSH HASHANA: A SHARP SHTICK IN THE EYE

Just in time for the Jewish New Year, which starts tomorrow at sundown, the acclaimed New York revue "What I Like About Jew" makes its Philadelphia debut at Doc Watson's Pub.

The brainchild of songwriters/performers Sean Altman and Rob Tannenbaum, the show was first performed as part of the annual Jewsapalooza Festival, on Dec. 24, 1999, at New York's Knitting Factory - for all the Jews not at the movies or eating Chinese food.

The impetus, said Altman, was the duo's popular radio hit "Hanukkah with Monica," about a certain impressionable intern who didn't care if all her franks were kosher. "The show grew out of that song," says Altman. "It was a vehicle to perform that one song."

"We hope to bring a little irreverent Jew spirit to Philly," said Altman, a founding member of the a cappella group Rockapella. "Every conceivable Jew joke of good and bad taste is in the show. If no one gets offended then we're not doing our job."
More

Posted by acapnews at 9:36 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003

Yale Daily News
Class of '07 joins a cappella scene

Covered in war paint and with bullhorns blaring, members of Yale's a cappella groups tapped their freshman classes last night in a ceremony that drew hundreds of nervous freshman and curious onlookers. The annual tap night capped a three-week-long rushing process in which hopeful freshman auditioned for the University's fabled singing groups.

As group members jostled for position behind High Street Gate, Whim 'n Rhythm and the Whiffenpoofs, Yale's senior singing groups, opened the night with a series of songs before helping to countdown to the beginning of the festivities. For Erika Shumate '06, a member of Proof of the Pudding and the person responsible for making sure her group reached their desired freshman first, tap night was about more than singing.

"I've been through an intense practice so far and I've been hurdling fences to warm up," Shumate said. "It's war and we need to use war tactics."

Eager freshmen were not the only people admiring the mayhem. Rita Braver, a correspondent for the show "Sunday Morning" on CBS, was on hand to film tap night for a story about the nation's a cappella scene.
More

Posted by acapnews at 3:00 PM | Comments (0)

Oxford University Press composer Bob Chilcott's arrangement of the Chanukah song "S'vivon" (from Three Israeli Songs - SATB) will be performed during the series premiere of the CBS dramatic series Joan of Arcadia, airing this Friday, September 26, at 8:00PM Eastern Time. Stars Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen, Amber Tamblyn, Jason Ritter and Michael Welch.

Chilcott is a former King's Singer and a shining star of the British choral scene, both as a composer and as a conductor. His compositions and arrangements are performed worldwide, and he is a much sought-after conductor and choral trainer in Britain, the U.S. and Europe.

Posted by acapnews at 2:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

NEW RELEASE

Multiple GRAMMY winners (12) The Manhattan Transfer release their latest recording today called "Couldn't Be Hotter". Recorded from a concert performance in Tokyo it is their first live recording in seven years. Listen to My Foolish Heart and Stompin at Mahogany Hall in Real Audio.
Some reviews
Record label promotional flyers (pdf)

Posted by acapnews at 8:09 PM | Comments (0)

Voice of America

Ever wonder what a Voice of America employee does when he or she retires? If you're Paul Modic and Fred Coffey, Jr., the answer is barbershop singing. Modic joined The Singing Capital Chorus 16 years ago after serving as VOA's Director of Programs.

"I particularly enjoy the comradarie and the fact that it's people from all different walks of life brought together just by a love of singing, a cappella singing," he said. "When the chapter was founded, there was nothing off-color and no raucous humor. It's all just for the love of singing."

VOA's Doug Levine attended a rehearsal by a Washington, D.C., chapter known as the Singing Capital Chorus, and has more on the growing appeal of barbershop harmony. More
Listen

Posted by acapnews at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2003

Today is the official launch of this humble blog!!

Welcome readers to this spot on the internet where we gather and publish news items, articles, photos, features, gossip and happenings that are all about that most wonderful art form known as a cappella music.

We started this blog at the beginning of September and are pleased by the amount of news gathered so far. We can't always promise daily posts but are quite confident that there will always be a steady stream of newsworthy items.

We invite you to comment on the postings and add your insights.

If you enjoy reading this blog then we ask you kindly to add a link to us to help further spread the news. And if you have a news item you think others would find interesting then please do send us an e-mail.

Posted by acapnews at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)

The Royal Festival Hall in London begins it's acclaimed choral series WorldVoice this week. Featured choirs include the Tapiola Choir, The Sixteen, Westminster Abby Choir, The Rustavi Choir and others from around the world.

Singing in a group is an ancient human musical activity which unites societies profoundly - a song's words contain the deepest beliefs of a society, and the occasions for singing are momentous: births, weddings, funerals and festivals. In drawing together a festival of choral music from across the globe, I am drawn to the way that most peoples still use choral music for its most fundamental purpose: celebration. Choirs from all over the world have been invited to take part, and each one of them has been chosen because it represents the very best in its tradition.
(William Robson, Artistic Director, WorldVoice)

Posted by acapnews at 8:31 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2003

CHAMPIONS

Congratulations to the new 2003 Sweet Adelines Queens of Harmony quartet champions Brava! who won out over tough competition at the annual event held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. Taking top honors for winning chorus was the 127 member Melodeers from Northbrook, Il directed by Jim Arns.

Quartet results and scores
Chorus results and scores

Posted by acapnews at 6:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2003

Yale Daily News
Discord over deadlines taints a cappella rush

Every fall, the Singing Groups Council works to ensure that the competition among Yale's a cappella groups for the best and brightest freshman singers is in perfect harmony. This year, however, problems between the Yale College Dean's Office, the Duke's Men, and the Council has led to a rush of discord.

Yale Alley Cats member Al Powers '04 resigned from his position as a Council co-chairman Sept. 12 to protest a decision made by Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg that he said "undermined" the Council's "democratic function." Last May, the Council's chairmen set a single date for freshman callbacks, but because of miscommunication, the Duke's Men set their callbacks for Sept. 13, a week earlier than all the other groups. The Singing Groups Council refused to allow the Duke's Men this privilege, but after lengthy discussions, Trachtenberg overruled the Council's decision, granting the Duke's Men their wish and prompting Powers' resignation.

Powers said the chairmen of the Council marked a single date for rush callbacks in order to minimize pressure on freshmen from individual a cappella groups. The Council's charter grants chairmen the right to set the calendar, he said. By misunderstanding the rigidity of this schedule, the Duke's Men gave themselves an extra week to encourage prospective members.
More

Posted by acapnews at 5:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2003

CONTROVERSY

Newsday
School singing group unplugged because of offensive name

A school superintendent has canceled a series of school workshops and concerts by an a cappella singing group known as the "Sons of Pitches." Oswego City School Superintendent Kenneth Eastwood said the name of the group was offensive and inappropriate within an elementary and secondary school environment.

Eastwood said the upstate school district has spent time and money on character education programs that were intended to guide children into "appropriate behaviors and discourse."

Hosting the a cappella group would be "a mockery of those efforts and only display a hypocrisy when it comes to school district actions," Eastwood told The Palladium Times of Oswego.

More

Another article - The Oswego Daily News

Posted by acapnews at 5:29 PM | Comments (0)

Billboard
Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Inducts 2003 Class

As Martha Reeves and the Vandellas took the stage to accept their induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame last night (Sept. 16) in Sharon, Pa., Reeves told the story of how the group came about. "A group was formed called the Del-Phis, and I was invited to be a part of it. Once we met, our voices blended, and I'll show you what I mean." And with that, she and the Vandellas treated the crowd to an a cappella rendition of their hit "Come and Get These Memories."

Reeves and the Vandellas were one of 13 harmony and doo-wop groups inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the six-year-old music museum in Western Pennsylvania. The induction ceremonies, hosted by Mary Wilson of the Supremes and author Jay Warner, paid tribute to classic R&B groups like the Impressions, the Whispers, the Isley Brothers and the Charioteers; early harmony groups like the Four Lads, Danny & the Juniors, the Five Satins and the Merry Macs; and pop groups like the Association, the Commodores and Earth Wind & Fire.

Other inductees included the Whispers (inducted by Charlie Thomas of the Drifters), the Impressions (welcomed by members of Jay and the Americans) and the descendents of the Merry Macs (receiving their awards from the Manhattan Transfer).
More

Posted by acapnews at 3:21 PM | Comments (0)

Broomfield Enterprise
A cappella comes to town
City hosts new fall concert series

If Leo Tolstoy was right, music is the shorthand of emotion, then all-vocal a cappella is even more succinct than that. You can hear for yourself, as the area's top a cappella groups will be performing at a three-concert series coming to the Broomfield Auditorium this fall.

The city's first ever fall concert series, "A Cappella Ala Carte," opens this Friday, Sept. 19, headlining with the award-winning Denver-based a cappella ensemble, 17th Avenue Allstars.

The idea to host an a cappella series came from the auditorium itself, said Zimmerman. "The acoustics in there are so great, it really has become a home for many of our local choral and chamber groups," she said.

The second concert in the series features another award-winning a cappella group, Groove Society, comprised of members from University of Northern Colorado's renowned jazz program. The final group, Cool Shooz, performs on Nov. 13.

The concert series falls under the city's six-point cultural master plan called Creative Broomfield, charged in part with providing cultural diversity by bringing local music groups to the community.

"We try to introduce a cultural dimension to the Broomfield scene that might not otherwise have been experienced," Zimmerman said.
More

Posted by acapnews at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2003

Yale Daily News
Singing hopefuls improvise for rush meals

At 6 p.m., the height of the dinner rush, the Broadway restaurant strip is the place to see and be seen -- especially for the a cappella community.

Last Tuesday, inside a packed Au Bon Pain, where the line just to pick up orders is over 20 students long, four girls sporting identical Something Extra T-shirts finish their dinners with freshmen hoping to join the group. Four other members wait for more prospective singers just outside the glass doors. An Out of the Blue contingent picks over the salad bar offerings at Gourmet Heaven alongside two members of Mixed Company. A few Proof of the Pudding members finish their fries at A-One Pizza on Broadway and then exit onto the street where one member of Proof recognizes a friend in Mixed Company and stops to chat.

Meanwhile, one girl in Something Extra leans over and tells a friend she meets outside Au Bon Pain, "Look at the social circle on this corner. I know everyone here."

Indeed, they have arrived. It is mid-September and so, predictably, Yale's a cappella subculture has descended upon campus for the hectic three weeks known as rush. In the process, each year Yale's singing elite -- and the mass of freshmen who aspire to join their ranks -- take over the dining halls to participate in the a cappella mating ritual known as the "rush meal" in a mutual attempt to woo each other.
More

Posted by acapnews at 4:05 PM | Comments (0)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo sings "The African Alphabet" with Kermit the Frog on the just released "Songs From the Street — 35 Years of Music: The Ultimate Sesame Street Collection," a new three-CD collection highlighting the musical history of the groundbreaking children's television show.

The 63 tracks include such unlikely duet partners as Lena Horne and Grover, Cab Calloway and the Two-Headed Monster, R.E.M. and Muppet Rocker. Oscar the Grouch jams with Johnny Cash on Nasty Dan, and with Billy Joel on a version of Just the Way You Are modified to accommodate the puppet's personality.

Posted by acapnews at 3:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2003

A new series created By PBS titled Voices Of Vision is currently airing nationwide in the US. One of the 30-minute episodes features an in-depth look at Sweet Adelines International and SPEBSQSA. Produced in a documentary style, Voices of Vision blends archival footage with original material shot at conventions, rehearsals, schools and various places where barbershop music is performed. Programs were distributed to PBS stations for broadcast. 

Voices of Vision profiles the people and organizations whose leadership efforts are making a significant impact on national or worldwide problems. Each episode explores the challenges of non-profit groups tackling issues as diverse as human rights, childhood cancer, corporate responsibility and environmental preservation.
Watch or listen to a clip

Posted by acapnews at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

The Barbershop Harmony Society has a rare job opening for an Executive Director at its headquarters offices in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Apply here

Posted by acapnews at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2003

September 12, 2003

Take 6 performs an a cappella version of "Sweet Dreams" with Martina McBride on the MCA Nashville release of "Remembering Patsy Cline".

Posted by acapnews at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

Kansas City Star
By Cheryl Wittenauer
The Associated Press

Robert McFerrin stares at the television in his living room and listens intently to the deep, rich baritone voice, recorded 30 years ago.

At first, it seems the 82-year-old doesn't recognize the opera singer on the videotape. Sitting on the couch in long underwear, a sea-blue robe and tennis shoes, McFerrin is lost in the music, his eyes closed, his left hand and head keeping tempo. Then, prompted by his soul's stirrings, McFerrin joins the singer on the TV screen performing a German aria.

Finally, McFerrin makes the connection. "That man," he says, pointing to the TV, "that's me."

McFerrin, who broke opera's racial barrier and was recently honored by a national opera group, also is the father of Grammy-winning vocalist Bobby McFerrin, best known for 1988's "Don't Worry, Be Happy."

Doctors suspect the elder McFerrin has Alzheimer's disease. He also suffered a stroke in the late '80s that impaired his verbal ability. His singing voice, however, never left him. Its range, diction and intonation are still masterful.

Now, in his old age, singing is McFerrin's therapy and nourishment, said his wife, Athena. More

Posted by acapnews at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2003

Eygpt Today

Last month, the Cairo Opera House issued a warning to members of its a cappella chorus, informing them that wearing hijab in concerts violates dress code. Anyone who insists on wearing it during performances will be banned. Amid the chorus of shrieks and condemnations visited upon the head of the Opera House, some have risen to his defense. Hamada Hussein, a noted journalist with Rose El-Youssef magazine, is chief among them.

"They have the right to wear the veil, but they don't have the right to sing with it on," Hussein says. "How can an opera singer stand on stage, wearing historical costume to participate in the opera Aida, for example, while wearing the veil? We don't condemn the Opera House for trampling someone's personal rights and freedoms by requiring a formal dress code for anyone who wants to watch an opera, do we? No, we respect it as part of the Opera House's tradition. We expect those who work there to show the same respect. They should know better: Every job has its requirements, and every place its traditions.

"More than 80 percent of the Opera's chorus is veiled, but they take it off during concerts," Hussein continues, "replacing it with a wig. Nothing justifies them trying to show up for work in a veil. And now we're hearing about a singer who resigned because she's against the singing of a cappella material. Do we really want to open that door?"

Posted by acapnews at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2003

IN THE STUDIO

The Bobs are currently recording four new tracks at Duncan Street Studios in San Francisco for their upcoming "20 songs from 20 years" release due out Oct 24.

Posted by acapnews at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

CBS broadcast the Voices of Liberty singing the national anthem at the Miami Dolphins opening game September 7th.

Posted by acapnews at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2003

South African Broadcasting Corporation
September 4, 2003

The son of the leader of international music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo allegedly paid a hitman R8 000 to kill his stepmother.

This was the evidence led in murder trial of Nkosinathi Shabalala and Mboneni Mdunge in the Durban High Court yesterday .

An affidavit by a key state witness in the Nellie Shabalala trial claimed her stepson plotted to kill her because his own music group had been "overlooked" for an overseas tour. Shabalala was gunned down in the driveway of her Clermont home in May last year.

Shabalala is the son of Black Mambazo leader Joseph Shabalala. Shabalala Jun. and Mdunge also face a count of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempted murder. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Hadebe's affidavit was read into the court record by
investigating officer Mdumiso Ngcobo.

In his statement, Hadebe said he was a member of Shabalala's singing group, White Mambazo. He said he had been friends with Shabalala Jun. for 19 years. Hadebe said Shabalala had told him his father Joseph would help their group undertake an overseas tour.

But, according to the affidavit, the dead woman's own group, Women of Mambazo, had been given preference and had been sent overseas first.

Hadebe stated: "Nkosinathi suggested the deceased must be eliminated."

He also alleged: "Nkosinathi reported he had found someone who would eliminate his stepmother."

On the day of the murder, Shabalala Jun. had telephoned Hadebe and they had arranged to meet at a Clermont taxi rank. Hadebe's statement said he had met with Shabalala and had been told to take a hitman to the Shabalala home. After the shooting, he had picked up the hitman and had returned him to the taxi rank. Hadebe's statement claimed the gunman had demanded R8 000 for the murder.

Ngcobo told the court Hadebe had been shown a photograph of Mdunge and had identified him as the alleged hitman.

Posted by acapnews at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 6, 2003

R.I.P.

It is with sadness we announce the passing of Rob Henry, founding member of International Quartet Champions The Gas House Gang after several difficult months. He was a member of an illustrious barbershop family and will be greatly missed by many.

Posted by acapnews at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

September 5, 2003

FAREWELL

Dale Warland, founder of the internationally acclaimed a cappella choral ensemble, the Dale Warland Singers (DWS), has announced his resignation as music director effective June 30, 2004. As a result, the DWS board of directors has determined that the 2003-04 season will be the last concert season for the Singers and there will not be a search for a new music director. The upcoming season marks the 31st year for the Singers, the first professional choir in the Twin Cities.

At the height of a celebrated career, perhaps most notable for its impact on 20th century choral music repertoire through the commission of 240 new works, Warland feels he can best continue to serve the field by dedicating his energy to teaching, guest conducting, recording, and composing.

Posted by acapnews at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

After 17 years together and nearly 1,000 concerts on four continents Anonymous 4 has announced that it will stop full-time touring and recording after the 2003-04 season. This move is by no means because of any drop in the group's popularity. It has sold more than 1 million compact discs worldwide, and virtually all its recordings have cracked Billboard's classical top 10.

Posted by acapnews at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

AWARD WINNERS

The New York Voices and saxaphone star Paquito D'Rivera won a Latin Grammy award for "Brazilian Dreams" (MCG Records) for best Latin jazz album Wednesday night.

Recorded live over four concerts at the famous Manchester Craftsmen's Guild it is the second recording from the Guild to win such an award.

"Count Basie Orchestra with the New York Voices Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild" won a Grammy in 1997. "Paquito D'Rivera and the United Nation Orchestra, Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild" was nominated in 1998.

Posted by acapnews at 1:59 AM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2003

TECH NOTE

TC-Helicon has announced a new software upgrade for the VoiceOne voice pitch and modeling processing, expanding and improving on the feature set of the original VoiceOne. VoiceOne 2.0 is a dedicated processing device for correction and enhancement of your lead voice as well as creation of rich harmonies and vocal effects.

New features in version 2.0:

Vocoder VM - using Voice Modeling algorithms

The integration of Vocoder VM into VoiceOne reflects the creative direction of today's popular music, where vocals are being used as instruments. Using advanced voiced / un-voiced detection, Vocoder VM can apply resonance and spectral EQ to the vocoded signal.

Smoothing Algorithm:

Smoothing was introduced on TC-Helicon's vocal harmony product VoiceWorks. The smoothing algorithm preserves the pitch nuances of the original vocal track when pitch shifting. By setting the global smoothing parameter between 50% and 70% very natural MIDI pitch shift can be achieved. More

Posted by acapnews at 2:41 AM | Comments (0)

September 3, 2003

The New York Voices are on tour with the Boston Pops with a program titled "Baby Boomer Bash", conducted by Keith Lockhart, featuring music mostly from the 1950s, '60s and '70s -- rock material in orchestral and vocal arrangements.

Posted by acapnews at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

Sweet Honey in the Rock is featured on the soundtrack of the just released movie Civil Brand starring Frances Shepard and Lisa Raye. They also perform a track on "Shout, Sister, Shout!" (M.C. Records), the tribute album to the great Sister Rosetta Tharpe released Aug 8.

Posted by acapnews at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

Congratulations to the Real Group's Katarina Stenstrom who married Svante Henryson at Dalarö island this summer. Svante is a gifted composer and cellist so, says the group, “we have not lost an alto but gained a cellist”.

Posted by acapnews at 1:08 AM | Comments (0)

September 2, 2003

London Daily Telegraph
Sept 2/2003

Jamming with the Vienna Philharmonic

He wrote Don't Worry, Be Happy, sings jazz and hates to be labelled. For his next trick, Bobby McFerrin will conduct a world-class orchestra at The Proms - while singing one of the cello parts. He talks to Peter Culshaw

Bobby McFerrin has been called a "natural wonder" of the musical world, and, seeing him in action at a voice workshop at the Perugia Jazz Festival, you understand why. More

The BBC's review of the concert.

Posted by acapnews at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2003

TRANSITIONS

The Scotsman
Sept 1

When the founder of a music ensemble departs, the question arises: can it survive without its most prominent figurehead? That’s the worry facing the Dunedin Consort following the departure of Ben Parry, whose skills as a choral director are synonymous with the top-notch Edinburgh-based vocal ensemble.

After nearly a decade of building up a formidable reputation with his supreme team of vocalists - during which he also transformed the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus, as chorus director, into the homogenous and dynamic force it now is - Parry was headhunted earlier this year to become director of music at St Paul’s School in London.

He takes up the post this month. Parry wishes to maintain a link with the Dunedin, and will conduct its St Matthew Passion performances next April. But many in the music business sense he will be in such demand down south that his ability to find time to come north will rapidly diminish.

Under his guidance, the tight-knit ensemble - similar in lines to Harry Christophers’ The Sixteen, and to a large extent Glasgow’s Cappella Nova - has notched up world-class performances of challenging choral repertoire ranging from Elizabethan masses, motets and madrigals, to a performance at last year’s Edinburgh Festival of Stockhausen’s seminal masterpiece Stimmung, which delighted the composer on its radio broadcast.
More

Posted by acapnews at 9:53 AM | Comments (0)