May 29, 2015

VocalEssence to perform with The Rolling Stones

VocalEssence announced today that it will perform with the Rolling Stones on stage during its one-night-only performance June 3 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The VocalEssence singers will perform with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood during the Minneapolis stop of its 15-city North American ZIP CODE Tour.

The tour marks the first time the rock legends have played North American stadiums since the 2005-2007 “A Bigger Bang” Tour.

VocalEssence, founded by Philip Brunelle, got its start in 1969, at about the same time as the Stones released its album “Let it Bleed.”

“VocalEssence is honored—and thrilled—to be before an audience with the Rolling Stones. Could it get any better than this?” said Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, VocalEssence. “We’re proud to represent, literally, the voice of Minnesota’s incredible choral music tradition in this performance. It’s a great way to introduce choral music—and VocalEssence—to the legions of Rolling Stones fans at TCF Bank Stadium. Plus, Mick Jagger and I share a birth month and year—July 1943. Maybe we’ll have an early celebration on stage?”

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2015

Sting joins a barbershop quartet

Sting surprised the audience when on Friday night when he popped out behind Jimmy Fallon and his barbershop quartet The Ragtime Gals and joined them in a a cappella rendition of Roxanne. It's actually a pretty cool arrangement.

Posted by acapnews at 3:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2015

2015 Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals results

With the support of a full house of lively a cappella fans the National Finals were once again a rousing success.

The 2015 results are:-

National Champions - Straighter Road
2nd place - Timepiece Quartet
3rd Place - The Bluesette Quintet

Audience Favorite - Timepiece

Best Original Arrangement - “God Has A Way” - Kevin Kunz - Straighter Road

A special thanks to all the groups as each and every one of you were not only very talented, but also had the "Harmony Sweeps spirit" of being both supportive of, and friendly to each other. I watched Pitch Perfect 2 the other day (a fun movie to be sure) and thought to myself how glad I am that our events are not like those portrayed in the movie as being super competitive with groups glaring at each other and being mean.

The Harmony Sweeps has always been more about being a celebration of a cappella and the creative possibilities of the unaccompanied human voice. We just so happen to also be a competition. We believe in the word "harmony", both in voice and in spirit, and every group tonight were exemplary ambassadors of this philosophy. Thank you everybody!

See a selection of photos from the event thanks to Ken Osbourne of Misterken Photography.

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May 13, 2015

Reggie Watts' Beatbox Jam From The Future

Last night watching the The Late Late Show I caught a marvelous beatboxing set by the show's band leader Reggie Watts who has excellent vocal skills. And then this evening I saw an advance screening of Pitch Perfect 2 and there he was again as a member of the a cappella group the Tone Hangers (with John Hodgeman, Jason Jones and Joe Lo Truglio). Once again he did a great vocal interplay and was a musical standout for me in the movie.

See his Late, Late Show jam here.

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May 9, 2015

Muppets a cappella

We may have movies and TV shows featuring a cappella but I know a cappella has really hit the big time when the Muppets release an all a cappella video. With help from Mike Tompkins they sing Echosmith's "Cool Kids" and I have to say they do a pretty good job. But then again I have always had a soft spot for Miss Piggy!

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May 6, 2015

A cappella on cover of Entertainment Weekly

For the second time in the past few months Pitch Perfect 2 was the cover story of Entertainment Weekly with photos both times of the wonderful Rebel Wilson. It's great to see a cappella getting this type of major media attention and it's a happy coincidence that the National Finals of the Harmony Sweepstakes and the movie opening are on the same weekend (May 16).

Posted by acapnews at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2015

Anna Kendrick on ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and Not Trying Too Hard

New York Times:

Having acted in 15 movies over the last three years, Anna Kendrick is well versed in the indignities of the modern publicity trail, where stars are increasingly expected to do much more than engage in witty banter. Marie Claire once asked Ms. Kendrick to get drunk during an interview. She complied. In January, at the request of Nylon magazine, she spoke to a reporter while hanging from a trapeze.

Read more.

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