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Artikel Tagged ‘Single Singers’

My journey as a “single singer” in Asia – Part 2

by Juliana Baron, Vocal Blog Asia, August 2016

My journey as a single singer in Asia – Part 2

Christine Liu leading the Single Singers at VAF 2016

Christine Liu leading the Single Singers at VAF 2016

In August 2016, it is the second time that I join the Vocal Asia Festival (VAF). It takes place in Taitung, a beautiful city in south-west of Taiwan. The highest participant number ever, almost 500 singers, various groups from dozens of different Asian countries are joining – and I came alone.

But at the VAF, nobody is ever alone. And on top, everybody regardless of coming alone or in a group can actively join, sing along and even perform on stage – thanks to the „Single Singers“. While in Europe, Single Singers are mingling at various festivals thanks to the idea of Annemarie Homan and Emily May’t Hoen, Christine Liu (Voco Novo and Director of International Affairs at Vocal Asia) is driving that idea and leading the Single Singers at the Vocal Asia Festivals.

Single Singers at VAF 2015

Single Singers at the Vocal Asia Festival 2015 in Shanghai

Both, 2015 in Shanghai and this year in Taitung, I joined the Single Singers. At every VAF there are famous international master groups and professional teachers from all over the world and Christine always selected two songs somehow related to the festival. Therefore, we had the big honor to perform a song each from Naturally 7 and DeltaCappella, the master groups of VAF 2015, and a song from  Vocal Sampling and one song arranged by Michele Weir at VAF 2016.


Singing with Naturally 7 at the Vocal Asia Festival 2015

Christine Liu with the Single Singers at VAF 2016

Christine Liu with the Single Singers at VAF 2016

Sometimes, the songs can be very challenging, including instrumental sound imitations and rhythms, the majority of the single singers has never done before. And this year even a language nobody could speak: Spanish.

Amongst all of us I think Christine had the most difficult time. She prepared very well, send all those who applied for the single singers the music upfront, assigned to each person the respective voice part and solo part… But things rarely go exactly according to plan. Three times more single singers showed up at the first rehearsal, the majority was not prepared, not even knew the music sheets. At least everyone was motivated to practice for the big concert: Sound of Asia concert on the third evening of the festival. But the first singing was frankly speaking a disaster. I admired Christine for her patience and positiveness: „Not too bad for a beginning, we’ll make it!“

Michele Weir coaching the Single Singers

Michele Weir coaching the Single Singers

At the second rehearsal the number of single singers was reduced by half, some of the assigned soloists stepped out, nobody among the single singers ever did vocal percussion and time is running. In 2015, we had the great chance to sing along with Naturally 7 (Soldier Down) and DeltaCappella (Easy) and get an intense but short coaching directly from the pro’s and original singers. In 2016, Michele Weir coached us for her arrangement of „One Hand, One Heart“ and Vocal Sampling joined the soundcheck for some last recommendations to their song „Pirim Pin Pin“.

I’m not sure how we made it, but at the end, the single singers performed the two songs, not perfect, but good enough to get a big applause from the audience. Anyway, the main purpose isn’t the quality of the performance.

Single Singers helping each other

Single Singers helping each other

What counts above all is the experience together, sharing the passion for singing, bridging cultures, having fun and finding a common language and harmony. It is wonderful to see, how everyone contributes and grows together in that short period of time. Haruka Abe from Japan joins the last rehearsal 3 hours before we need to go on stage, and she steps in for a soloist part, learns the Spanish lyrics although she never spoke a single word of Spanish before, coached by Patricio Antonio Liang a Taiwanese Spanish-speaker. 10-year old Haejoon Han from Korea enthusiastically learns the Cuban Maracas sound and proudly gets his own microphone. When anything is unclear, there is some hectic translation in all directions, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, English… and the next chord just sounds awesome.

Single Singers Backstage

Single Singers Backstage

Of course, everyone wants to do their best and gets really nervous before the big performance. But backstage, the single singers are motivating each other, releasing tension by just having a good time and getting encouragement by the pro’s and coaches.

Single singers is so very different from any choir performance or vocal group performance I ever had before. You have to rely on fellow singers you meet the first time, you have to adjust and learn from each other in a very short time, listening is even more important because you cannot easily anticipate how the others are going to sing and you have to be flexible enough to learn something you’ve never done before and perform it 2 days later in front of hundreds of people and even in front of the original singers or arrangers.

Single Singers Performance at VAF 2016

Single Singers Performance at the Sound of Asia Concert, Vocal Asia Festival 2016

VAF 2016: Juliana and Li Lin from Acappuccino

VAF 2016: Juliana and Li Lin from Acappuccino

VAF 2015: Juliana and Li Lin, Single Singers

VAF 2015: Juliana and Li Lin, Single Singers

This year, I even had a very special reunion with some fellow single singers from VAF 2015. Derrick Kam and Li Lin Miyu from the Singaporean vocal group Acappuccino asked me, if I would like to join them as a guest singer for one song during the Sound of Asia concert. Although on very short notice, it was such an honor that I couldn’t reject that offer. Further, for me it was the continuation of the single singers’ idea, it was about bridging nations, cultures, distances by doing music together. No better place than this festival to sing a song together.

 


One Hand, One Heart – Single Singers’ performance at the Vocal Asia Festival 2016

Next year’s Vocal Asia Festival will be in Hongkong. If you can make it, even without your vocal group, come and join the Single Singers! You will have no regrets and return home with a huge number of new friends and an unforgettable experience. Check it out!

My journey as a „single singer“ in Asia – Part 1

by Juliana Baron, Vocal Blog Asia, August 2016

My journey as a single singer in Asia – Part 1

Two years ago, I moved from a comparatively small town in Germany to the 20-million-metropolis Shanghai. To continue my passion for singing and at the same time making some Chinese friends, I wanted to join some local singing group. But how to find it?

Saturday's Single Singers in Shanghai

Saturday’s Single Singers in Shanghai

I was in the lucky situation to know Christine Liu (雙雙 Shuāng Shuāng) from Voco Novo and the Director of International Affairs at Vocal Asia. Vocal Asia is the biggest association of a cappella singers and initiatives in Asia. Although Christine lives in Taiwan, she happened to be in Shanghai in my first week and she introduced me to a key person of a cappella in Shanghai: Bud Jan (詹子贤 Zhān Zi Xián). And this was the start of my journey as a „single singer“ – not at all a lonely journey as the wording might make you believe.

Single Singers in Shanghai

Single Singers in Shanghai

If it’s about a cappella in Shanghai, I would say even in whole China, there is nobody who doesn’t know Bud, and Bud seems to know every single person related to a cappella in Greater China. He organizes the so-called Single Singers in Shanghai and spread this idea to a lot of other cities in China.

The roots of „Single Singers“ is known from the Dutch singers Annemarie Homan and Emily May’t Hoen who came up with this idea at the London A Cappella Festival. Not only vocal groups are joining such festivals but also a lot of singers are coming alone. For them to actively join, to sing along in a group and perform together, they formed the „Single Singers“.

In a similar sense, the Single Singers in Shanghai are formed, but it goes even far beyond. Born from the idea to popularize and spread A Cappella several singers gathered every Saturday in the Shanghai Mass Arts Center and invited all interested single singers to join, to learn and to sing together. In China there is less of a choir culture than for example in Germany. Many of those gathering every Saturday have no musical background, can’t read music or are not used to match harmonies but all of them are curious and love to sing.

Saturday Rehearsal with the Single Singers

Saturday Rehearsal with the Single Singers

When I joined the Shanghai Single Singers in summer 2014, it was still a very young community, just founded a few months before. In only a few cities in China similar organizations were about to start, most copying the example of Shanghai.

Teaching the Cup Song

Teaching the Cup Song

Every Saturday, new single singers would join. Life is incredibly busy in Shanghai and there is a high fluctuation. Nevertheless, over a certain period of time, more and more participants would become frequent visitors. It was not easy to teach and balance the different levels, so after several months we split the group into experienced and beginners. While the beginners were taught basics of singing techniques, rhythms and the beauty of singing in harmony, the more experienced single singers would learn advanced singing and vocal percussion techniques, music theory, arranging, stage performance and choreography. The a cappella community is growing and during the last two years, we gained more than thousand followers, either actively joining the single singers or at least following the activities of the single singers, coming to the concerts or just spreading the word and letting people know about a cappella.

born out of Single Singers: Knowhow Vocal Group

born out of Single Singers: Knowhow Vocal Group

The single singers in China are extremely eager to learn. Although I am no professional, I got the chance to share and teach warm-up methods, rhythm exercises, circle-singing and different choir practices which I know from Europe. We had guest teachers and professors in a rotating mode, local professors as well as famous teachers from abroad like professor Liu (劉靜諭 Liú Jìng Yù) from Taiwan. I am extremely thankful to the lead teacher Hao Hao (董文昊 Dǒng Wén Hào) who dedicates countless hours to develop a teaching concept, to arrange songs for the single singers, to teach almost every single Saturday and to coach newly formed a cappella groups. For me the Single Singers classes were at the same time Chinese language lessons and everyone took care that I understood, that I was integrated and part of the family.

Acaism, the first group to drive and grow the Single Singers

Acaism driving and growing the Single Singers

What makes me extremely happy is the bunch of new a cappella groups forming out of single singers. Every year, at least 5 new vocal groups were born. Me too, I founded a group in 2014 called KnowHow (in Chinese characters 侬好 „nonghao“ which means „hello“ in Shanghainese dialect).

And I am very proud I was invited to join Acaism Vocal Group 阿卡主义人声乐团 for the last 2 years, actually the first and the driving group of Single Singers in Shanghai and Bud being the founder of Acaism.

And all these groups together with the single singers will perform in several concerts throughout the year. Flash mobs in shopping malls, street music, a cappella concerts and as opening acts for successful professional vocal groups visiting Shanghai.

Single Singers Concert

Single Singers Concert

Meanwhile, single singers like in Shanghai are founded in twelve more cities in China: Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Guilin, Harbin, Luoyang, Xi’an, Tianjin, Lanzhou, Changchun, Nanjing. They started to gather once a year in a nationwide single singers forum to exchange, sing together and give free concerts to a growing audience. If one of the cities has a bigger event, representatives from the other cities will support and join. As the lead city’s main organizer Bud Jan supports if a new single singers group wants to form and keeps the network together.

Acaism and Single Singers Concert

Acaism and Single Singers Concert

I am so proud and grateful that I could be part of this single singers development and that I could witness the childhood of a great a cappella future in China.

Here you can watch some videos of Single Singers activities in Shanghai:

Single Singers Flashmob in Kunshan
A-Cappella Concert in Shanghai
Single Singers in Shanghai Trailer 1
Single Singers in Shanghai Trailer 2
Single Singers in Shanghai Trailer 3

Vocal Asia Festival 2015 – Impressions of Day 2

15. September 2015 Keine Kommentare

Every moment is just so special – Juliana’s first-hand impressions of the Vocal Asia Festival 2015

by Juliana Baron, Vocal Blog Asia, September 2015

Last month, the Shanghai Mass Arts Center was hosting the 2015 Vocal Asia Festival (VAF) – here comes part 2 of my first-hand impressions:

Day 2: Aren’t we all a little crazy in this big ACA family?

Thursday (Aug 6) started with the A Cappella Summit Forum. Representatives from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Hongkong presented their status of A Cappella development.

l. to r.: Hea Il Kim, Sung-Mo Han, Ray Chu, Kaichiro Kitamura, Clare Chen, Deke Sharon, Angelina Choo-Sassarak, Peter Lane, Wuming Chen, Kwok-Tung Fung

l. to r.: Hea Il Kim, Sung-Mo Han, Ray Chu, Kaichiro Kitamura, Clare Chen, Deke Sharon, Angelina Choo-Sassarak, Peter Lane, Wuming Chen, Kwok-Tung Fung

Deke Sharon talked about his experience and the success of a growing popularity of a cappella in the US and in other regions of the world. Clare Chen, the president of Vocal Asia, shared her dream and mission of supporting a cappella in Asia, as well as linking and networking all over the world. Special guest was Peter Lane, president and CEO of the Walton Arts Center in Arkansas, who started last year with a professional a cappella festival called „VoiceJam“, hosted by Deke Sharon.

Main topic was sharing ideas of linking and connecting the different regions together, and finally come closer and exchange between the continents.

 

Sung-Mo Han (President of the Korea A Cappella Education Association) teaching singing in harmony without scores

Sung-Mo Han (President of the Korea A Cappella Education Association) teaching singing in harmony without scores

Finally, Vocal Asia’s educational consultant Sung-Mo Han presented a profound education concept for A Cappella and spontaneously demonstrated a method of teaching and singing without scores. The simplicity and effectiveness stunned even the pro’s amongst the audience.

After lunch, hurray, the workshop sessions started! The full program of the festival can be found on Vocal Asia. As there were always three lectures in parallel, you had to decide on your favorite topic which was by far not easy with all the good lecturers and interesting workshops. After joining the workshop „A Cappella arranging in 10 steps“ by Deke Sharon, which makes it sound so easy to arrange, I headed to the Single Singers’ first rehearsal.

The Single Singers’ first rehearsal with Christine Liu.

The Single Singers’ first rehearsal with Christine Liu.

Christine Liu, music director and alto of Voco Novo, brought the Single Singers’ concept from the London A Cappella Festival to VAF. When she entered the rehearsal place, she seemed to be shocked and overwhelmed at the same time. We were supposed to sing in a group of 20 people who applied for the workshop in advance. But Christine was facing about 50 excited and curious single singers. Well, the shocking part about it was how to balance the voices and how to make all of us ready to perform on the VAF Concert the next day. First half of our rehearsal, we needed to organize enough copies of the scores, split into the different voice parts, discuss whether to transpose both of the songs and of course, get to know each other. Christine having a hard time to get the excited chattering and giggling noise down. Our first trial was horrifying, but we all loved Christine for smiling at us, being so positive and motivating. „Will you have some time tonight to practice before our last rehearsal tomorrow?“ I think we were all crazy deciding to go for 2 songs, but aren’t we all a little crazy in this big ACA family?

The workshop „Urbanized A Cappella“ with Naturally 7

The workshop „Urbanized A Cappella“ with Naturally 7

Highlight of day 2 for sure was my Interview with Naturally 7 for the Vocal Blog. You can get an idea of  how outstanding these 7 artists are. You will definitely fall for them when you hear them live, but not only when they are performing, also behind the scenes, they are just so down-to-earth and warm-hearted personalities – you can’t help but fall in love with them.

In the last workshop session of this day „Urbanized A Cappella“ the Naturally 7 members talked about their background and gave some examples of their musical journey. Unfortunately, half of the participants – and so did I – had to leave in the middle of the workshop to hurry to the first ACA Day concert in another location.

LACF 2012 Status Update: Backbones and a Vocal Jog World Record

by Florian Städtler, from London A Cappella Festival 2012 (#LACF2012)

It’s Saturday morning and it’s the third day of the third edition of the London A Cappella Festival 2012. We’ve seen wonderful concerts featuring The Vasari Singers (UK), The Boxettes (UK), Cadence (CAN) and FORK (FIN). The Schools on Stage project powered by Voice Festival UK made us smile and cheer, an arrangement competition supported by Oxford University Press resulted in fantastic music, countless foyer performances and encounters of both pro and amateur artists entertained us. We met and talked to a cappella aficionados and newbies, to visitors and vocal music tourists hailing from as far as San Fransisco, Taiwan, Toronto, Oslo, Torino, Boston and even a music lover from Milton Keynes…

I’ve been attending the London A Cappella Festival since it all started in January 2010 and I must say it here and now: What The Swingle Singers as hosts and curators together with super-pro organizers at Ikon Arts have build in less than three years is the perfect example of artistic vision and will combined with professional promotional execution. It’s impossible to name all the people here, who have contributed to the three-day vocal music extravaganza, but let’s just name two who in my eyes did an outstanding job: Clare Wheeler, alto with The Swingle Singers, has become one of the leading communicators of international a cappella. Thanks to her personal dedication, the number of overseas guest has become pretty impressive. The second mover and shaker who deserves special mention is Ikon ArtsJessica Hill. She has become the festival’s managerial backbone and seems to master the multiple tasks of running LACF with unbelievable friendliness and placidity. Along with Ikon Arts owner Costa Peristianis, Nicola Semple, Beccy Chilton and Natalia Franklin Pierce she made the festival happen and the growing number of attendants happy.

FORK & FSt

Besides the musical “core business”, countless special and hilarious things happen(ed) during this festival: A Cappella rockers FORK just twittered that they are going shopping (you will probably see the results on stage next time), recording legend Bill Hare (USA) just found a Pentatonix-lookalike in the British museum, Joan Hare flirted with an double-decker bus driver, the “Single Singers” (no typo) gathered for their first rehearsal after setting up a 20+ vocal group via social media (there will be a special on that later), this afternoon we’re going to see two panels discussing the state of affairs of contemporary a cappella and the pudding, cake and hi-heel-lovers found bliss in High Tea at Montagnue and at the buzzing after show parties at a pub called The Fellow.

My most important mission of LACF2012 was of a very different kind: On Friday, 13th of January, the first semi-official London A Cappella VOCAL JOG was to take place, another try to motivate a cappella people to get over their hangovers and join me on a little run during events like this. I have been running through cities during all my vocal music travelling life, but the maximum group of Vocal Joggers as of 2011 was two participants: Morten Vinther, baritone of The Real Group broke the spell on October 16th 2011 and went for the first ever non-solo Vocal Jog in my hometown Freiburg.

But for London A Cappella, I wanted to make it big time  – and I was supported by Willy Eteson former tenor and business director of The Swingle Singers who’s a slightly eccentric British foodie and hobby star chef today. While serving self-made pork specialties at Ikon Art’s desk all through the festival, he dared me: If I was able to run up Primrose Hill (the highest “mountain” in London City ;-) with a group of at least four other Vocal Joggers, he would be there at 8:45 on Friday 13th to cater the runners with home-baked power bars, bananas and water. At this point in time, there were 9 potential runners registered at the London A Cappella Vocal Jog Facebook page, so I was optimistic even though I knew that 4 of the listed 9 might have been a bit too optimistic regarding their being at the IBIS Euston hotel lobby at 8:30 in the morning.

Friday 13th came, I woke up at around 8:00 (after staying at the bar for much too long with the wonderful Hans Cassa of Montezuma’s Revenge), felt better than expected…but then got the first bad news: Line Groth, singer and arranger for Danish electro a cappella group Postyr Project didn’t feel well. Neither did Joakim Skog, executive producer of Stockholm’s The Real Vocal Festival. And I still had no confirmation of Nicholas Girard (House Jacks, Overboard, The Sing-Off) and John Buchanan Lau from Edinborough. So I went to the hotel lobby, thinking of Willy Eteson fighting his way through the London rush hour traffic all the way from Hackney, parking illegally and running up Primrose Hill with Vocal Jog delicacies…to find no more than two or three runners…

On top of the Vocal Jog world

As it turned out, Friday 13th was my lucky Vocal Jog day: The first one to show up was Hans Cassa along with the slightly jet-lagged US star Nick Girard and at 8:30h Annemarie Homann (NED, Single Singers founder), Claudia Appel Dom (another surprise guest from The Netherlands) and John Buchanan Lau, a cappella enthusiast from Edinborough joined and made me very happy vocal Jogger. The weather was beautiful, quite cold, but blue skies over London Town. So after passing two blocks we entered Regent’s park and after 20 minutes saw Primrose Hill – which for Londoners (and especially the Dutch guests) is the equivalent of the K2. In spite of general sleep deficit, transcontinental jet-lag and traces of hangovers we made it up Primrose Hill, but: No Willy Eteson…!

…but a fantastic Vocal Jog reception committee à la surprise: Bill Hare (he wore a jacket, which means it was freaking cold!), his mother Joan Hare and their good friend from Slovakia, Sona Killianova gave us a (shivering) big hand and took pictures with the proud runners in front of the London skyline and the rising sun. At around 9:10am with the photo session done, I told my running mates that I had hoped for Willy, but assumed that he got word of the declining number of participants or might simply be stuck in the morning traffic. Sure to be served something delicious later that day we said farewell to the trembling Californian-Slovakian reception committee and started to run down the hill…

…but only seconds later we heard Bill, Joan and Sona shouting and yelling, so we turned round and there he was: Mr. Aca-Deli, Richard “Willy” Eteson with the Vocal Jog catering that will go down in history. So we ran up again, took even more photos, got the right dose of doping, said thank you again and hit the road to make it to the hotels in time for breakfast. These, my friends, are true moments to remember, thank you London A Cappella for supporting this “crazy” (Clare Wheeler) project and spreading the Vocal Jog news.

The London Vocal Jog team 2012: Claudia Appel Dom, Nicholas Girard, Annemarie Homann, Florian Städtler, Willy Eteson, John Buchanan Lau, Hans Cassa

If you loved this story and are a runner (no matter what level, we do not run longer than 30-40 minutes, pace and distance don’t matter), send an e-mail to info@vocal-blog.net and you’ll be invited to future Vocal Jog events. Just to let you know: Jeeves Murphy from Washington DC has been appointed Vocal Jog ambassador for the US during the after show party yesterday. And the next European vocal music highlight, the Real Vocal Festival in Stockholm, Sweden is seriously considering making the Vocal Jog an official part of the festival’s progamme (August 16-19, 2012). Last but not least, Line Groth who will come to my hometown Freiburg next week to showcase Postyr Project at the Kulturbörse Freiburg (Jan 24, 20:30h) has told me that she persists to do the Vocal Jog with me there, no matter how tight the schedule may be. So I’m  looking forward to many more great pictures of fit singers & endorphine-addicted aca-fans from all over the world.

Do-doo-run-run-run, do-doo-run-run!

Florian Städtler is founder Vocal Blog and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He can’t believe how quickly this blog has developed a following of wonderful, intelligent and nicely-smelling people. Thanks for sharing the greatest ideas and the latest aca-gossip with a growing number of vocal music enthusiasts. If you can’t get enough of this stuff and/or want to get in touch with almost 1000 a cappella buddies like Vocal Blog on Facebook. If you want to make us of Vocal Blog as a filter and aggregator of a cappella news, links, tipps and hilarious tweets, follow Vocal Blog on Twitter.

If you want to SELL or BUY vocal music stuff online, go to Acappellazone or write to florian@acappellazone.com. If you think there is a video of high quality of exceptional artistry, let us know so that we can post it on the Acappellazone YouTube channel.

If you like face-to-face communication (like 4-hour candle light dinners or after party allnighters), I agree: This is the best way to communicate. So let’s stay in touch via social media and meet in person when Vocal Blog goes on tour: See you in Stockholm!

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss LACF

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

with Clare Wheeler at LACF 2011

 

Who needs reasons to go to an international a cappella festival in London anyway…? Nevertheless, as this will be my third London A Cappella Festival (LACF), I feel that I might add something to the pre-festival excitement. And maybe make the undecided change their calendars if necessary, persuade the boyfriend (who’s into Heavy Metal) to come along and buy one pair of shoes less (sorry, Clare Wheeler, Tine Fris and Alyusha Chagrin) to buy tickets for the LACF concerts and workshops.

  1. The Swingle Singers: I’m lucky to work with 8 of the best international vocal music acts. But it all started with the Swingles in 2002. And they started London A Cappella Festival. Love you all, you’re my heroes, Sara, Jo, Clare, Oli, Tobi, Kevin and CJ!
  2. The main line-up: FORK (FIN), Cadence (CAN), The Boxettes (UK), The Swingle Singers (guests: Euphonism from NYC) as well as the Vasari Singers, Cottontown Chorus and The London Vocal Project
  3. The free events: Kings Place is a fantastic place to meet and enjoy the company of the aca-family. The foyer stage will present dozens of free performances including reason no. 4…
  4. The Single Singers: This project is a kind of all-star-all-fun-international-virtual-becomes-real vocal group founded by two Dutch singers, Annemarie Homan and Emily May ‘t Hoen. Can you imagine twenty people from ten different countries meeting at LACF to perform their first public concert after only having met (in person) a few hours before? Check out The Single Singers’ blog and don’t miss their performance after the Saturday concert.
  5. The Vocal Jog: Since I’ve been travelling the vocal music world, I always ran – to see at least a bit of the cities I was staying. And due to serious after show parties and missing running gear, I almost always ended up as a solo Vocal Jogger. Morten Vinther, baritone with The Real Group was the first one who really joined me before TRG’s gig in my hometown Freiburg. But at LACF 2012, it looks as if we could beat this Vocal Jog world record! The LACF Vocal Jog 2012 will go ahead on Friday morning, January 13th, somewhere in the vicinity of Euston station. Stay tuned and check the news and details at the Vocal Blog Facebook fanpage.
  6. Educational Events: I could never really believe that a country like England with an incredibly rich choral history was actually an a cappella no man’s land. Thanks to people like Alex Godfree (Voice Festival UK) this is changing quickly.
  7. Acashirt Pictures: This is basically the first time after the launch of my vocal music online shop Acappellazone that I will see people wearing the brandnew “Acashirts”.  A few months ago we met designer Hans Weigel who created the most wonderful a cappella shirt designs. LACF is the first vocal music event who has its official festival shirt sold via Acappellazone. Looking so much forward to pictures of real people in acashirts!
  8. My US friends: It seems like yesterday, when I attended the mother of all US a cappella festivals, SoJam. During my 4-day stay with The Boxettes I met so many fantastic, friendly and talented people, I won’t even begin to give any names here. But I particularly like the fact, that NYC-based group Euphonism will open for the Swingles on Saturday. Safe trip over the pond!
  9. London: is simply my favourite town ever. I’ve been an England fan since I went there with my family in the 70s: Devon cream tea, fish & chips, the Channel ferries, the Cornwall coast. And a two-hours pub stay with my good friend Costa Peristianis (his agency Ikon Arts runs LACF) in October in a most wonderful place called “The Antelope” confirmed my belief that better sooner than later I have to find a way to work at least 3-4 days a month in “The Big Smoke”.
  10. Global A Cappella: One mission in London is to make more movers & shakers (as well as vocal music fans and singers) mark the next super-event in their calendars: The Real Vocal Festival hosted by another European vocal music icon, The Real Group, will go ahead in Sweden’s capital Stockholm from August 16th-19th. Performances by The Real Group, Rajaton, The Swingle Singers, Postyr Project, Vocado a sensational educational programme curated by Peder Karlsson’s Real Academy and – working on it – a meeting of the leaders of CASA (The Contemporary A Cappella Society), EVA (The European Voices Association) and Vocalasia will make TRVF a must-attend-event. Let’s talk about it in London.

Aren’t that reasons to get excited? So get ready for London, tell all your singing or vocal music loving friends to go there. How often has such kind of intense festival experience changed the spirit and the motivation of whole ensembles: There’s nothing like the common experience of both the best artists on stage and the “backstage” moment of talking to the same people in a workshop, listening, learning and laughing while joining this basic need of all human beings: Singing together in a group.

London A Cappella – here we come!

Florian Städtler is founder and chief blogger for Vocal Blog and Chairman of the Board of the recently founded European Voices Association. He is a very lucky guy knowing so many talented and inspiring people who contribute to what seems to become a vocal music movement. His motto: Let’s keep suprising each other!

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