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Artikel Tagged ‘Swingle Singers’

Rendez-vous avec Les Swingle Ladies

by Helen Kuzina, Moscow (spring 2011)

 

When I found out that the Swingle Singers, hosts of London A Cappella Festival were performing in Cité de la Musique I jumped on the plane and came to fabulous Paris! This time they performed the Sinfonia by Luciano Berio. Before the concert I met Jo (Eteson), Clare  (Wheeler) and Lucy (Bailey) asked some questions.

 

Here in Paris you are singing Sinfonia by Luciano Berio. What does this piece mean to you?

Jo:  It’s very exciting for us to perform Berio’s Sinfonia because this  piece was written originally for the Swingle Singers in the sixties. We feel really honoured to perform it as it has such a history. And this is the one thing in our repertoire which stays the same and which we perform several times a year.

Clare:  It’s an amazing piece and it is a nice change to perform it after a cappella music.

You are singing in different styles, do you use a different vocal technique for the music you perform?

Clare:  None of us use only one school of singing. It depends on the style of music we perform, so we use different techniques. Sometimes we use the more natural way or the more pop way of singing. It depends on the music.

How do you warm-up? Do you warm-up separate or together?

Loop Songs - warm-up like Les Swingle Ladies!

Jo:  A combination. We all have different ways to prepare our voices for the show. Sometimes we like getting together and warming up with some vocal exercises that someone brings to the group and we all want to try. For example we sing some Loop Songs by Bertrand Gröger (modern choral études for all SATB groups published by Schott Music and recorded by the Swingle Singers.)

What do you do to keep your voices in a good shape?

Clare:  I think it’s very important to warm-up. Also, I find Swingle singing a very healthy way of singing. I feel that the more Swingle singing I’m doing – the less work I have to do to keep my vocal chords in a good form.

You are always singing lot of different music and you need to learn music very fast. How is the process of studying new pieces going?

Clare:   Very well!

Jo:  At the moment we are doing a lot of contemporary music and we have done a project by Fabrice Bollon, a French conductor and composer. He wrote a piece for us called “Elements”. Contemporary music is slightly different to a cappella music and it needs a different kind of preparation. We tend to learn it on our own for longer before we get together.

Clare:  Usually it depends on how difficult the music is. The audience for an a cappella show is different from the audience for contemporary music, which tends to be much more difficult. It’s more difficult to hear and more difficult to learn. We spend more time on learning contemporary music to make sure that every single note is right.

Clare, Jo and Lucy

Lucy:  We are all trained in different styles and have our own musical tastes. For instance, I come from quite a choral background, but also have a passion for pop music.

Clare: I studied both classical and jazz music at the same college as Jo (Guildhall School of Music and Drama). I studied violin, jazz singing and composition. I’ve done a lot of jazz singing also.

Jo:  I started off with a choral background at school where a lot of us really loved singing. We sang in A cappella groups, Barbershop groups, Madrigal groups etc And then I joined a choir, The Ionian Singers who at the time only sang contemporary music which was really good training! Later I met Lucy and CJ in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and we’ve been friends since then.

It’s always interesting to know something about your private life! You have to travel so much. Do your family members support you?  

Lucy:  Yes, but it can be difficult when we are apart for a long time. None of us have children, but it’s still hard.

Clare: We definitely need all our friends and families to be very understanding. It does tend to happen gradually that your friend groups change to the people that really care about you. They don’t mind that you are away for a long time.

Jo:  I’m lucky because my husband worked in the group for 10 years, so he understands the situation and is extremely supportive. You have to invest in your family and friends but occasionally it can be very difficult to balance work and your personal life.

What are your hobbies?

Lucy:   Jo and I love to shop together. I just bought an amazing pair of cowboy boots and I’m so exited because I love them!!! I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life!!!

Clare:  I really love going to gigs and hearing new music.

Jo: I love movies – going to the cinema is one of my favorite things to do!

Do you have your own project in your spare time?

Lucy:   It can be quite difficult to find the time to do other projects.

Clare:  I was doing my own music before I joined the group. I already had some projects going, but now the only way I can do it is on my summer holiday. I went to Denver this summer to work with a composer there called Tyler Gilmore, and we wrote some music together and recorded it. That album should be finished and ready soon!

Jo:   I’ve done a couple of movie soundtracks which is really fun. A couple of years ago I recorded stuff for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe soundtrack. Recently it was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2.

It’s the second time you have organized the London A Cappella Festival. What is the purpose behind that?

Clare:  The purpose of the London A Cappella Festival is quite similar to the other festivals. We want to give people a chance to get together and hear really amazing vocal groups. Last year it was The Real Group, Witloof Bay from Belgium as well as amazing newcomers The Boxettes from london.

How do you hold your traditions? What does it mean to  you?

Clare:  This is the reason why we are all here making music together. We hold the tradition of the Swingle Singers very dear. In the sixties the reason why the group, I think, caught peoples imaginations, was that they were pioneers in a cappella. And this is part of this reason; I think the way that we would see the tradition of the Swingle Singers is to try to always be at the forefront of a cappella music. It always has been the priority of the group and it’s definitely important for the group now.

How do the innovations of technology and the group’s evolution influence the Swingle Singers?

Clare:  I think it happens organically. When new people join the group they come with their own experiences and they bring new ideas. Sometimes I am envious of groups that have been together a long time with no or few member changes. They have the chance to invest and develop so much together. We try to build this as much as we can, but I also really value that we have fresh ideas coming from outside.

Let’s speak about your new video of Libertango! What was the idea to make it?

Jo:   We watched some videos of other vocal groups and they are all fantastic. Recently we saw an old Swingle music video of Badinerie from 1963-64. It’s in black and white and Christiane Legrand is walking through a shopping mall singing. But we wanted to do something cinematic, something with a story line and something dramatic. We worked with a fantastic company called “Film Creatives” and they were absolutely amazing! It was a fantastic experience and we would love to work with them again!

You are an example for many vocal groups. What would you like to wish  young a cappella groups? What does a group need to do to be successful?

Lucy:  Find something different to market yourself with, something that only you can do or that you can do the best. Take advice from other groups and make friends with other a cappella groups because it’s a wonderful community and it’s really great to be able to learn from what other people can do on stage. So be really open to changes and learning music!

Clare:  I really agree with that and I just say as well: don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. Don’t feel you have to follow the crowd to be successful – find your own niche!

Jo: Try something you really love doing. If you are not really excited about what your group is doing then something may be wrong. You have to really love what you do!

I met Helen Kuzina on a trip to Moscow and soon realized that Helen probably is one of the greatest Swingle Singers in the world. She seems to have traveled to a dozen countries to see the group perform and has also written a paper about the Swingle Singers during her studies of music in Moscow. Hope to hear more from you, Helena.

Aren’t we The Real Group? (courtesy of CASA.org)

30. April 2011 1 Kommentar

by Clare Wheeler; thanks to Amy Malkoff of CASA for permission to post this article originally posted at www.casa.org/content/arent-we-real-group

The Swingle Singers are an interesting mix of people to be in an a cappella group. Other than our bass Kevin who came to us fresh from 9 years in the Canadian a cappella group Cadence, none of us come from an a cappella background. Upon joining the group, it’s then a crash course of working out what’s going on, and who’s making it happen! We come from choral backgrounds, jazz, musical theatre, opera…instrumental*, even. It might seem unforgivable that we might not have heard of  The Real Group before joining The Swingle Singers, but we have more than a few culprits. Myself included. On the bus yesterday, I heard CJ describing TRG’s famous song, “Chilli Con Carne” by Anders Edenroth, to Oli, our newest member. He animatedly retold the story about how Anders had been doing his military service in Sweden, and started making up a song from the recipe book he was cooking from…(I’m sure you can picture the scene. I’ll give you a moment). CJ lights up, emphatically imitating parts of the song – he is a huge TRG fan. Oli nods politely, having not yet heard this song. Jo reminds CJ of how he came to know it…and I thought this was a cute story.

CJ (along with Jo and Lucy) used to sing in Britain’s National Youth Choir, and this was a popular encore choice for them, after what would often be a more classical-based concert. He thought the name Anders Edenroth was the most incredible name he’d ever heard and never forgot it. He downloaded it from l*mewire (cough…don’t tell) and it labelled it as by The Swingle Singers. Scandalously lied to by the internet, he believed for years that it was by the Swingles. Years later CJ came to audition for us, and joined the group.  There followed a text conversation that went something like this:

CJ: Why don’t we perform “Chilli Con Carne”? It’s awesome!
Jo:  Because it’s by The Real Group.
CJ: What? Aren’t we the real group?
Jo: What? No, we’re The Swingle Singers. What?
CJ: But aren’t we the real Swingle Singers?

* see dictionary definition.

[Stay tuned for upcoming entries from Clare!]

About the author:
Clare Wheeler is a jazz singer, composer and arranger. She sings alto with The Swingle Singers, and lives in London. She studied violin and voice at Chethams School of Music, Manchester, and then jazz composition and singing at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A fan of travelling, eating chocolate-based foods and Twitter. She is also known as @dinkyswingle, Wheelie or Wheels.

London A Cappella (2): One Day on Tour with Vocal Blog

6. Februar 2011 2 Kommentare

by Florian Städtler

January 2011 – what a month! Never before have I experienced such intense days meeting musicians, talking to movers and shakers, of watching world-class ensembles live and hanging out with them after workshops, masterclasses and shows. “Vocal Blog on tour”, the face-to-face part of the Vocal Blog project is pure inspiration: You meet the people who sing to make a living and those who would (almost) die to see the best of the best. Compared to events like Sojam (USA), Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig (GER, hosted by amarcord), Solevoci (ITA), Hannover A Cappella (GER), Vokal.Total (AUT), Voice Mania (AUT), Vokal Total (GER) and The Vocal Jazz Summit (GER), London A Cappella rather is a newbie. Like The Real Festival (hosted by The Real Group/SWE) and Aarhus Vocal Festival (hosted by Vocal Line/DK), London A Cappella is hosted by an international a cappella top act, the Swingle Singers. Here’s a little report of my week-long trip Freiburg-Basel-London-Northampton-London-Cologne-Freiburg.

>> Tuesday, Jan 11

- 6pm:  illegally parking my car near Freiburg station, catching the shuttle bus to EuroAirport Basel-Freiburg-Mulhouse

- 6:30pm: trying to eat a yoghurt whilst responding to some e-mails on my iPad and failing at not smearing the touchscreen

- 7:30pm: arriving at Terminal 1, well there is only one, so it’s rather THE terminal, checking in rather my heavy suitcase

- 7:42pm: buying loads of duty-free Swiss chocolate for the Ikon Arts team and the Swingles ladies

- 7:55pm: Working at Gate 29 – a nice little Pages presentation about the future European a cappella infrastructure

- 8:25pm: Presentation almost finished, boarding cattle class EasyJet flight to London, well almost: Gatwick it is

- 8:55pm: Take-off, almost but not quite on time, listening to Mouth-off podcast episodes of the past. #hilarious

- 9:25pm: Touchdown, yeah, England, I love to be back. Wondering about how much international roaming will cost me this time

- 9:44pm: Thanks to foolproof instructions by the wonderful Ikon Arts office team, I’m NOT boarding Gatwick Express but some other train and thus saving truckloads of money, which I can spend in more Swiss duty-free chocolate next time I come to see female a cappella singers

- 10:30pm: Arrival at King’s Cross/St. Pancras, the London’s Northern train station. Haven’t eaten much since I’ve spilled my yoghurt over my iPad, so I’m grabbing some delicious British station snack to prepare myself for the march to the hotel + the welcome beer at a pub “quite close to King’s Cross, down the street to King’s Place”

- 10:50pm: Finally found my hotel, deciding to think of running around the block with my heavy suitcase twice as a deliberate extra workout, taking a speed shower and almost without any detour entering the pub to find a whole bunch of singers, conductors and aca-people: Tobias Hug (The Swingle Singers), Jo Eteson (The Swingle Singers), Willy Eteson (former Swingles tenor), Peder Karlsson (former The Real Group baritone), Sara Brimer (The Swingle Singers), Clare Wheeler (The Swingle Singers), Neo Jessica Joshua (The Boxettes), Kevin Fox (The Swingle Singers), Katie Birtill, Oliver Griffiths (The Swingle Singers), Lucy Bailey (The Swingle Singers) and many more friendly folks who keeping me from paying for my drinks until we left. Rumour had it that Clare and Tobi were successful in convincing Jussi Chydenius, bass with Rajaton, to fly in from Helsinki later during the festival.

- 1:15am: Tobi taking Peder to his place, the rest catching the last bus home and me returning to my hotel round the corner, being not particularly drunk.

>> Wednesday, Jan12

- 7:15am: Getting up and ready for a little run around windy, rainy London town. Ended up at Covent Garden, asking for King’s Cross direction only once during my way back.

- 8:15am: Breakfast, unfortunately continental breakfast, unfortunately rather bad continental breakfast, unfortunately in an overheated, overcrowded cellar room with no daylight and a waitress yelling at clients “Toast? Two slices!?” #quickbreakfast

- 9:45am: Trying to find out how to get to a Tube station called Rotherhithe (that’s where Swingles tenor CJ lives). Clerk neither being able to  pronounce it nor to find it on the map. Eventually finding it myself and explaining it to her. #service

- 11am: Meeting with The Swingle Singers – discussing future plans and strategy. So interesting to get direct feedback from the eight of them. Very helpful, thank you! By the way: Since I’ve been working for the group they were always good, but the group of today is fantastic, full of energy, determination and creativity. #proudagent

- 1:35pm: Back on the Tube. After changing trains I’m seeing a woman that looks almost exactly like Lucy. Same hair, same shoes, same jacket, same make-up, same bag, it’s amazing.

The one and only Lucy Bailey - with a nerdy camouflage

- 1:36pm: Saying hello to Lucy. And goodbye having to get out of that train at King’s Cross. Taking the completely wrong way out (again).

- 1:51pm: Starving. Regretting not to having eaten from the infamous Swingles #morningditty cookie box at CJ’s place.

- 1:53pm: Last resort King’s Cross station supermarket. While I’m trying to not throw down two apples, a banana, my credit card and two pseudo-healthy muesli bars, my mobile is ringing. It’s Peder Karlsson. He’s calling from Islington and can’t find the Business Design Center: “Florian, have you got the adress?”

- 1:55pm: Dropping one apple, two muesli bars and an iPhone, the latter surviving the crash. Telling Peder the adress and agreeing on meeting at Ikon Arts/Swingles office at 3pm.

- 3pm: Discussing world domination with Peder. Costa Peristianis, Swingles agent, and his three lovely ladies are taking care of the duty- but not exactly calories free gifts from Basel Airport.

- 4:25pm: World domination is imminent. Very important result of our very heated discussion: They serve excellent tea at the Business Design Center and we of course we have to to it all much better, quicker and more successful than the Americans. #topsecret

- 5:25pm: Departing to King’s Place, getting excited and in festival mood. #vocalblogontour

- 5:55pm: Entering the lobby of King’s Place. Bumping into dozens of singers, aca-vips, old and not-so-old friends. Happiness, fun, pleasure!

Costa Peristianis & FSt

- 7:30pm: The Oxford Gargoyles open the evening after some superman-ish announcement and tongue-in-cheek welcome to London A Cappella No.2 brought to Hall 1 by CJ and Kevin of the curating Swingle Singers. (Again the college group’s name is reminding me of the galactic hitchhiker’s favourite drink, the Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster…#veryverycareful)

- 8:00pm: The Real Group live in London. I will later learn that this was actually the first gig with that particular programme featuring the new line-up: Morten Vinther Sorensen (replacing Peder Karlsson as baritone) and Emma Nielsdotter (returning from maternity leave). This concert will result in a phenomenal review by The Times. 80 minutes of top-notch a cappella originals and covers, TRG is a unique work of vocal music art. Thank you for the music!

The Real Group's Anders Jalkeus & Emma Nilsdotter

- 10pm: After three encores, including the hilarious “Cocktails for Two” and the epic Peder Karlsson composition “Gota”, Anders Edenroth temporarily cannot find his suit (which Emma took to the hotel), legends meet in the lobby and the Swingles crew is announcing the name of the pub, where the after show party will take place.

- 10:35pm: Everybody’s there, it’s amazing. Almost as amazing as the fact that again, I’m not able to pay for one single drink or at least a package of peanuts. #freeloader

- 0:00am: We have to move to another room at the same pub. #british

- can’t remember am: Going home, respectively the hotel. Remembering that we will go to Northampton tomorrow, on my first tour with The Real Group. #excited

- zzz, zzz… (to be continued soon)

Willy Eteson, Jo Eteson, Morten Vinther, Florian Städtler, Peder Karlsson, Clare Wheeler, Janne Apelholm, Anders Jalkeus

Tobias Hug, FSt, Anders Jalkeus - hitting a low note (I like it - gefällt mir!)

The Real Vocal Blog, The Real Lucy, The Real Anders Edenroth

Have you been to London A Cappella, too? Let me know what you liked best, who you met and which concerts you won’t forget.

Or maybe write a blog post about your favourite festival experience, no matter where or when? Go ahead, looking forward to your articles!

And don’t forget: The next “vocal summit”, the place to be for everybody who really is into vocal, a cappella and rhythmic choral music is Aarhus Vocal Festival, May 6-9 in Aarhus, Denmark. Check out all the details and the fantastic line-up featuring Bobby McFerrin + Vocal Line, Basix, Pust and many more at www.aavf.dk. This will also be a unique opportunity to meet movers, shakers and acastars like Jens Johansen, Jim Daus Hjernoe, Holger Wittgen, Peter Martin Jacob, Jake Moulton and many more. Vocal Blog will be on tour and on a very special European networking mission, more details soon to come. So make sure you’re going to make it to Aarhus in May, it will be a blast!

A Cappella – A Global Micro-Niche

24. November 2010 3 Kommentare

reflections on George Chambers’ blog post at Cham Chowder

Introduction by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog.

This discussion is far from old, our American aca-friends, twenty years ahead (compared to most EU scenes) in reflecting on the art form, have debated this again and again: As singing a cappella is an art form including styles, compositions and sounds from the Middle Ages to Electro, from the Baroque miracles of Bach to post-modern beatbox urbanism, will this extraordinarily diverse form ever attract more attention by mainstream media and audiences?

(Oh my God, I used the terms “art form” and “mainstream” in the same paragraph!)

So let’s be a bit more precise: We certainly don’t expect Take Six to be on page one of the tabloids, it’s not our goal to see King’s Singers centerfolds in teen magazines and we probably won’t see The Sing-off replacing football, baseball, hockey news.

But what we sure want is (more) media attention. Without media exposure it’s hard to sell anything. So it’s all about getting the music into mass media, which is not exactly easy for three main reasons:

Firstly, everybody wants to be there. Never have there been more pr agencies (with much bigger budgets than yours and mine) and pr departments pushing and shoving to get their message across. Secondly, people simply can’t take more information. You can call it information overload or filter failure – people just can’t consume more bits and bytes and if they try to, they will forget very quickly. The third reason is the basic problem of the a cappella scene already mentioned above: Singing unaccompanied is not a style. It’s a technique. And listeners don’t really care how the music’s made they hear on their radios, iPods etc. – as long as this music makes them feel good.

That’s why despite the difficulties explained above there are huge opportunities for the art form of contemporary vocal, a cappella and choral music. It sounds like bad (business) news, that this music is and will probably always be a micro-niche of the national and international music markets. The good news is: This micro-niche is huge, as today we live in a global village. Also – with beatboxers and studio gurus pushing the limits of a cappella singing further and further – listeners will soon not be able to tell if this is “really a cappella”. Just listen to Naturally 7’s “Vocal Play” and you know exactly what I mean.

Come on, singers, arrangers, conductors, composers, agents, managers, promoters and all the other a cappella activists, I want to see you join forces and go for new ways of communication using the power of the internet, international travel and the growing cross-border a cappella network.

Find below an article written by George Chambers, a member of the English University a cappella group “The Oxford Gargoyles”. The article is George’s premiere as a musical blogger and it reflects nicely some of the aspects that make it difficult even for a well-known vocal group like The Swingle Singers to get their piece of the media action.

(See one of the things, the group did, to show what it can do: The Swingles promo video “Snapshots”.)

And here comes George’s post, thanks for sharing!

George Chambers

George Chambers, singer with The Oxford Gargoyles, first-time VB guest blogger

George Chambers’ blog post, first published November 22, 2010

The Swingle Singers are one of those established musical institutions that the music world seems to have forgotten. And why do I start this first blog on a rather Victor Meldrew-esque statement? Because last week I witnessed what has to be the best concert of my a cappella life… and yet nothing has appeared in the press. In fact, UK a cappella gets hardly any press coverage whatsoever. I suppose part of the problem lies in its placing in the media – where do you list a cappella concerts? They sit awkwardly on the fence between pop, classical and jazz, but surely that is so often their charm.

Personally a couple of numbers really did it for me – Sara Brimer’s haunting solo in Nick Drake’s ‘Riverman’ effortlessly ebbed and flowed its way around a simple but haunting waltz-like accompaniment. From my Gargoyle arrangements I’m always worried of over-arranging… but this proved quite the opposite. I don’t know the arranger, but I know they’re probably prime Swingle stock. In comparison I’m a bit dubious about the Swingles’ and Richard Niles’ new ‘Romeo ♥ Juliet’ project which is a reworking of Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’. Do we need a reworking of West Side quite yet? Hm, I do wonder. I’m still actually quite enjoying the original. The Swingles performed the two complicated arrangements with vigour, but ‘complicated’ is where I think a problem is brewing. I’m all up for experiment, but I couldn’t help listening thinking ‘that’s Bernstein’, then hearing a flurry of crunchy extended chords thinking ‘that certainly isn’t Bernstein’. It may prove to be a blessing, who knows. At the moment it sounds jilted, and often complex for the sake of adding extra 9ths or 13ths to perfectly acceptable Bernsteinian chords.

I’m excited to see what the Swingles pull out of the bag for the next few instalments of  ’Romeo ♥ Juliet’. What cannot be argued is that no other a cappella group can claim to have such vivacious variety as the Swingles, or so I believe, anyhow. From traditional folksong arrangements to Corea with some well programmed Beatles pit stops along the way, the group provided the audience with a good two hours of toe-tapping tunes. This is there the Swingles really excel – they give the audience exactly what they want: highs of Glee-esque a cappella in the tour de force numbers such as Alexander L’Estrange’s arrangement of Quincy Jones’ ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ and ‘A Fifth of Beethoven’, followed by a few blissfully serene (with, of course, wonderful mood lighting to accompany) homophonic ballads to balance it all out.

The Swingles show how a cappella should be done, and to add to it all they are lovely people as everyone found out post-gig… We should be proud of our Swingles – I may have not seen any reviews, but for a performance like I saw, i’d be happy to give them five gleaming stars any day.

You can reach George Chambers via http://chamchowder.blogspot.com/ or follow him on Twitter: @geocham. And – as always – I would be delighted about you commenting here at Vocal Blog, thanks for joining the conversation!

A Decade of Swingledom – Willy Eteson Says Goodbye

23. Oktober 2010 11 Kommentare

Kineret Erez (Ex-Swingles alto), Florian Städtler, Jo Riley (Ex-Swingles alto)

Willy Eteson & The Swingles Choir

Ward Swingle conducting 50% of all Swingle Singers ever

by Florian Städtler

Last Tuesday I caught a glimpse of a cappella history. After more than ten years of being the high tenor (and business director) of the London based Swingle Singers, Richard James “Willy” Eteson had his leaving do: He said farewell and goodbye with an extraordinary concert and an after-show party that was both a Swingles family meeting and a summit of UK and EU a cappella luminaries. Ward Swingle himself was attending the event and conducted an amazing encore: 35 (!) Swingle and Ex-Swingle Singers sang his arrangement of “Country Dances” – the crowd went wild and will never forget this special night in a small theatre in Holborn/London.

For many people this was a night of mixed emotions: For Willy himself, who is going to run a British deli shop after the end of his pro singing career. For Jo Goldsmith-Eteson, his wife and Swingles soprano, who had her last concert with her husband and the first with his successor, new Swingles tenor Oliver Griffiths. For the six other members of the group, who will miss Willy’s experience both as a performer and as business advisor. And of course for all the people who love this wonderful chap, his wit, his humour and his friendship. Willy, we all will miss you and you are one more reason to come to London on a regular basis (even if I will never get used to lukewarm beer without bubbles).

Thinking about it from the business side of things, changes in professional a cappella groups (and in amateur groups as well) are both a natural process and maybe the biggest challenge for a musical project. How to keep the spirit, the uniqueness alive, how to follow a long-term artistic strategy, how to keep the everyday business going when long-time members say goodbye? Ask Rockapella, where Kevin Wright left after almost a decade. Ask The King’s Singers who had to replace Stephen Connolly. Ask the a cappella miracle Naturally 7, where Jamal Reed called it a day. Or what about the icon of Scandinavian a cappella, The Real Group, who will say goodbye to Peder Karlsson after 25 (!!) years?

Costa Peristianis (Swingles Agent Worldwide), Alex Godfree (Voices Festival UK), FSt

Life will go on. Because the outstanding groups have such strength and spirit (and professional organisation), that the core of what makes them unique will remain. New, talented singers will come and replace their predecessors, bringing the freshness and excitement that every running system needs from time to time. And if leaving means such fantastic events as last Tuesday’s in London, saying goodbye becomes a bit easier. By the way: I will test this kind of experience again next Sunday, flights are booked to Stockholm. For a double concert of Rajaton and The Real Group plus what seems to be a Nordic A Cappella Summit Party. I looking forward to meeting my yet virtual a cappella friends Joakim Skog, Jussi Chydenius (Rajaton) and Sebastian Rilton (Ex-Rilton’s Vänner) together with Emma, Katarina, Anders, Jalkan and (of course) Peder of the one and only Real Group. Peder Karlsson, a living legend of a cappella and a role model in music education will celebrate his career…and his birthday!

Roxorloops (Beatbox Vice World Champion, BEL), FSt (Vocal Blog, GER), Jes Sadler (Ex-Swingles baritone, UK), Michele Manzotti (Swingles biographer, ITA)

I will certainly post a little ditty about my first trip to Sweden, but before that send you some of the snapshots from Willy Eteson’s Leaving Do. Feel free to post your comments and let me know what you think about line-up changes in a cappella groups.

Last Woman Standing: Wendy Nieper (Ex-Swingles alto)

You can leave your hat on...Tobias Hug and Kevin Fox (The Swingles rhythm section)

A time (and party) to remember: FSt (Vocal Blog), Jo Eteson (Swingles soprano), CJ Neale (Swingles tenor), Kevin Fox (Swingles bass), Joanna Forbes-L'Estrange (Ex-Swingles soprano), Sara Brimer (Swingles soprano), Lucy Bailey (Swingles alto)

Florian Städtler (Vocal Blog/SpielPlanVier) with DaSwinglesBoss #goodtimes

Sara Brimer (Swingles soprano) - Happy Birthday!! (with Swiss Chocolate powered by Vocal Blog)

My favourite pic: Oliver Griffiths (new wingles tenor), Willy Eteson (Ex-Swingles tenor), Jo Eteson (Swingles soprano)

Passing on the (Chorizo) sausage: From Willy (Ex-tenor) to Oli (Oliver Griffiths, new tenor)

Tobias Hug (Swingles Bass, MC with a whig) and Julie Kench (Ex-Swingles soprano) reading a self-written poem for Willy

Clare Wheeler, Twitter Princess aka @dinkyswingle and Swingles alto & arranger

Melancholy Willy

She's got the look(s)! Lucy Bailey aka @pottylean, Swingles alto