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Artikel Tagged ‘Vocal Jog’

Join The London A Cappella Vocal Jog 2015

Always on the run…

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Jog evangelist

Those of you who are new to Vocal Blog or have not been to an international a cappella festival (yet) might think it’s a typo. No, it isn’t: Besides the Vocal Blog (your favourite online vocal music magazine) there is the Vocal JOG. What the FORK is this? It all began with realizing that being on tour often means the following: Take a plane or train to some airport, drive to a hotel, hurry to the venue, soundcheck, concert, after show party, sleep (a bit), have breakfast at hotel, drive to train station or airport and be gone. Gone without the slightest idea about the place you just “visited”. On top of that rather frustrating kind of spending time in probably nice places, life on tour is not particularly healthy: either too little or too much or too fast food, alcohol, little sleep and constant rushing from one place to the other.

So could there be anything better than physical activity to get the stress out? And wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit more than another run-of-the-mill hotel room and the backstage areas of the world? I realized that if you have your running shoes and suitable clothes with you all the time, there is almost always a half hour and a shower, that gives you that wonderful feeling of fresh air in your lungs and a perspective on the city or landscape you are at the moment. To motivate more people at vocal music festival to join me, I gave this “project” the name Vocal Jog and after a lot of unsuccessful efforts to find running mates, I finally had the first group Vocal Jog at London A Cappella Festival 2012. The six of us went up Primrose Hill (a proper British “mountain”…) and down in vocal music and sports history. 2013 and 2014 we did it again: Despite of after show parties the night before and rather cold London mornings, some brave Vocal Joggers made it up the Hill and back to more LACF activities right after the Vocal Jog challenge.

John (on the very left) with Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Claudia Appel, Nicholas Girard and Annemarie Homan on Primrose Hill, 2012

So here’s the next opportunity for all of you who are in London on Saturday, 31st of January! Join us for the Fourth Official LACF2015 Vocal Jog, here is the schedule and the most important details:

    • 08:30am – meeting and start at The Travelodge Royal Scot Hotel (100 King’s Cross Rd, London WC1X 9DT) for those who want to do a relaxing run of about 60 minutes
    • 08:50am – next meeting point is the Chester Gate entrance of Regent’s Park (tube station: Regent’s Park, follow the Outer Circle counterclockwise = Northbound and meet us at the gate opposite of the road called Chester Gate; this is recommended for Vocal Joggers who would like to run approximately 30 minutes
Vocal Jog 2013 heroes: Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Christopher Sutton, Liz Swain, John Lau

Vocal Jog 2013 heroes: Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Christopher Sutton, Liz Swain, John Lau

    • 09:00am - meeting point for the “Nordic Talkers”, those who only want to talk a walk of about 15 minutes to the top of Primrose Hill is the crossing of Prince Albert Road and Albert Terrace
    • 09:15am – For those who just want to watch and cheer at the VocalJoggers (= fans, groupies, tweeps), wait for us on top of Primrose Hill, you won’t be able to miss us. Depending on the weather you will be rewarded by a wonderful view over the city including the London Eye and all.
    • 09:50am – return to the Royal Scot, feel free to welcome the Vocal Jog heroes!

 

Here’s the link to the complete route on Google Maps. Find updates at the Vocal Jog Facebook fan page and if you want to be part of this fantastic #LACFextra #VocalJog experience, don’t miss it and join us along the way. The current world record of participants is 6 runners – London, I know we can beat this! For urgent questions, call the Vocal Jog hotline at +49 171 201 50 66.

Größere Kartenansicht

Meet you on the LACF2015 track on Saturday morning – can’t wait!


I’m Florian Städtler, an amateur-runner, an ex-singer and – before the Vocal Jog took off – had to learn about “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” the hard way. Like music, workout is a highly social activity. I think running after an after-show party is simply the best. At least when it’s over.

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10 LACF memories that will bring me back in 2015

by Florian Städtler, London, post-#LACF2014

The author with the ultimate description of the typical LACF visitor.

The author with the ultimate description of the typical LACF visitor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many events are good at marketing. Only few really deliver. Rarely has a marketing slogan been so diligently put into practice as during London A Cappella Festival 2014, which has just ended after 4 days of – yes, here comes the LACF marketing department – “Total Immersion”. Immersion into an art form. Immersion into a unique community. Immersion into more and more #LACFextra cult activities. Congratulations to a brilliant team of professional and volunteer festival organizers. Congratulations to all who travelled from Hackney and Denver, from Firenze and Rotterdam, from Singapore and Hannover, from Bersheeba and Los Angeles. To name only a totally random few. You have been part of a festival that has grown from a purely British two-day concert event into a four-day package that includes everything an a cappella enthusiast and a “regular” music lover wishes for.

The concerts featuring The Swingle Singers (UK) as co-hosts, The Real Group (SWE), The Housejacks (USA), Slixs (GER), Vive (UK), The Songmen (UK), The Time Ensemble and many more foyer and workshop acts gave an impression of both the state of the art and of what we can expect of the future of vocal music. The workshops were mostly sold out and featured a great diversity of topics and workshop styles, from impromptu beatbox-along sessions and behind-the-scenes talks to intense collective exercises and valuable insights for up-and-coming groups. All this happens in an extraordinarily inspiring venue, King’s Place and a constant buzz of singers, conductors, organizers, producers, media people and aca-nerds, meeting, talking, discussing, celebrating and enjoying the variety of nationalities and cultures in England’s capital.

There’s nothing like the real thing, which is: Coming to the London A Cappella Festival yourself. “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture”, Mick Goodrick rightfully said and the same goes for explaining the unique at vocal music festivals like Aarhus, Stockholm, Leipzig, Hannover, Graz, Hamburg, Tours, Vienna or Munich. Just go to London in January 2015, get “totally immersed” and catch the LACF bug. “Pictures say much more than words” is another truism used too often. Nevertheless, the following 10 snapshots taken by my very old but cherished Vocal Blog Lumix, are my personal memories that have made London A Cappella 2014 unique. And 10 reasons for me to come back.

(1) Trending Beards: Obviously, growing beards is trending in London. Just look at the current male fraction of The Swingle Singers. Why? Is it for practical reasons? Do those guys want to look older than they are? Do their spouses want to keep other women kissing their partners? Is it compensation for losing hair elsewhere? The beard phenomenon will certainly not be a major reason to come back to London. But I predict that this trend will have turned into something new by the time of LACF 2015. The “LACF Beard XXL Competition” was clearly won by an ex-Swingle: Tobias “Tobi” Hug made a spectacular appearance at the festival, presenting himself as the perfect doppelgänger of Fidel Castro Jr. It used to be “Everybody needs a Hug”. Now it’s “Love is in the hair.”

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L.A. fashion guru Bill Hare with Fidel Castro Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2) Aca-Family: This festival truly brings together all generations singing and loving vocal music: Vocal music legends in the same way as collegiate a cappella groups. Producer heavy-weights like Bill Hare, Liquid Fifth and Danny Ozment as well as DIY-YouTube creatives in their early twenties. School kids, young parents, grandparents and whole families in the audience. I was particularly happy to see the Ikon Arts‘ founder  and LACF producer Costa Peristianis‘ whole family at King’s Place: Holly (who’s also back at the Ikon office working for British jazz-pop-gospel act Vive), Isabella and Leo. You can’t start to totally immerse early enough!

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Holly, Isabella, Costa and Leo joining the aca-celebrities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3) Jessica Hill & the LACF team: Have you ever tried to plan and organize a concert in your local community? It can be quite a challenge. But what about organizing an international festival with participants from all over the world, from top-notch, professional artists to countless of amateur and school ensembles? Jessica Hill, artist manager with Ikon Arts has become “Mama LACF” and like every good mom, she loves her baby – although it can be quite exhausting and capricious. And even a seasoned professional like Jessie couldn’t manage this extravaganza on her own. So our thank yous go out to Sarah Hickling, Nicola Semple, Becky Chilton, Holly Peristiani (whose desk I was allowed to use for a mini-internship during the festival – thanks so much!) and Clarice Goff. Ikon Arts director can be more than proud of that fabulous team.

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Jessica “Mama LACF” Hill (Ikon Arts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4) The Single Singers: Annemarie Homann, Dutch ex-pat in Italy and her singing buddy Emily May t’Hoen have created a wonderful work of non-profit, make-it-happen, feel good work-of-art. Up to 40 singers traveling to different international  a cappella festivals without their groups prepare a couple of songs that – after 2 rehearsals – are performed at the festivals’ main venue. This has become one of the true cult activities at festivals in Aarhus, Stockholm and London. And seeing these people meeting, reuniting and simply enjoying the collective singing simply makes you happy.

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Single Singers ecstasy, LACF 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5) The LACF 2014 Live Album: Yes, we did it, last-minute, including the typical allnighter getting the vocal music online shop Acappellazone ready for pre-orders of the first live album including all professional acts that have performed at King’s Place this year. Yes, I’m not kidding, by early March there will be an album that includes The Real Group, The Swingle Singers, The Housejacks, Slixs and Vive. The album (limited edition of 200 CDs or mp3) can be    pre-ordered at a special festival price until 30th of January and will then be available at the regular price. So if you couldn’t make it to LACF 2014, here’s your chance to get an impression of the vocal magic happening at King’s Place. And if you were there, that’s the perfect souvenir, Christmas present or collector’s item.

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(6) The Vocal Jog: This is probably something that most of my readers and especially those who have been to aca-festivals, cannot even imagine: Going for a collective morning run after very little sleep and before another day jam-packed with workshops and concerts. Believe it or not, we’re doing this on an annual basis, a chosen few who make it up to Primrose Hill, close to Regent’s Park. Learn more about it at the Vocal Jog fan page and join if you want to get to a completely different level of festival energy. And nerdiness. (For the record: This year there were 6 of us, 2 groups of three each, who unfortunately missed each other on Primrose Hill. 4 Dutch – more on that later -, on Scotsman and one German).

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View from Primrose Hill during not-so-foggy LACF2014 test run (Friday, 23rd of January)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(7) Willy Eteson: Former Swingles business director Richard “Willy” Eteson has a favourite pastime, which has become an exclusive LACFextra activity. Willy is a fantastic chef and creator of self-made meat products. This year again, he brought his latest creations to the King’s Place foyer: Self-made grilled sausages and (here we go, my dear vegetarian friends!) delicious brawn. Southern Belle Sara Brimer and her boyfriend, conductor James Davey  were absolutely delighted as the picture can tell.

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Meat & Greet with Swingle Singers soprano Sara Brimer and Jim Davey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(8) Full English Breakfast. The hotel some of us stayed at was – to describe it carefully – not a hotbed of customer service. However, we tried to enjoy the traditional English breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast, tomatoes, baked beans, bacon, sausage (worlds apart from Willy’s self-made treats). And you can’t imagine how good this fireworks of British cuisine tastes after 7.7 kilometres of running.

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That’s how you start a London day: Baked beans and Nutella are non-negotiable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(9) Vive & Slixs: My personal discoveries (thanks, Costa Peristianis and Tobias Hug!) of the festival were the two groups that were new to most of the audience, too: Local heroes Vive with their artful and clever mix of jazz, pop and gospel as well German “hidden champions” Slixs (formerly known as Stouxingers), who in a irresistible way refuted the cliché that German groups never really groove or can be funny in an intelligent way . Both Vive and Slixs have two things in common: They consist of five male and one female member, and – more important – of 6 equally strong characters that make their concerts performances in the literal sense of the word. My prediction here: If  those not-so-newcomers will live up to their own potential, they will be the headliners and trendsetters of tomorrow.

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Vive – the only way is up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(10) The Dutchies: Like most neighbors, the Dutch and the Germans have their mutual stereotypes, small and not-so-small rivalries and frictions. I love my Dutch friends, a whole traveling party of good-humored and witty people. Thanks for candle light dinners, breakfast chats, great snapshots and greater after parties. See you soon, somewhere in Acappelland. Or at LACF 2015, at the very latest!

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Preparing for another LACF2014 day with Full Dutch Breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Florian Städtler, blogger, a cappella agent, event director and learner of Mandarin. Vocal Blog is my global vocal music communication baby. If you want to be a part of that great community and dive into a stream of related news, links, tips, videos, pictures etc., follow me on Twitter, like the Vocal Blog Facebook fan page, join the Facebook group, subscribe to the Acappellazone YouTube channel and hit me up, when you are going to be present at a cappella events. And if you are interested in becoming a Vocal Co-Blogger, send your (not-so-promotional) articles and pictures and I’m happy to feature them on the blog. If you like what you read and watch, and want Vocal Blog going, buy CDs, DVDs, sheet music and more Cool Stuff at my vocal music online shop  www.acappellazone.com.

At work while the US guys are preaching :-) #VBontour

Live blogging from LACF2014 workshops. #VBontour

7 Last-Minute Tipps for London A Cappella Travelers

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog on tour (#VBontour)

Travelling abroad is a wonderful thing. But we all know these terrible hours before we actually leave. Packing your bags last-minute, checking your bus, train and flight connections and of course: Trying to get as much done on your real world or virtual desk as the clock ticks mercilessly.

This January has been particularly busy and getting all my things together for my fourth London A Cappella Festival trip was an incredible rush. But the stress of getting away from „normal life“ for a couple of days is absolutely worth while. Because of 7 things that no London A Cappella Festival visitor should miss:

 

  1. A proper English pub – LACF has an official (?) meeting place called „The Fellow“ (26-30, York Way), quite close to the festival venue „King’s Place“. There are two more fantastic places friends showed me on earlier London trips: The Princess Louise (208, High Holborn, tipp by Jes Sadler) and The Antilope” (24, Eaton Terrace, tipp by Costa Peristianis, Ikon Arts)
  2. The King’s Place foyer – the venue of Britain’s finest vocal music festival is a stylish and inspiring place only 8 minutes walk from King’s Cross. Its foyer, that during the first and second festival was a rather calm place has become a buzzing place of open singing, international encounters, workshops and a cappella networking. We recommend coming rather early before concerts and events: You might bump into people like Bill Hare or Amanda Aldag or see the occasional Swingle or King’s Singer talking to their audience in an extraordinarily relaxed and friendly way,
  3. Workshops – if you want to learn from your singers in some of the best vocal groups in the world or if you simply want to come to know these people a bit better, LACF festivals are a great opportunity to broaden your horizon. There’s plenty of information on the website and seminars from „Complete Vocal Technique“ (Tine Fris/Postyr, DEN) to „Melodyne“(Erik Bosio/Cluster, ITA)
  4. High Tea – you and your friends should book have a VERY British „tea ceremony“, preferably around Covent Garden. London prices, but – according to most LACF 2012 High Tea participants, an unfogettable experience,
  5. Shoes – you may ask how shoes became so important at LACF. Well, first of all, there are two very different kind of shoes: Fashionable, mostly ladies’ shoes (extreme high-heel competition included) and running shoes (see further below under „Vocal Jog“). Always promoting the LACF shoes catwalk are high-heel afficionados Clare Wheeler (alto and party planner with The Swingle Singers), Tine Fris (singer, composer, arranger, teacher, booker etc. etc. etc. with Postyr Project) and Annemarie Homann (co-founder of The Single Singers).
  6. The Single Singers – Annemarie Homann and Emily May t’Hoen are the driving forces behind an incredible international project of planned spontaneous collective singing. They planned to visit LACF 2012 and somehow didn’t want to just listen, but sing themselves. And so they looked for more singers who wanted to do the same…and had a spectacular premiere at the King’s Place foyer in January 2012.  They did it again at The Real Group Festival in Stockholm in August 2012 and there have been similar projects at US a cappella events lately.
  7. The LACF t-shirt – look at the beautiful people at King’s Place who sell merchandise and help you out if you have any questions about LACF. They wear the official LACF shirt, which can be ordered online via www.acappellazone.com

With The Exchange – from Baltimore 2012 to London 2013

As a matter of fact, there are at least 77 more things you shouldn’t miss at LACF, e.g. the London A Cappella Festival iPhone app, now available via iTunes, Swingles Bass Edward Randell’s „Woofer“ project, a choir consisting of more than twenty basses, the 2nd LACF VocalJog on Saturday morning AND: Seeing my dear friends and US acappella shooting stars The Exchange again, supporting the Swingle Singers on Saturday night. Woohoo!

Stay tuned via the London A Cappella Website, via Vocal Blog’s Facebook group and fanpage and on Twitter, hashtags #LACF2013, #LACFextra, #VocalJog.

And now I have to run to get some smuggled Swiss goods to Islington: The Ikon Arts ladies need some doping for the upcoming challenges!

I’m Florian „Superman“ (quote all the Swingles Ladies), „The Hugh Hefner of A Cappella“ (quote FORK), „Uncle Flo“ (quote The Boxettes), „He runs Europe“ (quote Dave Sperandio) Städtler and I am a very modest man giving my humble thoughts via my global vocal music communication baby, the Vocal Blog. Call me maybe, baby.

The Unofficial Edinburgh A Cappella Festival Report

by John Buchanan Lau, originally written and submitted on September 6th (apologies to not let you read this earlier)

There was a time when I did not look forward to the world’s largest Festival of the Arts being held every August in my city of Edinburgh, but I embraced it in the year 2007 when a friend of mine, who was a member of a collegiate a cappella group from Oxford University in England at the time, brought his annual show up to my town and to be honest I have never looked back since, not only in the context of arts and cultural things but more importantly, for the whole concept of vocal music.

In the subsequent years, my love for anything related to vocal music, choral music and a cappella music has exploded into one of the largest loves of my life, to the extent that I now have no hesitation in trying to unearth the gigs taking place involving all manner of groups when the world appears to come to Edinburgh every August.

In August 2012, I was delighted to take in no less than 14 different a cappella gigs, and some of them even twice (for one cannot get enough of a good thing), and while the maturity of groups can vary from young girls in high school, through collegiate a cappella groups to groups of collegiate alumnae who wish to continue a good thing to established acts who have provided the entertainment on a scheduled flight between Finland and China and undertaken world tours, there really is something to please the most avid a cappella fan in Edinburgh every August.  This is particularly so the case amongst the young, where the “Chacapella” group of high school girls from London were joined at the 3 gigs they had on their first Edinburgh run by the crème de la crème of the UK Collegiate a cappella scene.  And even the “Out Of The Blue” collegiate group from Oxford University managed to sell-out their 500-seat venue in Edinburgh every day in their 27-show run.

Of the 7 or so non-collegiate a cappella gigs I had the pleasure of going to, the majority of them were formed of individual members who have recently graduated from the collegiate a cappella scene

First up was the VOCAL ORCHESTRA group of 7 talented beatboxers from London brought together by the Beatbox extraordinaire Shlomo to reproduce a varied selection of tunes from rap to opera and everything In between.  A treat in more ways than one, this was a most colourful show, for all 7 members of the group were clad in a variety of bright colours and the vocal output was a sound to behold, or so I thought at the time.  I also quite enjoyed the time-machine sequence they put on towards the end of a most entertaining hour when they took the audience back with tunes such as Vivaldi’s “4 Seasons” and the Beatles.

Those of us who watch the US Serial drama programme “Scrubs”, will be aware of the group named THE BLANKS or “Ted’s Group” who enjoy singing a cappella music as well as put on sketch shows in reality.  So I was surprised to see this group in one of the bigger venues available here in Edinburgh.  In addition, the group has been on the go in reality for much longer than the “Scrubs” series.  So here we had an a cappella sketch show (an alien concept to me) with different twists and turns along the way to having them sign an imaginary contract that would have them sing on the moon or some other planetary location.  To their credit, most of their set list is based on their own stuff that they have written and they even produced their own rendition of Lazslo Bane’s theme tune to Scrubs which sounded great as well.

The first of the non-collegiate a cappella gigs I was looking forward to was THE MAGNETS who at the time I was destined to see them had yet to be confirmed as appearing at the London A Cappella Festival 2013, with their show named “Homegrown” which was an a cappella celebration of British music through the years, hence the title, which made sense as it was being held at the same time as the London 2012 Olympics.  With a packed full house at the venue, it is fair to say that the 6 men of the Magnets had the crowd in raptures with the world premiere of their new tour show which they shall take across the world in September, with all of their individual pieces being met with overwhelming approval in the 750-capacity venue.  The end of the hour was extended when they asked for audience participation in selecting what the final mash-up piece was going to look and sound like.  As a result of this spot of improvisation that they put on at the end, I cannot wait to see them in the London A Cappella Festival in January 2013.

There was no let-up in the pace of this particular evening as I had booked tickets to see the Magnets and the best thing to come out of Finland, FORK on the same night.  About this time last year, I had decided to take a chance on these Scandinavians and I was glad I did at the time.  12 months on, and on my second sighting of them in the space of 8 months this year, they still sounded a treat and unlike the previous 2 occasions, they actually had us on our feet dancing in the Spiegeltent in George Square with one of their later pieces, which was something to behold.  Great fun, and I look forward to the follow-up album to “Pink Noise Live”.

After overdosing on no less than 7 collegiate a cappella gigs in the space of 6 days, my next non-Collegiate gig in August 2012 was with a group to whom I had been introduced to the night before in the Voice Festival UK Showcase, where they were the solitary non-Collegiate group present, as they were formed of alumnae from the University of York.

In one of the last gigs in their short debut run in Edinburgh, the BLOSSOM STREET SINGERS now based in London, a professional choir formed of 8 recent York graduates, provided the audience present at Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth’s nearest church to her Edinburgh Palace with a varied set list of Jazz, Pop and even Classical pieces which was most appreciated by the audience present.

The last of the non-Collegiate a cappella groups that I saw in August was the largest choir I had ever seen anywhere, called “Inspiration”, a community choir formed of no less than 250 members in Newcastle & Leeds, whose set list is exclusively formed of music designed to inspire people.  In their first visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, they held their one-off concert as a fundraiser to a charity dealing with injured Armed Forces personnel, with uplifting renditions such as “You Raise Me Up” and the UK Christmas Number 1 single “Wherever You Are” which left many people in tears (if you have heard it, you’ll know why).

So, that was the 6 non-Collegiate a cappella gigs that I had the pleasure of acquiring tickets and time for in August 2012, but of course, not a fully exhaustive list of all the a cappella available on show in Edinburgh, after all in the Fringe alone there were approximately 2600 shows overall to look at, including a cappella shows from an African ensemble named “Soweto Entsha” from South Africa which regrettably I did not find the time for in 2012 and even acts from Australia, so really a cappella from all corners of the world.

John (on the very left) with Hans Cassa, Florian Städtler, Claudia Appel, Nicholas Girard and Annemarie Homan on Primrose Hill, 2012

Now that I’ve concluded my observations of what I saw in Edinburgh in August 2012, all that I need to wait for now is the official London A Cappella Festival 2013.

Note by Vocal Blog founder Florian Städtler: The first time I met the author of this article, was in the lobby of a London hotel at 7:30am. We had our running shoes on and were joined by 4 other London A Cappella Festival 2012 visitors who one hour later had conquered one of the few “mountains” in England’s capital, Primrose Hill. We went down in history as the first London Vocal Jog and as a little thank you for joining this mad enterprise as well as writing this article, John will get one of Acappellazone’s brandnew aca-shirts. Those guys have found a great way to provide you all with a cappella themed shirts printed by spreadshirt (www.spreadshirt.co.uk). Go check this out – we are looking forward to John’s picture with his t-shirt very soon!

 

Festival Fever and a Vocal Jog XXL

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog chief listener and roving reporter

Always on the run...

If you’ve read my blog post about amarcord and their Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig, you might be a bit envious of me, when I tell you that I’m going to spend 3 full days at one of the finest vocal music events in Germany and Europe. Tomorrow, 6:52am, a train is going to take me to Bach’s hometown and I’m looking forward to seeing two world-class, classical vocal ensembles performing live: amarcord (Friday, 20th of April), who traditionally have the privilege of opening the festival and VOCES8 (Saturday, 21st of April). For all of those who think “Why is it always that guy that gets invited to fantastic events like that?” I want to add, that on Sunday, 10am, I’m becoming a member of the festival team by running my first full marathon in Leipzig. Still jealous – well, if you want to join me, just do it: I will certainly find tickets for those concerts for everybody who will do the 42.2km Vocal Jog XXL with me ;-)

The Leipzig festival isn’t the right event for envious persons anyway: As it lasts 10 days and includes 10 concerts, only a very few people will be able to attend all the events. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to give you an impression of the variety and fantastic quality of the artists coming to the festival from 20th to 29th of April by the festival calendar and a collection of selected YouTube links. Please note, that some of the links I chose have nothing to do with the programme the groups will do in Leipzig. If you want to learn more about the festival programme, check out the festival’s website for more details. And of course the sound quality – as with 99% of all YouTube videos – has only little to do with how wonderful all of these groups sound live.

So if you have time and want to see some of the best vocal groups in the world as well as one of the most beautiful East German cities, check your calendar, book your trip and get your ticket to Leipzig. If you happen to be there this weekend let me know: I won’t drink too many beers in expectation of the upcoming Vocal Jog, but I surely need supporters to cheer me on. But for now, enjoy the YouTube preview of Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig!

ensemble amarcord (GER), April 20th, 20:00, Gewandhaus Leipzig

 

VOCES8 (UK), April 21st, 20:00h, Theater-Fabrik Sachsen

 

LALÁ (AUT), April 22nd, 16:00h, Alte Handelsbörse

 

Heinavanker (EST), April 22nd, 20:00 Uhr, Thomaskirche

 

Nordic Voices (NOR), April 23rd, 20:00h Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche

(no video available – so they really want to be listened to by you live!)

 

Kraja (SWE), April 24th, 20:00h, Gewandhaus Leipzig

 

Cap Pela (ESP), April 25th, 20:00h, Theater-Fabrik Sachsen

 

John Potter & Ambrose Field (UK), April 26th, 20:00h, Peterskirche

 

BEING DUFAY (Ambrose Field, John Potter) – Dancity Festival 2010 from dancity on Vimeo.

 

Audiofeels (POL), April 27th, 20:00h, Werk II, Halle D

 

Cadence (CAN), April 28th, 20:00h, Schaubühne Lindenfels

 

Closing Concert, April 29th, 19:00h, Gewandhaus Leipzig

(too good to be captured on video – go and get your tickets now!)

 

This is the 13th edition of this amazing festival, which for all the people who work to make this happen (Thank you Friederike Frieler, Georg Manthey, Tobias Rosenthal and all those who I haven’t met yet) and for a first-time marathon man is a very lucky number. See you in Leipzig!

Florian Städtler is founder and chief editor of Vocal Blog. He runs SpielPlanVier, an agency which has specialised in international a cappella top acts, recently co-founded the European Voices Association (EVA) and if this wasn’t enough, he started the first professional European vocal music online shop Acappellazone in July 2011. Follow Florian/Vocal Blog via Facebook and Twitter or write an e-mail to info@vocal-blog.net.