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A Cappella News in Washington

April, 2003 Update:

1)  The 2003 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards have been announced, and two Pacific Northwest groups received honors:

Just4Kicks won the Best Jazz album category for their third CD, "Kick in the Pants". (Sure, only two of their members are from Washington State, with the other two being from Portland and LA, but they still count as a local group. :)

SoundDesign took 2nd place in the Best Barbershop Song for their rendition of "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", on their Peel Me a Grape CD.

You can see all the other winners at http://www.casa.org.

2)  Last month's Harmony Sweepstakes competition in Olympia was a lot of fun! Taking first place was Second Chance, from Pendelton, Oregon. And Washington's own Groove for Thought took second place, and won the Audience Favorite and Best Original Arrangement titles.

3)  The Coats, our other local super-group, have released a new album. Check it out at http://www.thecoats.net. And Kickshaw will be releasing their new album soon! We'll keep you posted.

4)  Our list of Choral Groups in Western Washington has had a few additions over the past year. If you're still looking for a larger group to sing with, check out the list at http://www.openharmony.org/casa/choral.html

December, 2001 Update:

1)  The Standards are performing in Bellevue on Dec 11th.  See the Concerts page.

2)  Entries are now being accepted for the 2002 Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes, the regional a cappella competition.  The announcement and application forms can be found at http://www.mce.org/harmony_sweep_forms.html.  You'll need the Adobe pdf reader to view the files.  

3) I've greatly expanded the list of choirs and choruses in the Puget Sound area.  I hope to expand this list to include all of Washington State, but I'll need help!  Send me info on all the public choirs you know about!

November, 2001 Update: 

1)  The 3rd annual Washington A Cappella Showcase was coming Saturday, November 10th, at the Seattle Art Museum.  There were 5 great acts, including the hot jazz group "+4dB", from San Francisco.  
 
The show officially started at 8pm, but the music started in the lobby at 7:30pm with The Dickens Carolers.  The stage lineup was:
    Fretless (a great local jazz quartet)
    After Midnight (groovy men's barbershop)
    A Vocal Percussion Mouth-Off  (the Northwest's best duke it out!)
    +4dB (San Francisco's incredible vocal jazz group -- in their final performance!!)
 
 
 
2) Our "Voices Across America" concert raised $3030.50 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.  Similar concerts were held simultaneously in several cities across North America.  Many thanks to all the participants: Groove for Thought, ACappellaGo, Kryptonite, Otha Major, 3 of a Kind (from the Phillipines), the Baudboys, and Kickshaw!  The national total was over $15,000 raised for this worthy cause.
 
 
3)  "Essence", a local 12-member a cappella jazz group is looking for one or two more female singers.  Altos encouraged to apply!  Essence has been in existence for three years, and they perform a wide variety of music, with an emphasis on big band era jazz.  For information and to schedule an audition, contact Frank Trujillo at 206-842-7617, or email jimmyfrank@hotmail.com.  Check the concert calendar for their Dec 2nd performance.
 

 

Northwest A Cappella Showcase: November 2000

Another great evening of a cappella at the beautiful Seattle Art Museum.  Groups performing were: Kryptonite, Sound Design, the Akafellas, Total Experience Gospel Choir, Canvas, and the Heebee Jeebees.

Open Harmony Resumes: November 2000

After a summer break, our All A Cappella Open Mic has started again, now every other month.  Groups that performed were: The Baudboys, A-CappellaGo!, Kickshaw, Otha Major (vocal percussion), and Fretless.  Otha brought Blake Lewis of Kickshaw and Brian Kirkness of Kryptonite up on stage for an incredible vocal percussion jam session! 

Open Harmony continues in 2001, with events on the first Sunday of every even numbered month: 

  • February 4th
  • April 1st
  • and so on....

A Cappella at the Taste of Tacoma: July 2000

Proving once again that the Seattle area is full of a cappella, the concert stages at the Taste of Tacoma were almost taken over by vocal groups. Friday alone saw performances by four groups: Olympia's Akafellas, The Standards, from Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Seattle groups m-pact and the Coats. Sunday featured a performance by Kickshaw. The audience response to these shows was great it's always wonderful to see this much vocal action at such a prominent public festival!

And speaking of prominent events, m-pact and Kickshaw both recently performed at various events around the opening of the Experience Music Project what a tremendous place to gig! Congrats, guys.

m-pact & Kickshaw's New Members: Summer 2000

Two of our local groups have recently picked up new members. m-pact's new baritone/vocal percussionist, to replace the departing Matthew P. Selby, ironically comes by way of Kickshaw the talented Jake Moulton. Back over on the Kickshaw front, they've been joined by vp whiz kid Blake Lewis and Dan Schumacher, formerly of Monkey Puzzle. Come check out the new lineups in concert soon!

CARA Winners: Spring 2000

The results of this year's CARAs are out, and m-pact has once again captured top prizes, this time in the holiday disc category. Their disc The Carol Commission snagged Best Holiday Album, while their rendition of "Caroling, Caroling" was awarded Best Holiday Song. Congratulations, guys!

Harmony Sweeps Regionals: March 25, 2000

The 6th Annual Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival regional competition, held again in Olympia's Washington Center for the Performing Arts, played once more to a sold-out audience and treated us to a great night of a cappella. Participating groups included Kickshaw, the Sassycats, Rapid Pulse, the Akafellas, Total Experience Gospel Choir, MeasureXMeasure, Seattle Style, Studio One, and host group The Standards, who were last year's regional winners and second-place at nationals. After the show, the winners were announced as Total Experience Gospel Choir, whose stirring, dramatic performance also earned them the Audience Favorite award. Congratulations to all, and thanks again to the Masterworks Choral Ensemble for putting on the show.

End-of-the-Year Album Wrapup: 1999

1999 was a busy year for a cappella albums in the Northwest. In the last few months, we've heard new recordings from Kickshaw, with Superstar; the Coats with When I'm With You (primarily accompanied, but still harmony-heavy); Just 4 Kicks, All In Good Time; and m-pact, with their Christmas album The Carol Commission. It's an excellent collection of songs from our local a cappella talent check out each group's page on our site for further information about these recordings.

Open Harmony Debut: July 26, 1999

We've just held the first Open Harmony a cappella open mic at the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, WA. What a rousing success! Thanks to the hard work of organizers Tom Cooper and Jason Meredith, we had an event that featured the best of our area's up and coming vocal groups, including host group the Baudboys, women's trio the Sassycats, Portland's 9 Volt, vocal jazz group Canvas, contemporary quintet Rapid Pulse, and the religious/choral quartet Skyline. I was much impressed by the caliber of all these groups - our a cappella scene just keeps growing and getting better.

Songs and styles included Irish folk songs and gospel, seventies pop hits both in straightforward style and masquerading as Andrews Sisters tunes, jazz standards and alternative rock ballads, and more. The versatility of the human voice and the a cappella performance style was shown off in grand fashion. It was great to hear that there was this much good a cappella developing in the area, and the open mic was a perfect way to get everyone together in a noncompetitive, collaborative environment.

Preceding the event, Jason hosted an a cappella arrangement seminar. This seminar is going to be a regular feature of Open Harmony. He was also on hand to work with groups on sound and microphone technique. And along with the educational / experience-building aspect of the event, Open Harmony went a long way towards community-building. Groups who'd never met before started exchanging notes and planning gigs together, and singers without groups hooked up to possibly form new ones. The vibe among all the singers and fans was extremely positive.

Open Harmony will continue to be hosted at Crossroads on the final Sunday of each month between 1 and 4 pm. Dates are scheduled up through the end of the year (including December). Any and all interested a cappella groups who want to participate in the event, please come by -- we'd love to have you join us on-stage!

The URL of the Open Harmony Web site is http://www.openharmony.org.

- jenn

CARA Winners: April 1, 1999

CASA once again has announced the winners of the 1999 CARAs - The Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. Our own m•pact was again honored with one First and one Second Place in the following categories:

Best Pop/Rock Cover Song: "Fantasy"
Best Pop/Rock Original Song, First Runner Up: "My Way"

Their album 2 also received a nomination for Best Pop/Rock Album. Congratulations to m•pact for a great showing in this year's awards!

The Harmony Sweepstakes: March 27, 1999

The 5th Annual Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival was held in Olympia, WA at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. It was a great night of a cappella, with groups from 3 states and 2 Canadian provinces participating. Kudos to the members of Masterworks Choral Ensemble, and especially Dave Metzler and Carolyn McIntyre, for sponsoring and producing a great event.

The RESULTS:

1st Place: The Standards (Twin Falls, Idaho)
2nd Place: The Akafellas (Olympia, Washington)
3rd Place: Special Feature (Reno, Nevada)
Best Original Arrangement: "The Scotsman" by the Akafellas
Audience Favorite: The Standards

Also appearing that night were Me and The Boys, Impromp2, Sound Design, ACappella-Go!, last year's winners the Heebee-jeebees, and a special performance by The Nightingales, a quartet of young ladies aged 10 to 13.

 

Check out the wide world of a cappella at the Contemporary A Cappella Society!

 

Last updated Nov 2001