2019 CARA Nominations Announced

The much anticipated annual Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards nominations were announced today and both long-standing favorites and new stars are among the talents honored.

Standouts include Boston-based experimental group Birdland Avenue who landed five nominations for Come Around including Best Non-Scholastic Debut Album, Best Electronic/Experimental Album, Best Pop Album, Best Electronic/Experimental Song (“Rabbit Hole”), Best Original Song by a Professional Group (“Breeze Baby”) and DCappella who earned four nominations for Best Non-Scholastic Debut Album, Best Rock Song (“Immortals”), Best Showtunes/Soundtrack/Theme Song (“The Glory Days”), and Best Professional Arrangement for a Non-Scholastic Group (“Immortals”).

We also saw multiple nominations for The Swingles, Pentatonix多么幸福 East West Collective, and Rebel Bit.

On the Scholastic side A Cappella Academy, The G-Men, The A Cappella Group, VoiceBox, The Coda Conduct, The Sons of Pitches, and Dragon Scales were among some of the groups heavily recognized for their work this year.

2009 International Quartet Champions Crossroads led in barbershop music with four nominations in barbershop and arrangements.

See the full list of nominations and then follow along as we catch up with nominees and broadcast live from BOSS and the CARA Ceremony in April.

After Hours Visits Harmony Hall

A visit to Harmony Hall is high on anyone’s barbershop bucket list, but when you are the newly instated International Quartet Champions it holds an even more special significance.

During #BHSOpry, After Hours got a special tour and got to see their physical mark on barbershop history. Here’s a little inside peek at their visit, with footage courtesy of Bryan Lynch, BHS Public Relations/Brand Manager.

A Win For Youth and Heritage at #BHSOpry

The first day of contest and shows at the 2019 BHS Midwinter Convention was especially significant. It started with the first-ever Next Generation Junior Quartet Contest and ended with a barn-burning Heritage of Harmony Show on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

The significance of both events is the demonstration of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s ongoing mission of “Everyone in Harmony” with a focus on youth and the roots of barbershop in African-American music tradition.

15 young quartets, all singers under the age of 18, took the stage in front of a rowdy crowd in the ballroom at Opryland. There were both men’s and women’s quartets and one mixed quartet. While most of the singers were in high school, Elementary Mix from Quinton, NJ – a quartet of elementary school students – charmed the crowd with their rendition of “The Chordbusters March.”

At the end of the contest, the Quin-Tones, a men’s quartet from Salem, NJ, took home the gold medals with a score of 219 points, edging out both 2nd and 3rd by just one point. Singing “My Ideal,” these young gentlemen demonstrated musicality and personality far beyond their years.

Tying for 2nd and 3rd were Singing Double, a quartet of two sets of twins from Tampa, FL, and Vintage Mix, seasoned barbershopping quadruplets from Milwaukee, WI.

Singing Double
Singing Double; Photo: Rick Krebsbach
Vintage Mix
Vintage Mix; Photo: Rick Krebsbach

 

See the full results.

The excitement carried right across the street to the iconic Grand Ole Opry for the Heritage of Harmony Show, featuring The Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Fairfield Four, HALO, Crossroads, Signature, After Hours, and a cameo from Throwback.

The evening was a true celebration of barbershop not only coming to terms with a segregated past, but celebrating a new path forward where diversity and inclusion is paramount.

HALO and The Fairfield Four
HALO and The Fairfield Four at Grand Ole Opry

The Issue with Song Lyrics

Open any news site and you’ll find another piece of art under the microscope, and lately we’re seeing a lot of songs (and movies, and cartoons, etc…) – many which are lifelong favorites – pointed out as problematic. Is it justified? Is it outrage culture gone too far?

The debate about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” certainly isn’t new. It’s been called a “rape anthem” for some time. This year, we’re seeing more arguments in favor of keeping the song, as, in historical context, it’s actually a story of female empowerment.

A little closer to home, the Princeton Tigertones recently made national news for deciding to remove “Kiss the Girl” from their set list after a student journalist called out the song for “toxic masculinity.”

The original song was sung by a crab, on behalf of a mermaid princess who was in pursuit of the prince being encouraged to kiss her. It’s not only fictional, it’s animated fantasy. However, the journalist, Noa Wollstein, may have a point – not with the song itself, but with the way it was performed. In the Tigertones’ performance, they would bring up a female audience member and attempt to end the song with an unsolicited kiss.

We’re not here to make a decision for you, but here are the conversations for consideration we see:

  • Should art be stopped if it makes someone uncomfortable? Is there a gradient?
  • Can we pick and choose which topics are are ok or not ok? Can we continue to sing about suicide, guns, sex, and other topics?
  • Have we gone too far? Not far enough?
  • Is intent important? Does it bear any weight in the appropriateness of a song?
  • Does presentation matter? What about context?

 

New DCappella Album PLUS a Chance to Open For The Tour

Things have been ramping up behind the scenes for well over a year in the halls of Disney Music (and the mind of Deke Sharon), as they prepared to launch the next great a cappella group.

The promotional tours are underway and US & Canada tour dates for 2019 have been announced, as well as teasers for their first album. The much anticipated first album from DCappella was released on all major music distributors today. Here’s a taste:

a cappella, Disney, DCappella, singing, new album, music

Not only that, but now YOU can also be a part of the magic!

DCappella - Take Us On Tour
DCappella – Take Us On Tour

Here’s how to get there:

Get an Instagram account (just kidding, we know you already have one!)

  1. Record your group LIVE. No studio magic here – just you, your group, and your beautiful natural voices. Phone video is fine – no one is judging your cinematography skills (but maybe film in landscape and use a tripod 😉 )
  2. Upload your video to Instagram. Tag it with:

#DCappella
#TakeUsOnTour
#[name of the city you want to perform in]

And hey, tag us, too – we LOVE good a cappella! (@Acavilleradio)

3. Share. Share. Share.

Submit your entry by December 15th and check your DMs – someone will reach out to you there if you make it through!

And while you’re at it….don’t forget to spread the word about the tour.

Harmony, Inc. Installs New International Board

In a night of classy pomp and circumstance, Harmony, Incorporated opened up the 2018 International Contest and Convention in Orlando last night. The installation ceremony highlighted the organization’s commitment to youth, with three youth members – Emily Travis (age 9, Area 5), Bryn Lewellen (age 13, Area 3), and Vincenza Como (age 16, Area 6) – leading the evening.

The new International Board of Directors, who will embark on the organization’s new mission, “Harmony. Stronger.” is:

International President: Donna McKay
Vice President, Convention & Contests: Donna Clarkson
Vice President, Education: Kelly Thomas
Vice President, Finance: Christina Lewellen
Director of Business Services: Jan DelVecchio
Director of Communications: Mary Ann Wert
Director of Membership: Amy Johnson
Director of Music Programs: Katie Taylor

The evening also included a treat of a performance from BHS Quartet Silver Medalists, Signature. The contest action gets underway today at 1 pm with Quartet Semi-finals, which will air live on FloVoice.