The Pulse: A Cappella Harmony Virtual Youth Festival

Rachael sits down with Andi Giles of California, who took it upon herself to create A Cappella Harmony, a virtual youth festival that is taking place February 20 & 27th from 4-7pm PST and is for treble singers ages 25 & under. This new-to-the-scene festival is a 2 weekend workshop series and virtual choir experience, and features LoveNotes, Kim Newcomb, Deke Sharon. Learn more about the work that went into setting up this festival, the impetus for creating it, and much more!

Hear special guests LoveNotes Quartet: https://youtu.be/mXPx8JXQhoM

Hear from Hot Pursuit, two of whom will be leading vocal warm ups on February 20th: https://youtu.be/z_1zv72OhBg

Listen to Kim Newcomb in her quartet The Ladies: https://youtu.be/Xr2JWu6YzZ4 or her quartet Half and Half: https://youtu.be/DXws8YD8Asg

And what festival would be complete without Deke Sharon? Listen to him chat about Pitch Perfect: https://youtu.be/rXZlV3lCeWQ

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The Pulse: VERSA

Professional UK-based a cappella group, VERSA, was founded in January 2019 by award-winning arranger Sara Leanne. The group is formed of six experienced singers displaying a variety of timbres and vocal skills, yet continually praised for their ability to perfectly fuse together to form a rich, slick and professional sound. Rachael speaks to the group about The Pretender, their collaboration with fellow post collegiate UK group, VICE, and about the group’s singing Valentines!

Buy a personalized singing Valentine here: https://www.versaacappella.com/product-page/personalised-singing-valentine

Listen to The Pretender here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j04FYZ7d69w

Learn more about VERSA here: https://www.versaacappella.com

Learn more about VICE here: https://viceacappella.wixsite.com/vice

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The Pulse: Simons Sirens Release Brookline Ave

The Sirens, a women’s centered a cappella group from Simmons University in Boston, MA, has released a new EP titled “Brookline Ave”! They sit down with Rachael to talk about the process of recording this EP and feature 3 of its songs: High Hopes, Unbreakable Smile, and American Boy.

Listen to the EP at: https://open.spotify.com/album/1HmdZbXtGUZBCUos8GYr6F

Learn more about the group at: https://www.facebook.com/simmonssirens.

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The Pulse: Ascension

What happens when you start a new group and the pandemic hits only a couple semesters later? Clearly you grow, compete, AND record! Meet Ascension, the newest mixed gender group at East Tennessee State University. Rachael sits down with the group to talk about the release of the group’s first EP, Ascension Level 1.

Listen to the album at: https://open.spotify.com/album/6ZvEPqbLSgMjSGktF1lXHk

Learn more about the group at: https://www.facebook.com/ascensionetsu

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The Pulse: The Pennchants

The Pennchants are the University of Pennsylvania’s ass-kicking, name-taking and award-winning all-male a cappella group, and College Ambassadors for MEMBERS ONLY apparel. In partnership with Philabundance, the largest hunger-relief organization in the Delaware Valley, The Pennchants have created an Online Concert-Series, Bedroom Bops. Rachael sat down with the group’s executive board to talk about this unique collaboration and to listen to some tunes.

Check out Bedroom Bops on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzXEFpy05QNUcwYfmBdz1RssZ6PT8ZcoC.

Learn more about Philabundance at https://www.philabundance.org.

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The Pulse: Semi-Toned

Semi-Toned was formed in 2010 as a five-man barbershop harmony group at a university which doesn’t teach academic music. Today, the group is at the forefront of a cappella in the United Kingdom. The guys released an EP in December called Infrared and sit down with Rachael to discuss it, in addition to talking about where the group is heading in the upcoming months and the ambitious goal they created for themselves last term to create new music weekly!

Check Infrared on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4mu7wY8SKnu3jBbYsKUxex

Purchase Infrared on iTunes: iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/infrared-ep/1539866259

Watch the videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrLJdDUcQJbS-nXJFNngNiv7qUSaApTcs&fbclid=IwAR1K9JOr3YJj5o9lZLnLr71S_HWXQlOiWuNw7TrrVObTm-2LeLd1nOGXfa0

Learn more about Semi-Toned at: https://www.facebook.com/semitoned.

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The Pulse: Academy

University of Bristol’s award winning all-male a cappella group Academy has just released their DEBUT ALBUM, Exhibit A! Rachael sat down with group members Mark and Felix to talk about all the hard work that went in to pulling this off, especially under lockdown, and delves deeper into the meaning of two of the particular recordings, Bang, Bang, Bang and No Time To Die.

Check out the album on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2uh4j6FVYmQJqllETMOFbj.

Learn more about the group at: https://www.facebook.com/AcademyACappella

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The Pulse: No Comment

No Comment has become a household name in a cappella after their appearance on the special, Sing It On. Since that time, the group has been competitive in ICCAs and, this year, UpStaged AID! They have made it to the semifinal round, competing with their recording of Fall In Line, originally performed by Christina Aguilera, featuring Demi Lovato. Arrangement of this tune is by Trent Calderone and includes soloists Ramya Jaishankar and Destinee Feliciano.

You can check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4npExkH6ro.

Vote for this group here: https://www.commoninja.com/bracket/eafdb423-d966-4753-9712-efaf41bb513b.

Learn more about No Comment here: https://www.facebook.com/uiucnocomment

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The Pulse: Fundamentally Sound

The suspender-clad men from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have carved out a niche in contemporary a cappella for their lively personalities, genre-bending arrangements, and engaging performances. Rachael talks to president Borna Riazi about the group’s tune A Cappella 101, which was selected for Voices Only 2020 and they are using to compete in Upstaged AID.

Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3sQ-0jl3Lw.

Learn more about the group here: http://uwfundamentallysound.com.

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The Pulse: Squad Harmonix and InToneNation

Squad Harmonix is the relatively new kids a cappella group, with members ranging in ages from 8 to 15. This group is making their mark, getting lots of attention after making a theme song for Some Good News, hosted by John Krasinski.

In August, they reached out to 2019 ICHSA champs InToneNation from New Manchester High School to ask about working together and the result is an incredibly powerful and relevant rendition of the Cynthia Erivo tune Stand Up, from the movie Harriett. Tune in to hear representatives from both groups talk about this stunning collaboration and how it all came together.

You do not want to miss this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwxiiQB0hZ4

Learn more about Squad Harmonix at http://www.squadharmonix.com.

Learn more about InToneNation at https://www.facebook.com/intonenation.nm.

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