A Cappella

DC A Cappella Inspiring My Boston Soul

While I was running my group Common Sound, I was honored to have an amazing friend named Brian Brandler as my co-leader. He was my primary support throughout the massive roller coaster that was starting a group for the first time. We were a fabulous pair – two cups vision and one cup well-oiled machine. We balanced each other nicely.

However, about two years ago, Brian moved to DC for a grad program and a new adventure. It was bitter sweet. He was going to study music and psychology, and I would miss him terribly. Would a cappella be as enjoyable and inspiring without him?

Life continued, as did the group and my singing. As we all got into a new routine, I also started jabbing Brian: When are you going to join a group? When are you going to join a group?  While he said  he wanted to wait a bit, soon enough he decided to bite the bullet and audition.

Brian joined a DC A Cappella group Vox Pop. And they are, in a word, fantastic. Since Brian joined, they have performed in a cappella festivals, opened for famous a cappella groups like Afro Blue, and even recorded an entire album.

Hearing about their hard work and accomplishments was impressive and inspiring. Brian had come a long way from our little group that we had started from scratch just a few years prior. And it was fascinating to hear how a true pro group ran, the ins and outs of its organization, how to run song selection, and more. I  learned more and more about a cappella and their keys to success during every enjoyable phone call.

Needless to say, I’m so proud of you Brian! We were such an amazing team in Boston, but I had no idea your accomplishments in DC would equally inspire me — if not more.

 

Bringing Vegas to Lizard Lounge

Tonight, I had the pleasure of performing with my a cappella group Common Sound at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. We got to debut our new song “Vegas” by Sara Bareilles, one of my solos. It was definitely a great exercise in stretching vocal limits; the song is a big higher than my comfortable range. (I’m usually an alto to low alto.) I had an amazing time, and I feel pretty good about how it turned out.

Thank you the wonderful and supportive @prsutherland for taking the video. Thank you to my wonderful group for giving me the opportunity to sing every single week. :-)

Holiday Cheer A cappella Style (Invitation to See My Group Perform)

I’ve been talking about building my a cappella group for over a year. Well! 18 months and seven new members later, I sing with a fantastic crew of very talented singers. We’ve been building and arranging an eclectic repertoire of songs by Blind Melon, The Beatles, Mozart and Jason Mraz, sprinkling in some crazy jazz standards here and there. We’ve definitely come a really, really long way.

So! If you’re in the Boston area: I’d like to invite you to come see my group, Common Sound, perform it’s first major holiday concert perfectly timed with the first night of Hanukkah! Hope to see you there.

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Common Sound Holiday Concert

When: December 11, 7:30pm
Where: St. Paul’s Church (Brookline, MA)
Suggested Donation:
$5
Register: Click here to RSVP on Facebook

Listen to Common Sound’s Latest Performance

Yesterday  Common Sound, my a cappella singing group that I founded a little over a year ago, had a performance for friends and family. We wanted to show off what we had been working on, as well as do a proper send off for one of our members who moves to the west coast next week.

Click here to listen to a recording our set. I solo on the last song, “I’m Yours.” (Alternatively, if anyone knows how I can embed the player into this blog post, that would be awesome.)

I would love to hear your thoughts! Note: We don’t use any amplification. It’s all natural echo from the high-ceiling church that we sing in.

Also, we are always looking to perform more, as well as audition new members–especially since our wonderful tenor is leaving! On our website, you can invite us to sing at your event or request a singing audition to join the group. Check it out or pass on the word.

Thank you so much. <3

How to Use Creative Content to Rock Inbound Marketing (For TwitterQueens!)

In about an hour or so, I’ll be doing a presentation at NYC TwitterQueens on inbound marketing and–my favorite!–the value of creative content.

Feel free to check out the presentation below.

Hey Ben Folds! Pick my girls!

Kudos to you Mr. Ben Folds for being 1) one of my favorite musicians and 2) an incredible supporter of college a cappella!

Ben’s making a new album that will be entirely a cappella versions of his songs, and he’s asking college a cappella groups across the US to record themselves singing their favorite Ben Folds tune and upload it to YouTube. He will then select 12-15 groups to perform on the album.

And guess what? My old college group Chordially Yours is giving it a shot with their rendition of Underground!

So pick my girls, Mr. Folds! How could you not? :)

Twitter Halloween Icons and Thriller A cappella

Happy Halloween! Just wanted to share two cute things with you.

First, CHECK OUT THESE AMAZING HALLOWEEN ICONS FOR TWITTER. I am absolutely obsessed. I discovered them when @DieLaughing mentioned them in a Tweet, but I have no clue who the creator is. Show yourself!

Second, Adam Lasnik sent me a super cool 64-voice a cappella version of Thriller. The sounds in the beginning are pretty nuts, but the guy needs to work on his pitch (and falsetto) a bit. I give him a B- for vocal ability and an A+ for effort and creativity.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

My A Cappella Group Has a Name!

Five months, four new members and two Google pages later, my little a cappella group finally has a name! We are… *trumpets*

Common Sound!

I’m really pleased. We put a lot of thought into it.  For example, it reflects our shared common love for singing and a cappella. It’s a reference to the Boston Common. Also, the genres we’ve been singing lately have been quite eclectic. (Our music director is teaching us some Mozart for a warm up.) Perhaps in that sense, “common” could refer to any common type of music people enjoy.

Anyhow, I feel like it really fits. I’m happy we finally figured it out.

And now… we need to choose a URL! Of course, www.commonsound.com is taken. So what’s next best? The group will obviously make the final decision, but I’d still love your feedback.

Ideas so far:

www.commonsoundmusic.com
www.commonsoundboston.com
www.commonsoundacappella.com

Thoughts? Other ideas?

—–

UPDATE: Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We decided on www.commonsoundboston.com! No page up yet, but we’re working on it.

Audition reminder! (Please tell your friends?) + First arrangement in MIDI

Thanks to my dear friend Mandy (an award-winning a cappella arranger!) my group has its first arrangement. We will be learning Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. Here’s a midi version of her work. Yeah, it sounds like a piano right now. But I love it, and I think it’ll be awesome!

Also… I thought I’d take this as an opportunity to remind everyone the audition details. (I know, I know. Here I go again.)

I’d really, really appreciate it if you could help spread the word to any of your singer folk friends. This is going to be an incredible and exciting group once it’s officially formed, and we want to find as much talent as possible to be a part of it.

When: Monday, July 28th 7-9:30pm.

Where: St. Paul’s Church (15 Saint Paul St, Brookline, MA)

How to Prep: Be ready to sing a verse and a chorus of your favorite song, a cappella style. Other tests include a call and response exercise and sight reading.

Appointments: Auditions will be held in 10-minute intervals between 7-9:30pm. We suggest emailing prior to the audition day to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, walk-ins are absolutely welcome.

Thank you so much to those of you who have been incredibly supportive throughout this whole process. You guys are the best. We’ll sing for you whenever you want :)

And.. now for something silly!–This is from my old group, Boston University’s Chordially Yours. I’ve tweeted about this video before, but I still think it’s a lot of fun. I mean… do YOU sing on the T?

A cappella update and why I love life.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve dedicated the summer to forming my own a cappella group. Starting a group from scratch has definitely been one of the most challenging/exciting things I’ve ever done, and I’m pretty pleased with its progression. First huge step was finding my co-founder, Miss Shelley Greenberg. Next was getting our rehearsal space; we’ve booked a BEAUTIFUL church sanctuary (OMG ACOUSTICS) where we will be incredibly spoiled.

Auditions are in exactly two weeks. I’ve been getting a great response from people wanting to try out, and I think there will be a pretty decent crowd. (Feel free to spread the word to any fellow Boston singers who might like to join a group. Please.)

I cannot wait until I start singing regularly again, in a formal rehearsal. As cheesy as it is, I whole-heartedly believe I would be a completely different person if I didn’t/couldn’t sing. I mean… I do it all the time. For example, my new apartment is entirely hardwood floors, and one of my favorite things to do is sing really, really loud while no one is home and echo through the hallways. Another prime singing time is dish washing. Or whenever I enter/exit a vestibule. Or while I blow dry my hair. (Don’t ask.)

When I was younger (we’re talking age seven or eight and in elementary school), I would swing on the swings and make up songs. For hours. At eight years old. Now, mind you, I also didn’t have very many friends at the time. But still, it’s really fun to think about how ingrained singing is in my life, even from day one. Do most people have something like this? Am I just lucky?

The other day while I was talking to my Mom, she told me that my grandmother had an incredible voice. Her dream was to travel overseas to sing for the WWII troops. I had no idea. Although both my parents took piano lessons when they were younger, I don’t have a very musical family (at least, immediate family), and I always wondered where “my voice” came from. It’s really cool to think that possibly my talent came from her.

Anyhow, let it be known that I am not the best singer in the world. I don’t think that at all, and that’s not the point. What I’m trying to emphasize is how important it is to be thankful for any special thing you can do. It’s a bit cliché and lame, but it’s true. What we do defines us. So why not do it well and be proud of it?