VoCALnation is CAL-ling YOU!
It’s only been one week since the BOSS [Boston Sings] festival and I’m already having withdrawals. Three days of pure a cappella goodness and I’m craving more. I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more a cappella… in the form of a cowbell sound? You get the point – these festivals are addicting and I can’t wait for the next one on the CASA calendar which happens to be VoCALnation in Philadelphia this July.
As the founding member of Fermata Town, one of the newest groups to join the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL), it’s easy for me to say that there is so much value in these festivals and not just on the individual level but for an entire group. F-Town just participated in BOSS as a group, our first CASA festival together and it was unanimous: it won’t be our last.
There is something for everyone at these festivals. Over the course of a weekend music directors, general members, group leaders and even a cappella groupies will find something that tickles their fancy. Don’t believe me? Well then I challenge you to see for yourself… and you can thank me later.
On top of the amazing workshops offered, these festivals bring in headlining groups that continue to redefine the limits of contemporary a cappella. So not only do you get to learn, you get to sit back and enjoy some of the best a cappella music from around the world. Yes, world. There have been international headliners at almost every single CASA festival the past year.
Having now been to three festivals in the past year and a half, one thing I’ve learned is that the a cappella world is an incredibly welcoming community. Be it your first or your fifteenth festival, you’re going to make new friends and its going to feel like you’ve known them for much longer than one weekend. How is that possible? Because they love the same exact things you do and aren’t afraid to geek out about them!
You already know what you can get out of the festival as an individual but there are things for the group as a whole too! You’ll have the opportunity to sign up for a master class with some of the best musical minds in the business. Not to mention performance opportunities and group bonding activities. Everybody wins!
After attending BOSS with Fermata Town, my appreciation for these festivals increased at an exponential level. Not for any different reasons from above, but simply because we were able to experience those things together. The group that goes to the festival is not going to be the same as the group that returns – which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s really a beautiful thing and if your group has the chance to make it to a CASA festival, DO IT!
So, the bottom line is that these festivals are worth every single penny. In fact, they’re worth a lot more than what you’ll pay but CASA isn’t about making money. They’re all about giving back, educating the community and making groups better. Get your group to go to festival and you WILL get better. If you can’t all make it, send who you can and have them bring all that a cappella goodness back to the group. That’s what Fermata Town did it 2012… and one year later we have a CARA-Award Winning album to prove that these festivals really work!
If you missed BOSS, you definitely don’t want to miss VCN. The Townies will be there, will you?!