Class Descriptions

Arranging Panel
Don’t settle for just “getting the notes right”. Move beyond imitation and into creation, and learn what separates an okay arrangement from a truly effective one, as this workshop gives you a whole new bag of things to ponder while scribbling and/or clicking.

Blocking for Beginners
Just a little choreography can do a lot for your performance! Learn how in this interactive seminar led by longtime performers Julia Hoffman and Christopher Diaz.

Seeing Music
A visual exploration of live performance through concert photography. Followed by a discussion about the nature of impression and expression using non verbal communication to connect with our audience and better convey emotional content.

Essential Listening
What is there to listen to, how might we listen to it, and why? In this interactive seminar we develop our critical listening skills — think Alexander technique for the ears! — by asking historical, formal, and ethical questions about the music we love so much … and by rediscovering what it means to be astonished!

Casual to Serious
Think your group is ready to take on some more serious goals? Paid gigs, big festivals, album releases? It takes more than singing well and wishing for good things to come to you. Get an insider perspective on how to tell if your group is ready, how to deal with the work behind the music and how to keep your group going when things get serious.

Amazing Rehearsals
An energetic exploration of how to make every precious second of rehearsal time count … and change the way you perform!

Aca-Jedi Mind Tricks
Get the most out of your group by using aca-Jedi mind tricks! This very interactive workshop includes warm-ups and other exercises from the psychological point of view of sensation and perception. Intrigued? Come check it out. It’ll change the way you and your group sing forever!

Group Start-up Panel
From different levels of experience, through divergent member expectations, to the many, many decisions that can’t be taken for granted, starting a group at any level, much less the CAL level, comes with unique challenges. Join our four experienced panelists to discuss the trials and tribulations of starting a group and how even brand-new directors and founders can get their groups off to great running starts!

Performance Prep
In this interactive seminar, learn from an experienced performer how to prepare yourself and your group for performance!

Soul Food for Thought
A cappella is an ensemble sport, but a great lead can make a performance … while a mediocre one can break it. Learn about all of the tools you need to step forward from the group and deliver a powerful, soulful solo: from developing your performance concept and style, through stage presence and connecting with the audience, to phrasing, mic technique, and recording in the studio.

VP Panel (and breakaway leaders)
Any old clock can keep time. Vocal percussionists need to master it. Learn how from our experienced panelists.

(Live) Sound Check
An introduction to the wide world of live sound, focused on how to get the most out of a crucial moment: the sound check. Learn how to amplify your voice to please crowds of people without running into trouble!

DIY Recording
Learn how to record your own album just like the pros while saving A LOT of money! Danny Ozment, owner of Emerald City Productions will show you what equipment you need and what pro techniques to use to get amazing raw tracks that professional editors and producers can easily (and less expensively) turn into a cappella gold! We will also discuss what it takes to make your recorded arrangement come alive!

Recording Panel
Planning, syllable sexification, sonic goals, distribution, group image, and more: how to make your album go triple platinum! … without breaking the bank.