Recording: The Ultimate Performance Filter

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 0 Comments

Last week, my a cappella group OneVoice spent four days in the studio with a cappella legend Dave Sperandio.  Even though this was our sixth album with him, we’re still learning valuable lessons from the process.  Preparing for our performance with The Swingles at The London A Cappella Festival next week, I was anxious about the prospect of losing these four days …

How to Teach Vocal Percussion

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 0 Comments

One of the most common questions choral directors have when first starting a contemporary a cappella group is, “How do I teach vocal percussion (beatboxing)?  I’ve never done it myself!” The good news for you is that I am pretty *terrible* at VP.  My students love when I do it because they find it so hilarious…However, I still have a …

Staging Concepts For Contemporary A Cappella

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 0 Comments

My last post about standing in a semicircle provoked quite a bit of conversation!  Many people brought up great points in defense of the formation for things like choral works and homophonic charts (which I completely agree with).  Others thought that movement outside that traditional formation was only possible with wireless microphones and in-ear monitors (not true…you can use them …

A Cappella Groups: Ditch The Semi-Circle

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 3 Comments

Dear A Cappella Groups, Ditch the semi-circle.  Please.  I beg you. While it is certainly the most popular setup for an a cappella group, the semi-circle is visually underwhelming.  It allows everyone in the group to hear each other to some extent, but it doesn’t always allow for the right people to hear who they need the most. Consider something different, …

Recording Your First A Cappella Album

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 1 Comment

Contemporary a cappella is the fastest growing trend in music education today.  As a choir director, this is exciting to me because a cappella singing promotes individual musicianship, confidence, tone, blend, balance, intonation, and much more– all while being, well…cool. One of the biggest missteps I see is when a choral director decides to record his or her new a …

How To Sound Check for ICCA or ICHSA

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 0 Comments

This is an updated post to a previous article I wrote on sound checking for ICHSA and ICCA events.  My friend and colleague David Longo, CEO of The Vocal Company, has run sound at countless ICHSA and ICCA (and many other a cappella) events.  His perspective on this topic is simply more appropriate than mine is, so I asked him …

Rehearsing Contemporary A Cappella Groups

J.D. Frizzell a cappella 1 Comment

Over the years, I have developed my own unique way to rehearse contemporary a cappella groups. As the director of OneVoice from Briarcrest Christian School, I have had the privilege of working with some incredibly talented and dedicated singers.  During this time, I honed a process to introduce new pieces, rehearse them, stage them, and get them performance-ready. Since I started …