The Kettering National A Cappella Festival returns this weekend to Dayton, Ohio, with a loaded schedule of concerts, showcases, and classes planned for the two-day event.
Master classes get underway on Saturday at Trent Arena, and unlike most other festivals, there are far fewer instructors and each session happens at least twice.
Here are your 2017 Kettering AcaFest instructors:
Dubbed “the next generation of a cappella specialist” by “Pitch Perfect” and “The Sing-Off” vocal producer Deke Sharon, Kari Francis is an avid vocalist, arranger, and educator. She has shared the stage with Taylor Swift, Imogen Heap, and competed on Season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” with Kinfolk 9. She currently teaches the contemporary a cappella class at CUNY Hunter College and is a choral teaching artist with Midori & Friends. Francis has been an active lecturer and clinician since 2009, giving workshops on musicianship, arranging, and vocal percussion at music festivals and vocal camps across the States.
Intro to Arranging: (11 AM & 3 PM) — Choir Room
An introduction to common methods, “moments,” and textural components of vocal arranging.
Beginning Vocal Percussion (Noon & 4 PM) — Recital Hall
An introduction to basic sounds with an emphasis on style-specific grooves. Intermediate class expands on grooves, improvisation, and the role of the rhythm section
Dr. Jay Dougherty
Dr. Jay Dougherty is the director of choral activities at Marietta College in the Mid-Ohio Valley, where he teaches all campus choral ensembles, a contemporary a cappella ensemble, the community Oratorio Chorus, choral methods, beginning conducting, and advanced choral conducting. Dougherty, who serves the Barbershop Harmony Society in a variety of capacities, is a regular coach and clinician for many quartets and chorus around the country, and serves on the faculty for most of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s educational events.
Tags for Tuning (Noon & 5 PM) — Chorus Room
Learn some easy barbershop tags and discover how you can use them for improved intonation during your rehearsals and warmups.
Jojo Otseidu is currently a student Ohio State University. Jojo is the music director of the school’s top a cappella group, “The Ohio State of Mind.” Otseidu made history this year by leading The Ohio State of Mind to an ICCA Finals appearance, marking the first-ever appearance of a group from Ohio in the final stage of the competition. Otseidu arranged three of the four songs used in this year’s finals caliber set and even won the “Outstanding Arrangement” award at the 2017 ICCA Midwest Semifinal competition. Otseidu was also given an “Outstanding Bass” award at ICCA Finals. This award doesn’t actually exist, but the judges insisted it be given out to recognize Otseidu’s bass performance.
A Cappella Bass Singing (11 AM & 5 PM) — Room 339
An overview of the art of Bass singing in a cappella, covering topics such as intonation, tone, groove, and range.
Vocalist, music business expert and polyglot, Giorgia Renosto created for herself a professional career designed around her passion for music. Specialized in contemporary vocal techniques, she is currently touring with the award winning a cappella quartet “Women of the World.” As a marketing and social media expert, she has been a master clinicians in prestigious institutions such as Berklee College of Music (USA), Fondazione Fossano Musica (Italy), Jagiellonian University (Poland), Philippos Nakas Conservatory (Greece), and Osaka School of Music (Japan), among others.
Mastering the Art of Your Artistic Public Profile (Noon & 4 PM) — Room 339
The artist development master class will explore the basics tools needed to develop a solid branding image, a uniform, and well-structured online profile and provide an introduction to a number of essential marketing strategies. The master class intends to develop all the above by using: examples from today's successful artists, the artists' creativity in accordance with their product and its potential, and examples of social media marketing plans.
Dr. Christopher Mitchell
Christopher Mitchell has served on the music faculty at Murray State University in Murray, KY, since 2007. He teaches voice to music majors and directs the Racer Men's Chorus and EQ Blu, MSU's mixed a cappella ensemble. He has also served as music director for a number of musical productions at Murray State and the surrounding community (Into the Woods, Godspell, Curtains, Little Shop of Horrors, The Last Five Years). He holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from Michigan State University and master's and doctorate degrees in vocal performance from Florida State University.
Kill That Solo Without Killing Your Voice (11 AM & 5 PM) — Recital Hall
Clinician will provide specific techniques for developing proper breath/body support and healthy belt production and work with individuals in a masterclass setting to demonstrate these techniques. Requires volunteers from class to sing a 30-60-second audition-style solo. Dr. Christopher Mitchell will demonstrate techniques by providing short masterclass instruction to volunteers for the audience to see.
Vocal Technique for A Cappella: The Basics Redefined (3 PM) — Recital Hall
Vocal fundamentals of alignment, breathing, vowel production and registration will be reviewed and put in the context of Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM). Specific exercises will be demonstrated in a workshop setting.
Marc Silverberg is an adjunct professor at Five Towns College and former director of education for CASA.org. He is the author of “Quest for the A cappella Major,” a blog that discusses the continuing education of contemporary a cappella music and group improvisation. He has presented workshops on vocal improvisation at several CASA.org sponsored festivals, SUNY Purchase, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, The New York State School Music Association, the Nassau County PEAK Festival, as well as the American Choral Directors Association’s 2013 national convention. Under his pseudonym “Docacappella,” he has released several humorous a cappella parodies, including “I’ll Never Be In Pentatonix,” which was nominated for a 2016 Contemporary A cappella Recording Award.
Creative Vocal Lab: Improvisation Games (11 AM & 5 PM) — Orchestra Room
Improvisation games designed to get people singing as quickly as possible, perhaps in ways they never have before. Get out of your head and improvise through spontaneous creation and texture shapes. Elevate loop-based and free-form improvisation through pattern sequencing, harmonic progression, and phrase development.
Creative Vocal Lab: Organic Arranging (Noon & 4 PM) — Orchestra Room
Participants will learn how to improvise a cappella arrangements, utilizing circle songs and improvisation exercises.
Which classes are you most excited for?!
Although these classes are not streaming live on FloVoice, clips will be posted.
What is available to watch LIVE? All eight Scholastic groups, Freedom's Boombox, VoicePlay, Vocalight, and Deke Sharon!
How to Watch
ON TV: Available on Roku and Apple TV 4 -- download the FloSports app now.