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Archiv für Mai, 2012

European Voices Association Open for Membership Now

Press release by, as of May 24th, 2012

The recently founded European Voices Association (EVA), a cultural and educational non-profit organisation working for the development and exchange in vocal, a cappella and choral music, has announced that it is now open for membership application via the organisation’s website

Founded by vocal music activists from Sweden, France, Germany and Denmark, EVA has laid down its principles in the European Voices Manifesto, a document that was signed by more than 80 musicians, teachers, composers and non-profit organisers to create new opportunities for the growing vocal music community in the countries of the European Union.

“We want to make people aware of each other”, says Peder Karlsson, former member of the groundbreaking Swedish vocal group The Real Group, to describe the important role of international exchange, that is one part of the Manifesto. Karlsson (now headmaster of the vocal music online school “The Real Academy”) as well as Jim Daus Hjernoe, professor at the renowned Aalborg Conservatory in Denmark and Tilo Beckmann, vocal coach and founder of Germany’s first vocal group ever, 6-Zylinder, also stand for another central EVA goal: To improve musical education for vocal groups, choirs, composers and arrangers.

EVA kick-off meeting at Aarhus Vocal Festival, May 2011


EVA’s German Chairman of the Board, Florian Städtler, emphasizes the importance of teamwork and involvement of as many local, regional and national activists: “This organisation will have a decentral structure: The practical work like concerts, workshops, seminars and making music together will always be a local and regional thing.” Along with his board colleagues Peter Martin Jacob (Germany), Céline Morel (France) and Volker Bauer (Germany) he now hopes to “welcome members from all European Union member states” until the first annual meeting at The Real Group Festival in Stockholm (August 16-19, 2012)

“For an annual fee of 60 Euro, you can be part of a pioneering project, that will promote vocal music on three domains: Information, education and networking”, states Volker Bauer, EVA’s treasurer. Becoming a member is possible via the association’s website “Right now,” adds French festival organiser Céline Morel, “the organisation is young and has to develop programmes and growing benefit for its members: However, it’s vitally important that we get the support from new members now. And it’s so exciting to be part of such a groundbreaking international project.”

The fascinating variety and richness of the European festival scene has shown that bringing people from different cultures and with various musical background together can create a climate of creativity, tolerance, openness and understanding.The steady growth of the vocal music community seems to prove the fact, that singing is a basic human need.

“What’s more,” says Peder Karlsson: “Again and again I experience that singing in groups simply brings out the best in people.”


European Voices Association e.V.

c/o SpielPlanVier, Kartäuserstraße 14, 79102 Freiburg, Germany

phone: +49 761 38 94 74, e-mail:

How do you practice? – Vocal Edu Series (2)

by Katja Maria Slotte, The Netherlands

In this blog post I will share some thoughts and tips on practicing, especially on how we practice.


1. Focus

Set a focus for your practice session. Know what you want to work on, and don’t try to work on too many things at the same time. For singers this means knowing what the ‘problem areas’ in your songs are. A singing teacher can help you find out what the cause of your issue is, give you suggestions and tools on how to solve it, and assign you exercises to practice new skills.

Let’s say, that you are experiencing wobbly endings on notes and phrases, and your singing teacher has presented you with solutions and exercises for this problem. You could start your practice session by setting ‘endings’ as a theme for your session. Set the following intention: ‘I will focus on how I finish my notes and phrases’. Then, using the tools your singing teacher has taught you, work on your endings in a focused way. Setting an intention or a focus for your session is like zooming in on a specific detail on a photo. You are aware of the whole picture, but choose for a while to look at only one part of it.

Choir directors and coaches can also choose a theme for the session or rehearsal. Examples of technique themes are: vibrato, volume, twang, raising the larynx, etc. Setting a focus also means that we are aware of not introducing too many tools or tasks at the same time. It is not effective practice to ask the singers to focus on a technique related issue, while also expecting them to focus on timing, or choir choreography.

2. Quality, not quantity

In order to get quality out of our exercises, we need to set clear goals for our practice. Whatever it is that we practice, it is better to perform simple exercises with a clear goal, than to perform many (complicated) exercises without a clear goal. This means avoiding automated “la-la-la-la exercises”, and having a look at what the intention with the exercise is.

Especially when we are introduced to a new technique or sound, it is better to sing simple exercises with less notes than to sing complicated arpeggios, intervals or scales. We need to be able to master singing one note with the new technique, before we can move on to scales, interval leaps, and so on.

3. Keep it short enough

In order to stay focused throughout your practice session, make sure the length of the session is allowing you to stay focused. Shorter and focused practice sessions with clear goals are far more effective than mindless, long practice or endless repetition of the same song or phrase. Also, when possible, try to focus your practice sessions to times of day when you have the most energy.

4. Keep track

Another way to practice effectively is to keep track of your goals and findings. If something works out, make a note of what it is that you did, so that you can return to it another time. Your “clues” are depending on your individual learning style. Some people might focus on the position of their tongue, while others focus on a mental image. Auditive learners benefit from recording their practice sessions and voice lessons, so that they can hear the difference between what works and what doesn’t.

5. Bring the exercises back to the song

Singing is not about being able to perform exercises well. Exercises are not useful, unless we are able to put the skills we learn into practice within the context of the songs we sing. Choose your exercises based on the issues you encounter in your songs, and always try out if the skills you have learned through an exercise stand the test of putting it back into the context of the song. When things don’t go like you want them to, keep track of what it is that you did or did not do. That way you can go back and correct the problem. Sometimes you might have to adjust your exercise, or the way you perform the exercise.

6. Vary practice with making music

Finally, it is important that we vary practice sessions with making music.

This is how I like to think about it: singers have a split personality of some sorts! There is a singer or an ‘artist’ in us, that wants to sing and make music because we have something to express, because it makes us feel good, because we love music, and so on. There is also another part in us – let’s call it the ‘technician’. The technician wants to practice, learn new skills and develop. It is focused on details like technique, sound, timing, intonation, and so on. These two parts need to co-exist, but they cannot be equally present all the time. Can you identify yourself in this “split personality description”?

A common reason for ineffective practice, next to not having clear enough goals, is mixing the desire to practice with the desire to make music. It might help to make a deal with yourself, and choose to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to practice. Being focused when you practice means saying ‘yes’ to practice, and telling the ‘singer inside ourselves’ that it needs to step aside and allow the ‘technician’ to operate for a while.

On the other hand, give yourself permission to sometimes say a clear ‘no’ to practice. Saying ‘no’ to practice means you allow yourself to sing and make music without focusing on technique or other details. It means singing songs because you feel like singing, singing for the sake of expression. Saying ‘no’ to practice means telling the ‘technician’ inside ourselves that it has to step to the side for a while.

Also, be aware of when it is that you are saying ‘maybe’ to practice. This might happen more often than you think. ‘Maybe’ is when you are not quite clear about our intentions. It is an in-between state where a part of you ‘just wants to sing’, and a part of you wants to practice. ‘Maybe’ results in an unhappy singer, an unhappy ‘technician’, and ineffective practice. So satisfy your inner ‘technician’ with focused practice, and make your inner singer happy by making music and regularly singing your heart out!


About the writer:

Katja Maria Slotte is a Finnish-born vocal coach, singer and music education consultant. She currently lives in The Netherlands and works as a vocal coach throughout Europe. Katja holds a MMus degree in music education and contemporary singing from the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, studied Brazilian music and Jazz at Rotterdam’s Conservatory, and graduated as an Authorized Complete Vocal Technique (CVT) Teacher from Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen.

Website:               Blog:           Twitter:

Danke, Leipzig A Cappella!

by Florian Städtler, roving Vocal Blog reporter

time flies and it’s been already two weeks since Germany’s most prestigious vocal music festival “Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig – A CAPPELLA” concluded with a fantastic final concert at Leipzigs Gewandhaus. I was invited to see the opening concert by festival founders amarcord as well as VOCES8‘s Leipzig premiere with a completely secular programme and the annual family concert featuring Austrian quartet Lalá. Some might remember my audacious plan to run my first full marathon on that particular Sunday. Well, it never happened, as I caught a bad cold which kept me from running the 42.2 kms, but allowed me to join the singers at the wonderful festival lounge on Saturday night, drowning my frustration with dark beer and Pelmeni.

The 10-day festival is a marathon for its organisers and the members of amarcord, too. They attend every single concert and probably needed a little holiday after the event. I must say, that I have been to quite a few international festivals recently, but Leipzig really impressed me. This festival stretches over 10 days with 11 concerts – which means that only very few a cappella addicts can be present during the whole festival. Still the event creates a strong community feeling, based on the long-term dedication of the five amarcord members and an outstanding hospitality. A wonderful pub called “The Telegraph” becomes the official festival lounge and so there is a meeting point for artists, fans, organisers, the whole Leipzig A Cappella festival family.

This little post is also a big, big thank you to Friederike Frieler and Wolfram Lattke, who invited me to come to Leipzig and see what they have created here. One particular masterpiece is the programme book, which offers the festival traveler detailled information and inspiration via interviews with all artists featured in concerts. I’m very happy to announce that from now on, these interviews will be posted bi-weekly on Vocal Blog – to make these wonderful portraits of the following groups available to the worldwide(web) public: VOCES8 (UK), Lalá (AUT), Heinavanker (EST), Nordic Voices (NOR), Kraja (SWE), Cap Pela (ESP), John Potter & Ambrose Field (UK), Audiofeels (POL), Cadence (CAN) and amarcord (GER).

Let’s start with an interview with VOCES8′s Paul Smith. Before you read the Q&A with Paul, who is the business director and baritone of the London-based octet, enjoy the little video teaser below. It features a mysterious bottle of gin from the Black Forest presented by amarcord’s Wolfram Lattke and expertly tested by VOCES8′s soprano Andrea Haines.


(Interview no. 1 from Leipzig A Cappella programme brochure, courtesy of

Firstly, please introduce us to your group: How and when did the group form?

We’re VOCES8, an 8 part vocal ensemble from Britain. We started off just as a group of friends who loved singing together and, after winning awards in Italy and Spain in 2005 and 2006, we decided to turn professional. Since 2007 we have been singing about 100 concerts a year all over the world, and also leading a big education programme in the UK, USA and in France. We sing music from a wide selection of genres – and we know how lucky we are to have a job doing something that we all love!

There are a lot of influential, professional vocal groups in Great Britain (some have already been our guests, too). Which influence did groups such as The King’s Singers, Hilliard Ensemble, The Swingle Singers etc. have on you?

In the UK, there is a great heritage of vocal music, and we were certainly influenced by all of these groups as we grew up – in particular the King’s Singers. We are good friends with the King’s Singers and the Swingle Singers.  In creating our VOCES8 concept, we try to take inspiration from other top groups, but also create something which is new and unique. We think we perform our music with our own style and we try to build a connection with the audience that you would only find in a VOCES8 performance.

What do you consider as trademarks and typical qualities of British vocal groups?

In VOCES8, we try to create a very British sound, and wherever we go in the world, people always think we come across as being very British! As well as the sound world that we create, I think this also has something to do with our style of presentation and our own British sense of humour! When singing jazz and pop music, I think this sense of humour is very important.

Your concert in Leipzig will mainly feature songs from your album “Aces High” – jazz, swing and film music. Why did you decide to make an album with this style of music and what do you like about these songs (the most)? 

Whenever we think about making an album, we want to sing music that everyone in the group loves.  A central theme to the Aces High album is our James Bong medley – again, very British. We’ve paired this theme with some of our favourite jazz and swing tunes, and I think this makes for a classic a cappella album. There’s a real sense of a storyboard unfolding as you listen to the album, and we created the whole concept to flow from beginning to end – there is even a story to accompany the album in the CD notes! We are lucky to have a brilliant arranger called Jim Clements, and he wrote all of the arrangements on the album and even flew to California with us to record the album. For me, this is my personal favourite VOCES8 album, and we were thrilled when it was nominated for ‘Best Jazz Album’ at the 2011 CARA Awards in America.

Your latest release is a Christmas album, simply called “Christmas”. Please tell us something about this album and its meaning to you.

Christmas is a very special time for everyone, and with our Christmas album, we’ve tapped more into our classical choral heritage.  It’s a beautiful disc of acoustic a cappella which we recorded in Cambridge this year, and as well as some well known Christmas carols, there are a number of classical pieces which members of VOCES8 have grown up singing, but which may be a little less well known to some listeners.  There are two beautiful songs by a British composer living in Germany, Graham Lack, and I’m also a big fan of Nesciens Mater and the Magnificat Quinti Toni by Praetorius.

Although you’re quite young yourself, with “Voces Cantabiles Music” you quickly got involved in boosting musical activities and musical exchange especially with and between young people. How do you bring the music home to the youth and what are your goals with “Voces Cantabiles Music”?

At the festival lounge: Wolfram Lattke, Gereon Behrendt, Chris Wardle, Paul Smith (from left to right)

Voces Cantabiles Music is the name of our wide foundation, and our goals in VOCES8 are to inspire the next generation of young people through music. When we founded the group, I always wanted to place education at the heart of what we do, along with our concert performances. We now work with over 25,000 young people every year in long running programmes that inspire students to be creative, develop their musical abilities and learn how to work together in teams.  Making music is such a wonderful way to learn, and all of the members in VOCES8 were lucky to have amazing opportunities and scholarships as we grew up.  We love working and singing with young people, and want to give young people opportunities to fall in love with singing, and to explore how they can achieve their goals by working hard and dedicating themselves to whatever passions they have.

The members of VOCES8 all enjoyed a many-sided musical education in choirs, college, musical productions etc. Is Great Britain (still) a fertile ground for young singers or is the support of projects like “Voces Cantabiles Music” needed in most areas?

I think there are still many good places to study music in the UK, but, as with every country we have ever visited, there are also many students who don’t have opportunities – either because of the education system, because of social situations or because young people aren’t aware of opportunities around them.  We find that there are always more projects we would like to be doing, but, with just a small team of singers, we do everything we can to help people.  We have started a second a cappella group called Apollo5 to help with this aim.  We want to share our ideas with as many people as possible.

What do you associate with Leipzig? What do you expect from the city and the Festival of Vocal Music A CAPPELLA?

Presenting the main festival sponsor

We were thrilled to record the Motets of JS Bach in 2010, and this is certainly something we associate with Leipzig! One of my personal highlights in VOCES8 was singing the Motets from memory (in VOCES8, we sing most of our music from memory!) to a German audience at a Bach Festival.  There is such a strong heritage of outstanding music in Germany, and we are looking forward to spending more time in Germany in 2012 than we have in our previous years as a group.  I hope that the people of Leipzig will embrace the a cappella festival, and we are certainly looking forward to coming to the beautiful city of Leipzig, sharing our music with people who love a cappella and enjoying meeting lots of people and spending time getting to make new friends.

Is there some kind of ritual before going on stage, which is indispensable for your ensemble?

Every night before we go on stage we stand in our ‘circle of love’! This happens after our personal warm up and just before we go on stage. Each member of VOCES8 is able to make one point to the whole group for the concert that is about to happen, and we take the moment to focus our minds and prepare as a team for the stage.  It’s a little ritual we have now done in about 500 concerts together!

When your ensemble prepares a characteristic British meal together, what will there be as food and drinks? Could you perhaps tell us the recipe?

Let them eat cake, Andrea...

As we spend so much time on tour, we eat a lot of meals together, and we are about to spend 2 month in the USA on tour, so we will be trying not to eat too many hamburgers! Lots of members of VOCES8 like to cook, and Andrea (one of our sopranos) often brings delicious cakes to our rehearsals.

For drinks and a meal though, I think many of us would start with a very nice gin and tonic and some appetisers. I like to cook a traditional roast dinner – a lovely roast chicken is delicious. The key is to stuff the chicken with juicy lemon and lots of garlic, to use a generous quantity of herbs and seasoning, and to roast potatoes and vegetables. Roasted leeks, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and lots of roasted garlic! Then, make sure the potatoes are beautifully crunchy, but soft on the inside. For the gravy, use the juice from the meat (with chicken – properly cooked through) as a base and also mix in the scrapings from the roasted vegetable dish to get lots of extra flavour! Wash this down with a wine of your choice (I would choose a nice glass of Chablis for this dish!). Follow this up with a sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and then with cheese and port to finish. In VOCES8, we love a very tasty meal together!!

Thanks for sharing Vocal Blog via Facebook group, Faceboo fanpage and Twitter. If you’ve got a story for the vocal music community, let us know via We love your input, as long as its personal and more than blatant self-promotion. What would you like to read here? Who would you like to be featured? Make your comments and be part of the conversation!

The Real Group Festival – Behind the Scenes

by Joakim Skog, The Real Group Festival organizer (introduction) and Peder Karlsson (interviewed by Florian Städtler)

Joakim Skog

Being part of the first festival arranged by the Real Group in Västerås 2008 it was a no-brainer to jump in to the project when Peder Karlsson asked me about it in 2011. The around-the-clock joy and happiness that impregnated the festival in Västerås was about to be reinvented, by keeping the best and then adding everything we so much wanted to do but just couldn’t find the resources to make happen. I didn’t need many seconds to consider the offer!

Last time, the festival had great support from Västmanlandsmusiken, both monetary and with people working on the project. This time around, the festival has moved to Stockholm and is entirely run by the Real Group themselves. This involves the whole group in a substantial way, not only when it comes to being artistic directors and headmasters of the education part of the festival, but actually managing everything from budget and customer support to planning of how to get the right equipment to the right stage at the right time. As the head master of The Real Academy, Peder Karlsson is the project manager backed up by a team consisting of the rest of the Real Group as well as volunteers like me. It’s a lean organization, but constantly growing as the festival shapes up.

Having participated in many amazing festivals through out the years – like the AAVF, the Vocal Jazz Summit and London A Cappella Festival to name a few – I know what I like, and to be part of creating a unique combination of amazing concerts at night and inspiring and educating workshops during daytime together with this great team and with all the wonderful artists that are so supportive of this festival is so worthwhile! And it feels safe to promise, that if you are at all interested in vocal music – either if you are practicing or a listener – the Real Group Festival in Stockholm will be an experience you’ll never forget!


Joakim Skog has been an a cappella aficionado since 2001 when he was one of the founders of the vocal group which today is known as reSOUND. He has been singing in choirs since the age of 10 when he was admitted to the Adolf Fredrik’s Music School. Being a CASA ambassador he has been heavily involved in networking Swedish acappella fans and groups using online forums and blogs but also by arranging acappella concert clubs, etc. During daytime, he works as a Technology Pioneer at Bisnode, a large Swedish business information group , working with IT trend analysis and media monitoring.

Vocal Blog Interview with Peder Karlsson (by Florian Städtler)

Peder Karlsson & Florian Städtler in Stockholm 2010

The festival’s motto is „Forever curious“. How has this mindset developed from the foundation of The Real Group until today?

I would say this has been an “unspoken motto” for The Real Group since the very beginning. When we began in 1984, very few people could tell us how to sing jazz and pop music a cappella.

The phrasing and articulation we needed to learn was very different from how we were used to sing in choirs. There was a lot of trial and error, as well as hanging out with jazz singers and instrumentalists. We also had the opportunity to meet with some of the greatest a cappella teachers of that time; Ward Swingle, Eric Ericson, Monica Dominique, Svante Thuresson, to name a few.

The same attitude applied to studio work. In 1995 we decided to do a record with original compositions only, and we said this to the record company…before any songs were written. We gave ourselves a deadline and then we started to write new songs. The result was an album called “Original”. Lyrics in Swedish.

In 2000 we made a record called “Commonly Unique” – that marked a very clear difference between live repertoire and arrangements for the records. Again we included our own compositions only. With several songs made at least three versions – first an instrumental demo with lead vocal, then a multi-track a cappella version (for the CD) and then a five-part version for our live concerts. This record took us more than a year to make, and we learned a lot from doing it… things that we could not have anticipated.

Now we’re developing tools for online education – without any prior experience. Again, it has taken a lot of time, and we haven’t really launched any programs until after The Real Group Festival in August. We truly are curious to see how our online projects will develop, and how we can include other people with specific competence and methods for a cappella singing.


This is the second edition of the festival run by The Real Group. One  difference compared to the 2008 premiere is the involvement of the The The Real Group’s members.

In 2008 we had a much smaller team; me, Joakim Skog, Kella Naeslund and Jennie Wilhelmsson; the latter two from Västmanlandsmusiken who produced the festival. I made the schedule myself, with assistance from Claes De Geer. The Real Group was involved with the artistic direction; which artists to invite and general ideas about the workshop program.

This time the festival contents cover an even wider span of activities, and it simply would not be possible to do it without the fantastic team we have: The Real Group, me, Joakim Skog (from reSound) , Claes De Geer, Claes Nyberg (Barbercue) , Caroline Berg, Karin Svinhufvud Söremark, Anton Leandersson-Andréas (Vocado), Johan Bjurling (Barbercue), Rikard Förare and Kajsa Thelander. Jeff Meshel and Paul Jay have helped us with the program book. And of course John Jacobson from has done all the design work. The festival is in a very flexible state, and I am sure we will include more staff as we the festival approaches.


An event of this size and quality is an enormous investment in money, time and (wo)manpower. Where does the motivation for this big effort come from?

The music. The lovely and fantastic people we know from all over the world who continue to contribute to the development of vocal ensemble music. The urge to make a contribution ourselves. There is healing power in vocal music. And the world could sure use that.

I also would like to mention that apart from external consultants, we do this on a  volunteer basis. And our festival program would have been much more difficult to accomplish without support from Swedish government funds. So big thanks to Statens Musikverk who decided to support our vision!

The festival is announced as „maybe the most awesome vocal music event in the world.“ Would you give our readers (and potential visitors) some elements of The Real Group Festival that are truly unique?

There is an unusual level of bonding between artists and participants. This was very clear in the survey results we received after the 2008 festival. Maybe this is because we have a non-competitive policy. Or maybe it has something to do with the indovidual qualities of The Real Group’s singers. This is not only a high-level professional group, but also a very nice group of individuals. And that is a very important factor in creating a festival vibe. You would have to come and be there to see what I mean.

The artists are fantastic. Of course other festivals also have fantastic artists. But I don’t know if there are so many things to hear in other European vocal festivals. You can some as an individual or as a complete group. Or as a choir.

The scope of workshop contents: I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. Check the program book and let me know what you think!
The program book that is already available online has 119 pages.  Can you give us a short overview, which kind of activities are planned and for whom they might be particularly interesting.

Haha, this is not easy for me! We have so many good things planned. Of course you must see the concerts. In the Opening Concert, The Real Group‘s “original  line-up” with me and Margareta Bengtson will make a special appearance, before “The Real Real Group” goes on stage, together with Postyr Project, Vocado and Perpetuum Jazzile.  On Friday night you have a chance to hear a concert with both Rajaton and Swingle Singers. Two of the absolute top a cappella groups in the world right now. And to Saturday night’s concert, The Real Group has invited a bunch of friends to make a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. You can download a Workshops Summary from here:

A quick summary of some of the workshops:

All Ears – with Anders Edenroth and Katarina Henryson: How to improve your listening skills in order to refine your musical communication.

Anything can happen – with Peder Karlsson: How to expand your ensemble’s range of dynamics and timbres.

Sing with Jens Johansen – Get a taste of the happiness and excitement you get from singing grandiose pop music in a large choir.

Sing with The Real Group – A unique chance to sing Real Group songs (excerpts) together with the very group itself.

Single Singers – Sing together with others who also come to The Real Group Festival on their own or with just a few members of their choir or vocal group. (Created by Annemarie Homan and Emily May ‘t Hoen, this concept has already been very successful at the London A cappella Festival and Jonathan Minkoff’s SingStrong festival, for example.)

Meet Perpetuum Jazzile, Postyr Project, Rajaton, The Swingle Singers – This is a series of workshops where the artist groups sing and talk. With questions from the auditorium. (This activity was very popular in our 2008 festival.)

Rhythm & Groove – with Jim Daus Hjernøe: Tips and tricks and demonstrations of useful tools that develop a collective sense of rhythm and groove.

Inspiring rehearsals for choirs – with Line Groth: How to get a funky groove combined with accurate pitch, beautiful blend and a powerful expression into your choir’s performance. Line Groth is a very accomplished singer, arranger and choir leader. A coming star of a cappella mentorship!

The Real Group History – with Anders Jalkéus: A behind-the-scenes presentation of 27 years of rehearsals, concerts and recordings. (I’ve seen this presentation once, it’s Great! Anders Jalkéus has found audio tracks and videos I don’t think anybody outside of the group has seen or heard. A must-hear/see!)

Passion as a platform for success – with Bostjan Usenik: Boštjan Usenik, Perpetuum Jazzile’s business manager, will tell the true story of how Perpetuum Jazzile made a concrete plan for how to become the most popular vocal group in Slovenia – and became one of the most appreciated artistic forces in their country of any musical style. Now they have their goal set for how to reach out to the rest of the world…


Peder, you have left the group in 2009 and started The Real Academy.  How is the Academy intertwined with the festival and what does the festival mean to you, the headmaster?

We will have a few activities at The Real Group Academy before the festival, with a focus on: arranging, recording technique and staging. You don’t have to participate in the online classes; it is an option. In any case, we learned in the 2008 festival that these topics require some time to cover properly – the festival is too short.  After the festival, we will launch online programs. And sell Skype lessons, of course. Me and Tine Fris (from Postyr project) already give Skype lessons; I teach groups and she teaches individuals.

I have spent a lot of time planning for an online course for vocal groups, that gives you all the basics that you need to develop your vocal ensemble. With specific exercises for rhythm, intonation, blend/tone colours and phrasing. It takes some time to get used to the online format. Groups upload short recordings, and our teachers listen & give feedback in a classroom forum. It works amazingly well. As long as you don’t expect to get the same thing as you can get with a teacher in the same room.  But that is what the festival is for!!

Or online courses – on October 20-21, we’re planning a course in Stockholm, with just a few teachers. For singers and vocal groups. Not a very big thing, a lot smaller than the festival; we’ll just sing, practise and have fun together.


Thank you very much, Peder, and good luck for all the preparations that are going on. See you on August 16th-19th in Stockholm!

More information about The Real Group Festival can be found at Festival passes are available and booking hotels and travel as soon as possible is recommended.

Don’t forget to like the festival on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. The official Twitter hashtag is #TRGF2012. Thanks for spreading the word!

A Happy Birthday Gallery for Tine Fris

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder & chief listener

I’ve worked with quite a few achievers, movers, shakers, creative and energetic people. However, some people surprise you again and again with their dedication and willpower. One of these people is Danish singer, composer, arranger, vocal coach and organizer Tine Fris of Aarhus-based electronic vocal group Postyr Project.

As a mini-tribute to her birthday, here’s a spontaneously compiled gallery with a few snapshots from Aarhus, Freiburg and London. Happy birthday, Tine!

Hosting aca-celebrities Céline Morel (CEPRAVOI, FRA) and Peder Karlsson (The Real Academy, SWE) at Aarhus Vocal Festival 2011









Meeting Jens Johansen (Vocal Line, DK), the maestro of contemporary, rhythmic choral music right after Postyr's AAVF show









As a passionate teacher and vocal coach at the old school house during AAVF 2011









Back at Ridehuset for the AAVF 2011 final party, having a chat with Clare Wheeler (The Swingle Singers, UK) and Peter Martin Jacob (magenta concerts, GER)









And the winner of the London A Cappella 2012 shoe fashion competition is: From Denmark!









More aca-fashion presented by Tine at King’s Place, London, January 2012

What have I done to deserve this...? (says a happy German agent & blogger). With Line Groth (Postyr Project, DEN)









The core of Tine's musical life: Postyr Project.








Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Bonne anniversaire! Happy Birthday!

If you want to become (or already are) a Tine Fris fan, too, check her out on Facebook, Twitter and through the Postyr Project website.