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Artikel Tagged ‘Acappellazone’

Take the A Cappella App Poll

by Florian Städtler, Artist & Repertoire at Acappellazone

DSC_2330A cappella and choral music is alive and kicking. More and more people sing together in groups. They come to know each other in choirs, vocal groups, festivals and workshops. They exchange ideas, concepts and experiences – face-to-face. However, one thing is missing: True, systematic interconnectedness and attractive services for singers, choir conductors, agents and fans. That’s why the idea of the Acappellazone app was born: A mobile application for the whole world of vocal music.

Acappellazone, the Vocal Music Portal got a project team ready, but before they will start working, those guys need your knowledge as a musician and music lover. If you give us 15 minutes of your time, you can help us to create something unique and valuable for the international vocal music community.

Take part in the Acappella App poll!

In less than a week, more then 500 a cappella fans and professionials have already taken the poll. By spending 15 minutes with the questionnaire linked below, you’ll be part of the project from day one. Thank you very much for your support!

Take the poll!
[English questionnaire]      [Deutscher Fragebogen]

And how about sharing the questionnaire with your musical network? Thanks for passing on the link  to conductors, singers, arrangers, composers and a cappella fans.


P1180947Participate, share and win twice…!

Among all participants we will give away 10 CDs of the Acappellazone webshop, e.g. 2 limited edition copies of the album “London A Cappella Live 2014” featuring The Housejacks, The Swingle Singers, The Real Group, Slixs, Vive and many more. Those who shared the poll with the biggest number of friends will have the chance to win 5 x 2 complimentary tickets + meet & greet for shows of international a cappella top acts. The poll will be closed by August 30, 2014.


Andreas W. Zehent – Project Leader,

Florian Städtler – Head of Artist & Repertoire,




Acappellazone c/o SpielPlanVier EventMarketing

Contact: Tel. +49 761 38 94 74 |


Pro Lounge:

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7 Last-Minute Tipps for London A Cappella Travelers

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog on tour (#VBontour)

Travelling abroad is a wonderful thing. But we all know these terrible hours before we actually leave. Packing your bags last-minute, checking your bus, train and flight connections and of course: Trying to get as much done on your real world or virtual desk as the clock ticks mercilessly.

This January has been particularly busy and getting all my things together for my fourth London A Cappella Festival trip was an incredible rush. But the stress of getting away from „normal life“ for a couple of days is absolutely worth while. Because of 7 things that no London A Cappella Festival visitor should miss:


  1. A proper English pub – LACF has an official (?) meeting place called „The Fellow“ (26-30, York Way), quite close to the festival venue „King’s Place“. There are two more fantastic places friends showed me on earlier London trips: The Princess Louise (208, High Holborn, tipp by Jes Sadler) and The Antilope” (24, Eaton Terrace, tipp by Costa Peristianis, Ikon Arts)
  2. The King’s Place foyer – the venue of Britain’s finest vocal music festival is a stylish and inspiring place only 8 minutes walk from King’s Cross. Its foyer, that during the first and second festival was a rather calm place has become a buzzing place of open singing, international encounters, workshops and a cappella networking. We recommend coming rather early before concerts and events: You might bump into people like Bill Hare or Amanda Aldag or see the occasional Swingle or King’s Singer talking to their audience in an extraordinarily relaxed and friendly way,
  3. Workshops – if you want to learn from your singers in some of the best vocal groups in the world or if you simply want to come to know these people a bit better, LACF festivals are a great opportunity to broaden your horizon. There’s plenty of information on the website and seminars from „Complete Vocal Technique“ (Tine Fris/Postyr, DEN) to „Melodyne“(Erik Bosio/Cluster, ITA)
  4. High Tea – you and your friends should book have a VERY British „tea ceremony“, preferably around Covent Garden. London prices, but – according to most LACF 2012 High Tea participants, an unfogettable experience,
  5. Shoes – you may ask how shoes became so important at LACF. Well, first of all, there are two very different kind of shoes: Fashionable, mostly ladies’ shoes (extreme high-heel competition included) and running shoes (see further below under „Vocal Jog“). Always promoting the LACF shoes catwalk are high-heel afficionados Clare Wheeler (alto and party planner with The Swingle Singers), Tine Fris (singer, composer, arranger, teacher, booker etc. etc. etc. with Postyr Project) and Annemarie Homann (co-founder of The Single Singers).
  6. The Single Singers – Annemarie Homann and Emily May t’Hoen are the driving forces behind an incredible international project of planned spontaneous collective singing. They planned to visit LACF 2012 and somehow didn’t want to just listen, but sing themselves. And so they looked for more singers who wanted to do the same…and had a spectacular premiere at the King’s Place foyer in January 2012.  They did it again at The Real Group Festival in Stockholm in August 2012 and there have been similar projects at US a cappella events lately.
  7. The LACF t-shirt – look at the beautiful people at King’s Place who sell merchandise and help you out if you have any questions about LACF. They wear the official LACF shirt, which can be ordered online via

With The Exchange – from Baltimore 2012 to London 2013

As a matter of fact, there are at least 77 more things you shouldn’t miss at LACF, e.g. the London A Cappella Festival iPhone app, now available via iTunes, Swingles Bass Edward Randell’s „Woofer“ project, a choir consisting of more than twenty basses, the 2nd LACF VocalJog on Saturday morning AND: Seeing my dear friends and US acappella shooting stars The Exchange again, supporting the Swingle Singers on Saturday night. Woohoo!

Stay tuned via the London A Cappella Website, via Vocal Blog’s Facebook group and fanpage and on Twitter, hashtags #LACF2013, #LACFextra, #VocalJog.

And now I have to run to get some smuggled Swiss goods to Islington: The Ikon Arts ladies need some doping for the upcoming challenges!

I’m Florian „Superman“ (quote all the Swingles Ladies), „The Hugh Hefner of A Cappella“ (quote FORK), „Uncle Flo“ (quote The Boxettes), „He runs Europe“ (quote Dave Sperandio) Städtler and I am a very modest man giving my humble thoughts via my global vocal music communication baby, the Vocal Blog. Call me maybe, baby.

BigQ #0: The Ultimate A Cappella Life, The Universe and Everything Project

24. Dezember 2012 2 Kommentare

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder – inspired by Andrea Figallo (Wise Guys)

Andrea Figallo

Andrea Figallo is one of the most active, communicative, polyglot and sometimes provocative vocal music pros in Europe. His singing and beatboxing with The Flying Pickets and the German vocal supergroup Wise Guys (to name only a very few of his activities) has made him travel the world. His having Japanese in-laws even more opened up his eyes for different mindsets, habits and intercultural differences. No wonder, he reacted promptly when I tweeted about his new group’s relationship (or should I say non-relationship?) to the so-called a cappella community. It only took minutes and we were in the middle of discussing the ever-present “Big Questions” that always come up when we try to reflect on “vocal music”.

Andrea took the question of the relevance of original music to Facebook and in a few minutes again, nerds and “normal people” from Italy, Germany, Hungary and elsewhere started to add interesting points and opinions on multiple topics. I personally find the real time thread technique on Facebook fascinating, on the other hand, sometimes confusing and unefficient. So, having the luxury of a blog of my own, I decided to dig the nugget topics (“BigQs”) out of the mud of spontaneous interaction, reflect on them in order to create a starting point for a discussion and then invite both experts and the “John & Jane Doe” music listener to give their opinions on clearly defined questions.

I’ve gathered 9 basic questions as of today and would be delighted if you would add more or more specific questions to complete the debate. I hope to end up with something fascinating and priceless as “The Great A Cappella Debate” two years ago, when a Facebook post by Californian aca-fan Nate George about the wrong impression The Sing-off (season 1) gave about US vocal music caused one of most insightful discussions about a cappella I’ve yet come to see. We had people from more than 15 countries and members of Take Six, The Swingle Singers, The King’s Singers, The House Jacks as well as Deke Sharon and other people involved in The Sing-off giving their opinions and thoughts. Let’s hope this draft list will trigger something similar – it’s up to you!

How about a proper crowdsourcing project (bring on your opinions, your thoughts and theories!) combined with a serious attempt to research what has been said/blogged about these matters before and then summing it up in the first white paper/ebook? This digital summary will present the possible answers to the BigQs of a cappella and could be updated annually.So here is a first BigQ list of what from my experience most of us have discussed with different people and different outcomes more than once:

  1. What exactly is a cappella?
  2. How important are originals for vocal music?
  3. What makes (a cappella music) innovative?
  4. Does being innovative say anything about quality?
  5. Is there any connection between being innovative and being a mainstream success?
  6. What is mainstream success from the a cappella point of view?
  7. What would mainstream success mean for the a cappella community?
  8. Does the community want this kind of success (and its consequences) after all?
  9. Do vocal music nerds suffer from an a cappella reality distortion field?

Those who have read Douglas Adams’ clever, extremely funny and thoughtful book(s) “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” remember that the adventures of his heroes are closely connected to the hilarious quest for the answer to “The Ultimate Question – The Question of Life, the Universe and Everything”. The people who desperately wanted to know this answer waited 7.5 million years until a supercomputer their ancestors had programmed came up with the answer, which went like this: 42. That’s when they had to build another, even bigger computer to figure out what the actual question was.

So please, before I’m going to start the discussion with presenting the results of my research and some humble thoughts by myself, give me more, better, more precise and more inspiring questions. Questions which, once being answered, give you more certainty, energy and time to concentrate on what really counts: Doing things, implementing plans, writing music, composing originals, pushing your act, getting things done.

Good work and a better life starts with clear thinking. Let’s clarify a few things here during the next two weeks.

I’m Florian Städtler, age 42 (!) and passionate about a cappella. Being founder of my own artist booking agency SpielPlanVier, of my global vocal music conversation baby Vocal Blog and the first professional special interest online shop for all things a cappella, Acappellazone as well as Chairman of the Board of The European Voices Association (EVA), I have decided not be satisfied with my current status quo of half-knowledge. And so 2013 is the first of probably many years on the way to true mastery and insight in that peculiar music business niche we call a cappella, vocal or rhythmic choral music. Looking forward to an exciting journey, come on board!



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Wise Guys – Germany’s top-selling vocal group is looking for new bass

by Eddi Hüneke, Wise Guys

you may or may not have heard of us, the German a-cappella band Wise Guys. We perform mostly in Germany; our current album “Zwei Welten” just entered the German album charts at No. 3.

Our bass singer Ferenc will be leaving us at the end of the year and we would like to ask you for help. Is there anyone whom you know who might be interested and suitable? Our genre is vocal pop and we need a full-time professional bass singer who can lay a reliable foundation as far as tuning and groove is concerned, and do a bit of vocal percussion too. Also this man would have to be prepared to move to or near Cologne, Germany, from 2013 (but the pay is quite good ;)).

We would really appreciate if you could help us at all. Thanks a lot in advance, best wishes to you all. Application details can be found under, if you don’t speak German simply apply to with a picture and a link to a recording of your voice.”


Note from the editor (FSt): The Wise Guys are a German vocal music phenomenon. Their marketing, fanbase management is as impressive as their touring and talent for “Ohrwürmer”. If you want to have one of the five best-paid and busiest a cappella job in Europe (and can sing like a real bass ;) – try to get this job!

There’s tons of Wise Guys sheet music available at


6 Lessons from LACF 2012

by Florian Städtler on BA 753 from London Heathrow to Basel/Freiburg

London A Cappella Festival was a blast: A growing audience, a buzzing venue, an international line-up and an impressive number of vocal music movers and shakers from places as far as Taipeh, Toronto and Torino. The sheer joy of three days packed with concerts by some of the top artists of the genre, enthusiastic youngsters meeting the pros and the encounters with all those wonderful aca-family members rings on while the 2012 festival is over.

Any event that really meant something to us, leaves us with a kind of post-festival nostalgia, maybe a little hangover and the occasional farewell-miss-you-hope-to-see-you-all-again tweets and status updates. But it also leaves us with a lot of homework if we want to avoid telling this one favourite musicians’ lie: “Let’s do something together!” (The others are: “I’ll never drink again” – “I’ll give you the money back tomorrow” – “I really liked your solo” – “I’ll call you next week” etc.).  So here’s the lessons and the points of action that from my point of view will make London A Cappella Festival 2012 not only a temporary firework of musicality, expertise and camraderie but a step towards the development of our community including the occasional look outside the a cappella bubble, i.e. “the real world”:

  1. Education   There is an enormous demand from teachers, music teachers and even business consultants for tools that can help to improve music education as well as the development of social skills in all domains. Singing together is an immensely effective tool and our community has both the capability and the duty to make this tool accessible to as many people as possible.
  2. Face-to-Face Communication  The vocal music festival as a combination of concerts, educational events and social activities is the heart and soul of the community. It must be the goal to create ANNUAL events in as many countries, regions and cities as possible. And these events can start very small – it can take years to grow an audience, to find collaborators and to get heard in the media. Meeting people in person will always be the best, so bring on the a cappella events!
  3. Internationality   Our knowledge of how to improve and innovate is naturally limited. Some call it tunnel vision, some blame the daily grindstone. But only if we continually try to get a different, a somehow external perspective, we will truly improve and develop both the art form and the business models. We are lucky to already have established transcontinental communication and invitations, but now let’s turn it into concrete collaboration.
  4. Infrastructure   We now have three organisations covering Planet A Cappella: CASA (The Contemporary A Cappella Society) was founded on the US West Coast by the godfather of US vocal music, Deke Sharon in 1991. Due to 20 years of hard work and the latest mainstream media successes (Glee, Sing-Off, Straight No Chaser) CASA is stronger than ever and has developed attractive programs for approximately 600 members and 10.000 CASA account holders all over the US of A Cappella. Vocalasia was founded less than two years ago and their track record in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan is impressive to say the least. And by December 2012, EVA (The European Voices Association) has begun to work on the collaboration of existing organizations in more than 25 EU member countries. The first informal talks between the representatives of the organisations were very promising. They left us with the homework to make exchange of know-how and talent an ongoing, structured process.
  5. Out of the Comfort Zone   It’s quite cosy in the a cappella bubble, isn’t it? So full of festival-triggered endorphine, why would we want to change a thing at all? Let me tell you why: Because what we have seen yet, could be only the tip of the iceberg. What if Deke Sharon’s vision of an annual a cappella event “no farther than 2 hours drive from every US citizen” came true? What if Clare Chen‘s plan to open up the Chinese mainland market for international a cappella became reality? What if Peder Karlsson’s Real Academy was the vocal music educational web hub of Europe, Asia and the US? What if there was a single platform for worldwide a cappella resources and information? All these ideas are worthless….as long as we’re only talking about them. We need more people who really get things done. And getting things done means leaving the personal comfort zone: Raise money, cut red tape, lobby for your cause, make this unpleasant phone call.
  6. The Big Q was already mentioned above: A Cappella Coocoon vs. Dream of the Mainstream. As a cappella mentor Peder Karlsson said, “if you asked a taxi driver, he won’t be able to tell you the name of any vocal group”. Do we want this to change? Or would this destroy the a cappella family? And why not search for the Big A: The way to combine commercial success and community bliss? Let’s make this our common homework.

This blog post and

Deke’s “Tough Love” post has led to some interesting replies by peer bloggers, find the links to related articles here:

Jan 15 Vocal Blog – Florian Städtler „6 Lessons from LACF 2012“

Jan 16 CASA – Deke Sharon „Tough Love – Tough Market“ including comments by Peter Hollens, Willy Eteson, Florian Städtler

Jan 17 Vocal Blog – Florian Städtler “From Europe with (Tough) Love”  including comments by Mark Gregory, RJ Eckhart, Deke Sharon, Willy Etson

Jan 17 Acatribe – David Bernstein „Calling Out ‚Professional‘ Groups“

Jan 17 RJ A Cappella – Robert-Jon Eckhart „The Big Q“

Jan 19 CASA – Deke Sharon „So What Can I Do?“

Florian Städtler is founder Vocal Blog and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He can’t believe how quickly this blog has developed a following of wonderful, intelligent and nicely-smelling people. Thanks for sharing the greatest ideas and the latest aca-gossip with a growing number of vocal music enthusiasts. If you can’t get enough of this stuff and/or want to get in touch with almost 1000 a cappella buddies like Vocal Blog on Facebook. If you want to make us of Vocal Blog as a filter and aggregator of a cappella news, links, tipps and hilarious tweets, follow Vocal Blog on Twitter.

If you want to sell and/or buy stuff online, go to Acappellazone or write to If you think there is a video of high quality of exceptional artistry, let us know so that we can post it on the Acappellazone YouTube channel.

If you like face-to-face communication (like 4-hour candle light dinners or after party allnighters), I agree: This is the best way to communicate. So let’s stay in touch via social media and meet in person when Vocal Blog goes on tour: See you in Stockholm!