<![CDATA[The A Cappella Blog]]> http://acappellablog.com/ The A Cappella Blog en Copyright 2017 2017-03-27T00:41:32-04:00 <![CDATA[Intro Videos]]>http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/intro-videos http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/intro-videos

Reason #124: Intro Videos

As cameras, video editing software, and the A/V capabilities of a wide range of performance venues have improved, so has the use of intro videos to lead off a cappella shows.

An intro video can communicate a great deal about a group’s personality, whether it’s quirky, macho, sensitive, or intense. A video sets the tone, establishes a level of professionalism, and makes the most of modern technology to give audience members the sense of a performance experience.

I love it!

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2017-03-23T04:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[All I Ask]]>http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/all-i-ask http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/all-i-ask

This week we present Centerville High School Forte performing Adele’s “All I Ask.”

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2017-03-21T04:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[Campus Booking Agents]]>http://acappellablog.com/campus-connections/campus-booking-agents http://acappellablog.com/campus-connections/campus-booking-agents

In this edition of Campus Connections, our focus is on: campus booking agents.

Whether it’s a professional in charge of coordinating entertainment for the campus community or a student affiliated with student government who coordinates booking events, most college campuses have someone (or some group of people) in charge of putting together large scale events for campus that may including bringing in speakers, comedians, magicians, or, of course, musical acts from afar to the college.

On the scale that I’m discussing, it’s unlikely that the booking agents would book your on-campus a cappella group to be a featured act, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t fold you into a major event as an opening act, or work with you to publicize the act they’re bringing in. Sharing a stage with a professional can be a wonderful way of providing you with a larger audience, not to mention possibly affording your group the opportunity to interact directly with a major act backstage and learn from them as artists. And even if it’s a matter of your group publicly singing a song by a major artist in a public spot to promote the fact that that artist is coming to campus, you have now inextricably linked yourself, in the minds of listeners, to that artist, which is not a bad association to create.

Campus booking agents ultimately hold a lot of sway over what the campus is listening to, watching, and, perhaps most importantly, what the campus community is getting excited about. Form a relationship with them, and it could elevate your group in any number of ways.

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2017-03-17T04:30:00-04:00
<![CDATA[Wild Transitions Between Songs]]>http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/wild-transitions-between-songs-1 http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/wild-transitions-between-songs-1

Reason #123: Wild Transitions Between Songs

Contemporary a cappella groups rarely entrench themselves in single, solitary genres. Particularly at the scholastic level, most of today’s groups traverse a range of genres, artists, and time periods to represent musical interests as diverse as those represented in the group (if not the entire audience).

When groups diversify their repertoires, they not only provide something to appeal to everyone, but also allow for wild, and wildly entertaining, transitions between songs. Consider, for example, The University of Georgia Accidentals’ 2012 ICCA Finals set. They started a high energy, highly choreographed version of Justin Beiber’s “Never Say Never,” mellowed out to a sterling take on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” then hit a modern groove on Parachute’s “Something to Believe In.” A set like this keeps audiences on their toes and accentuates the most powerful elements of each song based on how fundamentally <i>different</i> the sound and presentation was from the song that preceded it.

I love it!

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2017-03-16T03:30:00-04:00
<![CDATA[Use Somebody]]>http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/use-somebody-2 http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/use-somebody-2

This week, we present University of Arizona Amplified performing Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

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2017-03-14T04:00:00-04:00
<![CDATA[Let’s Archive, People]]>http://acappellablog.com/open-letters/lets-archive-people http://acappellablog.com/open-letters/lets-archive-people

Dear Competition and Festival Organizers,

Back in 2006, I had the idea of starting The A Cappella Blog. There were a lot of reasons to do so, but chief among them was a void in a cappella blogging. For while CASA and Varsity Vocals had great websites, RARB was doing an excellent job with reviews, and a handful of other outlets came and went, the a cappella world was missing a consistent archive of information, such as which group sang which songs when, let alone how well-received those performances or recordings were. So, we started our site on the idea of focusing on live event reviews and archiving as much as we could.

Fast forward a decade, and the Internet is a more comprehensive place. YouTube went from a fledgling video sharing site to the best-known of a group of user-friendly sites of its ilk, where, for a cappella purposes, a lot of groups have shared a lot of performances. Social media has advanced and aca-people have grown more adept at integrating their creative efforts with their Facebook and Twitter identities. On top of that, there are more a cappella-based websites, podcasts, and other media that have made an aca-world that is constantly expanding simultaneously feel smaller and all the more accessible.

Given that accessibility—that most of us involved in the a cappella world have some level of access and engagement with the Internet, we now expect to find access to information. And it’s maddening when we don’t have it.

For as the Internet has grown, so too has the field of a cappella festivals, competitions, and events. All great stuff, and I’d like to drive home that I so appreciate the folks who have invested countless, thankless hours to bring these events to life. But I’m here to ask you one additional favor.

In recent years, I’ve frankly been shocked at how difficult it is to find concrete information about a variety of shows. While some organizations like Varsity Vocals do a stand-up job of archiving who placed at competitions and won special awards, and the Contemporary A Cappella Society nicely publishes the results of the CARAs, there are a lot of other major shows and festivals that oddly enough don’t seem to keep a formal, public record of their results, including competition or award winners.

Neglecting to meaningfully archive results sells short both performers and the organizations behind shows. Taking the extra step to at least write a quick blog post that compiles results, if not building a sub-page in the organization’s site to archive this information, adds a sense of permanence and gravity to an accomplishment—it takes a sensational performance that resulted in a competition victory, for example, beyond the live audience and the group that earned the honor, to instead broadcast and maintain this result for the world to read.

Some food for thought.

Sincerely,

Mike

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2017-03-10T04:30:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Buying a Group's CD After the Show]]>http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/buying-a-groups-cd-after-the-show http://acappellablog.com/200-reasons-to-love-a-cappella/buying-a-groups-cd-after-the-show

Reason #122: Buying a Group’s CD After the Show

While plenty of people who sing a cappella will tell you they do so for the love of the art form and the joy of making music, money remains central to the <i>business</i> of a cappella. Whether a group performs at the scholastic level, semi-professionally, or as a legitimately professional act, money is key for studio time, live performance equipment, travel costs, and more.

Attending a group’s live performance is great, but there are few more impactful ways of supporting a group than by buying its CD (or, as is more common now, buying their digital album). Buying a CD after a show demonstrates an appreciation for the live performance and interest in taking the group’s work home to make it part of your personal life. In buying the CD, you’re supporting the group financially and artistically. Better yet, for your own good, you get to bring home an exciting collection of music that diverges from top 40 radio or the tracks iTunes pushes on its customers, instead capturing music that you’ve discovered firsthand via a live performance.

I love it!

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2017-03-09T05:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Hold Up]]>http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/hold-up http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/hold-up

This week, we present Bucknell University Two After Midnight performing Beyonce’s “Hold Up.”

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2017-03-07T00:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The Pentagrom App]]>http://acappellablog.com/cd-reviews/the-pentagrom-app http://acappellablog.com/cd-reviews/the-pentagrom-app

Pentagrom is a new app whose makers tout it for offering “real-time visual and auditory feedback of each note you play or sing.” The app is currently available for Android and iOS.

The makers of Pentagrom collaborated with The A Cappella Blog to reach out to real a cappella groups to get feedback on how the app works for their purposes. We’re pleased to share the responses. The reviews below come from members of Cornell University After Eight and Florida Institute of Technology’s A Cappella Choir, who were asked the guiding questions: 

1.As an a cappella singer, do you find Pentagrom useful? 

2. If so, for whom? For what? 

3) If not, why not?

Here's what these objective test users had to say:

Liz M. and Brianna C.: Yes, I find it useful. I think it can be useful for everyone because nobody sings perfectly all the time. It's useful for checking notes if you are unsure. I like the visual aspect in that you can see when you are not exactly on the note you want. When you see a different note on the app than what's on the page, you know you're out of tune, and you can see whether it's sharp or flat. If you see a bunch of notes jumping around the screen when you are only trying to sing one, you know that you're splattering on the note or you're using too much vibrato.

It wouldn't be useful for rhythm issues/learning because it only shows you notes. Some a cappella arrangements aren't note-intensive but some can be rhythm-intensive, and Pentagrom would only be able to show you that you're singing the right notes.

Emily B.: In theory, this app is a wonderful idea. However, its execution is far less spectacular. Some of the features, such as pitch-matching, were very helpful. The micro-tones feature included in the app is an excellent idea that I find very practically useful as a singer. It represents a unique opportunity to finesse my pitch which I would otherwise be unable to do. However, the app remains full of glitches and error messages (most in Spanish, despite selecting my native language of English), I was repeatedly prompted to unlock various functions despite already having access to the unlocked app in its entirety. As the director of my a cappella group, several members informed me that they were completely unable to make the app work for them. The price for full unlock is also remarkably steep considering the current functionality of the app. Although I would love to see how Pentagrom continues to grow and change, at this point further development appears to be the foremost concern in Pentagrom’s immediate future.

Sarah T.: This app is really creative and awesome, there are some things that I noticed that could be changed. However, the notes get laggy when you are singing. You can’t sing too fast or else it won’t pick up on the notes in between. Also, when you record something using the sound, and you sing the same note with a rhythm, it doesn’t play the note twice, it just holds the note out. It would be nice if the note would play twice in a row. The recording part works better when you do it by touching the notes on the screen. It could just be my phone but once in a while, when the app is not closed for a long time, the notes do not ring when you touch and hold them. They just beep once. During recording, when you switch in between two notes fast, sometimes it doesn’t pick up the note. If you were to sell it worldwide, it would be nice if you could have an option to switch between Do Re Mi, to C, D, E, so you can tell which letter note and which solfege it is.

Richard H.: It was confusing to figure out how to utilize the interface without instruction. Touch functions and the microphone function did not always work but were useful and interesting when they did. Error messages were frequent and never in the language I had selected. When this app is complete, it will be excellent.

Charlie S.: Pentagrom is a lovely idea on paper, but still needs some of its kinks ironed out. It does a good job of picking up and identifying played or sung notes, but has issues if multiple notes are played at once. In addition, they keyboard function malfunctions on occasion, requiring a restart of the app to work properly. Certain in app messages are still in Spanish, regardless of the localization choice. The notes of the solfege function do not shift when you change keys, making it harder to remember which note is actually your tonic (in addition to having no support for minor keys). The record function works excellently, as does the in ear feedback. Overall, it's an excellent idea for an app, that has some good groundwork and core features, but falls flat in execution, being clunky in operation.

Thomas W.: When the Pentagram code I was given was entered, the iStore said that the code entering was successful, but the locked features of the app were still locked. I tried reentering the code, but the iStore said that the code had at that point already been redeemed. In regards to the free features of the phone, the feature that plays the note tapped on the sheet music is simpler to use than a regular piano app. While one may select a new octave in the menu screen, it might be more user friendly if one could just scroll up and down to change the octave with having to stop and go to the menu. If the app could work without needing to have earbuds, that would also be more convenient.

Harris H.: Pentagrom, although a very useful idea, fails in performance. I was unable to hear any sound from pressing "keys" on the staff, the interface was clunky, the app needed your precise dexterity, and, although I had to change the language setting to my native language (English) every time I loaded the app, approximately half of all the text still appeared in Spanish.

The best part about this app, was its note detection from the user's voice, although it wasn't very responsive.

I was given a free copy of the full version of this app through my a cappella group, in exchange for a review. So, in terms of usefulness in a cappella, I can say the current state of the app is useful for finding your pitch, but accompaniment from another instrument will have to cover the app's aforementioned shortcomings.

Rebecca D.: The interface (while easy to understand for someone who is musically inclined) offers no instruction on how to proceed from the beginning of using it. There's no instructions or pointing out the features of the app, or explaining things to the user at all. You have to either figure it out on your own or watch video tutorials online to understand what the app does and how to use it. The key signatures for the note detection are all written in solfége, which is a little strange to a musician who can read. It only works with headphones, which renders it useless in a group setting, or if the user doesn't have earphones with a microphone on them. The ten-dollar micro-transaction to unlock all the features of this app seems a little wasteful, given that it seems that one could accomplish anything this app can with a minor knowledge of how to play a piano and any free desktop recording software. Without the in-app purchases, this app feels like a giant pitch pipe—which isn't a bad thing, just something you don't need two of.

Shelley M.: As a singer, I found Pentagrom very useful for pitch-matching. Normally, to find a note, I would sing the note and play keys on a piano app until I found the one that matched my pitch. With Pentagrom, I just have to sing the note and I get the precise pitch immediately. It is also useful when reading sheet music because you can immediately tell if what you're singing matches the notes in the piece. The micro-tones feature is very useful for exact pitch accuracy; as a singer, I want to be right on the center of a pitch, and this feature helps me to do so. Additionally, I found the extensive range of instrument sounds very impressive.

As for the things I didn't like, the app loads all of the pitch sounds every single time it is opened, which takes a little while and is slightly bothersome. Also, all of the pitch sounds were somehow automatically added to my phone's music library on four separate occasions, so I had to delete 88 twelve-second tracks from my phone four times. I don't know if this is a problem with the app or with my phone, but if it keeps happening, I may have to delete the app. Also, despite the fact that I have selected "English" as the language, some features and phone notifications are in Spanish.

In terms of improvements, perhaps there should be a search bar for selecting an instrument because there are so many of them and a search bar would make it easier to find a specific one. I know there are a few instructional videos online, but I personally would like a more in-depth description for the various features; maybe the app could have a button/menu feature with instructions for each component. A metronome feature might be nice as well. Lastly, the circles on the staff for pitches could be slightly bigger to accommodate for people's fingers.

Kristie B.: The app is very nicely laid out, having the clef on the main screen makes it easy to see what note is being sung and being able to click and play a note helps to give a starting note when singing a cappella. The app lay out can be confusing, better labeling of what tabs do would create a more user friendly app. Overall however it is useful and well thought out app.

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2017-03-03T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[California University of Pennyslvania Isolated Incident]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/california-university-of-pennyslvania-isolated-incident http://acappellablog.com/interviews/california-university-of-pennyslvania-isolated-incident
Incident

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are Isolated Incident & our quarterfinal is on March 4th, 2017 at Carnegie Mellon University.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group is still very young & has been around since the Spring 2015 semester. Last year was our first time competing in the ICCA competition.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We are competing this year because it’s super fun & another performance opportunity for our young group. We are hoping to give all of our members a fun, memorable experience as well as give the audience an awesome & alternative a cappella experience.

How is your group preparing for competition?

Last semester we really tried to work on blending & bonding as a cohesive group as well as finding our own unique sound. Once this semester starts, we are planning on having a weekend long boot camp, our normally scheduled weekly rehearsals, & extra-long Sunday rehearsals leading up to the competition. We want to find the perfect balance between having fun & not stressing out about it too much, but also working hard to give our best performance yet.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Progressive, versatile, and driven.

You can follow Isolated Incident using the information below:
Facebook: facebook.com/isolatedincident8 

Twitter: @ICEincident


 

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

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2017-03-02T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[It Is Well With My Soul]]>http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/it-is-well-with-my-soul http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/it-is-well-with-my-soul

This week, we present Brigham Young University Vocal Point performing “It Is Well With My Soul.”

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2017-02-28T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[SUNY Potsdam Stay Tuned]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/suny-potsdam-stay-tuned http://acappellablog.com/interviews/suny-potsdam-stay-tuned
Stay Tuned

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Stay Tuned! Our quarterfinal date is February 25th, 2017 at Hosmer Hall in Potsdam, NY.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Stay Tuned! Our quarterfinal date is February 25th, 2017 at Hosmer Hall in Potsdam, NY.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

Our members find that past ICCA performances have allowed us to bond and grow as a musical family, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity yet again. Our mission statement is to redefine a cappella; we hope to stand by this, performing a set that combines various genres and styles in a unique and wildly entertaining way! All we can ask is that this ICCA is as rewarding as those of the past, and that we get to meet some great people who share our love of music.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We voted upon and began to prepare our ICCA set. This winter break, we will be performing a tour on Long Island, encompassing old and new repertoire. Once we return to Potsdam for the semester, we will further rehearse music and choreography. 

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Vivacious, innovative, and exhilarating.

You can follow Stay Tuned online using the links below:

Website: http://www.staytunedacappella.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/StayTunedAcappella
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StayTunedAcappella/?fref=ts
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/search?q=stay%20tuned%20vocals&src=typd&lang=en


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2017-02-24T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Central Connecticut State University Divisi]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/central-connecticut-state-university-divisi http://acappellablog.com/interviews/central-connecticut-state-university-divisi

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are CCSU's Divisi and our quarterfinal is on February 25th at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

This is our 11th year as a group. We have been around since October 2005. Yes, we have competed in ICCA once before in 2014 as well as the BOSS Scholastic competition in 2013 and various other competitions around the state.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We hope to get our name out there in the competing world of a cappella and push ourselves to new limits as far as style and creativity. Winning is always great but our main focus is how we can improve as a group and we hope we get that with preparing for ICCA.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We are starting to learn our ICCA set each on our own over this winter break so that part learning isn't as difficult when we get back so we can focus on other aspects of our performance. 

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Our group can be described by these three words: unity, brotherhood, and professionalism.

You can visit CCSU Divisi on the web at www.ccsudivisi.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCSUDivisi, and on Twitter www.twitter.com/ccsudivisi.

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2017-02-23T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[University of Kansas Genuine Imitation]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-kansas-genuine-imitation http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-kansas-genuine-imitation
Genuine

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are Genuine Imitation and our quarterfinal is February 25th at Missouri State University.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group was founded in 2001 and we have competed in ICCA multiple times since then.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We are competing because we all have enjoyed the competitions in the past and we see it as great motivation to better ourselves and work to improve our sound each year. We took a lot of new singers in August, and we have been working hard to create an entirely different sound that is unique to this group of individuals. So we are hoping to bring something unique to ICCA this year while acclimating our younger members.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We started learning our ICCA set in late November. We had a few performances scheduled during that time, so the time we had allotted to ICCA prep was somewhat sporadic because we were preparing for those gigs. But now that the new semester has started we have learned our music and starting choreography. We also have a few weekend rehearsals scheduled where we get together, sing and do something fun like grab lunch or ice cream after. 

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Diverse, determined and funky.

You can follow Genuine Imitation online using the links below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kugenuineimitation/?fref=ts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/genuineimitationku/

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2017-02-23T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Salisbury University Squawkappella]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/salisbury-university-squawkappella http://acappellablog.com/interviews/salisbury-university-squawkappella
Squawk Fam

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Squawkappella; February 25th, 2017.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

We have been around since 2007 and yes we have been competing for quite a few years, now!

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We are hoping to diminish the idea that we are underdogs and wow the judges with our awesome set. It would be really awesome to go to semi's!

How is your group preparing for competition?

We are holding two weekend-long winter rehearsals over our winter break in January. These weekends are very long and intensive, and we use this time to fine tune our music and learn choreography!

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Fierce, 

You can follow Squawkappella online using the information below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squawkappella?fref=ts

Twitter: @Squawkappella

Instagram: @Squawkappella

Website: Squawkappella.wixsite.com

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2017-02-22T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[University of Florida Tone Def]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-florida-tone-def http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-florida-tone-def

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Tone Def A Cappella of the University of Florida. February 25, 7pm, the Phillips Center at UF.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group was established in 2012, so we've only been around for a few years.  Despite being a novice group, we've competed in a few competitions, including ICCA, and won first place in Hispanic Heritage Month Talent Show two years running.  We've competed in ICCA for the past three years and are looking forward to our fourth.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We make it a goal to compete in ICCA every year; not only does it help unify the group towards one objective, but it is also a great learning opportunity, for both new and experienced group members.  The newer members are given a chance to experience the magic of performing for a large audience in a professional setting, while the more experienced members can learn and be inspired by the creative choices made by the other groups performing.  

How is your group preparing for competition?

We've done a lot of work in preparation for this time of year - working together to form a set that really shows off who we are, arranging those songs to fit our sound, and choreographing the staging to help elevate our music.  Now, it's just a matter of mastering it all through our weekly rehearsals.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be? 

Unpredictable, unreserved, and competitive.

You can follow Tone Def using the information below:

Our website: www.uftonedef.com

Facebook: /tdacappella

Twitter/Instagram: @tdacappella

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2017-02-22T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Passionflower]]>http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/passionflower http://acappellablog.com/tuesday-tubin/passionflower

This week, we present Port Washington High School Limited Edition performing Jon Gomm’s “Passionflower.”

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2017-02-21T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[UC Berkeley Dil Se]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/uc-berkeley-dil-se http://acappellablog.com/interviews/uc-berkeley-dil-se

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Our group name is UC Berkeley Dil Se, and our quarterfinal is taking place on February 25 in Redwood City, CA.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Dil Se was founded in 2004 as UC Berkeley's first South Asian Fusion a cappella group. We have competed in ICCA in the past, the most recent time being at last year's quarterfinal hosted in Berkeley, where one of our singers won the Best Soloist Award for the night. 

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

This year, our team has a lot of new members who are especially excited about ICCA.  We've done a lot of basic training and rebuilding, so ICCA is a very special opportunity for us to showcase new talents.    

How is your group preparing for competition?

We are continuing with three practices a week to perfect our pieces and make sure everyone is getting excited for the competition!

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be? 

Our group is: exciting, dedicated, and like a family.

Dil Se's new website is available at ucberkeleydilse.com, and our Facebook page is available at facebook.com/ucberkeleydilse.

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2017-02-21T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[University of Delaware Vocal Point]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-delaware-vocal-point http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-delaware-vocal-point
Vocal Point

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Vocal Point, Februaty 25th, 2017.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Vocal Point has been around since 1998 and we have competed for the past several years.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

This year we are competing to keep challenging ourselves and produce great music and a great set.  We have added 5 new members (or newbs) to the group this year and they are all so excited to get their feet wet in the ICCA competition season.  We hope to accomplish an exciting set all while making the group better as a whole and the members better as individuals.  We believe competition season really allows us to put our best foot forward and become the best group of musicians and friends we can be. 

How is your group preparing for competition?

To prepare for the competition, we have been arranging and performing songs throughout the Fall semester.  We are always doing concerts and gigs because we believe any performance opportunity can better our skills for the ICCA and beyond.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Fun, Supportive and Dedicated.

You can follow Vocal Point online vocalpointud.com, or on Facebook as Vocal Point, or on Twitter @vocalpointud. 

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2017-02-20T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The Johns Hopkins University Notes of Ranvier]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-johns-hopkins-university-notes-of-ranvier http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-johns-hopkins-university-notes-of-ranvier

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Our group is called the Johns Hopkins Notes of Ranvier and we are competing on February 25th.

 How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

This is our third official year as a group, and this will be our second time competing in the ICCAs.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We’re competing this year since we had so much fun performing at the quarterfinals last time, and singing at the ICCAs allows our group to gain more competition experience. We hope to place at quarterfinals this year, and perform a better set than we did last year in terms of both vocals and choreography.

How is your group preparing for competition?

All competing members came back to Johns Hopkins during our winter break in order to rehearse four times per week in preparation for the ICCAs.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

I would describe our group as quirky, animated, and close-knit.

You can follow The Notes of Ranvier using the information below: 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jhunotesofranvier

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPe_JiVgszE4IJM7vX4kw6g

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2017-02-20T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The SUNY Binghamton Harpur Harpeggios]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-suny-binghamton-harpur-harpeggios http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-suny-binghamton-harpur-harpeggios
Harpur Harpeggios

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are the Harpur Harpeggios, or more commonly known as The Pegs. Our quarterfinal is February 25th, in Potsdam, NY. 

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group has been around since 1983. We have competed before, with the most recent competition being in 2013.
 
Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We're competing this year because we feel that we have grown so much in the past few years. Musically, we have been able to formulate a sound that we are extremely happy with. We're extremely proud of how far we have come. We're excited that we have the opportunity to compete this year, as it will be most of the group members' first times performing in the ICCAs. Our goal is to make it past quarterfinals, but ultimately we are just so grateful for this experience and we hope that it helps us to become even better performers.
  
How is your group preparing for competition?

We have created a completely new set for this competition that is unlike anything we have ever done before. It's a bit difficult to be learning something so new and so different with a fairly short amount of time, but we think that it's going to be worth it. We're going to start learning our new set over winter break, and then have some hardcore rehearsals once the spring semester starts!

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Three words to describe our group would be, supportive, determined, and empowering.

You can visit the Harpur Harpeggios online using the information below:

Our website is http://thepegs.wixsite.com/the...

Our Facebook page is Harpur Harpeggios

Our Twitter username is HarpurHarpeggio

Our Instagram username is harpurharpeggios

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2017-02-19T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The Ohio State of Mind]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-ohio-state-of-mind http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-ohio-state-of-mind
Osm

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are OSM a Cappella (also known as The Ohio State of Mind), and our quarterfinal date is February 25th in Centerville, Ohio.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

OSM a Cappella was founded in 2010 as "Key of Gee", so we have been around for about 7 years now. We started competing in 2013, and last year was the first year that we placed -- we were 3rd place in our quarterfinal!

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

Our goal is to advance to semifinals this year, and we hope to further develop our group's performance and musical abilities. We also look forward to sharing our love of music with the other groups participating, and to watching groups from other schools perform.

How is your group preparing for competition?

To prepare for competition, we try to learn our music as early as possible, so that we can focus on the big picture as the competition gets closer. This also makes choreography much easier to learn. Our goal is to be able to work on our expression and performance of our set to the best of our ability.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be? 

Three words that accurately describe our group are: ambitious, dedicated, and silly!

You can visit Ohio State of Mind's website at www.osmacappella.com and stay up to date with them via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/OSMacappella/about/?entry_point=about_section_header&ref=page_internal), Twitter (https://twitter.com/osmacappella) and Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/c/OSMaCappella).

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2017-02-19T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[University of Central Missouri Rainbow Tones]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-central-missouri-rainbow-tones http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-central-missouri-rainbow-tones
Rainbow Tones Selfie Talent Show 2016

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Our name is Rainbow Tones.  We will be performing on February 25.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

We have been around for four years.  We competed at the ICCA for the first time last year (Spring of 2016).

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We had a fantastic experience performing last year and all of our group members were interested in doing it again.  This competition is a great bonding experience for our members, and it helps us learn and grow as performers.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We started learning our set list for the show at the very beginning of the Fall semester of this year, and we have already learned a bit of choreography, as well.  We will continue to refine our singing technique and overall performance in the first few months of the Spring semester before the competition to make sure that everyone is comfortable with their individual parts.  We are also fundraising like crazy so we can afford the trip.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Love is love.

You can follow Rainbow Tones on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/RainbowTonesUCM/?fref=ts

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2017-02-18T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The University of British Columbia Fantastic Beats]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-university-of-british-columbia-fantastic-beats http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-university-of-british-columbia-fantastic-beats
Beats

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Our group is called The Fantastic Beats and our quarterfinal is on February 25th.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group, as a composite made of many singers in an a cappella club in University of British Columbia, was formed this past September. In UBC A Cappella there are four main a cappella groups and The Fantastic Beats is made up of members from all four groups all with various years of singing experience.

Most of our members have little to no experience experience in competition a cappella.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

Our group's main goal is to grow together musically through this new competition experience. We look forward to creating long lasting memories with each other and sharing our passion for music with others.

How is your group preparing for competition?

As competition draws near we hold two two-hour practices weekly, focusing on music and choreography respectively. Individual voice parts also hold their own sectionals weekly/biweekly outside of rehearsal times.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Describing our group with three words: fun, dynamic, contributive.


You can follow University of British Columbia a cappella using the information below:

Website: Www.ubcacappella.com

Facebook: Www.facebook.com/ubc.acappella

Twitter: @ubcacappella

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2017-02-18T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The MIT Chorallaries]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-mit-chorallaries-1 http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-mit-chorallaries-1

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are the Chorallaries of MIT! We’re competing at the February 18th quarterfinal in NYC.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Our group was founded in 1976. We actually just celebrated our 40th anniversary with a big concert where alumni from all different generations (including one of our founders) came back to perform again. We’ve been competing in ICCAs and local competitions since long before I was in the group. It’s always been something that has pushed us to be better performers.

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We have been a competitive group for a few decades now, but we are really striving to improve our musicality and competitiveness as the collegiate a cappella community becomes a more mainstream entity. We work really hard and think we have something really special to show for it, so we want to compete and display the results of all of our efforts! We’re hoping that the experience pushes us to the next level in terms of our stage presence and musicality as a group, and so far the pressure of preparing has been really helpful for promoting improvement within the group.

How is your group preparing for competition?

Our music directors started arranging our set over the summer, and as soon as we were all back together for fall semester, we started rehearsing. We also perform a lot in our area in addition to regular rehearsals, so every time we have the opportunity to showcase what we’ve been working on is an opportunity for us to take feedback from that and get better. We do all of our own arrangements and choreography, so any outside feedback we get is really helpful, so we’ll often have local alums help us review our work at rehearsals or gigs.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Nerds sing too!

You can follow The Chorallaries one at the links below:

www.choral.mit.edu

https://www.facebook.com/ChorallariesOfMIT

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2017-02-17T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[University of Connecticut A Minor]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-connecticut-a-minor http://acappellablog.com/interviews/university-of-connecticut-a-minor
A Minor

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Hello! We are A Minor, the University of Connecticut’s premiere co-ed a cappella group, and we are competing in the Northeast region Quarterfinal on February 25, 2017 at RPI.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

We were founded in 2004 by a small group of friends from the Asian American Cultural Center on campus who simply loved making music with one another. This is our first time ever competing in the ICCAs and we could not be more thrilled!

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

A Minor has always been a passionate group and we thrive on the challenge to better ourselves. However, our current group might be one of the strongest, closest, most driven groups in our history. We are now at a point where a majority of us have been in the group for at least one year, and we are ready to take it to the next level. In addition to this, we want to branch out into the a cappella world! We look forward to having a fantastic time competing and forming new connections within this amazing international a cappella community.

Our ultimate goal going into the ICCAs is to share our passion for music and love of performing with the audience! We’re excited to have this opportunity and are going to give this competition all we’ve got!

How is your group preparing for competition?

A lot of careful planning and preparation goes into making sure we create a schedule that will prepare us for our competition. We typically have two rehearsals a week, but because we have so much to accomplish in a short amount of time, we are also having weekly sectionals to reinforce the musical aspects of our set. We try and leave a little space between our rehearsals and sectionals each week because rehearsing takes a lot of energy. Rest and recuperation will be crucial to doing our best and keeping ourselves focused during these next few weeks.

Additionally, we have been hard at work crafting a set that will show off our strengths, while creating a story that the audience can easily follow and relate to. Each song in our set is unique and powerful in its own way, and we are going to highlight these aspects through our performance. We will be taking the time to analyze the meaning of what we’re singing and the message we’re trying to send, allowing us to channel our emotions into our performance and clearly conveying our story to every member of the audience. The weeks leading up to our competition will be intense, but we are confident that with hard work and determination we can make this our best performance yet!

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Our group is a passionate, dedicated family. Our set is empowering, introspective, and honest.

You can follow A Minor using the information below:

Website: http://uconnaminor.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uconnaminor/

Twitter: @uconn_aminor

Instagram: @uconnaminor

Snapchat: uconnaminor

AMinor also recently released a new album, Ignite, available now on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify!

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/L5fJgb

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4r1bc93d2fCEdz9773ssfG

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2017-02-17T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Texas Christian University License to Trill]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/texas-christian-university-license-to-trill http://acappellablog.com/interviews/texas-christian-university-license-to-trill
Tcu

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

License to Trill | February 18, 2017 @ The Riley Center, Fort Worth, TX

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

This is our group's second year in existence as well as our second year competing. 

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We are competing simply because we believe that competition breeds excellence and because we want to share our music with the world. Winning is great and fun and awesome, but we are competing because we love a cappella music and because we believe that connecting with people through music is the most incredible experience that exists.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We rehearse between 6-8 hours a week, and have perfected all of our music as we move into our month long winter break.

 If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Fierce, intense bangers!

You can follow License to Trill on Facebook at TCU License to Trill, on Twitter @tcu_l2t, and on Instagram @tcu_l2t.

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2017-02-16T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The Towson Trills]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-towson-trills http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-towson-trills

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are The Towson Trills AKA The Trills. We are competing at JHU on February 25th and we are so excited!

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

We’re celebrating out one year anniversary! We have never competed before seeing as we haven’t been around very long at all but we are so excited to compete and sing with the rest of the a cappella community!

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

We are competing because this is our dream and we’ve always wanted to be able to say we’ve done something as amazing as this. We want to show people that if you work hard and do what you love that you can accomplish anything. And we are definitely going to be working as hard as possible.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We are using our regularly scheduled rehearsals and are not accepting as many performance requests. Our choreographer Katie Sacha is researching previous winners of ICCAs, as well as other professional groups and is using that to help us create our own choreo style. Our music director Leroy Hyson is constantly challenging us with new techniques and honing our sound. Our beatboxer Aaron Bayne went to camp a cappella and learned beatboxing under Richard Steighner and is constantly working on new sounds for our set. Abby Reinhold is keeping our social media presence active and the rest of us are doing some behind the scenes things to keep the group running and keep our active status on campus. Harmony Reichert also attended a workshop with Deke Sharon to get some tips and tricks for competition. 

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Three words for both our group and our set would be Epic. Passion. Party.

You can follow The Trills on all social media (Facebook/instagram/twitter/youtube) under Towson Trills

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2017-02-15T04:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[The University of Waterloo Interdudes]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-university-of-waterloo-interdudes http://acappellablog.com/interviews/the-university-of-waterloo-interdudes

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are the Musical Interdudes and our performance date is February 25th!  

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

The Musical Interdudes were founded in Spring 2014 and this is our first time competing!

Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

The Dudes have been establishing ourselves as one of the main groups within the acapella club at The University of Waterloo and we were excited to see how far our skills can go at the ICCA. We also want to take this as an opportunity to witness some of the great talent all over North America! This also serves as a great opportunity to learn and use this experience to elevate each other to greater heights.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We've added extra weekend rehearsals to our regular schedule specifically to prep our ICCA set. We are also working on Choreography structuring to make sure our set is cohesive and flows well from start to finish. The more practice the better, we want to show our best at competition!

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be? 

Quirky, Humorous, Intense.

You can follow The Interdudes on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/TheMusicalInterDudes/

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2017-02-15T03:00:00-05:00
<![CDATA[Pace University Tonal Recall]]>http://acappellablog.com/interviews/pace-university-tonal-recall http://acappellablog.com/interviews/pace-university-tonal-recall

In honor of the 2017 ICCA tournament, The A Cappella Blog pursued short interviews with competing groups to develop insights into why and how groups approach competition, and to get appropriately excited for the tremendous shows ahead of us.

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

We are named Tonal Recall. We're the only a cappella group at Pace University. This year, we'll be competing in the Northeast Quarterfinal at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on February 18th.

How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

Tonal Recall was started about 3 years ago by our current president. We have performed at multiple events around our university and at other invitationals held by other schools. This is our first year competing in ICCA.
 
Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

Since our group was established only 3 years ago, we have been focusing on building our repertoire and finding our group's sound. Since this is our first year competing, we're hoping to better our arrangements and performance quality while meeting more groups in the area and making a name for ourselves in the process. We're looking forward to the event and hope to learn a lot while competing and watching our competitors.

How is your group preparing for competition?

We've been trying to create a setlist that will showcase our members, our talents, and who we are as a group overall. Rehearsing multiple times a week, we have  different members arranging and blocking each song so that everyone has a hand in the final performance piece.

If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

Unique, Reflective, Powerful.

You can follow Tonal Recall using the information below:

Website: http://tonalrecall.wixsite.com/tonal-recall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaceTonalRecall/
Twitter: @tonal_recall
Instagram: tonal_recall

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2017-02-14T08:00:00-05:00