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Contemporary A Cappella Arranging in Ten Steps

May 1, 2017

By Deke Sharon Contemporary a cappella has been around for over two decades, resulting in a dynamic and rhythmic sound that differentiates it from barbershop, doo wop, close harmony, and other a cappella styles. Here’s how I create great contemporary a cappella arrangements using a tried and true ten-step formula! 1) Choose a Song Avoid […]

Five Steps of Rehearsal

By Dr. J.D. Frizzel Over the years, I have developed my own unique way to rehearse contemporary a cappella groups. As the director of OneVoice from Briarcrest Christian School, I have had the privilege of working with some incredibly talented and dedicated singers. During this time, I honed a process to introduce new pieces, rehearse […]

Repertoire: Essential Vocal

By Dave Sperandio In the last few years, contemporary a cappella music has exploded in popularity. Movies like Pitch Perfect, shows like NBC’s The Sing Off, and artists like Pentatonix have brought popular vocal music to the top of the charts and generated a lot of interest in the style of music. A great deal […]

So How Do I Learn More?

By John DeFerraro Over the course of this issue of Choral Director, we have laid the foundation for how you can approach the contemporary a cappella world, from specific rehearsal tips, to arranging advice, and exemplary recordings that are inspirational! However, the next step you should take is to connect yourself to the a cappella […]

We Never Talk Anymore

By Tom Merrill Once upon a time, a music teacher had a really bad day. They decided to pick up their spirits by buying a brand-new sports car and going for a long relaxing drive up in the mountains. Just as a particularly sharp turn was approaching, another car came careening around the corner, directly […]


By Dr. J.D. Frizzell Contemporary a cappella is the fastest growing trend in music education today. As a choir director, this is exciting to me because a cappella singing promotes individual musicianship, confidence, tone, blend, balance, intonation, and much more– all while being, well…cool. One of the biggest missteps I see is when a choral […]

The Balancing Act

By Brody McDonald Most singers have the basic knowledge that they can’t sing every note the same way. Many high school singers are limited to a “concert choir” experience. They probably have made it as far as “solo vs. choir” or “moving parts sing louder.” These are good concepts. Combined with dynamics, they are a […]

Accompanying: On and Off the Page

By Fred Bogert The other night I was providing the piano accompaniment for a combined choir that had gathered for an Easter week service. The director was a fine young fellow who worked in the music program at a local high school. He was well-versed in choral conducting techniques, admirably displayed as he encouraged the […]

As Easy as ACB: A Cappella Basics

Nine years ago, several young men in my program approached me to start an extracurricular ensemble. They had a profound appreciation for traditional choral repertoire; however, they hungered for a contemporary a cappella event. As a second-year teacher with virtually no contemporary a cappella experience (I think I attended one showcase in college), I was […]

The Rhinoceros

Or why you shouldn’t always tell your students the truth.

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