Well, I should be out catching moosebutter at the Nomad Theater performance tonight,
but my wife says, "Not again. You've been acappelling every night this week," .
. etc. so we're having a quiet evening and I'm taking a few minutes out to make
this brief report before she misses me.
I'm just going to cover a few notes: lots going on here and lots more coming
up. We've had a pretty successful late summer and fall, with the busiest a cappella
schedule I've seen since I moved to Colorado. Things seem to been coming back
up after a long dry spell since we got into the 21st Century. There were almost
40 performances in our late summer calendar through October, about 2/3 of them
free community events. I'm sure there were more, because we don't get the word
on everything, although it's getting better all the time. The quarterly "Colorado
Songster" goes to 1400 subscribers every quarter, with more requests coming in
all the time.
About 4 new CDs by Colorado groups have been recently announced and two of those
have held release parties as part of our "Bolder A Cappella" series. The colleges
are back up with some new or rejuvenated ensembles and the fall, although slow
getting started, seems to be moving into a very active year.
This summer's Rocky Mountain Vocal Jazz Camp (which featured more a cappella
than ever), was the best in its 7-year history. Unbelievably talented faculty
working with incredibly talented kids, some from as far away as New York, but,
good to see, still mostly Coloradans, many on scholarships. Julie Williams (UNC
grad) runs a solid program, with visiting faculty like . . well, I can't go into
details here, but I may attach a pdf of the report which runs in our fall newsletter
and has a lot to talk about.
Current activities include a first visit to the BAC series from our standout
UNC VJ Jazz Studies activity up north. The Northern Colorado Voices perform for
the first time in our 5-year history. A signal event; real credentials in that
group of seven. A new high school octet, "6 Guys named Blake," had a great first
show at a Denver Metro bistro (yes, kids in a bar -- this is the Wild West) and
wowed the folks with their solid sound and talent. Another school group, "Raging
Harmonies" is in the big time now, opening for Deepak Chopra (how did they get
that?) and performing for the CO Assn of School Boards next month. A North Texas
State a cappellist has replaced our talented but retired Dave Filsinger at the
Air Academy HS in CO Springs. Jim Graves sounds really promising. Oh, and we're
redesigning our website, where you can find much of this information as it's
published, along with a directory of 30 (so far) participating a cappella groups
by size, style, level of accomplishment, etc. with contact names, phone numbers,
email and websites. That's going to take a lot of pressure off me looking for
groups to perform. It's www.cvjs.org if you want to take a look at our progress.
Looking down the road, it's a busy year for sure. Lots of a cappella Holiday
shows scheduled; you probably saw our announcement about Harmony Sweeps; I'm
presenting ideas to the CO Music Educators in January (with Take
6); Deke Sharon
will be there with me; InPulse from Minneapolis will be touring schools in February;
after the Sweeps we gear up for several festivals including high school competitions
(with more and more a cappella with the VJ); the Metro State Jazz Festival in
early April, followed by the granddaddy of them all for out here, the UNC Jazz
Studies Music Festival, featuring three days of a cappella and VJ, along with
the New York Voices and many talented clinicians. In May we're hosting the national
meeting of the 12 a cappella groups in the American A Cappella Alliance, a consortium
of avocational ensembles from across the country. The opening night features
Groove Society and m-pact (we're gonna knock their socks off) with participant
concerts and workshops all weekend (wanna come? It's May 5-7, 2006).
Meanwhile, one of our steady groups, Curious
Gage, has regrouped and will be
making another try for the Rocky Mountain Harmony Sweeps championship. The barbershoppers
are looking to a big year with international events in Denver next summer.
Come to Colorado! Ski and a cappellize!
[Gotta get back to the quiet conversation with Bev.]