Tag Archives: Deke Sharon

2015 Sing-Off Tour with Guest Groups

Hey, AcaFans! Sing-Off Tour is up and running, and we can personally confirm that this is a show not to be missed!


Because we love you, we’ve compiled a list of all the special guests we have been able to confirm for each of the dates.  We’ll be updating as we get more info, or let us know what we missed.

Get your regular and VIP tickets at www.singofftour.com, and we’ll see you out on the Tour!

Feb 17 Turning Stone Casino Verona, NY Overboard
Feb 18 Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium Providence, RI Ball in the House
Feb 19 Best Buy Theater New York, NY Traces
Feb 20 Count Basie Theater Red Bank, NJ Princeton Footnotes
Feb 21 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA Pitch Slapped
Feb 22 American Music Theater Lancaster, PA Princeton Footnotes
Feb 23 UB Center for the Arts Amherst, NY UR Yellowjackets
Feb 24 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
Feb 25 NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY Blue Jupiter
Feb 26 Proctors Schenectady, NY UR Yellowjackets
Feb 27 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT
Feb 28 The Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE Melodores
Mar 1 Kewwick Theatre Glenside, PA Melodores
Mar 2 The Wilbur Boston. MA Melodores
Mar 3 Community Arts Center Williamsport, PA Melodores
Mar 4 Sands Bethlehem Event Center Bethlehem, PA Melodores
Blue Jupiter
Mar 5 Memorial Auditorium Raleigh, NC Melodores
Mar 6 Chrysler Hall Norfolk, VA Melodores
Mar 7 Warner Theatre Washington, D.C. Melodores
Traces of Blue
Mar 8 North Charleston Performing Arts Center North Charleston, SC Melodores
Mar 9 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Atlanta, GA Melodores
Mar 10 King Center for the Performing Arts Melbourne, FL
Mar 11 The Mahaffey St. Petersburg, FL The Edge Effect
Mar 12 Coral Springs Center for the Arts Coral Springs, FL
Mar 14 Saenger Theatre Mobile, AL
Mar 15 Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN Melodores
Timothy’s Gift
Mar 16 Tennessee Theatre Knoxville, TN Melodores
Mar 17 Von Braun Civic Center Auditorium Huntsville, AL Committed
Mar 18 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
Mar 19 DeVos Music Hall Grand Rapids, MI
Mar 20 Bogart’s Cincinatti, OH
Mar 21 Hobart Arena Troy, OH Eleventh Hour
Mar 22 House of Blues Chicago, IL Gentleman’s Rule
Mar 24 Playhouse Square – Connor Palace Cleveland, OH Forte
Mar 25 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY Melodores
Forefront Quartet
Mar 26 Murat Theater Indianapolis, IN
Mar 27 Crystal Grand Music Theatre Wisconsin Dells, WI
Mar 28 Riverside Theatre Milwaukee, WI
Mar 29 Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN
Mar 31 Peoria Civic Center Peoria, IL
Apr 1 Adler Theatre Davenport, IA
Apr 2 Peabody Opera House St. Louis, MO
Apr 3 Midland Theatre Kansas City, Mo
Apr 4 Ogden Theatre Denver, CO MOTIVE
Apr 6 Moore Theatre Seattle, WA The Coats
Apr 7 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR On the Rocks
Apr 8 The Warfield San Francisco, CA SanFran6
Apr 9 Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Santa Rosa, CA SanFran6
Apr 10 Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno, NV Evoc
Apr 12 Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA The Filharmonic
Apr 13 House of Blues San Diego, CA The Filharmonic
Apr 14 Fox Performing Arts Center Riverside, CA The Filharmonic
Apr 15 Yavapai College Performance Hall Prescott, AZ
Apr 17 The Golden Nugget Las Vegas, NV
Apr 19 The Moody Theater Austin, TX  Clearly Vocal
Apr 20 The Majestic Theater Dallas, TX TEN
Apr 21 Bayou Music Center Houston, TX TEN




Introducing “The Sing-Off” Season 5 Competitors

Despite being pretty disappointed that Season 5 of The Sing-Off is a single, 2-hour special, we are super excited for the groups that made it in!

For those of you who don’t know, The Sing-Off is a reality show competition for a cappella singing groups. Probably its most famous winners to-date are Pentatonix from Season 3 in 2011, but last year’s Season 4 winners Home Free seem to be holding their own with their a cappella and country fans. Whatever gets a cappella out to the masses, it’s all good to us.

With the format change comes a change in the judging line-up (Twitter links included).  Shawn Stockman and Jewel return, but our favorite, nerdtastic  Ben Folds, will be replaced with Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump.

As always, we are happy to share our compilation of group information and contacts so you can get to know the groups in advance.

The Sing-Off Season 5 Competitors

If you don’t want to individually follow all the Twitter accounts, you can just subscribe to our AcaSingOff Season 5 Twitter list that does it for you.

Please keep in mind that errors in this post are entirely our own doing, and we are more than happy to make corrections, changes, or additions if you notify us!

And with that, here we go (in alphabetical order)….

A cappella + electronic music? We’re totally in! This will be new for strictly Sing-Off fans, so keep an open mind for looping and effects, still all made with only the human voice.

Members: Nimal Eames-Scott, Paul Homes (Bass), Jacob Reske, DJ Stanfill, Jackson Thea
Twitter: @thisisAsquared
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thisisasquared
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/thisisasquared
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thisisasquared

Watch them do their stuff live here:

Seems like there is always one group on The Sing-Off with alums from a previous season, and this one is it.  You’ll recognize Jamal and Aaron from the University of Rochester Yellowjackets (Season 3) and Richard from Urban Method (Season 3), plus Chris worked as a TSO vocal producer, and Fredo recorded studio tracks for TSO theme music.

Members: Alfredo AustinChristopher Diaz (Bass), Jamal Moore, Aaron Sperber, Richard Steighner (VP)
Website: www.exchangevocal.com
Twitter: @exchangevocal
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exchangevocal
YouTube: www.youtube.com/exchangevocal
Instagram: www.instagram.com/exchangevocal

The Exchange have a couple of albums, bunches of  videos, and they tour extensively, often overseas, with a very loyal following. Here is the video for their original song “Kerosene,” which really shows off their individual personalities.

3. MELODORES (Vanderbilt University)
All-male, collegiate a cappella – it wasn’t a matter of if, but who. And this year we’re not disappointed because we already stalk follow the Melodores.

Members:  Jonathan Amaro-Barron, Hollis Cuffie, Cameron David, Austin Lyons, Jamal Marcelin, James McHugh, Dan McNeil, Ted Moock, Augie Phillips, Nikhil Ramaprasad, Justin Riele, William Woodard 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vanderbiltmelodores
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/VanderbiltMelodores
Instagram: www.instagram.com/vanderbiltmelodores

And here are the Melodores with “Talk Dirty” (opb Jason Derulo):

In case it wasn’t obvious, these folks hail from the great San Francisco (“The City,” as they say).

Members: Cherilyn Acorda, Danny Cavero, Del Lazaro (Bass), Jaron Liclican, Kevin Redrico, Jess Walsh
Twitter: @sf6official
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sanfran6
YouTube: www.youtube.com/sanfran6

Newly posted vocal trailer right here:

We are personally just meeting the women of Timothy’s Gift, but what a meaningful mission they have – bringing #HOPE to prisons.

Members:  Brianne Angarole, Emily Angarole, Melissa Greene (Hope Curator and Leader of TG), Abby Lane Hinton, Anna Register, Lauren Wedertz
Website: http://www.timothysgift.com/
Twitter: @timothysgift
Facebook: www.facebook.com/timothysgift

For a video that explains the Timothy’s Gift Hope Tour, click here.

Having seen these ladies perform live prior to the taping of this special, we say WHOA the LADYBASS. Full sound with a delicious gospel  vibe, this is good stuff.

Members:  Keesha Gumbs, Tamika Gumbs, Gbianka Kotee, Selame Scarlett, Cindy Valerus
Website: www.traces5.com
Twitter: @traces5
Facebook: www.facebook.com/traces5

Just go ahead and go straight to download their single “Mas Que Nada” on iTunes or Loudr right now. Here they are singing it live at Sing Strong Chicago 2013 (h/t our own Tara Marie Ahn for the video):

And there you have it. This season’s six competing groups.

Now that you’ve met the players, who will YOU be cheering for this season? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter or our Facebook page.

Remember, the hashtag is #SingOff with no “the” in front. Get it trending when The Sing-Off: Season 5 airs on Wednesday, December 17 on NBC.



AcaDirt: #SingOff Episode 2

By Jeremy Michael Lewis, acoUstiKat

Well, we’re still here.

I was going to give you more opinions on how I felt the show went last night, but instead, lets make this a little more educational. (Please, contain your excitement.)

For those of you who believe that every group that makes it to The Sing-Off stage is a walking replica of Pitch Perfect, I’m incredibly sorry to spoil your dreams; we’re not.  This show is not all “skittles and beer.” It takes some serious work.  Let me break this thing down for you.

The show took about two months to tape, start to finish. Since commercials consume what seems to be like 95% of the show anyway, I will generously estimate that 8-9 hours of The Sing-Off are actually piped onto your screen.  Do that math by yourself, because I’m certainly not going to.  If you came up with the acoUstiKats sitting around in the hot tub waiting for the next episode to record just chatting about sorority girls… you’re only half correct.

I won’t spoil all the magic of the show because I legally can’t, and the last thing I need is to be sued for all $25 to my name.  However, the magic would mean nothing without two necessary working parts that go into building this show: raw talent and hard work.

Starting with the openers:

The scores for these things are intense, and they don’t just come together overnight.  The variables that go into having multiple groups (take the second opener, for instance, with nine), with a crockpot of learning styles and techniques, come together to establish a performance that blends, tunes, and also is entertaining? It isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

My personal background learning music started when I was a child; I played piano.  I learned how to read music, and didn’t bother learning by ear until I was forced to in college because… I didn’t have to.  Other individuals on the show couldn’t tell you where a middle C is on staff paper, but if you sang a part to them once, they’d already have it memorized.  That’s partially what makes the group numbers so interesting to watch as a finished product.

Between 3-4 hours per day (yeah, that didn’t get boring) were devoted to just blocking, learning, and running opener choreography until it looked great from every camera angle to reach the finished product you see on TV.

Side note: Darian Mackey literally sang that opening riff perfectly every time… if anyone was wondering, she doesn’t make mistakes.

All right, let’s chat individual numbers:

I think it’s safe to say the acoUstiKats aren’t exactly pee-shy when it comes to performing.  We have a scrupulous policy that basically mandates that we don’t perform something we aren’t 100% committed to (“Hey Ya” was our second song choice for Episode Two after we royally flopped on figuring out how to perform the first choice).

For those of you who live under a rock and only read blogs and don’t watch the show, we were sent to the battle last night after our performance of “Hey Ya.”  I could critique the performance from a technical aspect all day, but you get on stage with 12 guys and sing Outkast (a cappella) full-speed ahead and let me know how it goes for you.  Regardless of how the judges liked it, we threw down our personality, and if you liked it, welcome aboard the acoUstiBus, you’re in for quite the ride.

[Editor’s whine note: But Evan promised us the acoUstiPuns were almost over.}

What goes into an arrangement, you ask?

Perfect question.  I’ll tell you.

Our arranger, Nick Johnson, says it takes him anywhere from 2 hours to 2 weeks to arrange a tune.  Obviously on The Sing-Off, the latter doesn’t cut it.  So when you don’t get a chance to start arranging for the next episode’s performance (since you never know if you’ll be there or not), there is really only one option: don’t sleep.

If you have specific questions on how Nick personally arranges, hit him up on Twitter. He’s a pretty personable guy @ndjohnsonn.  He also arranges for all sorts of high school and college groups so in the country, so… (Make the check out to Jeremy Lewis, Nick.)

But I digress.

We rehearsed our individual number anywhere from 4-8 hours per day depending upon how comfortable we were with the progress.  The ‘Kats learn the basics of the song so we can sing through it top to bottom, which usually takes about an hour depending upon how uncooperative we are that day.  Then we record it so we can have a basis for what we want to do for choreography, and go eat or something.

The best rehearsals are always followed by sleep, and if you can get to bed after you’ve put a few good hours in on something, for some scientific reason I won’t pretend to understand, you’ll wake up knowing the piece better than you did before you fell asleep.  (We never actually followed that logic and usually ran to the hot tub or bar after our rehearsals, but since I’m trying to instill good habits, I figured I’d appease some choral teachers out there.)

After we learn the basics of a new tune, we block and learn the condensed steps for our number, and rehearsals slowly start becoming less static until every time we rehearse the song, we’re dancing.  (Or in our case, twerking.)

I’ve waited to the end to talk about my absolute favorite of the preparation  (a disgusting amount of sarcasm):

The “Ultimate Sing-Off”

You might think a group of high-energy performers like the ‘Kats would love the intensity of having a battle to “save” us to the next round.  No, in fact, we hated every part about them.

I’ll be honest with you when I say that I knew roughly 75% of my notes in our performance of “Stronger” against Calle Sol.  You know why?  Not in a cocky, “we don’t need to know it” way, but because we barely rehearsed it.  We’re just 12 college guys and get lazy sometimes all right?  Love us for who we are.

I watched cult favorite Pitch Perfect about a year after it came out with two of my best friends Nick Johnson and Jordan Lindsey, and the only thing I found more amusing than the feminism jokes was the “group battle” section.  It’s an awesome idea… I think it is a platform of entertainment excellence, and bravo to whoever came up with it.  They’re intense, fun, and people like watching emotions flair.

That being said, if I actually disliked someone, I promise you the last thing that would come to mind is rounding up the boys for a jolly ol’ rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” to belt in my enemy’s direction.

I’ll set the mood for you after we caught wind that’d we’d be up next in the little Kelly Clarkson throw down:

The moment I walked backstage and the cameras turned off (and I do mean a single moment because they never got those stupid things out of my face), Deke Sharon, music producer of the show, gathered us together to talk through who was going to sing what sections.

The first thing the ‘Kats did wasn’t stare them down, or listen intently and start strategizing our attack plan… we all hugged the other group.  Not in a “oh, it’s okay, we’re all winners in our moms’ eyes” way, but in a… “I hate this because regardless of the outcome, this is the last time we get to make music together with our friends, and someone goes home” way.  Much love to our friends Calle Sol.  Your talent is only matched by your genuine personalities.

Enough sap… We’re still on the show.

Groups are starting to show their identities and comfort zones, so now the question is… Who is going to throw the first curveball?

When I say you DO NOT want to miss tonight (Episode 3), I mean it. 

I don’t want to give anything away, but I can safely say tonight’s episode carries a huge emotional impact on everyone in the ‘Kats lives. The night of the performance was incredibly influential on my own life, and I hope y’all enjoy it.

I loved all your tweets from last episode — keep them comin’!

– Jeremy

Check out my other blogs in this series:
AcaDirt: The Truth (or at least my version) of How “The Sing-Off” Works
AcaDirt: #SingOff Episode 1
AcaDirt: #SingOff Episode 3 (The Proposal)