The Tower Theatre Foundation welcomes back the Bend A Cappella Festival Friday, February 9 through Sunday, February 11. Kathy Schroeder, returning director of the Bend A Cappella Festival said, “In this, our third year, we are thrilled to welcome groups from throughout the Pacific Northwest to sing, learn, grow and enjoy making music together. With interesting classes, expert coaching, exciting concerts and our innovative Sing-Off Summit, where all the groups will sing together, we hope to bring education, collaboration and joy to everyone who attends. And we are so lucky to have such wonderful judges and teachers attending.”
Meet the Headliners and the Judges:
The Festival kicks off Friday, February 9 with a headline performance by The House Jacks, San Francisco’s original “rock band without instruments.” Using nothing more than their five voices (and mouths, and sometimes bodies), they deliver everything from blistering funk to screaming rock to heart-melting ballads for anyone who loves music. A “house jack” is what you use when you want to move, level or lift a house. Anyone who’s seen them perform live will tell you that the name is appropriate. Phrases like “rock the rafters” and “raise the roof” take on new meanings with The House Jacks. The whole building shakes, and the entire audience is lifted together.
Acting as Master of Ceremonies for the Sing-Off, and teaching and coaching the groups, is the Father of Modern A Cappella, Deke Sharon. Deke is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella. He produced The Sing-Off on NBC and worldwide (Netherlands, China, South Africa). In addition, Deke served as arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for Universal’s Pitch Perfect 1, 2 and 3 starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. Deke founded the Contemporary A Cappella Society while in college, and is responsible for many seminal a cappella programs. He is also contemporary a cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with many of them in print worldwide.
Oregon A Cappella and YouTube star Peter Hollens will also share his expertise with the groups. Peter is an American entrepreneur, pop singer and producer best known for his work on YouTube as an a cappella cover artist. With more than 1.6 million subscribers, his videos have reached a quarter of a billion views on Facebook and YouTube since 2011. He has been involved with a cappella music since 1999 when he co-founded the University of Oregon’s male a cappella group On The Rocks. Peter now serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, teaching people how to make a living doing what they love.
The Sing-Off Competition:
On Saturday, February 10, 14 groups will compete in the Sing-Off for a chance to win cash prizes and gain valuable insight from MC Deke Sharon and The House Jacks. The competition is focused on constructive and collaborative feedback. In fact, the entire Festival will be a supportive experience, welcoming all groups no matter how long they have been performing.
High School groups competing in the Sing-Off include:
• Barlow Sound — Gresham, Oregon
• Echo — Whittier, California
• Fresh Pitch — West Linn, Oregon
• Mixolydians — Sherwood, Oregon
• Rebelation — Albany, Oregon
• Seabreeze — Brookings, Oregon
• Sound Check — Oregon City, Oregon (returning champions)
• Vivace — Portland, Oregon
The College and Beyond Sing-Off competitors include:
• Bella A Cappella — Bend
• Furmata — University of Washington
• Mind the Gap — University of Oregon (two-time returning champions)
• Resistas — Bend
• Restless Vocal Band — Seattle, Washington
• SWOCTET — Southwestern Oregon Community College