Thirteenth Annual


A celebration of all things a cappella, the West Coast A Cappella Summit is an opportunity for singers of all levels, from amateur to professional, to gather together and do what they do best: sing! With a philosophy that embraces all styles of music without instruments, the Summit is a forum for everyone to enjoy the only prerequisite is a love of singing harmony.

This year's A Cappella Summit takes place on Saturday November 11th in San Rafael, Marin County, California (just over the Golden Gate Bridge). The daytime schedule offers seminars, workshops and sing-alongs, led by preeminent educators and clinicians who are experts in their field. Topics covered include vocal technique, arranging, music theory, improvisation, sound reinforcement and many more. Master classes allow participants to observe while clinicians work directly with a student group, offering personal instruction and critique. Discussions of specific genres, such as barbershop, Balkan world music or doo wop, facilitate an in depth understanding of those styles and their performance.

Many attendees find the Summit an ideal place to connect with other singers. Participation is encouraged in the supportive atmosphere that prevails. The a cappella community is a welcoming one, and some Summit participants come from across the country, if not the world, to see old friends (and make new ones)! So come and join us. If you like a cappella, the Summit is the place to be.

Thanks for all your enquiries about the A Cappella Summit.

After a lot of thought we have decided to present the event every other year and so will skip 2007. The costs keep going up and has made it financially tough to present year after year. We do enjoy the weekend and intend to present it again next year but frankly I could also do with a bit of a break as it is very time consuming to produce and I do have a young family I like to spend time with.

John Neal (Producer)


November 11, 2006

San Rafael, California


Vox One

Vox One is an award-winning a cappella jazz quintet that combines elements of blues, funk, gospel, and folk into their own brand of vocal music, which is "most adventurous and distinctive." - San Francisco Examiner. The group, formed in 1988, has since developed a unique style considered to be the cutting edge of a cappella. "This jazz quintet puts all kinds of throat sounds to such funky good use that listeners break into applause and - better - feel like dancing." - Boston Magazine. Vox One has performed internationally, and has opened for Ray Charles, Chicago, the Persuasions, the Bobs, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Count Basie Orchestra. The group earns wide acclaim for their performances and CDs. Their awards include "Best A cappella Group, Jazz" - Boston Magazine. Vox One's eponymous debut CD was named "Best Album" and awarded "Best Song" by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA): "Creative arrangements and soulful spark... fabulous lead vocalists, and exquisite blend, a great vocal percussion sound, and lots of class." Their second US release “Out There,” won "Album of the Year," "Best Jazz Song," and "Best R&B song" by CASA. “ defining an album for vocal jazz as Singers Unlimited "A Capella" and Take 6's debut’s that good.” -Primarily A Cappella. With their 1998 album “Chameleon,” Vox One was named “Artist of the Year,” and once again it earned “Best Jazz Album” and “Best Jazz Song.”


Hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal ensembles in the world” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “among the best a cappella groups in the country” (NBC’s Today Show), the pop-jazz tour-de-force, m-pact, has received countless honors, including Billboard’s Best Unsigned Band of 1999 and the coveted dual titles, 1996-1997 Grand National Champions and Audience Favorites of the Harmony Sweepstakes Festival. In 2001 this Seattle-based vocal band was crowned Artist of the Year at the SAMIE Awards, the Pacific Northwest’s annual contemporary pop music competition, and for the last two years, m-pact was voted Best Vocal Jazz Group (2002-2003) in the international ACA (A Cappella Community Awards) competition.

Three 5 and 6

THREE 5 AND 6 are the innovators of a new music style, Urban A Cappella that utilizes the human voice to incorporate the sounds of the street (gospel, hip-hop, funk and rap) into energizing, danceable music. This all male group imitates the full depth of instrumental sounds found in a traditional band as opposed to the traditional "blended, one-voice" A Cappella sound. Their powerful beats and bass drive a truly dynamic musical experience that fully engages the listener. THREE 5 AND 6 performs their own original music with a writing style that displays a wide range of influences from Stevie Wonder and The Gap Band to The Roots and KRS-One. With its edgy brand of A Cappella and aggressive live shows, THREE 5 AND 6 has been on the cutting edge of the new music scene since the group debuted in 2000. They are three-time "Audience Favorite" winners at the Harmony Sweepstakes West Coast Regionals and were recently awarded 2nd place in Billboard Magazines World Song Competition. Be forewarned! Their music can be addicting and habit forming.

Mendicino Women's Choir

Performing during the daytime events are

Ro Sham Bo, Richter Scales, Cloud 9, Out on a Clef, High Five, Topaz Blue, Note-orious

Classes, workshops, vocal clinics by

Yumiko Matsuoka, Raz Kennedy, Paul Pampinella, Dr Dean Suzuki, Dr Greg Lyne,
Britt Quentin, Stephen Saxon, Paul Stiller, Clockwork

November 11, 2006

Dominican University
50 Arcaia, San Rafael

Tickets available at the door. Good seats still available.

Evening Concert starts @ 7.30PM

All Day Pass and Evening Concert - $39.50, Saturday night concert only - $29.95, Daytime only - $15
Discounts available for groups of ten or more. Please contact our office for more information

Info call 415-455-8602

List of classes

9:00 am Doors Open

(A) is for Angelico Hall - (B) is for Guzman Lecture Hall

10 - 10:50

Write It A Cappella with Yumiko Matsuoka (A) Yumiko Matsuoka, Vox One arranger and faculty member of the Berklee College of Music, will talk about arranging for vocal groups. Topics include where to start, voicing types (such as the four-way close), stylistic variations, overall arrangement structure, and ideas for turning your arrangements from workable to fantastic.

A Cappella Then and Now with Dr Dean Suzuki (B)

Professor Dean Suzuki, of San Francisco State University, will look at some of the more unusual approaches to a cappella, including early music forms and genres, the "authentic" practice of performing without vibrato in early music, extended vocal techniques in contemporary/avant garde vocal music, some non-western or at least non-mainstream a cappella styles: overtone singing. He will also discuss some of the history of contemporary acappella.

11 - 11:50 am

Master Class with Paul Pampinella (A) - demo groups:

Note-orious - SF Vocal Chorus

Concentrating on vocal technique, Vox One baritone and Berklee School of Music instructor Paul Pampinella will work with two demonstration a cappella groups. Paul will cover the basics of vocal production, and focus on issues such as breath management, blending, tone & pitch control, specifically as they relate to harmony & a cappella singing.

Ensemble Singing with Clockwork (B) 

So you know the notes, you know all of the words, and you've even worked on some dynamics... Why doesn't it sound right, yet?  This workshop will let you in on the difficult and rarely talked-about topics that take you to the next level of musicianship.  How do you learn really difficult parts like Manhattan Transfer's "Body and Soul" and get them going all together?  How do you make lyrics sound more natural and not so stiff?  How do you balance the concepts of blend and soloistic vocal sounds?  How about intonation... we all know that a piano is out of tune by design, but how do you adjust your notes so that you really hear the ring of a chord?  Do you have to adjust swung 1/8 notes according to the speed of the song (hint: yes, you do - come and learn how to do it).  How do you make your bass singer sound more like a real bass?  How do you get your group to sound more like your lead singer?  These and many more advanced concepts will be discussed.  Bring your own tough questions and get advice from a group that's probably been through what you're going through right now.  

Break - 11:50 - 12:40

Lunch (and dinner) available at Caleruega Hall student cafeteria ($8 all you can eat)

Showcase Concert:   12:30- 2 pm

High Five - Richter Scales - Out on a Clef - Ro Sham Bo

2:00 pm  -  2:50 pm

Vocal Technique, Raz Kennedy (A) 

A prominent vocalist, vocal coach, and vocal producer, Raz Kennedy has performing, recording and teaching in the Bay Area for 25 years. A founding member of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, Raz has worked with a long and diverse list of gold and platinum selling recording artists, including Todd Rundgren, Mickey Hart, Al Jarreau, George Coates, Whitney Houston and the Bobs. He has coached singers such as Hilary Duff and Aaron Carter, as well members of the Counting Crows, Stroke 9, the Donnas, Metallica and AFI. Raz is on the faculty at Blue Bear School of American Music in San Francisco, the Jazz School in Berkeley and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond.

Choral Singing Greg Lyne (B) - demo group - Richter Scales

A noted choral conductor, arranger, and clinician, Dr. Greg Lyne is known primarily as Musical Director of the Masters of Harmony, winning three gold medals at International. However, his expertise extends significantly beyond barbershop. He has served as Director of Choral Studies at Arizona State University, holds a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Northern Colorado.  Dr Lyne will conduct a clinic focusing on vocal production and part singing with an emphasis in choral music.

3 - 3:50 pm

Master Class with M-Pact (A) demo groups:

Cloud 9 - Topaz Blue

Watch and learn as the members of m-Pact  put two groups to the test, critiquing their style and sound.  Make your  own performance better - or learn what to watch for when you attend concerts.

Rhythm and Bass with Vox One (B)

In this session, bass Tom Baskett and vocal percussionist Paul Stiller of Vox One will explain how they make their magic, and more importantly, how they work together to provide a foundation for Vox One's masterful stylings.

4 - 5 pm

Panel-Chat with m-Pact (A)   

An opportunity to interact with the group M-pact and find out what makes them tick, personally and professionally. Starting with a brief history of the group (including their 1996 win at the Harmony Sweepstakes, no doubt!) and a bio from each member, these talented singers will preview the evening concert with a few of their favorite songs.  Then, the group will take questions about topics of specific interest to you, so here's your opportunity to ask about vocal technique, their arranging style, touring, choosing material, recording, being a working professional a cappella group or whatever else takes your fancy - so come prepared!

Evening shows starts at 7.30pm

There are no other dining facilties besides the student cafeteria that are within walking distance. For dinner it's just a short drive to San Rafael's 4th St. where there are numerous restaurants.

There is a free parking lot on the left by the Conlan Recreation Center and is just a few minutes walk to Angelico Hall. Please note that there is limited street parking on Acacia Ave. The College requests that we please not park in adjacent residential areas, as that has annoyed the neighbors and we don't want to ruffle their feathers!

Sponsored by Primarily A Cappella, The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival and the A Cappella News

San Rafael, Marin County is 15 miles north over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

Special "A Cappella Summit" rate at Four Points Barcelo by Sheraton Call 415-479-8800

Marin Airporter shuttle available every 30 minutes from SFO to hotel.

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