Welcome to Polyphony, a podcast by Acaville Radio, whose mission is to bring together various members of the a cappella community to offer perspectives on issues we face in today’s climate.

Latest Episodes

Where Are We Going? The Future of A Cappella - To wrap up our second season, we take stock of where we're going - with Deke Sharon and Matt Woodward. From barbershop to identity issues, from mass media to community groups - it's all here!
Released: December 13, 2021 6:22 pm
Length: 0:59:27
Who better to help us understand the current state - and future - of a cappella than Deke Sharon, Father Of Modern A Cappella, and Matt Woodward, with expertise in K-12, barbershop, and semi-pro a cappella? On the heels of a continuing pandemic, is the story all rosy? Umm..no. But there are some bright spots, and some things to look out for. Plus, we pin them down on some predictions!
Mental Health - The pandemic has brought a new focus on mental health - and it's about time! We talk about managing mental health, particularly focused on singers, this episode.
Released: November 11, 2021 10:00 pm
Length: 0:52:11
With the legendary Barry Carl and very knowledgeable BriAnne Woodward, we talk about issues in identifying mental health issues and helping to resolve them, both in yourself and in your friends , group-mates, and others around you. We then go further, helping identify strategies for feeling better, in this rich conversation.
New Secrets to Promotion - How do you get millions of eyeballs watching your group online? How do you build relationships with existing fans and grow the fan base? We talk about it this episode!
Released: November 9, 2021 3:02 am
Length: 0:54:51
The Trills have had amazing success across social media, going viral and converting those events into an ongoing trend of growth and development. Pipeline Vocal Project went from zero to 60 in no time, using a variety of techniques to build a fan base both local in Alaska and worldwide. So we talk with leaders of both groups about how they did it - and how you can, too!
Gender in A Cappella - Particularly in scholastic and collegiate a cappella, gender acceptance is a hot topic of discussion. We discuss it with leaders from groups across the spectrum!
Released: November 9, 2021 2:15 am
Length: 0:46:51
All-male or female? Treble/bass or alto/soprano? All-gender? Something else? We talk about the alternatives as well as the considerations when leading a group - either a new one, or one with a rich history. From trailblazing the way to honoring decades of history, we look at the many issues involved in this important topic.
Events in Uncertain Times - One of the last milestones on our return to normalcy is the resumption of big a cappella events. So how's THAT going? We talk with a panel of experts in the field to find out!
Released: October 20, 2021 6:00 pm
Length: 0:52:24
There's a lot to manage when putting on a big event or festival - from venues to performers to attendees or competitors. With all of the uncertainty in each of these areas, we wanted to check in with festival organizers about their approaches. We assembled Allison Miller Thompson, Conventions Director for Harmony, Inc.; Shannon McNulty, Co-Producer of NACC; and Pat Silver, Co-Producer of SING! Toronto to talk about it in this episode.
Founding a Group - Founding a new group can be tricky - how do you do it right? We talk with three founders about their processes and what they learned, and get some great insights!
Released: October 13, 2021 6:00 pm
Length: 0:49:45
Our panel - co-founders of The Ozarks, the Hawkettes, Inside Voices, and Fine Tuned - has started groups from scholastic through post-collegiate, and each has encountered bumps (and amazing experiences) along the way. We talk with them about their journeys, and what they've learned. From initial startup to knowing when to leave, we cover the whole process in this great episode!
Inclusion in Barbershop - Barbershop traditions have a history of exclusion - by race, by gender, and more. We discuss the past, present, and future of breaking barbershop barriers with a great panel!
Released: October 6, 2021 6:00 pm
Length: 0:48:26
From the racist foundations of BHS and Sweet Adelines to the current issues around opening barbershop to all genders - and making all feel welcome, included, and at home - there are many issues around inclusion in the close harmony world. From the culture of choruses and areas/regions to competition, we discuss many aspects in this episode, featuring Kohl Kitzmiller, Shana Oshiro, and Katie MacDonald.
To Compete or Not To Compete - As collegiate groups start to re-emerge from the pandemic, questions about competitions remain. Is it time to compete again?
Released: September 29, 2021 3:15 pm
Length: 0:50:03
As collegiate a cappella groups are starting to meet in person again for the first time in over a year, there's a renewed emphasis on rebuilding, and working on cultural and musical needs. So where does competition fit into that picture? We talk with leaders from groups in the US and UK, including from the VCU Ramifications, UO Mind The Gap, and Exeter Illuminations, about their decision making processes and what needs to be considered.
Kicking Off A New Year In New Times - How are collegiate groups coming back together as the pandemic enters a new phase? We talk with directors from the US and UK to find out!
Released: September 21, 2021 6:00 pm
Length: 0:54:19
For the most part, college campuses are back in person as they begin the 2021-22 school year. But what about student groups and ...gasp!... singing? And how do groups bounce back from a year in which most never connected in person and performances were virtual? We talk with directors from UCLA's Pitch Please, Penn's The Pennchants, Kings College London's Rolling Tones, and Buffalo's The Buffalo Chips about how it has been, how it's going, and strategies for contingency planning, well, everything.
The Pandemic - Where Are We Now? - As of this recording, we've been fully in pandemic mode for 18 months. What's the current state of things? We talk with leaders from barbershop, collegiate a cappella, K-12 choral, and professional musicmaking to find out!
Released: September 14, 2021 6:00 pm
Length: 0:54:35
It's almost Fall 2021, and Covid is still changing lots about our lives - so how are artists and groups adapting? How do you create - and live, if you're a professional musician - in a world where planning ahead means next week? Handling impacts on recruiting and group retention, deciding how and when to bring singers together to rehearse or perform, and when a box video makes sense. We cover it all this hour!
Collegiate A Cappella At A Distance - From coast to coast, US collegiate a cappella groups have been thrown for a loop. How do they keep making music when singing is a super-spreading activity? We talk with leaders from groups from NY to CA about it in this episode!
Released: September 30, 2020 6:00 pm
Length: 0:46:30
Bringing together leaders from Rochester Institute of Technology's Eight Beat Measure, Vassar's Devils, and UCLA's Pitch Please, we discussed how each campus is handling the pandemic, and what that means for collegiate a cappella groups. How do you keep music going while responding to the emotional and safety needs of the group's members? Do you scale things back or just charge forward? We talk about all the approaches in this episode!
Barbershop in a Pandemic - For a discussion about barbershop, we brought together award-winners from the Barbershop Harmony Society; Harmony, Inc; and Sweet Adelines to check in on how they're doing - and WHAT they're doing!
Released: September 23, 2020 6:00 pm
Length: 0:53:25
From choruses to quartets, from distancing to virtual rehearsals - we covered it all as we sat down with Tony Colosimo of First Take, Better Together, and the Alexandria Harmonizers; Lindsay Chartier-Holdeman of Titanium Quartet; and Tessa Walker of Hot Pursuit. Each brought a different perspective - from taking a breather right now to being busier coaching and directing than ever. How is the barbershop community finding its way through this pandemic era? We found out!
Scholastic A Cappella in the Pandemic - To explore the state of K-12 a cappella, we were joined by Dennis Gephart (HS, WI), Justin Glodich (MS, NY), and Lisa Marien (ES, CT) to talk about the impact across the grade levels.
Released: September 16, 2020 6:36 pm
Length: 0:51:52
We had a great time comparing notes with Port Washington HS' Dennis Gephart, Nathan Hale Arts Magnet's Lisa Marien, and Valley Central Middle School's Justin Glodich. We started by talking through the abrupt end to last year, and how that impacted summer plans - then moved on to look at how things are going now, and the strategies that each educator has found to adapt their programs and keep a foundation for moving forward.
Pandemic Impact on International Groups - It's a show without borders, as we check in with artists from Singapore (MIcappella), Italy (Rebel Bit), and the UK (The Swingles) about how their countries and groups are faring right now, and what's ahead.
Released: September 10, 2020 5:03 pm
Length: 0:47:16
We were delighted to sit down with Peter Huang of MIcappella, Jon Smith of The Swingles, and Lorenzo Subrizi of Rebel Bit to hear about how each group (and each part of the world) is making their way through this pandemic era. We talk about adapting concerts and shows to an outdoor or virtual presentation, finding alternative ways of connecting with the community, and when it might be time to hit the road again.
Engineers Adapting to the New Normal - Our three guests have engineered and helped produce some of the most amazing live and recorded music in a cappella. But when people aren't getting together in person to perform or record, what to do? What these three do best - get creative!
Released: September 3, 2020 4:59 pm
Length: 0:49:35
We brought together a cappella sound engineers Mel Daneke (Viridian Productions), Alex Green (Plaid Productions), and Charlie Friday (Clear Harmonies) to talk about how their day-to-day has changed. What are they focusing on right now? How can the pandemic be an opportunity - both for aspiring and successful engineers as well as the groups that might want to use them? A freewheeling conversation about sound is on the way!
A Cappella Organizations in This Crazy Time - How are organizations that serve and support the a cappella world faring in this pandemic era? We talked with leadership of the Barbershop Harmony Society, CASA, and the A Cappella Educators' Association to find out!
Released: August 28, 2020 4:53 pm
Length: 0:51:38
Marty Monson (BHS), Gine Deaton (CASA), and Brody McDonald (AEA) sat down with us to talk about how their groups are making their way through the pandemic era. We talked about how they are re-focusing on some new priorities and initiatives, what the roles are for such organizations right now, and how they'll move forward in the next year or two.
Pro Groups: Surviving a Pandemic - How are Pro A Cappella groups surviving and creating in a pandemic? We got a panel together to find out, including members of Edge Effect, Face Vocal Band, and Women of the World.
Released: August 20, 2020 9:00 pm
Length: 0:52:31
Annette Philip, Sean Gerrity, and Mark Megibow joined us to talk about life during COVID. We talked about the initial fallout - including being in the middle of a cruise ship gig when things started happening, then turned to how these groups are continuing to create, innovate, and serve their communities. With ideas, stories, and fun, this is a jam-packed episode!
Festivals & Competitions in a Pandemic World - COVID-19 has caused live events worldwide to reconsider everything. We talk with Amanda Newman, Varsity Vocals; Aditi Molly Bahnja & Selima Ahmed, All-American Awaaz; Amelia Alder, Vocal Australia; and Suba Sankaran & Dylan Bell, SING! Toronto about it.
Released: August 13, 2020 7:44 pm
Length: 1:02:40
In this episode, we start by looking at competitions with Amanda Newman of Varsity Vocals (ICCA, ICHSA, AcaOpen) and Aditi Molly Bahnja & Selima Ahmed (All-American Awaaz) - how can they work in a pandemic era when groups often can't even rehearse together? We then turn to festivals and talk with Vocal Australia's Amelia Alder and SING! Toronto's Dylan Bell & Suba Sankaran about how they're adapting in the current season as well as seasons to come.
Antiracism in A Cappella - In this era of new attention to Black Lives Matter, racism, and marginalized groups, we talked with Bryan Guffey, Jasmine Barnes of Halo, and Isaiah Hawkins of CASA about how these issues intersect with a cappella and what we can all do to help.
Released: August 9, 2020 7:37 am
Length: 0:46:29
It seems like, at long last, awareness is finally growing around issues of race, class, and discrimination particularly in the US. A cappella both includes and reflects broader society, so it's no surprise that we have plenty of work to do in our own communities. This episode, we talk with Jasmine Barnes of HALO, the first Black barbershop quartet to win internationally; Isaiah Hawkins of State of Fifths and CASA; and activist Bryan Guffey about where some of the landmines are, how we can all work to improve the community, and the places to start.
Remote Rehearsal Strategies - Six Appeal's Jordan Roll, Accent's Evan Sanders, and Northern Blend Chorus' Katie Taylor join us to talk about how to keep rehearsal momentum going when you can't get together - and why maybe there are other ways to think about the role of rehearsals.
Released: July 30, 2020 11:40 am
Length: 1:00:47
Accent is a group with members from France, Sweden, Canada, UK, and the US - so they're no strangers to remote rehearsal. Pro group Six Appeal brought on two new members from other parts of the country and met in person for the first time only days before a Disney Cruise gig. Northern Blend brings together over three-dozen women from around a region who balance singing with regular daily lives. Each group has a different perspective on remote rehearsals, and how they're each keeping their communities strong when they can't get together. We talk about it all on this episode of Polyphony!
Polyphony - Coming Soon! - Blending voices
Released: July 21, 2020 8:36 pm
Length: 0:00:43
Welcome to Polyphony, a new podcast by Acaville Radio whose mission is to bring together various members of the a cappella community to offer perspectives on issues we face in today’s climate. Episodes will start dropping the week of July 27th, 2020.