Contemporary A Cappella Society

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The Contemporary A Cappella Society (of America), or CASA, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that fosters and promotes a cappella music of all styles[1] around the world. CASA was founded in 1991 by Deke Sharon in San Francisco just after graduation. In his Tufts University dorm room during his senior year, Sharon published a newsletter, The "C.A.N." (The Collegiate A Cappella Newsletter for the first 2 issues, then The Contemporary A Cappella Newsletter), mailed to all known collegiate a cappella groups by merging "The List", founded in 1988 and distributed by Rex Solomon, with the database maintained by his college a cappella group the Beelzebubs.[2][3][4] The organization boasts over 6,000 current members, and serves as a resource for media and scholarly work in the area of contemporary a cappella.[5][6]


Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards[edit]

Since 1992, the annual Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (aka the "CARAs") recognize the best recorded a cappella[7] and aim to support this burgeoning culture of instrument-less enthusiasts. Every a cappella album produced each year is automatically considered in this celebration of the best a cappella recorded around the planet.

The CARA mission reflects that of its parent organization, the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) : an aim to reward artists that create outstanding work and to promote innovation, creativity, and continued growth of the a cappella modality. Furthermore, the awards aim to foster the a cappella community by having its best and brightest participate in the CARA nomination and judging process. Finally, CASA uses the application process as a means to provide resources to charitable programs such as Tunes to Teens (free a cappella recordings for students).

A Cappella Video Awards[edit]

The annual A cappella Video Awards (AVA) aim is to recognize the best of a cappella video. The AVA mission reflects that of its parent organization, the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA), to reward artists that create outstanding work and to promote innovation, creativity, and continued growth of the a cappella medium.

A Cappella Community Awards[edit]

The "A Cappella Community Awards" (aka the "ACAs") are voted on annually by registered users of to allow fans the chance to award their favorite a cappella groups. Often called the "People's Choice Awards of the A Cappella community", the ACAs aim to further award excellent groups and individuals in the a cappella community, including non-American groups, by giving fans a venue to reward their favorite groups.

Educational programs[edit]

CASA produces weekend-long educational festivals open to the general public several times a year around the US, including the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival ("LAAF") in February, the Boston A Cappella Festival ("BOSS") in April, and the Southern A Cappella Festival ("SoJam"). Past festivals have been held in San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.


CASAcademy is a web portal through which CASA members can learn more about a cappella, hear selected music samples, view performance videos, read about forming and managing groups, and read about various a cappella-related topics (vocal health, etc.).

Acapedia 2.0[edit]

The CASA Acapedia is a large database of a cappella groups, solo artists, beatboxers, studios, producers and more. The Acapedia is free and editable by any registered CASA member. It includes information on former groups, as well as current ones. The database is configured as a wiki, wherein any user can add and modify information. All changes are tracked and can be un-done in the event of error or vandalism. The Acapedia currently features over 2400 profiles.

Each Acapedia profile is designed to include group information such as school or affiliation, current roster of members, concert listings, history, recording information, and tour dates.

Volunteer and outreach programs[edit]

Ambassador Program[edit]

The Ambassador Program aims to unite singers and groups across the U.S. and world via an organized networking system. CASA Ambassadors are individuals responsible for involvement in their own a cappella communities – gathering information about groups, events, auditions, a cappella friendly clubs, singers, technology, opportunities and anything else that touches on a cappella. They upload that information to via the Acapedia so it can be shared with the entire community.

Ambassadors also keep abreast of a cappella happenings globally via, and share that information with their respective communities while encouraging them to become CASA members, to sing in Contemporary A Cappella League groups, to attend CASA festivals, and to support the vocal arts.

Ambassadors serve a one-year volunteer term, and are offered a number of incentives which have included free memberships to, free copies of CASA-sponsored compilation albums and free tickets to CASA-sponsored festivals such as SoJam.[citation needed]

Tunes To Teens[edit]

Tunes To Teens (TTT) gives donated a cappella CDs to junior high and high school chorus students. The program's goal is to spark interest in a cappella music in up-and-coming singers,[8] and to help directors to teach their students the basics of music theory. Since 2003, more than 2000 students in 23 US states and Canada have received CDs from TTT.

A Cappella Radio International was aired on over 50 stations worldwide from 1996 to 2004.[9]

CASA establishes contemporary a cappella choruses across the United States, having done so from the San Francisco Bay Area[10] to Maryland.[11]


  1. ^ Barbershop Harmony Society. (June 15, 2006) Allied Organizations Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ " | CBSi".
  3. ^ A Cappella News: Old style, new sounds
  4. ^ Boy bands over bach | American Music Teacher | Find Articles at
  5. ^ Eichenwald, Kurt. (June 22, 1997) The New York Times Pop/jazz; 'Doo-Wop-a-Doo' will no longer do. Section 2; Page 232.
  6. ^ Duchan Social Dynamics notes Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ [T]echtcera Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ A Cappella Radio International Archive, sponsored by SPEBSQSA, Inc Archived 2007-04-06 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Peninsula Harmony Chorus". Archived from the original on 2004-08-31. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
  11. ^ "A Cappella Showcase Chorus". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-02-19.

External links[edit]