New Contemporary A Cappella

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Contemporary a cappella music gets more and more popular every year! With high-profile features like “The Sing-Off” and “Pitch Perfect,” and the explosive success of groups like Pentatonix, many high schools and colleges are getting in on the action as well! Here are a few of our new favorites for contemporary a cappella ensembles:

FOR MIXED GROUPS
Fame arr. Ben Bram
This favorite Golden Globe and Academy Award winner really kicks in Ben Bram’s new pop a cappella arrangement. A perfect choice to open or close any concert.

How Can I Keep from Singing? arr. Kirby Shaw
You’ve heard many arrangements of this beautiful American folk hymn, but none quite like this. Kirby Shaw’s unique style brings out the inherent joy of the traditional text. Throughout the piece, sections of the choirs are used as accompaniment, and a bright chord structure yields a current sound. Fresh!

Kids in America arr. Deke Sharon
This perennial New Wave hit was the exciting opening number featured in the 2014 edition of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” This a cappella setting by “Sing-Off” music arranger and coach Deke Sharon will be an awesome selection for your group as well!

FOR MEN’S GROUPS
Gravedigger arr. Timothy Takach
From the hushed opening this choral lament grows in sound and intensity to a powerful outpouring of sorrow. The song, originally from the Dave Matthews Band, was arranged for the Minneapolis-based vocal ensemble Cantus. A showpiece!

FOR WOMEN’S GROUPS
Bellas Finale (from “Pitch Perfect 2”) arr. Deke Sharon
As in the first movie, this mashup weaves together several great songs and storylines from throughout the film, with a twist of an ending. Songs include “Run The World (Girls),” “Where Them Girls At,” “We Belong,” “We Got The World,” and “Flashlight.”

Wake Me Up! arr. Deke Sharon
From Swedish DJ and artist Avicii, this 2013 chart hit in a fun and accessible a cappella setting!

For more a cappella suggestions, visit our website or contact our Choral Department at 1.800.426.8742, ext. 1.

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

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Categories: New Publications, School Choral, Staff Picks

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