Last Friday we had another of our contemporary a cappella professional development days at the South Melbourne Town Hall. Despite some early parking difficulties due to the filming of a new Aussie TV show in and around the town hall, we managed to get stuck in to a great day of a cappella fun.

The day started with an introduction to a cappella, presented by Vocal Australia’s directors, Amelia Alder and moi (Chris Blain). The session looked at the progression of a cappella from its classical roots, through barbershop and jazz, right through to today’s more produced sound.

We then got to see the amazing Phil Tesoro (from the USA) in action. Wow! This guy can really spit! Phil took us through how to produce percussive drum sounds and grooves with just our mouths. We finished the session off with some very impressive vocal drum circles, and created some pretty terrific beats together.

After lunch we spent some time going through arranging techniques. It was great to see such a variety of different people at the workshop, with a huge variety of different experience. So many great idea flying around. This culminated in a Vocal MIXUP session in the afternoon, where smaller groups went away to arrange some music on the fly. It was a great team effort by a bunch of people who are all used to being the boss!

Can’t wait for the next PD Day – so much fun to run, and such a great bunch of people to work with. A big thanks to Phil, Amelia, Claire Patti and everyone else who helped make it a great day.

See you at the next one!

Phil taking the beatboxing sesison

Phil Tesoro presents vocal percussion for teachers

Phil taking the beatboxing sesison