Every organization needs the wisdom and guidance of an experienced group of advisors to help shape it into all it can be. The CASA Advisory Board provides oversight and direction for our Operational Staff and the organization as a whole.
Peder Karlsson studied classical composition, arranging, and guitar at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, and graduated with a post-graduate diploma in vocal group performance. He was a member of the Swedish a cappella group The Real Group between 1984-2010 and has made over 2000 concerts all over the world and 16 CDs.
Between 2011-14, Peder Karlsson was Musical Director of the XXL vocal group "Perpetuum Jazzile," Slovenia and is now the group's Music Mentor, providing advice and input to the musical leadership team.
Since January 2015, Peder teaches choir leadership in rhythmic music at Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg, Denmark, since January 2016 with the title "Honorary Professor."
As a freelance teacher, workshop leader and music event organizer, Peder has been part of numerous activities in many countries. Peder is a founding member of European Voices Association and a part of the activism network End Ecocide Sweden.
Born and raised in a musical family, Giorgia Renosto is an Italian vocalist who entered the artistic world at the young age of 14. Highly exposed to classical music and opera by her grandfather, a clarinet player, she enriched her musical background with jazz by starting her formal training in Torino, Italy. Her ability to focus on various types of vocal styles inside the extremely diverse world of Vocal Jazz allowed her to capture elements of vocal technique from different sources of inspiration and at 17, she was selected as one of the winners of the "Giovani Proposte" of the Italian contest "Sanremo Giovani".
While pursuing her Bachelor's degree in History of Art, her passion for music was very much alive, touring Europe with the award-winning a cappella group L'Una e Cinque and various other ensembles. Giorgia was twice awarded as a recipient of the World Scholarship Tour from Berklee College of Music and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the prestigious institution with a degree in Performance. Giorgia is one of the core members of Women of the World, which recently won the Harmony Sweepstakes National A cappella Award and toured nationally and internationally since 2008. She has also performed in musical theater, both in Europe and the United States.
Bill Hare has been a full-time recording engineer/producer for 35 years, and is recognized as a pioneer in bringing pop/rock production techniques to recorded contemporary a cappella.
Over the decades, Bill has recorded and/or mixed acclaimed albums for some of the best-known Contemporary A Cappella groups around the globe - from The Swingle Singers to The King’s Singers in the UK, Basix to Vocal Line in Denmark, Italy's Cluster, The Ghost Files, Alti & Bassi and Maybe6ix, German supergroups Wise Guys, Amarcord and Maybebop to name just a few, as well as artists from dozens of other countries from Australia to Zimbabwe.
Of course, at the same time he also covered the USA from his home base in California, working with top American acts including The House Jacks, m-pact, Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Street Corner Symphony, NoTa, +4dB, Duwende, The Backbeats, Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys as well as working on the hit NBC Television show The Sing-Off.
Collegiate A Cappella clients include The Tufts Beelzebubs, University of Oregon On The Rocks and Divisi, The Stanford Harmonics, and scores of others. Bill’s story was also told in the original book version of Pitch Perfect, from which the popular movies were adapted.
Bill is the world’s most awarded individual Contemporary A Cappella producer, including more than 70 appearances on BOCA, over 100 CARA nominations, nearly 40 albums in the RARB "Picks of the Year" lists, and 11 "DeeBee" awards since 1987 in the Vocal Jazz category from Downbeat Magazine. Numerous appearances at the top of Billboard, iTunes, and other major charts. Multiple Gold and Platinum record certifications, as well as multiple Grammy Awards and nominations. Bill's website is http://www.billhare.tv/
As a member of Take 6, Dave Thomas has performed with and won praise from such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ben E. King, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Whitney Houston, to name a very few.
Take 6 has admirably and adeptly crossed most musical genres, from straight-ahead Jazz to Pop to adult R&B, doo wop to blues. Like a fine-tuned vocal orchestra, the group continues to push the boundaries of creativity and musical genius with every new release, and with their ever-evolving live performances.
With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more, Take 6 continues to bring extraordinary vocals to their worldwide audiences. Some of the honors Take 6 has enjoyed over the past few years include being chosen as the first musical group to perform in Cuba at the normalization of relations between our two countries, and their induction into The Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Tine Fris-Ronsfeld is a Danish singer well-known throughout the a cappella scene for her work as a singer, composer and arranger for the experimental vocal group “Postyr” and for her work as a singer, arranger and co-conductor of the renowned pop choir “Vocal Line”, with whom she recently won the 1st. Prize of The Eurovision Choir of the Year 2019. Tine has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Americas and performed with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Rolling Stones, Lukas Graham, Tina Dico , Mads Langer, and The Real Group.
Furthermore, Tine is the conductor of the Danish pop choir “Lyt”, former conductor of the National Danish Youth Choir “Syng Selected”, author of the books ”Icebreakers – A practical Approach to Group Dynamics” and “Breaking the Ice – a Playful Approach to Social Interaction”, founder of a music and dance school for talented kids in the rural area, where she grew up and project leader and vice chairwoman of Aarhus Vocal Festival.
Tine Fris-Ronsfeld is a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, and a passionate workshop leader and clinician with more than 20 years of teaching experience.
The CASA Operational Staff spearheads our programs, initiatives, and the daily operations that help us accomplish our mission to inspire unity in the vocal music community.
CHIEF OF STAFF
Anthony Pulido is based in Boston as an arranger and director for Uproar, while also working with a number of groups in the area as an arranger, director, and producer. He moved from Florida to Boston where he obtained a BS in Biochemistry from Northeastern University. While attending NU, he first joined the a cappella community singing with the Unisons. He has continued contributions to the community, including judging for Varsity Vocals, joining the festival production teams for BOSS and SoJam, and as the third member of the head/voice podcast. He currently works in the podcasting, hospitality, and events spaces full time, and is excited to expand his involvement with CASA as a member of the board. Feel free to reach out to him if you want to talk a cappella, biochemistry, board games, or food places that he needs to go to!
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS
Meron is originally from New York and got her start in a cappella in 2004 with Duke University's Lady Blue. She has been an active member of the a cappella community ever since, working for CASA in various roles, judging at Varsity Vocals events, performing at festivals across the country, and collaborating with some of the best in the business. Meron was a member of NYC CAL group, Empire and after moving to Los Angeles in 2012, she co-founded the award-winning CAL group, Premiere, serving as their President for 3 years. Meron is currently a member of professional vocal group, VXN. She previously served as executive producer of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF) from 2015 to 2017. Since becoming Director of Events in 2017, Meron oversees all of CASA's festivals and events including LAAF, BOSS and SoJam in addition to shepherding new event initiatives like LocalVocal. She lives in Los Angeles and works full-time as a TV/film producer.
DIRECTOR OF AWARDS
As a musician Jessica started at an early age, playing piano and flute throughout her childhood, but she discovered singing and a cappella during high school and was immediately hooked. In college she sang with and directed the Boston University Allegrettos, doing most of the arranging as well as producing an album, and sang with friends in her hometown during the summers in Henry Fonda & the Falsettos. She now works at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, serves as Executive Producer for the N.E. Voices Festival, and has continued to arrange for various collegiate and high school groups around the country. Some of her other interests include Boston sports, video games, and all dogs, ever.
DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY
Shane began arranging music at an early age and ventured into arranging a cappella music at the age of 16. She started her contemporary a cappella career at Georgia Tech as a performer, arranger, and eventual president of the all female group, Nothin' but Treble. While still in college, she also began singing in a rock/gospel semi-professional group, Breakdown, in Atlanta. Shane continues to arrange and coach groups as well as judge for the ICCAs. An engineer at heart, Shane spends her days as a web software developer. @shaneardell
Jessie L. Mark
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITIES
Jessie joined the CASA Board in 2019 as the Director of Human Resources. Jessie holds a BA in History of Medicine, Science & Technology from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. While a student at Duke, Jessie sang with Duke's award-winning a cappella group, Lady Blue. After graduating, Jessie moved to New York where she sang with Empire A Cappella and co-founded VXN, a five person vocal group, with fellow CASA board member Meron Mogos. Jessie served as the Scholastic Festival Producer for The Betsy's A Cappella Festival in Miami Beach, FL from 2014-2019 and has taught music theory for vocal arranging workshops at SoJam, LAAF and BOSS. Jessie is currently based in San Francisco where she works at Cisco Systems as a People & Communities Business Partner.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Melinda first got involved in a cappella in 2011 at UMASS Amherst where she co-founded S#arp Attitude. She was the co-vocal director of the group for four years and vocal percussionist for 6 years while she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Viola Performance and Music Education. In 2015, Melinda went to her first CASA festival and was instantly drawn to the environment and community. She spent the next five years attending, volunteering, presenting, and giving masterclasses at CASA festivals and most recently serving as Education Coordinator for LAAF 2020. Melinda is currently working as a music teacher and freelance musician/conductor in Northern California and is so excited and honored to be joining the CASA board.
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LAAF EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jessie is a lifelong musician who got her start in a cappella during engineering school of all places! She directed her college group the Olin PowerChords, then founded and directed award-winning CAL group Premiere when she was living in Los Angeles. Now back home in San Diego she works as an engineer in the aerospace industry, but she directs her vocal band Voxy and arranges/produces a cappella on the side. Jessie credits the CASA festivals for opening up the world of a cappella to her and everyone in the community, and was thrilled to join the LAAF production team in 2018.