CASA held its last virtual event of the year during the last weekend of April. I think I can speak for everyone who attended when I say that we are all still coming down from yet another a cappella high! BOSS 2021 was full of incredible performances and classes, just like SoJam and LAAF. After the experience gained in previous virtual festivals, BOSS ran like a well-oiled machine and featured some really special moments.
I for one never thought that I would be writing a blog post wrapping up three fully virtual a cappella festivals. During this unprecedented time, I have been so grateful for our community and so proud of the resiliency and creativity that we have all shown. We’ve continued to show up for ourselves, our art, and each other and that is surely something to be proud of!
Here’s a recap of some of the highlights of the weekend:
- The Friday night scholastic competition featured five wildly talented groups: All-Night Yahtzee from Florida State University, In Full Colour from the University of Waterloo, On the Vox from Berklee College of Music, Radius from various schools, and Untitled from Towson University
- In Full Colour from the University of Waterloo took 1st place in the competition with a 100% original set that blew everyone away!
- The deliberation performer: OneManJamz not only impressed us all with his looping skills but fully tickled us with his ‘just got out of bed’ video
- Saturday featured a full day of informative classes like Bass Basics with Barry Carl (yes, the one from Rockapella!), Dominating Social Media with Andrew Athias (yes, the Reese's guy!), and Arranging 101 with Jon Smith (yes, the Swingle Singer!), and honestly way too many more to name here. My brain is still spinning from all of the new knowledge.
- Saturday night’s professional showcase fulfilled all of my lingering a cappella needs with incredible sets from Resolve, On’ lar A cappella, Vox Populi Project, and Postyr. I think my favorite aspect of the performance was hearing a cappella in four very different styles from four different countries.
- Sunday was another day chock full of classes and one-on-one sessions.
Looking back on all three virtual festivals that CASA has put on this year, several things stand out. For me, the most incredible part was being gathered in the same online space as folks from all over the world. This is not something I’d ever experienced before and it wasn’t lost on me the entire time. Maybe this will make me sound old and out of touch, but how cool is the world we’re living in that we have the technology to do this?! I think one of the best ways to learn is by listening and I loved hearing a cappella in so many different languages and styles from the professional showcases throughout. Another wonderful aspect of the festivals was the chat in Hopin. I was surprised with how much of a community feel we were able to create just chatting with each other throughout the festivals. All in all I am left feeling hopeful for the future of our genre post-pandemic. Did you catch the creativity in those scholastic videos?! And don’t get me started on the arrangements and new original music that’s coming out!
I’m also left with an extreme sense of pride. Pride in our resiliency, pride in our creativity, and pride in our commitment to community building despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Though I’m not necessarily jumping at the chance to have another virtual festival (actually, I’m counting the seconds until we can have them in person again) I am so grateful that we were all given the opportunity to continue learning and growing together in an online space.
I would like to thank the entire CASA team and all festival teams for their incredible work! I CAN’T WAIT to see you all in person again soon (all of my fingers and toes are crossed)!