Posts Tagged ‘performance’

SingStrong A cappella Festival

SingStrong 2012

This is a unique music festival held yearly at South Lakes High School in Reston, VA. The focus of the weekend is on a cappella singing – music made without instruments, only with voices. It may sounds restrictive, but much like haiku, the creativity that can come from making entire musical compositions using voices. In some cases you they use percussive mouth drumming, or foot stomping as well. All will amaze the listener! I was in a cappella group in college, and have spent most of my music budget since then on collecting my favorite collegiate, professional, local, national, and international groups.

In 2010, I asked the organizers if they would be in need for a photographer for their event. It has been a privilege to attend, and get some great images of all the performers. There are performances that are open to the public in addition to workshops for singers. Topics range from vocal performance for the studio, on-stage presentation, different styles of a cappella music, to legal considerations of recording and selling music.

SingStrong Single Singers TimeLine Media

Charitable contributions

The best part of the festival is that proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction go to the Alzheimer’s Association. So you can support a good cause while enjoying this very creative musical form. I encourage you to go to iTunes to sample some of these artists. To get details on this year’s event, you can go to the SingStrong website [ ] and get information on tickets and groups that are planning to perform.

SingStrong Pentatonix photo TimeLine Media

Having the kind of access that the organizers gave the photographers really helps to make some unique and memorable photographs. I was able to go back stage, get in front during sound checks, and in the balcony to find places that others usually do no go. These are the kinds of photos I want to make, not snapshots that the crowd can get with their camera phones. I need to get these in order to show that investing in good photography is worth the price. If I am only getting shots that everyone can get, it is impossible for my work to stand out, and be recognized. This is a goal that every photographer strives to achieve, and I try to make on every shoot.

SingStrong Blue Jupiter photo TimeLine Media

TimeLine Media

A Cappella – The Sing Off – SingStrong

Reston, Virginia

This is the third season for the NBC Show ‘The Sing Off’ which airs on Monday nights. Being that I am a former member of Juxtaposition, a college a cappella group from Virginia Tech, I was automatically hooked on this show. (I spent a lot of my extra college money on CDs which has transitioned to a downloading habit!) When this show debuted, I was excited to have another vehicle to see new a cappella groups.

There were groups that I was very familiar with and some that I had never been exposed to performing. There was an audience for the show from the first season. Consequently, there were an uptick in the amount of internet traffic regarding this form of music. At this time, I was lucky to find out that an a cappella music festival was held locally called SingStrong. The organizers graciously gave me access to photograph the groups, workshops, and the concerts. All of the proceeds which were donated in support of Alzheimer’s research.


The featured performers were prominently featured in the The Sing Off including Nota in 2010 and Street Corner Symphony in 2011. This was an amazing opportunity for me to see what was new and upcoming in a cappella up close with the latest in techniques, technologies and musicians that are pushing creative limits and making amazing music. This season is the largest yet – more groups, more rounds of competition, and another episode is on tonight. Check it out, and if you are in the DC area, or love to watch live music, check out SingStrong for next year’s schedule.

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