Completely Biased Highlights from ICCA Finals 2012
OOTB hangs out with Amy from Delilah after the show
…as written by someone who competed, after consulting with other biased people.
1. Titanium by UChicago Voices in Your Head. I cannot wait until they record this—their soloist sat on those top notes for eons. Their sound filled the room and they knew exactly how to use the mic system. Actually, just watch the whole set. They have a compelling story arc and make great artistic decisions. Fantastic.
2. Oluwasegun Oluwadele from the SoCal VoCals. His rendition of Tightrope drove the audience wild. And he belted the top notes (falsetto? who needs it!). He scampered all over the stage, and it was just adorable.
3. Vocal Rush, the ICHSA Champions. These girls used to have three additional male members, but the boys couldn’t make it to finals. The girls just rearranged some parts and killed it. They’re like mini-Delilah and had more balls than many of the all-male groups I know.
4. Delilah. They shook the room. Enough said. (Also, the photo at the top of this post is a personal highlight).
OOTB had a great time competing, making new friends, and seeing phenomenal a cappella at the ICCA Finals. Also, the show was across the street from the Broadway production of Anything Goes—I was completely overwhelmed by the talent all around! Anyone we met this weekend has an open invitation to come down to Yale. We’ll set you up with a performance venue, hosting, and a party! Congratulations to the SoCal VoCals on their third ICCA Championship, the Scattertones on their first runner up, and the charming gentlemen of All the King’s Men on their third-place finish!
OOTB Leadership 2012-2013
After a successful year, OOTB is proud to announce the fearless leadership who will bring us to new heights in the upcoming academic year!
Pitch: Fiona Vella, Davenport ‘14. Fiona is originally from Ireland, and now comes to us from Maine. With a long history of musical addiction, of which humming in her sleep has thus far been the severest symptom, she joins Dre in the traditional OOTB/Glee Club contingent that has existed for aeons and in pitch lineage.
Assistant Pitch: Sana Sharma, Davenport ‘14. When she isn’t singing in OOTB, Sana can usually be found painting, playing the ukulele, and performing controlled explosions in the name of science. She is an avid aficionado of all things astrophysics, and will attempt to turn you into one too, if given a tin can, a laser, and half a chance.
Business Manager, Fall Term: Back by popular demand, Tom Dec, Jonathan Edwards ‘13. Tom’s enthusiasm for OOTB is only matched by his passion for politics (of the Democratic flavor) and he can often be found reading, writing, or talking about it when he’s not singing. He is also an avid twitter user, Meat Loaf fan, and vanilla ice cream aficionado.
Business Manager, Academic Year: Allison Bryant, Morse ‘14. Your friendly neighborhood OOTBlogger loves primates, lemons, hiking in the mountains, the American West, stories, my family, and OOTB. I’m from Idaho, but I don’t care much about potatoes, unless they’re ice cream potatoes.
Rush Managers: Harry VanDusen, Morse ‘14, will be leading the OOTB flagship into next year’s rush! He will be joined by Kate Mighty, Pierson ‘15, Johnny Shively, Ezra Stiles ‘15, and Carter Michael, Calhoun ‘15 in OOTB’s quest to find its newest members.
We can’t wait to see what awesome surprises next year brings!
OOTB takes a break from walking at Yale Relay for Life 2012!
OOTB is producing an EP!
We’re so excited to announce that OOTB is producing our first ever EP! The album will feature our set from ICCA Semifinals - three songs that have defined an incredible year - and will be recorded over the next two weeks at Bristol Recording Studios in Boston, MA. OOTB usually records an album every other year, most recently releasing 16 Edgewood in 2011, but this year we decided to capture our award-winning ICCA set in an EP.
I’m really excited about the way that we’re producing the EP as well, and it’s appropriate that it comes on the heels of our Kickstarter post yesterday. We’re preselling the CD for $5, but there are so many ways to get involved with the production!
For a donation of $5 or more, we’ll email you a digital copy of the OOTB EP as soon as it is complete.
For a donation of $15 or more, you’ll get a CD recording of the EP, mailed to you!
For a donation of $25 or more, you’ll get a CD copy of 16 Edgewood or Getting Wise (your choice), a commemorative photo of the group from the ICCAs, and we’ll sign your copy of our EP.
For a donation of $50 or more, you’ll be recognized as an EP Sponsor on the album and on our website.
For a donation of $100 or more, we’ll record a personalized YouTube video of any song in our repertoire to a person of your choice (including you)!
How to Use Kickstarter to Fund Your A Cappella Album: Lessons from the Starving Artists and OOTB
Looking for alternative ways to fund your next a cappella album?
OOTB has noticed that a cappella groups are increasingly turning to Kickstarter, the “world’s largest funding platform for creative projects,” to fund their albums. Kickstarter allows anyone to set up a donation page, set a target amount of money to be raised, and get donations via Amazon Payments. There’s also a safety mechanism in place—if the target amount isn’t raised, Kickstarter refunds all donations, so your money won’t be wasted.
We talked to Abby Armstrong, Business Manager of the Brandeis Starving Artists, about their experience with Kickstarter. She and OOTB have compiled some great advice for a cappella groups who want to make the most out of the Kickstarter experience!
1. Bring up your Kickstarter account to friends and family in a personal way, not just by sharing the link. Most of the Starving Artists’ donations came from people they knew personally. Every person in the group wrote “personalized emails, letters, [and] made phone calls” to share their funding search with people they cared about. Reach out to alumni as well! Your alums are one of your biggest markets for your CD, and if you give them a way to finance the CD, they can feel even more connected to the process.
2. Set a realistic goal. Remember, if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get any of the money! You can think of your Kickstarter project as part of a series of installment payments for your CD. The Starving Artists used Kickstarter to raise a large block of money to record their CD the first time around, but they’re shifting to a more staggered recording experience. Kickstarter can be the way you fund recording or mixing—it doesn’t have to be your sole source of money for the whole CD! However, if you’re worried about not making your goal, try out indiegogo.com. It’s basically Kickstarter, but even if you don’t make your goal, you get all of the donations contriubuted to your project. Some friends of ours at Brown, the Bear Necessities, are using indiegogo to fund their latest CD, Eat the Beach.
3. Use Kickstarter as a way to presell your CD. People are much more willing to donate money if they know they’ll get a good return. Advertise your Kickstarter as a way to get in the door early.
4. Create awesome incentives for your donation amounts. One of the coolest projects on Kickstarter are the Double Fine adventure games. I talked to a friend who enjoys adventure games about the incentives on Double Fine’s Kickstarter page, and he had this to say:
"Double Fine’s Kickstarter project is awesome because you get to see the whole process from start to finish. They send out a really well-done documentary video every month (seriously, Tim Schafer is hilarious), so I get to experience the most exciting and interesting parts of building the game without actually having to do any of the work. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.”
Double Fine is using incentives that get people excited about the finished product and reminds them that their money is being well-used. OOTB is no stranger to prerelease videos (remember the OOTB Recording Project, which took you behind the scenes of 16 Edgwood?) and we think they’re a great way to engage your Kickstarter donors. Try using traditional incentives, like signed CDs or T-shirts, but here are some other ideas we thought up:
- Sneak peeks of songs before they’ve been released. Everyone likes to have early access to cool stuff!
- Blooper tracks. Every so often, recording just doesn’t go quite right the first time. I have some “less than perfect” but hilarious takes from 16 Edgewood in my iTunes right now. These are especially wonderful for alumni and family members.
- Interviews with pitches, business managers, and professionals mixing the CD. Other a cappella groups are interested in how you record and how to save time and money! Let them know what you’re up to from a technical standpoint.
- Personalized recordings for big donors. The Starving Artists offered private performances to people within 100 miles of their school. You can offer live performances to donors close to you, or record a quick birthday greeting, hello, or thank you to those farther away.
5. Publicize your CD after it’s done. Try to get as much information as possible to your donors after your project is complete. If possible, send a thank-you email to each individual. After all, if they donated, they’re probably interested in your group, and you want them to associate you with quality CDs and friendly people.
A cappella groups are utilizing Kickstarter to create exciting new CDs! Kickstarter is convenient, and also levels the playing field a bit for new a cappella groups with less alumni support than others. OOTB encourages you to check it out (not just for a cappella CDs, but other awesome projects like An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, which is readings of Neil Gaiman’s work live and set to music!).
P.S. Check out the Starving Artist’s latest CD produced with help from Kickstater, Order Up!