May 24, 2016

MLB investigating San Diego Gay Men's Chorus controversy at Padres' game

Los Angeles Times:

Major League Baseball said Monday it was investigating why a San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performance at the Saturday San Diego Padres game was drowned out by recorded music.

The San Diego Padres said late Sunday that they had disciplined an employee and stopped working with a contractor who the team said was involved.

The choir's Saturday performance was drowned out by a recording of a woman singing the national anthem that was broadcast in the stadium.

The incident generated outrage, partly because the chorus was singing during "Out at the Park," a special LGBT pride event at the stadium. Members of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus accused the Padres of homophobia and called for an investigation by the team as well as Major League Baseball.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was also gathering information.

“It’s difficult to say a timetable,” Courtney told the paper. “It depends how long it is, in terms of where the information takes you. The plan is and the goal is, as expeditiously as possible.”

The Padres said in a statement that they had conducted an internal probe and concluded that there was "no evidence of malicious intent" by any of the individuals involved in the mishap, but the organization faulted personnel for not immediately intervening and correcting the situation.

"We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance," the team said in a statement. "The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion – within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”

Read more.

Posted by John at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2016

Stiletta wins the Harmony Sweepstakes

It was indeed a grand evening of harmony singing at the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals this past weekend and each and every group brought their very best to the competition. For the third time in four years it was the ladies who took top honors with New York's Stiletta winning both first place and audience favorite. I was confident it would be a good show as every group was strong, but boy, did the groups step it up a notch and each and every set was a knock out. Thanks to all the groups for being so darn entertaining and to our audience for supporting us all these years.

The results:-

National Champions - Stiletta
2nd place - Double Date
3rd Place - Mc Celleneous

Audience Favorite - Stiletta

Best Original Arrangement - "Royals" - Judy Minkoff , Stiletta
Best Original Song - "Get Pumped" - Stiletta

Posted by John at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2016

Sweet Honey proceeds with concerts in North Carolina

Rather than canceling their upcoming concerts in North Carolina Sweet Honey in the Rock will instead protest in song to express their opposition to the passage of the HB2 anti-transgender (so-called "bathroom law") that has embroiled North Carolina in a national controversy. They put out this statement:-

"Sweet Honey in the Rock has always stood for justice, freedom, dignity, and basic human rights for all people, regardless of race, religion, age, ability, economic status, political affiliation, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and our diverse audiences reflect these principles. In 2010, we joined many other artists in the boycott against the unjust policy in Arizona (SB 1070) By declining to perform, however, we were constantly reminded by those in the struggle that they needed our voices for support."

"Although we do not endorse the recent passing of the unjust HB2 anti-transgender law in North Carolina, we will honor our prior commitments (Goldsboro, May 13; High Point, May 14) to offer music which will uplift and inspire all those who believe it is imperative to stand together against injustice. We who believe in freedom cannot rest."

Posted by John at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2016

For the Kinsey Sicks, politics is no drag

CNN:

There are four singing drag queens hoping to win the hearts of the American people and change the conversation around politics in 2016. They are the Kinsey Sicks,, "America's favorite dragapella beautyshop quartet."

The San Francisco-based group is currently touring the country with their political satire show, "Electile Dysfunction 2016." The act centers on the premise that the quartet (consisting of four Republicans with competing ideologies) is running for the GOP presidential nomination.

All four approach drag in different ways but for Schatz drag has always been political.

"My character in drag is very much a feminist statement," said Schatz. "I don't try to look pretty, I try to look ridiculous. People are always like, 'Oh your forgot to shave your chest.' It's like' I did not forget to shave my chest God made me this way.'"

Manabat, who is in charge of the group's glamorous wardrobe, was a part of the award-winning U.C. Berkeley's Men's Octet as an undergraduate student. He says his money-obsessed character Trixie couldn't be further from who he is in his daily life, but he doesn't judge her.

Being a part of the Kinsey Sicks, he said, is unlike anything he's ever done as an actor because his character continues even after the curtains fall.

"This show in particular -- we're coming off stage and we're still the characters and we get to communicate with people about the issues we're bringing up," said Manabat. "I'm able to be more open and challenge people on their views or even just communicate one-on-one about something that personally I'd feel uncomfortable talking about."

Read and watch more.

Posted by John at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2016

24 Undeniable Signs You Were In A College A Cappella Group

The Huffington Post has an amusing post today called 24 Undeniable Signs You Were In A College A Cappella Group.

Posted by John at 4:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2016

Announcing 2016 Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals line up

After another season of top notch harmony singing around the country our line up for the National Finals is now complete.

Once again we present a great selection of talented groups and a nice variety of styles. Always a fun evening for vocal harmony fans we hope you can join us once again this year.

32nd Annual Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival National Finals

Featuring our regional champions:-

New York: Stiletta
San Francisco: Halfway to Midnight
Chicago: Double Date
Boston: Ball in the House
Mid-Atlantic: West Side 5
Los Angeles: Ms Celleneous
Pacific Northwest: Restless Vocal Band

Hosted by 2015 National Champions: Straighter Road

Saturday May 14th, 8pm
The Marin Center
Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael

http://www.harmony-sweepstakes.com

Posted by John at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2016

David Hurley - An a cappella icon

If there was ever an A Cappella Hall of Fame (and who knows maybe one day there will be) then one of the very first inductees should certainly be countertenor David Hurley. After 26 years with the King's Singers I can't think of anybody who has sung as much amazing a cappella, in as many prestigious venues, in as many countries as he has.

David will be retiring later in the year and here is a fun interview he did with the Guardian called "26 years with the King's Singers: Chicken testicles, Stravinsky on the wall and ushers with laser pens"

Posted by John at 9:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2016

The 2016 Harmony Sweeps season begins

The new season of the Harmony Sweepstakes season began with turn-away crowds at the Mid-Atlantic Regional held at the legendary Birchmere Music Hall this past weekend. Congratulations to vocal jazz quintet West Side 5 for their win and we look forward to seeing them in the National Finals. The other regionals are coming up and full house are expected so be sure to get your tickets soon.

March 12, San Francisco - Palace of Fine Arts
March 12, Pacific Northwest - Washington Center for the Performing Arts
March 19, New York - Miller Theater, Broadway at 116th Ave
April 2, Los Angeles, Hermosa Beach Theater
April 3, Chicago - Northshore Center for the Performing Arts
April 16, Boston - Somerville Theater

May 14, National Finals - Marin Center, San Rafael, CA

Hope to see you there!

Posted by John at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 4, 2016

Bobby McFerrin cancels tour

Bobby McFerrin has cancelled all his upcoming dates for health reasons. We wish him a speedy recoverey.

An official statement from McFerrin's representatives:- “On the advice of his doctors, Bobby McFerrin has made the difficult decision to withdraw from traveling and performing for the immediate future. He is working with specialists to evaluate, understand and address his symptoms, which include vocal weakness and chronic fatigue. We deeply regret the necessity of canceling upcoming engagements. We hope to reschedule as soon as Bobby's health allows and return to the business and pleasure of making music.”

Posted by John at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)