Event Details


April 11-13, 2014


All Day


Boston, MA

BOSton Sings A cappella Festival

Taking place in and around the city of Boston, BOSS is a three day event featuring everything you’ve come to expect from an a cappella festival and more: an innovative spin on the collegiate competition on Friday, the exclusive LIVE presentation and announcement of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, plus two days of workshops, and a professional showcase on Saturday night.

All are welcome – groups and individuals, singers and non-singers. Purchase an All-Access Pass for admission to the entire festival (including the workshops during the day), or just come to be a fan at the concerts by purchasing tickets to the Collegiate Competition and Pro Concert.




Fri, 4/11/2014, 7:30pm

  • Mainstage Theater
  • Competition Admission
  • Reserved Seating Available*
  • Watch our competitors give it all on stage.

Pro Concert


Sat, 4/12/2014, 8:00pm

  • Cyclorama
  • Pro Concert Admission
  • Reserved Seating Available*
  • Have your mind blown by Rockapella and The Rainbows.

CARA Banquet


Sat, 4/12/2014, 5:00pm

  • Cyclorama
  • CARA Banquet Admission
  • Red Carpet Access
  • Take part in the live Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards presentation.

Red Carpet


Sat, 4/12/2014, 7:00pm

  • Cyclorama
  • Red Carpet Access
  • Walk the red carpet.

All-Access Pass


4/11-4/13 2014

  • Multiple Venues
  • Competition Admission
  • Pro Concert Admission
  • Workshop Admission
  • Reserved Seating Available*
  • The full experience.

* Upgrades and bundle options available for an additional fee.

To pay by invoice or check, contact groupsales@casa.org.

CASA Membership Discount

Active Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) Members receive a $10 discount on All-Access Passes. To purchase your All-Access Pass at the discounted rate, you must have an active (paid) membership. Use the email address connected to your active membership as the promo code. Contact us if you have any questions.

  • rockapella
  • the rainbows




Saturday Concert Performers

They’ve become one of the world’s most sophisticated and lasting a cappella groups…and the most imitated! You’d be hard-pressed to find a more influential group out there.

Since the early ’90s, when they first achieved national television fame, they’ve provided a funky powerful soundtrack to several generations of vocal music fans, and managed to keep it all fresh along the way. With buckets of catchy original songs, and complete contemporary revisions of Motown, pop, and soul classics, this group has always been the one to watch. “Often imitated – never duplicated” applies here; they’re better than ever, and we’re excited to bring these legends to you.


The Rainbows

The Rainbows

Saturday Concert Performers

The Rainbows is a group from Quebec City which started in 2007. It’s comprised of six professional singers who’s voices form an explosive sound filled with rich harmonies.

They get their inspiration from Jazz and Pop music and always find a way to surprise their public with original arrangements that come to life after several jam sessions. They’re called ‘’The Rainbows’’ and their sound offers you a new musical experience!!!




Sound Off

Sound Off is a semi-professional mixed a cappella group based in Boston, MA. We officially formed this past May when seven ladies, who had been singing together since 2012, decided to start a new co-ed group. One by one the fellas joined until the group was full of young professionals from all different career fields, brought together by a shared love of a cappella music and held together by a zany sense of humor. It feels like we’ve been together for years, but we’re fresh-faced and excited to perform. Since our formation, we’ve built an eclectic contemporary repertoire we can’t wait to share with Boston and beyond.


Friday, April 11, 2014
5:00 PM Registration (open until 8:00 PM)
7:30 PM Collegiate CompetitionTicketsWeekend Pass
Saturday, April 12, 2014
8:30 AM Late Registration (for those who did not attend Friday evening activities)
3-451 3-450 3-504 3-525 Theater
9:00 AM Fix Everything
Engelhardt, Leonard, Thacher
Face Sounds
Going the Distance
Dress for Success
10:00 AM Advanced Arranging Techniques
Give It A Beat
AcaTheory 101
Say Stuff on Stage
Open Masterclass With Friday Champion
11:00 AM Seeing Music
Expanding Your VP Kit
Dynamic Female Arranging
Mark, Matze
CASA Workshop Leader Training (LE)
11:50 AM Acabombs
The Bottom Line, Similar Jones
12:25 PM Lunch Break
1:20 PM Competitive Preparation for the Win
Ahmed, Chung, Shirer
Finding Your Funny
Art of the Cover
Dreyer-Oren, Walzer
2:20 PM Being Music
A cappella Live Sound
A cappella After College and Beyond
Group Dynamics
3:10 PM Acabombs
Satellite Lane, Redline
3:45 PM Dinner Break
5:00 PM CARA BanquetTickets
7:10 PM Acabombs (Cyclorama)
North Reading HS Noteorious, Fermata Town, Sound Off
8:00 PM Professional Showcase – TicketsWeekend Pass
Rockapella, The Rainbows
10:30 PM Afterparty
Sunday, April 13, 2014
3-451 3-450 3-504 3-525
10:00 AM The Rainbows Experience
The Rainbows
You Be the Judge
Track Yourself
K. Guest
The Vocal Company presents Beyond Recording
11:00 AM Open Masterclass With Friday Champion
Vocal Tune Up
Rapid Improvement Cycles
Let’s Get Down to Business
12:00 PM CASA Board Open Forum




The BOSS 2014 masterclass schedule is almost final and will be announced soon. Request a masterclass here.

Class Descriptions

#acappella (Brian Chambers)
a cappella digitally speaking. Inside “fandoms,” Facebook, Twitter, Google and streaming services; Positioning your group or yourself online; Tips, tricks and a cappella fails; “Social Media” 101/501; We’ll have an interactive experience breaking down a popular a cappella group’s digital touchpoints

A cappella After College and Beyond (Dan Campagna)
Are you about to finish college or are a few years out but don’t want to stop singing a cappella? Join the club! Collegiate a cappella was fun, but the shows don’t have to stop there. A Cappella After College and Beyond is a workshop designed to educate attendees on what’s a cappella outlets are available after graduation as well as provide several tools to starting up your own post-collegiate group be in a Pro, Semi-Pro, or Just-For-Fun project.

A cappella Live Sound (Tony Huerta)
Learn all about Live Sound from an industry expert! He’ll cover microphones, digital mixing, signal flow, EQ for vocals, and creative ideas in acappella mixing.

AcaTheory 101 (Jessie Louise Mark)
Music theory is the study of how music is written and played. AcaTheory examines these fundamentals through an aca-musician’s lens, connecting the dots between what we see on the page and what we hear in arrangements. Join Jessie Mark for an interactive hour of theory, ear training and singing. This is a must attend workshop for beginner arrangers, music directors of “non-music readers” or anyone who wants to learn to read music.

Advanced Arranging Techniques (Tom Anderson)
Less philosophy, and more specific how-to’s for the experienced arranger looking to add arrows to their quiver.

Art of the Cover (Philipp Walzer, Katya Dreyer-Oren)
Covering pop tunes is common practice in the contemporary a cappella world, but what makes one cover stand above the rest? Join this arranging workshop & discussion on how to create a great cover. We’ll break down some great example arrangements and discuss what elements are used to make them unique, memorable, and effective. Basic elements of Jazz theory will be incorporated into the discussion, and we’ll explore how these elements can be used to recreate popular songs.

Barbershop: Expert A cappella Level (Matt Woodward)
Barbershop is freaking hard to sing well. During this class, when you hear a chord Lock and Ring, you’ll question every note you’ve ever sung before. Come learn why barbershop singers play the a cappella game on expert, and bump your game up to their level.

Being Music (Michael Eldredge)
A discussion about the nature of impression and expression using non verbal communication to connect with our audience and better convey emotional content.

The Vocal Company presents Beyond Recording (Dave Longo)
Beyond Recording discusses the effect that technology has had on arrangement choice and what we can learn from the process of recording to bring back to our live set and vice versa.

CASA Board Open Forum

CASA Workshop Leader Training (Limited Enrollment) (Marc Silverberg)
Attendees will get advice on how to teach a CASA workshop, how to get their foot in the door, and get notes on what kind of class they want to teach.

Competitive Preparation for the Win (Eric Chung, Shams Ahmed, Matt Shirer)
Three highly experienced a cappella musicians bring their perspectives, knowledge, and opinions regarding competitive a cappella. If your group needs a better battle plan for next years contest, come to this class.

Dress for Success (Shams Ahmed)
When your group hits the stage, it’s all eyes on you! We rehearse relentlessly to create the best sound possible, but sometimes we overlook other important aspects. This class will provide attendees with the knowledge to create cohesiveness within your group, allowing you to align the message of your music with visual presentation. With a panel chock full of fashionistas, aficionados, and generally opinionated people, participants will leave with the styling knowledge to truly dress for success!

Dynamic Female Arranging (Holli Matze, Jessie Louise Mark)
Calling all ladies! Take your group’s sound to the next level in an interactive hour of all­-female arranging with Holli Matze and Jessie Mark. Competitions are not separated by gender, so it is time to step up your game and claim the street cred that is rightfully yours. Join us as we explore some aca-­tricks of the trade: bring out your lowest voices, create powerful moments, make bold musical statements and carve out a place for your new and improved unique sound in the a cappella landscape.

Expanding Your VP Kit (Ben Cohan)
Well-disciplined fills and cymbal work, broadening your arsenal of sounds and rhythms, listening to real percussion for influence, the basics of using a microphone.

Face Sounds (Nicholas Fox)
I will introduce different “strange” and “different” methods of vocal production — pharyngeal (throat) singing, overtones, instrument mimickry, percussive sounds, novel vowel shapes and other phonetic marvels. We will also discuss how to produce them, and the merits / examples of use in arrangements, large/small groups, and solo acts.

Finding Your Funny (Amy Engelhardt)
Feeling tongue tied between your terrific tunes? At a loss for how to fill the space between songs? My workshop explores what “funny” is, what it isn’t, and how to get to that point where you are completely comfortable onstage and committed to being in the moment. At which point… you can and will be a more entertaining performer in general. Warning: There Will Be Games.

Fix Everything (Amy Engelhardt, Scott Leonard, Jeff Thacher)

Give It A Beat (Joe Antonioli)
An energetic exploration of how to make every precious second of rehearsal time count … and change the way you perform! This active workshop demonstrates exercises that help singers feel the beat and line up complicated rhythms.

Going the Distance (Alli Brooks)
Are you in a group that makes fresh and original music, learns innovative arrangements, even performs mind-blowing choreography… but feels like it’s only being held together by a thread? Guess what: you’re not alone. Every year, groups of all ages, shapes, and sizes are faced with issues that can potentially kill momentum, or even cause a complete membership meltdown! Whether you’re bracing yourself for the graduation of over half your members, dealing with that baritone who seem to prioritize everything else before rehearsal, or struggling to keep up morale when all hope seems lost, this workshop can help: we’ll address the issues and equip you with the tools and tactics to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of your group’s success and longevity. Don’t let your flame burn out over membership turnover or mental barriers — learn how to set your group’s trajectory for greatness and then keep it there!

Group Dynamics (Kate Pientka)
Does your group have creative discussions that go on for hours without resolving? Have you wondered how you could better balance everyone’s input but still get things to move a little faster? Ever been pulled between the group members who are barely showing up and the ones who are pushing so far ahead you can barely keep up? If you have questions on how to better facilitate the way your group interacts with each other or want ideas on how to lead a group of inspired, creative, and often busy artists, this workshop will teach you all the fundamentals of group facilitation plus cover some clever leadership tools to help you enjoy the role more.

Instrument Imitation (Aaron Jensen)
In this educational and entertaining workshop, award-winning performer/clinician Aaron Jensen will teach you how to create authentic instrument sounds with your voice that will rocket your singing group to the next level. Touted as having “better [vocal] brass than possibly anyone in the business” (Mouth-Off Radio), Jensen will guide you through the vocal trumpet (both muted and unmuted), trombone, saxophone, distortion guitar, rhythm guitar, upright bass, percussion and more. No experience necessary.

Let’s Get Down to Business (Josh Eisner)
Every group needs to run like a business — whether your a high school, college, semi-professional, or pro group. That doesn’t necessarily mean fundraising (because some groups can get by just singing on their own dime). But, even if you’re not fundraising, every group needs to run successful marketing campaigns, or else they will find it difficult to get any gigs. In my workshop, I plan to talk about all of the various ways a group can turn itself into a business, while still maximizing each member’s time in their a cappella group. I will focus on fundraising on all levels and how to seek out new and exciting opportunities. I will also focus on successfully marketing your group to all kinds of different clients. And, lastly, I will briefly speak about ways that, for the group itself, one can form the business to be something to which everyone is willing to contribute.

Open Masterclass With Friday Champion (Headliner)
The Friday Night Competition Champions will have a master class with a headliner group of their choosing!

The Rainbows Experience (The Rainbows)

Rapid Improvement Cycles (Matt Shirer)

Say Stuff on Stage (Scott Cobban)
Learn how to use improv games and techniques to prepare and get comfortable for performances and general talking/hosting moments on stage.

Seeing Music (Michael Eldredge)
A visual exploration of live performance through concert photography.

Track Yourself (Kevin Guest)
Going over the preparation, timeline, process, giving some tips & tricks, and an open discussion of creating a one-voice a cappella recording. How do you get started and what do you need? These are some of the questions that would be covered, along with discussing the many benefits of making these types of recordings (growth as a singer, learning tracks for groups to learn new music, great practice for aspiring a cappella recording engineers).

Vocal Tune Up (Aaron Jensen)
This workshop is designed to help choirs with the fundamentals of a capella singing: Blend, Time-Feel, Intonation and Phrasing. These components will be addressed one by one through a variety of comprehensive and accessible exercises.

You Be the Judge (Michael Marcus)
We’re all entitled to our opinions, but in our media-saturated world getting others to respect _your_ opinion is the best way to stand out. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn tricks of the trade from veteran members of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) as you develop your critical listening and critical writing skills using real a cappella tracks. Come ready to write!


BOSS – like all CASA events – strives to pack the festival weekend with as many performances as possible. Saturday, April 13 will feature several short (15 minute) performance opportunities for groups of all stripes – professional, CAL, high school, collegiate, semi-pro, amateur…and we want YOU! We call ‘em AcaBombs, and if you’d like one of these performance slots, here’s what you do:

  1. Purchase BOSS All-Access Passes for your entire group (psst – early bird pricing ends March 21st)
  2. Upload/send us a video of your group singing a few songs (preferably 5-10 minutes total). The video doesn’t have to be specifically made for us, but the sound quality has to be decent enough for us to make a fair assessment of your group. Send the link to amy@casa.org.
  3. Post on Facebook and Twitter that you want a BOSS AcaBomb using the hashtag #BOSSacabomb14 and tag us in your posts (facebook.com/bostonsings, @BOSSaca).

Get all your submissions in by March 31st, because we’ll be announcing our AcaBomb lineup on April 4th.

We look forward to hearing from you and to making 2014 the most revolutionary BOSS ever!

CARA Banquet and Awards Presentation
+ Red Carpet

BOSS 2012

Buy Now

Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:00pm-7:00pm
Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02116
$35 ticket

For an update on some minor changes to the CARA Banquet and how you can walk the Red Carpet, please read this blog.

The Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) are essentially the Grammys of a cappella, and before the first BOSS there was no live ceremony or gathering of all the nominees to recognize each other’s accomplishments. We’ve stepped it up each year since, and this is the biggest yet. We’re still expecting you to don your fanciest, black-tie-best, and we’ll still live-tweet all the awards as they’re announced, but here’s what else you can expect (and why you have to be there in person):

  • Professional photography from Michael Eldredge on the red carpet (including a shot of each winner with their award).
  • Delicious food included in cost of admission (we call it the CARA Banquet for a reason).
  • Exclusive performances (who doesn’t want to be entertained while they eat and drink?).
  • Speaking of entertaining – award-winning singer/songwriter, professional funny person, and former member of The Bobs Amy Engelhardt will be the host for the evening.

Have any more questions? Are you a CARA nominee who wants to get your discounted tickets to the event? Just email Sara Yood, our CARA Director, at sara@casa.org.


BOSS Collegiate Competition

Friday, April 11, 2014 7:30pm
Mainstage Theater at Roxbury Community College
1234 Columbus Ave
Roxbury, MA 02120


Boston Sings’ first Collegiate Competition took the community by storm, flipping the usual a cappella competition format on its head. Last year, we did it again, and were voted the Favorite A Cappella Event in the 2013 A Cappella Community Awards. This year, we’ll follow our own trend by changing it up again.

Themed rounds? We invented them. Eliminations? None. Pushing boundaries? Absolutely.



The BOSS team is very proud to announce the four groups competing at the Collegiate Competition this year. Congratulations to this year’s selected competitors:


High School Hosts

We are also thrilled to announce our hosts and deliberation performers for the competition, Highlands Voices from Northern Highlands Regional High School.

Danvers High School Falconize will be joining us and opening the show!

Please also keep an eye out on Saturday for North Reading High School’s Noteorious, who will be performing an AcaBomb.


Competition Format

Each group will have 12 minutes total, to be distributed between three performances as they see fit. Groups will not be performing these songs together as a set, but rather as a part of a collective performance with the other competitors; there will be no particular order. Instead, songs will be organized by producers to provide the best show possible for our audience. Professionalism, creativity, and beautiful music will be rewarded. Are you ready for the Revolution? We are.

Required Performance for All Groups:

Lights Out
This is your group and your voices, and that’s all the judges and the audience will have. We recommend keeping this performance under two minutes, because you’ll be singing completely in the dark. Judges will be blind to which group is performing, so you’ll have to stimulate all their senses via only their ears.

Groups will select two of the following three performance options:

Option One: Turn the Beat Around
BOSS is all about innovation, and we know you’ve got what it takes to change something for the better. This is not a mash-up game. In this round, we’ll reward those who innovate, who challenge the idea that a cappella groups are just vocal cover bands: Whether you’re merging Shakira lyrics with Dylan’s stylings, marrying John Cage to Imagine Dragons, or turning trip-hop into the saddest song we’ve ever heard, we want your creativity. There are multiple sides to every story; tell yours like only you can.

Option Two: Find Me In Da Club
It’s simple: make us dance. Klezmer? We’re into it. Disco fever? Be a dancing queen. Want to waltz? Wonderful. Whatever groove you’re bringing, just be sure that your entire group is committed and ready for the party that will surely ensue.

Option Three: Free Bird
This performance is free of all constraints but one: you have to define who you are as a group onstage. This is not a category for the faint of heart—we’re asking you to do what you and ONLY you can. There is a lot of talk in a cappella circles about what creates group identity—when you exit the stage for this round, make sure nobody can forget your name.

Getting to BOSS

We strongly suggest you use public transport in Boston when getting around. Complete maps of MBTA Service can be found here.

Mainstage Theater

at Roxbury Community College

1234 Columbus Ave
Roxbury, MA 02120

Location of Collegiate Competition and Workshops

MBTA Getting There:


at the Boston Center for the Arts

539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Location of CARA Banquet and Professional Showcase

Parking Recommendations

MBTA Getting There:

Where to Stay


Crowne Plaza Hotel

320 Washington St
Newton, MA 02458
(10 min drive from venue – best for those traveling by car or using Uber)

10 single Queen bedrooms available from 4/10-4/14 for $149/night

Book by Friday, 3/28/14:

  • Call: 866 257 7857 and ask for the Boston Sings Attendee block
  • Book Online

MBTA Public Transportation to the Crowne Plaza:

Other Deals

There’s a lot going on in Boston during this year’s BOSS… but below are some places to look for reasonably priced lodging. For those without cars, we recommend staying along the T (MBTA).

  • airbnb – guesthouse, bed & breakfast and vacation rentals, search near 539 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02116
  • Hotels.com - search near 539 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02116
  • Hotwire – Look in “Back Bay – Copley Square” and “Brookline – Fenway – Newton” areas, perhaps Cambridge or anything along the Red/Orange Lines (MBTA).

BOSS events don’t happen all on their own! Learn who’s behind the scenes below. To stay up-to-date with all BOSS happenings, be sure to like Boston Sings on Facebook and follow @BOSSaca on Twitter.


Alexander Koutzoukis – BOSS Executive Producer
Blair Baldwin - CASA Director of Events
Shane Ardell – Web & Registration
Matt Woodward – Education Manager
Heather Newkirk – Outreach & Social Media Coordinator
Emily Flanders – Competition and Pro Showcase Producer
Sara Yood – CARA Director
Alex Green – Food Sponsors
Amy Malkoff – Marketing/Blog
Diana Blanchard – Sponsorship Manager
Liz Mongrello – Volunteer Manager
Eileen O’Hara
Diana Galeano


A ‘masterclass’ is a session in which your group works privately with a BOSS instructor or instructors: a chance to receive real-time, constructive criticism from a cappella’s best and brightest! Masterclasses will be available all weekend during class times (Saturday 9:00-5:00, Sunday 10:00-12:00). Masterclass registration is part of event registration and the schedule will be released no later than a week prior to the event.

Certain limited-enrollment workshops and all masterclasses require advance registration, which will open a few weeks prior to the event. We will contact all pass holders when registration opens as well as post details on how to register on our blog and on social media.

Lunch is not included in the pass, although the Saturday schedule includes enough time for lunch at local restaurants.

An All-Access Pass includes admission to both Saturday and Sunday workshops, the Friday evening Collegiate Competition, the Saturday evening Professional Showcase and all afterparties.

Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster. Please see the Tickets section of the website for details.

No, only individual tickets or passes are available to purchase using the CASA Membership discount. If you have some members of your group who are paid CASA members and would like to receive the discount, they can purchase their tickets individually. Make sure they indicate that they are part of your group, and we will have all of your group’s materials together for pick up at registration.

If your group placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 2013 Collegiate Competition, we will be in contact with you about how to register using your discount for BOSS 2014.

If you should receive passes to BOSS 2014 as part of a 2013 or 2014 sponsorship package, please confirm with Kate Pientka that you will be attending and we will hold these passes for you at registration / will call.

Be sure to check out the submission instructions to be a part of the competition.

The submission deadline for the competition is listed under the Important Dates section here.

If you have already registered and indicated in your group registration that you are applying to compete, but at the time of registration you did not have your video ready to upload, you can email the link to boss-submissions@casa.org.

Groups selected to compete will receive a detailed schedule including registration and sound checks from the production team after they are selected to compete. Please plan to be available by 3pm on Friday, April 11th. If you have any specific questions please contact us.

We are working on procuring some discounts with local hotels for the weekend of the conference. Information about how to book using these discounts will be posted in the Getting Around section of the site.

All data collection and payments are completed on the Ticketfly website. Please see the Ticketfly website for information about their security measures.

Before purchasing tickets, carefully review your selection. Policies set forth by our clients, including venues, teams and theaters, prohibit us from issuing refunds after a ticket has been purchased. Regretfully, if you elect to make changes to your plans, tickets cannot be cancelled, exchanged or refunded unless the event has been cancelled or postponed.

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