[This is the last of a series of profiles on our CARA award ceremony presenters]
WHO: Jon Pilat
AWARD: Best Pop/Rock Song
About eight years ago, I received a phone call from Bill Hare asking if, since I already listened to more a cappella music than was probably healthy, I would be interested in joining the CASA board and running the CARA program. I had been singing a cappella for almost ten years at that point, first with the Stanford Harmonics and then with Hookslide, but hadn’t really considered becoming involved with the a cappella community as more than a fan and a singer. The CARA awards had always been something special to me–I had been nominated for work with both of my groups, mostly as an arranger. This seemed like a great opportunity to hear everything that was going on in a cappella music and help promote the music I love.
I accepted, and over the years Julia Hoffman (partner in CARA-related crime) and I have helped the CARAs evolve to stay relevant with what recorded a cappella music is today. We’ve added and changed awards to compliment the creativity that’s happening throughout the a cappella community. The change that’s had the biggest impact is getting the broader community more involved with the awards as nominators and judges. Every year we’re looking for new folks to join our group of CARA nominators–any CASA member with significant a cappella experience is eligible. If that’s you, please consider helping make sure these awards continue to recognize the very best in recorded a cappella music.
When I started managing the CARAs, a live ceremony to honor the folks receiving the awards seemed about as likely as winning the lottery. I am very proud to be a part of the first ever live CARA event, and incredibly grateful to all the folks with BOSS and CASA for helping put this together.