A Cappella Records (ACR) recently partnered with VocalSource, allowing their clients access to the online distribution services provided by ACR. But who is VocalSource?
The short answer: VocalSource is a business uniting talented, experienced a cappella producers, namely Dave Sperandio, Ed Boyer, James Cannon, Tat Tong, and James Gammon. Sperandio spearheads the effort, which he describes as a more official arrangement of collaborations that were occurring for awhile leading up to the formation of VocalSource.
“I’d been working with the other four partners… for a number of years, operating essentially as we do now – collaborating on projects, sharing knowledge, critiquing each other’s work, etc.,” he said. “Formalizing the relationship allowed us to be able to offer a wider suite of services and ‘flavors’ to our clients, whatever their tastes or budgets desired, or would allow.”
Sperandio had initially intended for his other business – Diovoce – to serve as a collaborative effort between experienced professionals, until life, and having his hands in Alliance for A Cappella Initiatives (AACI), the SoJam a cappella festival, the Sing compilations, and other projects held up his plans. As he sorted things out, technological advances allowed for other, younger enthusiasts to turn their craft into their work. Though he says he initially viewed these up-and-comers as competition, he came to realize that with them, he could realize his initial dream.
“(This arrangement) allows us to market our services under a formal umbrella of offerings,” he explained.
Due to these producers’ inherent proficiency for churning out innovative a cappella albums, VocalSource has to its name a lengthy laundry list of accolades. These include over 120 awards and nominations for the Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards and over 40 appearances on the Best of Collegiate A cappella. They have also had their work represented on the Best of High School A cappella, Sing and Voices Only compilations, and have over 30 picks of the year from the Recorded A cappella Review Board.
Looking toward the future, Sperandio has high hopes for the direction in which a cappella is headed, as a genre, though they may not heavily hinge upon the award-winning, experienced work of himself and his fellow VocalSource producers.
“I think that the (do-it-yourself) movement will get bigger and bigger in the coming years, as technology becomes more and more affordable and powerful, and as groups build a base of knowledge to pass on to their descendants,” he said, adding that he would love to use the resources provided by VocalSource to educate and inspire future generations of producers – in short, to continue a lineage of high-quality recording and production techniques, and to have a hand in the growth and perpetuation of a cappella.
“My hope is that, in bringing knowledge to as many groups as possible, we’ll make the process more affordable, more enjoyable, and most importantly, ultimately help yield better music,” he said. “Part of me would like to put myself out of business – almost.”