Danny Ozment is one whose name is well-known in the a cappella community. A board member for the Contemporary A cappella Society of America and the owner of Emerald City Productions, Ozment is an active and talented contributor to the world of contemporary vocal music.
It was a world unknown to the Richmond, Va. native before he began furthering his education – first earning a bachelors degree in music education from James Madison University, then a masters degree in conducting from the same institution of higher learning.
“I hadn’t heard of contemporary a cappella until college when I joined The Madison Project at JMU,” Ozment said. “I went on to start another group there – Exit 245 – but after getting my degree, I left the a cappella world for several years.”
Once he discovered a cappella, it didn’t take long for him to cultivate his interests not just as a performer, but as a recording engineer as well. He credits fellow producer James Gammon with showing him the way to turn his beloved interest into a career.
“After a few months I took the plunge and posted on the CASA forums that I’d be available to record some groups for free if they were willing to put up with me learning on the job,” he said. “Bill Hare, [Dave Speran]dio, James Gammon and Ed Boyer were extremely open and supportive with their advice during my first year.”
He added, “Without them, I don’t know where I’d be now. After that first year I was able to work part time at my day job and now I operate Emerald City Productions full time.”
The sense of community he felt as he became involved with a cappella at an increasing rate, combined with his deep-rooted choral sensibilities, combined to inspire Ozment’s love of others in a cappella, and his awe at the capabilities of human voices making music together.
Ozment’s future is bright, with big plans on the horizon. Some highlights include his work on a King’s Singers 2013 release on Signum Classics and continued work on the “Sing Me A Song” series, an a cappella compilation for kids. The first volume in this series, released through A Cappella Records in December of 2012, featured NOTA, Overboard, Cluster, Rajaton, Peter Hollens and Postyr Project, among others. Ozment will also continue to offer his award-winning services to groups throughout the nation – and the world.
He’s fueled forward by one strong, driving force – passion. Not only his, but that of the performers with which he so frequently works as well.
He explained, “Whether it’s a cover or an original, I really love when I can believe what a singer is singing into the microphone.”