Home Audition Tips For Season 5 of The Sing-Off!

Evan Feist's picture

Auditions for Season 5 of The Sing-Off are underway!
There's been a bit of confusion about the use of tracks/instruments on this season and I got to talk to Deke Sharon, Vocal Producer for The Sing-Off and father of modern a cappella to clear things up a bit.

Evan: "Hey Deke, thanks for taking the time. I just wanted to get the definitive word on what the deal is with using non-vocal in performance on this season of The Sing-Off."

So, the official word is this: it’s a vocal harmony show. Every group must feature vocal harmony. However, if it's a choir and they have a guitar, now that's ok. Or a group like Germany's Van Canto - a cappella + a rock drum kit. Live looping is allowed, banging on trash cans, you name it, but the vocal harmony needs to be central and the non- harmony minimal (a live band not allowed, for instance).

Evan: What kind of advice would you give an a cappella used to using only vocals interested in auditioning, potentially for the first time? What's important to remember? How can vocal only groups stand out amongst other acts this season?

It's an expansion of the show to allow a wider variety of singing groups, but still all about the voice and harmony so remain a cappella! We'll still have a cappella groups in the show, just not only a cappella.

Deke's Tips:
1. Start with your very best song - best soloist, everything. Check egos at the door, don't worry about showcasing everyone, start with your home run hitter

2. Charisma and personality are important - don't get caught up worrying about tuning while auditioning. Show us that you love to sing

3. Don't overthink it. Complexity isn't gonna get you on the show. I love a good #9 chord and tritone substitution, but NBC doesn't care. Sing a great song and sing it very well.

4. Overdone songs in the a cappella community are not overdone on national television. We're rolling our eyes at "Fix You" and yet when Street Corner Symphony sang it on television people went nuts.

singoffcasting.com has all the registration info, but here’s the important stuff:

Audition dates: 9/30/14 - Los Angeles, CA | 10/2/14 - Nashville, TN | 10/4/14 - New York City, NY
- Please prepare up to three (3) vocal performances – each no longer than three (3) minutes. Groups might not perform all songs but should be prepared.
- Two (2) songs must be a recognizable pop or rock cover songs.
- Medleys are allowed but should be no longer than three (3) minutes.
- ALL musical styles are accepted.
- Choreography, creativity, and dress are encouraged to enhance your performance.
- Instruments and backing tracks ARE allowed but not required.
- Microphones will be provided at open call auditions.
- Each member must bring a copy of a valid ID with a completed Show Application
- Send an Open Call Audition or mail us a video submission

About the author:
Evan Feist has been in music/vocal percussion for over 10 years. He has his Bachelorʼs Degree in Studio Composition and Arts Management from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and holds two Master's degrees in Music Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. When not producing and composing for Stacks of Wax Production, he teaches voice, piano, vocal percussion, songwriting, and music business. He currently directs and manages many high school a cappella groups throughout the NY Metro area. Evan is currently available for workshops and clinics specializing in writing/arranging for a cappella groups, vocal percussion, group and solo improvisation as well as starting/managing an independently sustainable group. Please feel free to contact him for help and guidance in all your musical endeavors.