Logo in circcle-1.png
PRESS RELEASE: JULY 2021
CELEBRATING 100
INTERVIEWS
 
PRESS RELEASE
Alton Accola
Minneapolis/St Paul MN
Availability
Broadcast & Print Media

Global Resource Hits 100

This July, Behind The Mic will celebrate its 100th video interview.  The global resource features conversations with celebrity singers, educators, music industry specialists, and the world’s best vocal groups you’ve never heard of. 

The site has featured interviews with Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo’s, the multi-Grammy-winning Manhattan Transfer, Lee Greenwood, New York Voices, Alvin Chea (Take 6), Jason Max Ferdinand, Jorge Calandrelli (orchestrator to Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Michael Buble), Home Free (winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off), Ben Folds, Dave Tull (L.A. freelance drummer with Barbra Streisand), Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, along with 29 international vocal groups.

Music and lyrics define who we are as a culture. At Behind The Mic, we view the world through the prism of positive behaviors, attitudes, ambitions, and actions. The vocal groups we’ve interviewed represent cultures in a cross-section of our global community. The next generation of vocal groups uplifts the human spirit through diversity, generosity, dignity, and honor”.   See more >

BehindTheMicReverse.png

INTERNATIONAL VOCAL GROUPS | The Next Generation

Over the past six years, we’ve searched the world wide web for exceptional vocal groups. These groups have raised the bar on vocal harmony in a variety of genres and styles. We’ve discovered ensembles from South Korea, Slovenia, Denmark, the Philippines, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, England, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. 

May TRee.jpg

Maytree
South Korea

The multi-award-winning vocal quintet from South Korea performs jazz, K-pop, and a variety of other musical genres. Since 1999, the ensemble has included Jang Sang-in, 

Kang Soo-kyung, Jeon Sung-hyun, Kim Won-jong, and Lim Soo-yeon.

Music Video: “So Alike

niskas.jpg

The Niskas
Minnesota

The Niska's perform a variety of styles and as core members of Five By Design performed with hundreds of orchestras from the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center to a holiday tour with Keith Lockhart and the  Boston Pops.

Music Video: That’s Christmas To Me

Sambaranda_JuliaRodrigues copy.jpg

Sambarana
Brazil

The Sao Paulo-based a cappella septet led by Rafaele Carneiro performs original jazz arrangments of Brazilian music. The vocal group consists of Nani Valente, Ana Barreto, Fredson Torres, Cristiano Santos, Rafael Carneiro, and Diego de Jesus.

Music Video: “Bananeira

Blenders copy.jpg

The Blenders
North Dakota

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Tim Kasper, Ryan Lance, Darren Rust, & Allan Rust are The Blenders. Their style is based on vocal harmonies and the group has toured the U.S. with Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Chicago, and The Righteous Brothers, and  Lou Rawls.

Music Video: “This Christmas

maybebop 5000 copy.jpg

Maybebop
Germany

These fun-loving gentlemen from Hanover, Germany are exceptional vocalists with spot-on harmonies and an eccentric sense of humor. The group sings predominantly German-language originals; although, it covers pop standards such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Music Video: Sleigh Ride
 (swinging the song in German)

Accent.jpg

Accent 
Swed, France, England, Canada, U.S.

From five different countries, the members inadvertently met on their YouTube channels and went from “virtual to reality” and now tour the world. Accent recently release its “Christmas All The Way” recording backed by the L.A.-based Gordon Goodwin Phat Band.

Music Video: “Let It Snow

AfroBlue.jpg

Afro Blue
Howard University | Washington DC

Led by Howard University vocal director and arranger, Connaitre Miller, Afro Blue is part of the vocal music department curriculum. “An extraordinary ensemble.”

Music Video 

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

 7th Banner.jpg

7th Element
Florida

The Orlando-based 7th Element performs gospel/jazz-oriented vocals, giving glory to God. First, to bring a message of truth to the world through music by creating a smooth inspirational sound with rich harmonies snd second, to inspire young musicians to continue the a capella musical tradition.

Business Casual.jpg

Business Casual
California

Business Casual is a San Francisco vocal quintet whose members work for YouTube, Apple, MedTech, and a marketing firm. Leslie Baker, Roshun Alur, Casandra & Jacob Chamoun, and Michael Whang are extraordinarily talented and creative vocalists.

Music Video: “Feliz Navidad

 
Alton Circle.png

ALTON ACCOLA, artist liaison
651.335.5466

alton.accola@fivebydesign.com

“Our gift is giving deserving artists the opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

For 29 years, Accola was the talent booker for the big band vocal quintet, Five By Design. The artists performed with hundreds of symphony orchestras throughout North America. Notable orchestras included the Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and a holiday tour with conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops.

As the founder/artist liaison for Behind The Mic, Accola has filmed interviews with nearly 100 artists, educators, and music industry specialists including Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo’s (Clark Burroughs and Don Shelton), The Lettermen’s Tony Butala, The Manhattan Transfer (Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, and Cheryl Bentyne), Ben Folds, Home Free (winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off), Take 6’s Alvin Chea, and Lee Greenwood. 

 

We have interviewed vocal groups from South Korea, the Philippines, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, India, Sweden, France, England, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.

 

In 2018, we filmed Behind The Mic’s Worldwide Holiday Special hosted by Cheryl Bentyne, of the Manhattan Transfer, and 8 international vocal groups. The YouTube broadcast was produced as a 1-hour pilot for its 2022 holiday television special.