co-founder, camp directorAvi Kaplan is best known as vocal bass of the world-renowned a cappella group, Pentatonix, but he is also a Grammy-winning arranger, composer, and solo artist. He majored in opera and choral studies at Mt. San Antonio College, a school known for its strong choral and a cappella tradition. While at school, Avi sang with a cappella group Fermata Nowhere, vocal jazz group Singcopation, and the Mt. SAC Chamber Singers, racking up competition wins at the ICCA, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Choir of the World competition. Avi has worked with artists such as Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Sara Bareilles, Nick Lachey, Ben Folds and many more.
co-founder, camp directorBen is a Grammy-winning arranger, vocal producer, and music director from Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Ben sang with, arranged for, and directed four-time ICCA champions the SoCal VoCals during his time at USC. He is a longtime collaborator with Pentatonix, having co-arranged, engineered and produced all 5 of their currently released albums, including the platinum-selling "That's Christmas To Me". Ben also has an extensive resume in film, TV, and commercials, which includes work for Pitch Perfect 1 and 2, The Sing-Off, Glee, Covergirl, Lifetime, and MTV. He is currently developing two exciting new a cappella groups.
co-founder, camp directorRob Dietz is a multiple CARA winning producer who has been arranging, performing, and critiquing contemporary a cappella music for over ten years. His career began in high school as director of the critically acclaimed group Ascending Height, with whom he produced the first all-original high school a cappella album. Rob has studied at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney and at the Ithaca College School of Music, where he directed the award winning all-male group, Ithacappella. Since graduation, Rob has been an arranger and group coach for seasons 3, 4, and 5 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, as well as a vocal percussionist for the Warblers on Fox’s hit show, Glee.
director of operationsTom is a passionate and dedicated a cappella facilitator, event producer, and music director. He is the exec. producer of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, and has formerly served as director of the Contemporary A Cappella League. With a considerable background in vocal and instrumental music, Tom was bitten by the a cappella bug in 2009 when he decided to create and direct his own group, the award-winning Frequency, and has been a passionate advocate of all-vocal music ever since. Currently music directing three vocal groups as well as a spiritual center, he balances music, work, and family, and lives with his wife and three children in Aliso Viejo.
assistant camp director, camp momDiana Galeano is a choral director from Lake Worth, Florida. A graduate of Florida State University, Diana studied music education with an emphasis in secondary choral education. While at FSU, she sang with ICCA Southern Champions, the AcaBelles. Since graduating, she has worked as a high school chorus teacher and as a director at FSU's Summer Music Camps. She has started several high school a cappella groups and has participated in the Festival Singers of Florida. Diana now lives in Boston, where she directs and arranges for collegiate and high school a cappella groups and sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
group director, counselorChristopher is a singer, songwriter, arranger and vocal coach from Newport News, VA. A graduate of the FSU School of Music, he led the co-ed All-Night Yahtzee to three consecutive ICCA Finals appearances and is a two-time winner of the Outstanding Soloist award. As a coach, Christopher has adjudicated, sung and instructed at vocal festivals across Asia, Europe, Australia and the US. In 2012, Christopher joined the music eam of The Sing-Off (Season 3). After the show, he co-founded the international touring group, The Exchange, which has performed hundreds of shows for audiences in over 25 different countries on 6 continents. The Exchange joined The Backstreet Boys as support for their 32 city “In A World Like This” stadium tour, and competed on Season 5 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, taking the runner-up title. In 2016, Christopher and The Exchange will tour central Asia as part of a cultural diplomacy tour supported by the US Department of State.
group director, counselorShams is a masterful arranger, music director, and educator from Cherry Hill, NJ. He is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where he directed SoJamX and 2013 ICCA Champions, The Nor'easters, while double majoring in Finance and Mandarin. During his tenure, the group picked up several compilation placements and CARA awards, and Shams earned more arranging awards than any other collegiate arranger. Additionally, Shams delved into the world of musical theater, music directing community productions of RENT, A Tale of Two Cities, and Spring Awakening. He is currently living in Boston, arranging music for The Vocal Company and coaching local a cappella groups.
group director, counselorHailing from the Washington DC Metropolitan area, Jared Jenkins is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music. Jared wears many hats as a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, dancer, choreographer, pianist, and director. While studying Music Business/Management at Berklee, he was able to most notably use those talents as both a member of “Pitch Slapped” (2014 ICCA Champions) and co-founder of the JEvie Pop Series, a student-run production group dedicated to teaching students the various aspects of putting together live shows for pop music icons. Jared currently works as a freelance vocalist/arranger/piano teacher in the DC area, all the while creating new projects that he can’t wait to share with the world!
group director, counselorErin Bentlage is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist from Burlington, Vermont. She co-founded and directed her high school’s first a cappella group and went on to join the Boston University Treblemakers, but soon transferred to Berklee College of Music where she earned her degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. Erin has been a member of the Singing Tribe, an improvisation-oriented world a cappella group created by Bobby McFerrin, Introflection, a jazz and improvisation based group, and the Berklee Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and has appeared throughout the country at various festivals in groups and as a featured artist and clinician. Erin relocated to Los Angeles in late 2014 where she continues to cultivate her passion for music through writing, performing, and teaching at Silverlake Conservatory of Music and Los Angeles College of Music.
group director, counselorVJ Rosales is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and music director from Los Angeles. Hailing from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (CSU Long Beach) with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, VJ is a versatile musician who is equally adept in jazz, pop, and R&B. During his college career, he sang in the top vocal jazz ensemble “Pacific Standard Time” at CSU Long Beach, performing at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. Presently, he works as a voice teacher at the Silverlake Conservatory, founded by members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In April 2013, he co-created The Filharmonic and competed on NBC's The Sing Off, making it to the semi-finals. With The Filharmonic's success on national television, he continues to work with them, with plans to record and tour.
group director, counselorSinger, instrumentalist, director and arranger Tracy Robertson maintains a life-long passion for music and vocal harmony. Upon transferring from SUNY Fredonia’s classical vocal and compositional training to Berklee College of Music, he joined the award-winning a cappella group “Pitch Slapped” (SoJam and ICCA Champions) and became their musical director. He has worked with names such as Rhiannon Watson, Joey Blake, and Bobby McFerrin, and performed with renowned musicians of Quito, Ecuador where he also led a vocal improvisation workshop at UDLA. He has performed throughout the US, recently at the 2014 JEN Conference in Dallas with Berklee’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
counselor, instructorJo was born in Austin, TX, studied Art History and Religion at The University of Oregon, and now lives in Houston, Texas. At the UofO she joined the renowned women's group Divisi, winning several awards at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, including Best Arrangement and Best Bass. In winter of 2010 she began singing bass for her first professional women's group, Musae, and the next summer joined Delilah for season 3 of The Sing Off, as well as Element for season 4. Jo now tours the world with her women's groups as well as with an originally all male group called Overboard. She also coaches and arranges for groups across the country, does background and session work, and is the voice of the Bella bass in Pitch Perfect 2.
group director, counselorIndia Carney is a singer, songwriter, actress and arranger whose talents embrace a wide range of musical genres from opera to musical theater to pop. A native of Brooklyn, NY, India is best known for her appearance on NBC's "The Voice", finishing in Season Eight's Top 5 as part of Team Christina Aguilera. A fourth-year Music major and Music Industry minor at UCLA, India performs for Opera UCLA and has been a featured artist at the JazzReggae Festival and Spring Sing. She is the current music director of the award-winning UCLA ScatterTones and has earned Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arrangement awards at multiple competitions nationwide. India is very excited to spend the beginning of her summer as an ACA Music Director and can't wait to have an incredible a cappella experience with everyone!
counselor, instructorSan Francisco Bay Area native Mario Jose is a seasoned singer/songwriter, session vocalist and true entertainer. Mario attended Berklee College of Music and was a part of the award-winning group Pitch Slapped. In his post-graduate life, Mario has been featured on several TV shows including NBC's The Sing-Off, ABC's Duets, and most recently on American Idol, where he was one of the Top 40 male vocalists on season 12. Mario has shared the stage with music icons including John Legend, Prince, Justin Bieber, Michael McDonald, and many more! Now based in Los Angeles, you can see Mario perform all over town and every Sunday night as a part of the Jazz Night Band at The W Hotel in Hollywood! Mario will be releasing his first EP in September of 2015. He could not be more thrilled to be back with the rest of the incredible ACA staff for another unforgettable summer!
counselor, instructorMarisa is a seasoned vocalist living in Los Angeles who has over 15 years of experience in choirs, musical theatre and a cappella. She studied Psychology and Musical Theater at USC, and also sang with and was president of the award winning a cappella group, Reverse Osmosis. Marisa also worked at acclaimed performing arts camp Arts Unlimited for 5 consecutive summers, working as a counselor, coordinator, teacher, choreographer and musical director. After graduating, Marisa helped found award-winning a cappella sextet Simply Put, who shared the stage with Sing Off champions Nota and Committed. Marisa now manages and sings in the L.A. Choral Lab and is also the Co-Founder and COO of Endeavor Studios, LLC, a recording studio located in West Los Angeles. Marisa has also been lending her voice to various recording projects, and is currently working on writing an original EP to be released Fall 2015.
counselor, instructorSelame Scarlett hails from Okemos, Michigan. As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, she was a part of Capital Green A Cappella, where she served as beatboxer, music director, and arranger. Currently, she is an ICHSA producer, Varsity Vocals judge, CASA ambassador and clinician for high school/collegiate groups in the Midwest. She serves as the beatboxer for all-female CARA winning sextet Lady Jaye and all-female gospel powerhouse group Traces, who were featured on NBC's The Sing Off Season 5! Selame has led beatboxing workshops and masterclasses, both on her own and with her fellow beatboxing colleagues.
counselor, photographerTory is a singer, actor and photographer hailing from Boston, MA. She is a graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, where she earned her BFA in Acting, and was a proud member of the acclaimed SoCal VoCals. During her time with the VoCals, Tory served as President and helped lead the group to two ICCA titles. As an actor, Tory has won the Jack Nicholson Award and the LA Stage Scene Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. As a photographer, she has had the honor of photographing artists such as the legendary Stevie Wonder, Tegan and Sara, and Pentatonix. Her passion is for capturing the power and beauty of young artists through still and video photography.
counselor, instructorTaylor is a singer and teacher living in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.A. in English and Masters in Education from UCLA, where she sang with the award winning co-ed a cappella group, the ScatterTones. During her time in the group, she performed at prestigious venues all over the country including the White House, the Hollywood Bowl, and the ICCA Finals stage in New York City. Currently, she is a full-time English teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School and serves as a vocal coach to both Unstrumental and Bare Rhythm of Calabasas High School. At camp, Taylor teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Kittens.
Sean Patrick Riley
camp nurse, counselorSPR is a classically trained vocalist, seasoned competition judge and a cappella coach, as well as a registered nurse. With roots in the Midwest and wistful branches that have carried him all the way to NYC, Sean got his start in third grade with his break-out role as Brigitta in a local production of The Sound of Music. He continued with musical theater through high school, broke into a cappella and opera in college, and his love affair with musical performance has never ended. He earned his bachelor’s in both vocal performance and advertising, as well as his master’s in nursing from Saint Louis University where he music directed the award-winning - recent ICCA finalists - Bare Naked Statues. Along his way, he's grown comfortable singing anything from Britney and Beyoncé, to Bach and Buxtehude. Highlights from the past year include: relocating to New York, judging ICHSA Finals, and performing alongside the soundtracks of Pitch Perfect 1 & 2. SPR currently works as a surgical ICU nurse at NYU Langone Medical Center.
sound engineer, instructorTrist Ethan Curless is a member and co-founder of the award winning pop-jazz group, m-pact. Trist has written, arranged, and produced songs for the group, as well as other ensembles. Prior to m-pact, Trist majored in Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado. When not singing with m-pact, he works as a live audio engineer for Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, and occasionally Take 6, among other vocal groups and bands. Trist makes time to teach private voice, coach groups, and participate as a clinician and adjudicator in clinics and festivals worldwide. Trist is having the time of his life, making music in recent years with m-pact, Bobby Mc Ferrin, New York Voices, Vox Audio, VoicePlay, Straight No Chaser, Take 6, and The Manhattan Transfer. Trist's hometown is Cheyenne, WY, but currently lives in Glendale, CA.
internJillian is a Los Angeles native who earned her start in the a cappella world as a member of Unstrumental, Calabasas High School’s co-ed group. Jillian’s three year participation in the group afforded her a level of exposure and diverse experiences not often available to young a cappella performers. Among the unique experiences with Unstrumental, Jillian was able to perform as a featured soloist in the 2012 and 2013 Los Angeles A Cappella Festival’s scholastic competitions, helping to earn Unstrumental their award-winning name. Currently, Jillian is a student at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, pursuing a B.M. in Jazz Vocal Performance with a minor in Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.
group director, counselorTaylor Fugit is a singer, arranger, music producer and instrumentalist from Napa, California. As a college student Taylor directed the UCLA Scattertones for 2 years, taking them to their first-ever appearance at ICCA Finals in 2012. In addition to receiving several "best arrangement" awards during ICCA's, Taylor's work has been recognized by popular a cappella compilations such as Sing and Voices Only. As a member of the UCLA ethnomusicology department he studied Chinese music theory and Pipa performance, playing alongside living legends like Chi Li and Gao Hong. Aside from his musical activities Taylor enjoys playing video games, participating in Star Trek-related cosplay, and writing about himself in the third person.
counselor, instructorNathan is a singer, producer, director, and arranger from the Chicago suburbs. A recent graduate of USC, he studied in the Thornton School’s Popular Music Program, with an emphasis in songwriting. While at USC, Nathan joined the SoCal VoCals and took on a role as arranger/music director, helping lead them to their fourth ICCA victory in 2015. He recently oversaw their latest release, VoCabulary. Nathan currently makes his home in Los Angeles and is working on his original material. He can’t wait to spend a week singing with so many excited and inspiring voices!
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