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The Frisson Foundation

Scottish Secondary School A Cappella Challenge 2018

Why A Capella?

Through out our Glee Challenge we have been asked by people in secondary schools to take the Glee Challenge or something similar to our secondary schools. We know that singing brings educational benefits so why limit the Challenge to primary schools. However, we felt that perhaps secondary schools could handle something even more challenging and complex so last summer (2016) set about exploring different options. A Cappella was high on the list of ideas and a meeting with Dr Andy Greer, Choral Stimulation help to pull the ideas together and the Challenge was born. To dae the majority of A Capella groups are to be found among older college or university groups but recently, due to the increase in popularity we have seen in the USA development of middle school A Cappella and this could be our opportunity to join this aspect of A Cappella at the very beginning.  .

What is A Capella?

Any music can be considered an "a cappella" arrangement provided it does not contain instrumental notation. The range is huge but the A Capella Challenge is based on what is best defined as contemporary A Capella which focuses on emulating instruments to replicate pop songs. A cappella can be performed with as few as 5 individuals with no defined maximum. Like our Glee Challenge it focuses on contemporary of songs familiar to both singers and audiences.  This encourages a popular and "built in" audience and is no doubt part of its increasing popularity as an art form as seen on TV shows such as pitch battle.

In recent years there have been a number of other developments in contemporary a cappella e.g "beatboxing"  and various post-production technologies which can now be applied to live performance (such as mixing, multi-tracking, looping, effects and pitch modulation).  Such fusions of singing and technology are considered valid a cappella provided the basic input to the process remains the human voice. All of which creates a new unique, educational and innovative music development which is fun to be involved in and fun to watch.

Supporting attainment through Song, Dance and Performance

The Challenge is fully funded by the Frisson Foundation we provide:


  • FREE entry for schools

  • FREE workshops for schools conducted by professional coaches

  • FREE participation at prestigious venues in each region

  • FREE participation in the Finals

  • Judges from music education as well as the theatre and music industry

  • Continuous Professional Development opportunities for Teachers

'A whole world of opportunity opened before my eyes as I realized that young voices in a traditional scholastic setting were indeed able to sing at a much higher level.'  Deke Sharon 2015


We are extremely lucky to have one of the UK's leading exponents of A Capella, Dr Andy Greer, has been heavily involved with a cappella singing for over a decade. He has significant experience in the a cappella performance scene, to name a few highlights he has performed:  headline at the Main Stage of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Final in Abu Dhabi, The SECC Armadillo, the UK Beatbox Championships, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Voice Festival UK, Scottish A Cappella Championships, Murrayfield Stadium, The House of Lords and the Edinburgh Christmas Lights. In addition he has been invited as an a cappella performer onto many television programs including: BBC's: One Show, Hogmany Live 2015, The Naked Choir, Pitch Battle, Reporting Scotland, Scotland 2015 and is presently being mentored by The Swingles for Sky One's Vocal Heroes program to air later this year. He is the manager and founding member of Scotland's premier multi-award winning a cappella group, Choral Stimulation.

How do I join up?

The A Capella Challenge for 2018 is currently by invite only and is restricted to the Glasgow City area to allow us to develop and build the model. It is hoped that we will roll out the Challenge to more areas for 2019. If your school  is in the Glasgow City area should you wish your school to be considered please contact us.

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