Article by Ms Rita Felder
The Idea of North is Australia’s only full-time professional contemporary a cappella ensemble, and have been thus for the last 18 years. They are the best known and most awarded group of their kind in Australia, having been nominated for four ARIAs (Australian Grammys), and won two of them, amongst a host of other awards.
The group has also won the largest open a cappella competition in the world, the Harmony Sweepstakes, and was the first non-US group to do so in the competitions then 19-year history.
Founded in 1993, The Idea of North have played at festivals all over the world, and shared the stage with such vocal jazz ensemble and a cappella luminaries as The Manhattan Transfer, The New York Voices, Take 6, The Real Group and Naturally 7.
Their following in Australia is very strong, and over the last 14 years they have developed an in-depth education program for high-school students that they deliver all over the country. In the last 4 years, The Idea of North has also started conducting professional development days for music teachers across Australia, to help them improve their choir and small-group singing teaching methods as well as provide teachers with tools to increase their students’ engagement with singing and harmonising with others.
I have had the privilege of getting to know The Idea of North for many years now, and was excited to bring them to work with the students at my previous school, Branksome Hall Asia, in Jeju, South Korea.
The group is about to embark on an exciting tour in Germany, where they will perform at events such as the International Festival of Vocal Music in Leipzig and at the International A-Cappella-Week in Hannover. It is also noteworthy that, as part of this trip, the group is joined by Japanese vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura, as well as guest soprano Jo Lawry, who for the last 5 years was Sting’s backing vocalist.
I’m thrilled that The Idea of North will be working with our ISB students, and know that everyone attending the evening concert in Reinach will be treated to a sublime and unforgettable musical experience. Don’t miss out!