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Department of Music

College of Arts & Sciences

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BucApella is a unique opportunity for you and your students to work with the best in a capella!!

Ben Bram

Ben Bram is a two-time Grammy award-winning arranger, vocal producer, engineer, and music director from Los Angeles. A graduate of 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 co-founder, collaborator, and longtime friend of Pentatonix and has served in many different capacities, most notably as arranger, engineer, and producer. 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. In addition to film, TV, and recording work, Ben enjoys staying involved in the greater a cappella community. Along with Avi Kaplan and Rob Dietz, he co-founded A Cappella Academy, a teen summer intensive designed to train and mentor up-and-coming vocal talents. He is a frequent guest clinician at various a cappella festivals and continues to arrange for scholastic and professional groups alike. He recently created Snowfall, a pop/jazz caroling company based in Los Angeles. You can find him @thebenbram on Twitter and Instagram and on his website

BucApella Schedule

Festival Opening Night Concert

Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. Martha Street Culp Auditorium

*The Friday night concert does not involve Ben Bram


Gresycale Wordmark SwashBucklers Wordmark Harmonium Wordmark


 BucAppella Festival

Saturday, March 25, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Martha Street Culp Auditorium:

9:00-12:00    Participant Registration (For all directors, students, and public)
    Welcome and Warm Ups
Masterclass with Ben Bram and ensemble selected by audition
Change over
Masterclass with Ben Bram and ensemble selected by audition
Change over
Masterclass with Ben Bram and ensemble selected by audition
Change over
Masterclass with Ben Bram and ensemble selected by audition

12:15-1:30    Lunch Break

1:30-2:45      Directors session with Ben Bram; All students rehearse with Dr. Stevens
2:45-3:00      Break/Change over
3:00-4:00      Masterclass with Ben Bram and Greyscale 
4:00-4:30       Q&A with Ben Bram
4:30-5:30       Rehearsal of combined piece for all students with Ben Bram
5:30-7:00       Break and dinner for all participants; Selected high school ensembles will have individual sound checks
7:00 p.m.       Call Time for all performers! Seated in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium in performance attire!
7:30 p.m.       BucApella Finale Concert with Ben Bram, Greyscale, and selected high school ensembles!

Bram and Pentatonix

Ben Bram and the Pentatonix

BucApella Registration Fees

Participants may register in advance (strongly encouraged) or on Saturday morning prior to noon. 

Payments can be made by check in advance or at registration (payable to East Tennessee State University), or via cash or credit card (onsite registration only). Schools are requested to write one check for all participants. Send to:

East Tennessee State University
Dept. of Music, Attn. Dr. Alan Stevens
PO Box 70661
Johnson City, TN  37614


  • Meals:
    • Participants may leave campus at their own expense for lunch and dinner. There are a variety of fast-food restaurants near the campus.
    • Meals are also available from the ETSU Campus Dining Hall for $8.00 each. This is a full cafeteria with multiple meal options (including vegetarian) and all beverages. If you wish to eat in the Campus Dining Hall you can include meal fees with the registration payment. You may purchase only lunch, only dinner, or both meals. 
  • Students:
    • All students (through college) are $5 each. This includes all activities on Saturday and the Finale Concert.(The Friday opening concert is a separate charge.)
    • If possible, email a list of all student participants prior to March 23 to:  
    • Payments may be sent prior to the festival (by check) or paid at registration, butthe payment must be received before students are allowed to participate. 
    • Students may also register at the festival, but advance registration is strongly encouraged. 
  • Directors:
    • All directors who bring ten or more students are FREE.
    • Directors with ten or less students (or no students) are $15 each.
  • Public:
    • BucAppella is open to all public participants not associated with an academic institution for a fee of $20 each. Public participants may choose to participate in either the directors workshop or the student performance on Saturday afternoon.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Alan Stevens at  


Greyscale, under the direction of Dr. Alan Stevens, is one of the premier ensembles in the ETSU Department of Music. Greyscale has become a recognized success on the ETSU campus and in the Tri-Cities community. In January of 2015 Greyscale toured and appeared on invited performances in New York City and Washington D.C., including show at the renowned B.B. King's on 42nd Street in NYC. In April of 2015, they hosted New York Voices on ETSU's campus. The group has performed for the Rossini Festival (Knoxville, TN), Blue Plum Festival and Founder's Park Concert Series in Johnson City, the Niswonger Children's Hospital "Broadway Comes to Greeneville," and has been the featured performer on WETS 89.5 Studio One multiple times. They have appeared at many high-profile ETSU events, including the Distinguished President's Trust Banquet, the President's Classroom, Fall Convocation, Athletics Night of Champions, and the Spring Fling. 

Greyscale released its first album in April of 2016, self-titled "Greyscale," followed by their second album in March of 2017, "Spectrum." The albums are available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and most digital media sources. Compact Discs are available for purchase from the ETSU Department of Music:  

The group was created in the fall of 2013 to perform a variety of vocal music genres, primarily focused on jazz and pop.The select group of twelve singers who formed the initial ensemble called themselves "Greyscale" to represent the non-specific type of music they performed – avoiding categorization in any clearly-defined, black-and-white genre. The constant challenge for Greyscale is to find creative arrangements that blend jazz, pop, folk, and classical styles into new unaccompanied vocal works.

Greyscale is inspired by ensembles such as The Swingle Singers, Real Group, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Voces 8, and Pentatonix. The singers in Greyscale are selected through a rigorous audition process. Students must re-audition each year, and they must be able to perform as both an ensemble singer and a lead vocalist. The repertoire for the ensemble is chosen to allow each member an opportunity to be featured throughout the course of the performance year.



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