What is Next Level?

Now back for its 7th year, Next Level is an immersive, transformative, one week experience designed to elevate and expand your approach to music and more. With sessions held across the US, we provide a summer program experience where you will learn about topics such as a cappella production, arranging, directing and so much more. You’ll live and work alongside two talented lead clinicians and additional staff from The Vocal Company, studying what they do and how you can apply it to your own group and musical experience. You and your fellow attendees will collaborate on recording and performing projects, giving you the chance to expand your base of experience in a small group setting and network with some of the most promising minds in a cappella.

Most sessions are five days in length and are held in rented living facilities. You’ll live, eat, and make music with your peers in Airbnb style accommodations, as well as having consistent access to qualified a cappella experts and mentors.


June 30th – July 6th, 2019 – Boston, MA

Instructors: JD Frizzell, Jon Smith
Facilitators: Shannon McNulty, Michael Brisentine

NLDIRECT is for collegiates and professional music educators*. Participants will learn how to build and direct a contemporary a cappella group from the ground up–audition processes, vocal percussion, choosing and working with soloists, live sound systems, recording, movement, and choreography, finding arrangements, arranging your own charts, rehearsal techniques, and much more. Through an interactive format, participants will form their own group and work through the various concepts presented, and by the end of the week, will have hands-on experiences with the best practices of all areas of contemporary a cappella.

*Educators are eligible to receive up to 30 hours of continuing education credit, or PDP’s for their participation in Next Level. Proof of participation/completion can be provided.


June 16th- June 22nd, 2019 – Cape Cod, MA

Instructor: Jon Smith

Facilitators: Pearce Illmer

NLARRANGE will cover a myriad of topics from “how to get started” to “how to be more creative in an arrangement.” We’ll discuss orchestration, transcription, counterpoint and more, and employ these techniques throughout the week on our own arrangements. We will also discuss different approaches to arranging including groove, emotion, and harmony. Students will have the opportunity to get feedback on arrangements they’ve already done and collaborate with other students to create brand new arrangements throughout the week.


July 14th – July 20th, 2019 – Location TBD

Instructors: Angela Longo, Jacob Tourjeman, Hannah Tobias

NLPRODUCE will introduce students to audio and video production and will detail the tools, techniques, and approach to enhance your recording, editing and creative skills. Students will experience personalized studio-recording coaching, learn to manipulate audio in software such as Protools, and collaborative to create a track from start to finish by the end of the week. Both large and small group instruction will enhance your understanding of the software and tools of the trade.

Tracking: Students will learn proper mic’ing techniques as well as receive insight as to what it takes to gets the best performances down

Editing: Each student will observe the interface of Melodyne and it’s tools to be able to pitch and rhythm correct vocals to industry standard

Mixing: Students will walk away with a basic understanding of the fundamental tools of mixing (EQ, Compression, Reverb, Delay), fundamentals of routing and Digital Audio Workstation navigation, and see a track mixed from start to finish utilizing tools and lessons from the week.

Program Director – Shannon McNulty

Shannon had an incredible experience running every Next Level session, and she has worked harder than ever to bring even more amazing experiences your way this summer.  Have questions about the program or your application? Contact Shannon at

2019 Next Level Application

Ready to apply?

Applicants for Next Level must have some a cappella knowledge or experience, and be aged 18 or older. Please indicate your preference for sessions. You will be considered for each session based on your preferences, background and portfolio.

apply here