Vocalmente Team

Vocalmente Academy & VocalMentor

Bill Hare


Bill Hare has been a full-time recording engineer/producer for 35 years, and is recognized as a pioneer in bringing pop/rock production techniques to recorded contemporary a cappella. Over the decades, Bill has recorded and/or mixed acclaimed albums for some of the best-known Contemporary A Cappella groups around the globe – from The Swingle Singers to The King’s Singers in the UK, Basix to Vocal Line in Denmark, Italy’s Cluster, The Ghost Files, Alti & Bassi and Maybe6ix, German supergroups Wise Guys, Amarcord and Maybebop to name a few, as well as artists from dozens of other countries from Australia to Zambia. Of course, at the same time he also covered his home country from his base in California, working with top American acts including Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Street Corner Symphony, NoTa, +4dB, Duwende, The Backbeats, The House Jacks, m-pact, and many more.

Collegiate A Cappella clients include The Beelzebubs, On The Rocks, Divisi, The Harmonics, and scores of others.

Bill is the world’s most awarded individual Contemporary A Cappella producer, including more than 70 appearances on BOCA, over 100 CARA nominations, nearly 40 albums in the RARB “Picks of the Year” lists, and 11 “DeeBee” awards since 1987 in the Vocal Jazz category from Downbeat Magazine. Numerous appearances at the top of Billboard, iTunes, and other major charts. Multiple Gold and Platinum record certifications, as well as multiple Grammy Awards and nominations.

Jussi Chydenius


Jussi Chydenius in a true multitasker within music: a singer, a drummer, a composer and an arranger. He is a founding member and the bass singer of Rajaton, the Finnish a cappella phenomenon that celebrated it’s 20th anniversary in 2017. He began his musical career as a drummer for one of the most successful Finnish rock bands of the 90’s Don Huonot, with whom he played until 2001 and again from 2010 onwards.

Jussi is a sought-after clinician and teacher, giving many masterclasses and clinics for choirs and vocal groups every year. He has also been a member of the jury at many different choral competitions around the world, most notably being the chairman or the board at the contest for vocal groups at the Tampere Vocal Festival in Finland.

Jussi is also a member of Songs of the Moment NORDIC, a group consisting of seven accomplished singers from Finland, Sweden and Denmark and specializing in totally improvised a cappella concerts.

As a choral composer, Jussi Chydenius is published by Oxford University Press and Sulasol.

You can find out more about Jussi at www.jussichydenius.net

Soila Sariola

Soila Sariola (b.1977) is a versatile singer, a musician and a pedagogue. She is best known as an alto in vocal ensemble Rajaton but she can also be heard as a lead singer in her band Saaga Ensemble and as a member of various improvisation groups, including international group the Songs of the Moment-NORDIC and Finnish group called Tsip.

Sariola can be found in the Cirque du Soleil artists’ database since 2015 and she has also performed in singers core team in Marina Abramovic´s community work, The Cleaner in Stockholm in the spring of 2017.

She is preparing an artistic Doctoral degree at the Sibelius Academy of Fine Arts entitled “Many Paths of Sound and Mind – How Do The Arts Combine Me” since 2012.

In addition to the art, Sariola is also currently working as a lecturer of music and singing technique in Tampere University Acting School (2017-2018). In addition, she writes music for various choirs and bands, and she is well-known for her melodies, which combines sovereignly with the new and old world.

Letizia Poltini


Letizia was born in Genoa on 22/08/1984. She studied music since early childhood and graduated in piano at the age of 20. She has been working as rehearsal accompanist and stage assistant in several opera houses. She coaches singers and choirs in every music genre, from opera to pop.

As a singer, she has been giving many masterclasses in ensemble music for a cappella and choral groups, both in Italy and abroad. Since 2005 she is the soprano of the vocal group Cluster and she has being performing with them in Italy, Europe, Russia and USA. She recorded in studio five times with Cluster – three of those recordings has been awarded at CARA’s (Contemporary A Capella Recording Awards), and she has been awarded as “2015 – Best jazz arrangement” for the arrangement of “Il nostro concerto” by Umberto Bindi. She appeared in many television programs, including X-Factor 2008, during which she worked with Morgan, Fiorello, Marco Mengoni and other well-known Italian artists.

She composes and arranges many pieces for Clusters and other vocal and choral ensembles that range from classical music to jazz, from pop to rock; one of his first original arrangement for choir, “Changes”, was published by Helbling and many of his arrangements have been performed in Vocalmente past editions by “Numeri Primi” and “Voxes”, and they both recorded those pieces in their albums.

Merel Martens


Merel Martens is a fulltime choir leader, arranger, teacher and coach. In May 2015 she received a Master’s degree in ‘Vocal Leadership’ from the Royal Academy of Music (DK), studying with Jim Daus Hjernoe, with the highest possible honors. She is also influenced by colleagues such as Peder Karlsson (ex-Real Group) and Roger Treece (co-writer Vocabularies – Bobby McFerrin).

Merel’s name is connected to the award winning vocal groups “Pitch Control”, “MAZE” and “VOÏSZ Vocal Projects” in the Netherlands. In addition, she is vocal coach for the professional group “The Junction”(NL), “Perpetuum Jazzile”(SI), “Vocalocity”(IL) and “The Keystones”(FR).

In September 2014 Merel founded the “Dutch Organic Choir”: a group based on rotated leadership and style-free original, partly improvised vocal music.
Since November 2015, Merel has brought the ‘Vocal Leadership’ method to two Dutch conservatories, educating choir leaders during courses and a master’s degree in this fairly new discipline.

You can find out more about Merel at www.merelmartens.eu.

Morten Vinther


Growing up musically in a blooming Danish choral environment, Morten started to dig into contemporary a cappella singing at The Academy of Music in Aalborg. As one of the first graduates from the unique masters programme in Aalborg, he was involved with various Danish groups – VOX11, Postyr, VoxNorth & Songs of the Moment – before joining The Real Group in 2010.

Combing the constantly evolving methods and curiosity from The Real Group with concepts like “the intelligent choir”, circle singing and physical rhythm training, Morten has a broad palette of pedagogical tools and topics that he includes in his teaching.

Peder Karlsson


Peder Karlsson is a freelance singer, teacher, performing artist and environment activist.
Peder was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963, and lives in Umeå, Sweden, together with his wife Katarina.

Peder studied composition, arranging and guitar at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, and graduated in 1989 with a post-graduate Diploma in vocal group performance. He was member of the Swedish a cappella group The Real Group between 1984-2010, and has made over 2000 concerts all over the world and 16 CDs. [www.therealgroup.se]
Between 2011-14, Peder Karlsson was Musical Director of the XXL vocal group “Perpetuum Jazzile”, Slovenia. [www.perpetuumjazzile.si/en]

Since 2015, Peder teaches Innovative Choir Leadership at the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg & Aarhus, Denmark (RAMA), with the title “Honorary Professor”. This school has a unique program, with over 50 choir leaders from all over Europe who study leadership from different perspectives; body awareness, group improvisation, arranging and conducting in rhythmic music. Peder’s main focus is co-creative artistic development through rotated initiative, where each singer is regarded as a subject in the musical exchange. This pedagogy is based on “power-with” group structures and communication, as opposed to traditional hierarchical “power-over” scenarios. [www.musikkons.dk/index.php?id=1863]
Apart from his work at RAMA, Peder leads courses at music conservatories and universities in the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden.