a breath of

fresh perspective.


Schedule your group's fall coaching session.

Hi! I'm Kari.


I'm a vocal musician based in New York City.

My specialties are teaching, arranging, directing, conducting, and composing.

(It's pronounced "kahr-ee.")


What is a cappella?


A cappella usually refers to vocal music that is sung without instrumental accompaniment. Traditionally, a cappella pieces are polyphonic, have 1-2 singers on a part, up to 6 parts total, and performed in a convivial manner. In the 20th century, a cappella came to describe amateur group singing popular songs in a new, "contemporary" style that features singers imitating rock band and orchestral instruments alongside more common singing practice.


Listen here.


Who is Kari Francis?




Kari Francis is a trained music educator, choral conductor, and a cappella enthusiast. Founder of Musae and competitor with Kinfolk 9 on Season 3 of NBC's The Sing-Off, Kari is now a professor on the music faculty at CUNY Hunter College, where she encourages and oversees a cappella music-making.


Read more.

Next Appearances

mile high vocal jam 2017

more to come!

Workshops and Clinics


Introduction to Contemporary A Cappella

30 – 45 minutes. Overview of different global singing styles and the history/development of the modern a cappella sound. Includes brief vocal percussion and arranging tutorial. Equipment needs: keyboard, sound system/microphone, A/V


Basic / Intermediate Arranging

45 – 90 minutes. An introduction to common methods, “moments,” and textural components of vocal arranging. Intermediate class more deeply explores notation programs (including notational/engraving conventions), Reaper/DAW arranging, and strategies for interpretation. Equipment needs: sound system (for playing samples/examples) and projector/visual (for showing workspace/notation)


Basic / Intermediate Vocal Percussion

45 – 90 minutes. An introduction to basic sounds with an emphasis on style-specific grooves. Intermediate class expands on grooves, improvisation, and the role of the rhythm section. Equipment needs: microphone, amp; A/V preferable


Creative Rehearsing

60 – 90 minutes. Tips for choosing constructive warm-ups, developing aural skills through improvisation, and “best practices” for rehearsal. Longer class allows for extended discussion and examples. Equipment needs: keyboard, A/V preferable


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An effective lecturer and clinician, Kari can help your group step up its game for competition and diagnose problem areas. Skilled with high school, all-female, and mixed collegiate as well as professional ensembles and familiar with the ICCA rubric and the judging process behind competitive shows such as NBC’s “The Sing-Off”, Kari can help take your group to the next level of performance through general critiques as well as specialized workshops on arranging, vocal percussion, and more.


  • Ensemble experience ranging from small groups to large choruses, classical to contemporary.
  • Fresh insight for your group from the viewpoint of a singer, instrumentalist, composer, and educator with a diverse musical background.
  • Familiar with competition rubrics and strategies for addressing judging criteria without sacrificing artistic integrity.
  • Happy to work with your budget so you don’t break the bank!


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“Kari is the next generation of a cappella specialist: singer, arranger, director, educator, performer. With deep knowledge spanning classical, barbershop and contemporary a cappella idioms, she’s a true cappella Renaissance woman.”

-Deke Sharon, Total Vocal


“Kari Francis is a fantastic educator. While on staff at Camp A Cappella, she proved to be professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and downright loved by our students, who dubbed her ‘the Wonder Woman of a cappella!'”

-Brody McDonald, A Cappella Education Association


“The knowledge and passion embodied by Kari Francis for a cappella music is deep and extensive.  She has a way of letting it flow out totally affecting every one she performs for or teaches.  She is true quality- musically and personally!”

-Tony Huerta, Sonic Audio





Listen to recorded samples of my arrangements for all-male, all-female, and mixed collegiate groups.



Short writings on various topics related to a cappella and performance. Coming soon!


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100-word bio


Dubbed “the next generation of a cappella specialist” by Pitch Perfect and The Sing-Off vocal producer Deke Sharon, Kari Francis is an avid vocalist, arranger, and educator. She has shared the stage with Taylor Swift, Imogen Heap, and competed on Season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off with Kinfolk 9. She currently teaches the contemporary a cappella class at CUNY Hunter College and is a choral teaching artist with Midori & Friends. Kari is an active lecturer and clinician, giving workshops on musicianship, arranging, and vocal percussion at music festivals and vocal camps across the States.




As a performer, Kari has shared the stage with Taylor Swift at the American Country Music Awards, collaborated with Imogen Heap in her "Earth" Project concert series, and competed on Season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off with Kinfolk 9. In 2010 she founded the professional all-female vocal band Musae, which has continued to be a reckoning force in the a cappella scene.


As an arranger, Kari has written for numerous ensembles in and out of a cappella. She studied composition with Lei Liang and Chinary Ung at UC San Diego, and continues to create pieces ranging from informal improvisations to formal compositions.


As a teacher, Kari is an active proponent of the benefits of developing musicianship through amateur singing ensembles. While at Eastman, she taught musicianship classes through the Eastman Community Music School and was assistant conductor to the Eastman Women’s Chorus and the Amadeus Children’s Choir Chorale. In 2015-2016, Kari was a Conducting Fellow with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, working with choruses in public schools across the five boroughs. She is currently a choral teaching artist with Midori & Friends and directs “The Art of A Cappella” at CUNY Hunter College, an ensemble-class dedicated to exploring, arranging, and performing music in the contemporary a cappella style. In addition to myriad vocal projects, Kari has been an active lecturer and clinician since 2009. She routinely gives workshops on musicianship, arranging, and vocal percussion at music festivals and vocal camps across the States.


Kari graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UC San Diego and holds an MA in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. She is currently a graduate student in Music and Music Education at Columbia University Teachers College. Kari studies voice with Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek.


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Feel free to contact me using the following form, or by emailing kari[at]acappellaprofessor.com. I look forward to hearing from you!


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all content © kari crystelle francis 2017