Musician Ben Folds to Record with Wellesley A Cappella Group
for New Album

December 2, 2008
Molly Tarantino,

The Wellesley Blue Notes Sing "Annie Waits"

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Pop singer-songwriter Ben Folds will record music with the Wellesley College Blue Notes this December for an upcoming album of a cappella versions of his songs by high school, college and professional groups.

Folds said he was inspired to create the album when he found several a cappella arrangements of his songs on YouTube. More than 200 groups answered his call for submissions for the album, which has an anticipated release in spring 2009.

Wellesley senior Helen Day, the Blue Notes president and soloist in the winning entry “Annie Waits, said Folds made a personal call to inform her he would like to record with the group.

“He said he liked what we did with the song artistically,” said Day, a resident of Syracuse, N.Y. “He thought we sounded more doo-wop, which he liked and thought was different than most of the submissions.”

Day said that the song “Annie Waits” had been in the Blue Notes’ repertoire during her first year at Wellesley. When she heard about the contest, she found the music and spent a week rearranging it in a computerized program. She then pulled together as many Blue Notes members as she could to record the song over a weekend.

Folds ultimately chose 18 groups to record with, including the Newtones from Newton (Mass.) South High School.

“Some of these brought to light unique nuances and perspective that is necessarily absent from the original recordings as the songwriter and singer happen to be the same guy,” Folds wrote on his Web site. The former frontman of Ben Folds Five, a piano-based trio, he has released six solo albums.

Wellesley College has been a leader in the education of women for more than 130 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 65 countries.