Derived from the Swedish "Sjael" which means "soul", the coinage Sjaella is the name of an all-girl a cappella ensemble from Leipzig.
Helene, Lotte, Viola, Marie, Feli and Franzi are the six young ladies that make up this group. When they were between 10 and 13 years old, they began to rehearse weekly as the a cappella ensemble "Chickpeas". From their earliest concerts itself, it was clear that the group had tremendous potential. All the members come from musical households and even though parents were never allowed in rehearsals, they have always supported their girls' musical ambitions.
In the meantime, Sjaella has received a number of accolades, most recently the Ward Swingle Award at the International Acappella Competition in Graz, has been signed on by a record label, successfully completed workshops with the biggest names in a cappella, made multiple radio and television appearances and brought down the house with concerts at internationally-renowned music festivals.
Their debut CD "Sjaella", released in 2011, was highly acclaimed by many music magazines ("Das Orchester", "Rondo", "Sono") and the Bavarian broadcasting network, Bayerischer Rundfunk.
In the beginning, their repertoire was limited to songs by the Beatles that needed four voices but in no time at all, Sjaella was taking on challenging compositions by the likes of Hugo Distler, Javier Busto and Randall Thompson, extending their range from Eriks Esenvalds and Knut Nystedt to a gamut of pop arrangements, jazz standards and original compositions. Sjaella has been lucky enough to work with amazing arrangers and composers like Simon Wawer, Ekky Meister, David Timm and Volker Bräutigam.
The ensemble often spends their free time together as well, be it on vacation on the Pilgrim's Route or at classical or off-beat concerts on the weekend.
Without a doubt, Sjaella's defining characteristic, which sets them apart, is the fact that they began so early on.
And in this way, grew with and towards each other. This has led to a degree of harmony and trust between all the singers that is clearly felt at their concerts. They breathe and sing as a single vocal being.