Intro video for Talisman

We are Talisman A Cappella. We were founded on Stanford’s campus with an original intention of using music to shed light on underrepresented narratives, especially the music and stories of the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

Every year, as Talisman recreates itself with new voices, we cull the stories that have moved us and formed us, building an ever-expanding repertoire that reflects what is most meaningful to us as individuals and as an ensemble. 


Talisman has had the privilege to perform at several Bay Area Schools, tour in communities in California, the East Coast, the American Southwest, and the Southern United States. We embarked on five tours in South Africa where we have cultivated lasting relationships with several communities and organizations. In 2018, the group took a trip to Maui and Oahu as part of a year dedicated to learning and sharing narratives from the API experience, especially that of Native Hawaiians and their fight for sovereignty and reclamation. In 2019, we flew to Mumbai, and then to Udaipur, India. Ram Sampath, a music composer we met with in Mumbai, said to us: “You don’t tolerate each other. You get along...You have to find what unites you and not what divides you.” This message was and is timely and important, at home for many of our members in the United States, but also in many regions abroad.


We have also collaborated with local groups such as An Oakland Storyteller, various Bay Area community gospel choirs, Stanford Taiko, Stanford Everyday People, and numerous other Stanford student groups.


Talisman as a group is committed not only to education and the arts, but also to social change, equity, and cross-cultural exchange. As we sing, we lend our hearts to uplift, support, remember, and recall the work and wisdom of those who came before us in order to imagine a better world for ourselves and those to come. We invite you to share your voice and your stories with us!

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We're So Excited to Hear Your Audition! Here are a few tips to consider when submitting a video audition:

  • Introduce yourself, maybe your pronouns, hometown, and anything else you'd like us to know before you sing!

  • Try to sing a cappella, using backing tracks might reduce our ability to hear your voice

  • Choose a song that you want to sing, that speaks to you or gives you the space to express your abilities comfortably

  • Where possible, try to find a quiet place to record with minimal reverb.

  • Try to sing an approximately 1-minute snippet of a song

  • Take a deep breath before you sing, and remember to keep breathing :)

Now just relax and sing your heart out. Remember that everyone looking at your audition has been here before in one way or another. We're here to hear you, so just breathe and have a good time. Thank you for sharing your voice with us. Good luck!

Audition Form

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