Fake Outs

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #109: Fake Outs

Plenty of folks who are uninitiated in contemporary a cappella dismiss the form because of preconceptions based in a cappella choirs and the barbershop tradition.

I have a particular soft spot for groups riff off this expectation, slowing the down the tempo or lending a classical flavor to the opening chords of a song before exploding into a rendition far more faithful to the original pop song. Such interpretations offer audiences an entertaining surprise, in addition to demonstrating a group’s range and depth of talent via their ability to achieve both the classical sound and a more contemporary flavor. The approach takes even the most run-of-the-mill song selection and makes it fundamentally more interesting for both the audience and the singers performing it.

I love it!

Student Media

Campus Connections

In this edition of Campus Connections, our focus is on: student media.

Building relationships with the media is one of the most important connections for any a cappella group seeking an audience and seeking exposure. At the collegiate level, whether it's your school newspaper, TV station, radio station, magazine, or other outlet, campus media tends to have a foothold at colleges--an established name and audience. When you build a relationship with the media, you're setting yourself up for exposure and publicity within your local community on a scale that it's much more difficult to build on your own.

One of the biggest benefits of working with a newspaper is that it affords you space in writing—people are forgetful and having something concrete to look at and transcribe your group’s name, and performance or audition times and locations to make sure they’re getting the details right and can remember them. Moreover, when you get coverage of one of your events in print or on a website, you have a testimonial to refer to later to document your group’s accomplishments and refer other people to someone’s thoughts on your group, beyond the group’s own PR work.

Working with the campus TV station can also help spread the word about your work and document performances. Moreover, TV stations can afford you opportunities to have people with good equipment and a specific set of skills record and polish a performance, which can be great for archival purposes and even for getting performance out on YouTube if you don’t have anyone skilled in production within the ranks of your group.

And then there’s radio. When push comes to shove, a cappella is an aural form, and taking a step away from the visual elements that live performance and videos call attention to, performing on campus radio can be an excellent way of getting your music, in its most distilled form, out to an audience. Moreover, throughout my own undergraduate experience, two graduate degrees, and working on a college campus, I’ve consistently been surprised with just how often people actually do listen to the campus radio station—thus, you might be reaching a larger audience through this medium than you would originally expect.

You may also want to consider massaging relationships with campus media. While I’m not suggesting you should try to bribe anyone, offering free tickets to shows, free CDs, even free t-shirts can be an effective way of wooing attention, and getting campus media to notice and remember your group’s efforts.

There are those a cappella groups that prioritize their art over their exposure, and that is a perfectly natural place to fall, particularly at the scholastic level. That said, for groups that are seeking to build their audiences and recognition on a grass roots, local level, there’s little better way of getting started than to make the most of campus media.

Story of my Life

Tuesday Tubin'

This week, we present The Washington University Sensasians performing One Direction’s “Story of My Life.”

Large Men Who Can Work The Stage

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #108: Large Men Who Can Work the Stage

In contemporary American society, the culture tends to look down on overweight people. They’re seen as lazy or having weak will power, without regard for genetic, cultural, or socioeconomic factors that might be at play.

Despite the stigmas, there are those large people who defy subjugation and own every bit of who they are when they <i>perform</i> on stage. Few people can quite commandeer the attention or capture the imagination of an audience like a man who is truly large and charge when the lights shine brightest—utterly unselfconscious, there to entertain.

I love it!

Trap Queen

Tuesday Tubin'

This week, we present The University of Rochester Yellow Jackets performing Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.”

The Battle

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #107: “The Battle”

In the preceding edition of 200 Reasons to Love A Cappella, we lauded the 2008 Carnegie Mellon University Originals for their wild and creative choreography. A year before them, Syracuse University Orange Appeal brought similar bravado, energy, and outside the box thinking to their treatment of the spiritual “The Battle.” The guys delivered a level of theatricality that that was ahead of its time and achieved tremendous comedic effect, resulting in one of the most memorable collegiate a cappella performances of that year. For a group that, in that era, had built its name on the backs of classically trained voices, this performance showed the group’s most fun side and earned them a well-deserved spot in the thick of the ICCA Mid-Atlantic Semifinals.

I love it!

Next Page
Fake Outs
Student Media
Story of my Life
Large Men Who Can Work The Stage
Trap Queen
The Battle
LPs vs. EPs
Gone In The Morning
The CMU Originals’ Boat
20/20 Cover Art
Listen to New Music
Pretty Hurts
​The Cornell University Chordials Surface
Paper Airplanes
Facebook
Treasurity
ICCA Northwest Semifinal at George Fox University
Witnessing Someone’s First Solo
Mascots
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark
Hearing a New Song Debuted
Rehearsal
Lucky Strike
Spitting On Mics
Sing Karaoke
Crave You/I Need Your Love
VoxMail
Kickstarter
Baby Boy/Destiny's Child Medley
Impromptu Performances