Intro Videos

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #124: Intro Videos

As cameras, video editing software, and the A/V capabilities of a wide range of performance venues have improved, so has the use of intro videos to lead off a cappella shows.

An intro video can communicate a great deal about a group’s personality, whether it’s quirky, macho, sensitive, or intense. A video sets the tone, establishes a level of professionalism, and makes the most of modern technology to give audience members the sense of a performance experience.

I love it!

All I Ask

Tuesday Tubin'

This week we present Centerville High School Forte performing Adele’s “All I Ask.”

Campus Booking Agents

Campus Connections

In this edition of Campus Connections, our focus is on: campus booking agents.

Whether it’s a professional in charge of coordinating entertainment for the campus community or a student affiliated with student government who coordinates booking events, most college campuses have someone (or some group of people) in charge of putting together large scale events for campus that may including bringing in speakers, comedians, magicians, or, of course, musical acts from afar to the college.

On the scale that I’m discussing, it’s unlikely that the booking agents would book your on-campus a cappella group to be a featured act, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t fold you into a major event as an opening act, or work with you to publicize the act they’re bringing in. Sharing a stage with a professional can be a wonderful way of providing you with a larger audience, not to mention possibly affording your group the opportunity to interact directly with a major act backstage and learn from them as artists. And even if it’s a matter of your group publicly singing a song by a major artist in a public spot to promote the fact that that artist is coming to campus, you have now inextricably linked yourself, in the minds of listeners, to that artist, which is not a bad association to create.

Campus booking agents ultimately hold a lot of sway over what the campus is listening to, watching, and, perhaps most importantly, what the campus community is getting excited about. Form a relationship with them, and it could elevate your group in any number of ways.

Wild Transitions Between Songs

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #123: Wild Transitions Between Songs

Contemporary a cappella groups rarely entrench themselves in single, solitary genres. Particularly at the scholastic level, most of today’s groups traverse a range of genres, artists, and time periods to represent musical interests as diverse as those represented in the group (if not the entire audience).

When groups diversify their repertoires, they not only provide something to appeal to everyone, but also allow for wild, and wildly entertaining, transitions between songs. Consider, for example, The University of Georgia Accidentals’ 2012 ICCA Finals set. They started a high energy, highly choreographed version of Justin Beiber’s “Never Say Never,” mellowed out to a sterling take on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” then hit a modern groove on Parachute’s “Something to Believe In.” A set like this keeps audiences on their toes and accentuates the most powerful elements of each song based on how fundamentally <i>different</i> the sound and presentation was from the song that preceded it.

I love it!

Use Somebody

Tuesday Tubin'

This week, we present University of Arizona Amplified performing Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

Let’s Archive, People

Open Letters

Dear Competition and Festival Organizers,

Back in 2006, I had the idea of starting The A Cappella Blog. There were a lot of reasons to do so, but chief among them was a void in a cappella blogging. For while CASA and Varsity Vocals had great websites, RARB was doing an excellent job with reviews, and a handful of other outlets came and went, the a cappella world was missing a consistent archive of information, such as which group sang which songs when, let alone how well-received those performances or recordings were. So, we started our site on the idea of focusing on live event reviews and archiving as much as we could.

Fast forward a decade, and the Internet is a more comprehensive place. YouTube went from a fledgling video sharing site to the best-known of a group of user-friendly sites of its ilk, where, for a cappella purposes, a lot of groups have shared a lot of performances. Social media has advanced and aca-people have grown more adept at integrating their creative efforts with their Facebook and Twitter identities. On top of that, there are more a cappella-based websites, podcasts, and other media that have made an aca-world that is constantly expanding simultaneously feel smaller and all the more accessible.

Given that accessibility—that most of us involved in the a cappella world have some level of access and engagement with the Internet, we now expect to find access to information. And it’s maddening when we don’t have it.

For as the Internet has grown, so too has the field of a cappella festivals, competitions, and events. All great stuff, and I’d like to drive home that I so appreciate the folks who have invested countless, thankless hours to bring these events to life. But I’m here to ask you one additional favor.

In recent years, I’ve frankly been shocked at how difficult it is to find concrete information about a variety of shows. While some organizations like Varsity Vocals do a stand-up job of archiving who placed at competitions and won special awards, and the Contemporary A Cappella Society nicely publishes the results of the CARAs, there are a lot of other major shows and festivals that oddly enough don’t seem to keep a formal, public record of their results, including competition or award winners.

Neglecting to meaningfully archive results sells short both performers and the organizations behind shows. Taking the extra step to at least write a quick blog post that compiles results, if not building a sub-page in the organization’s site to archive this information, adds a sense of permanence and gravity to an accomplishment—it takes a sensational performance that resulted in a competition victory, for example, beyond the live audience and the group that earned the honor, to instead broadcast and maintain this result for the world to read.

Some food for thought.

Sincerely,

Mike

Next Page
Intro Videos
All I Ask
Campus Booking Agents
Wild Transitions Between Songs
Use Somebody
Let’s Archive, People
Buying a Group's CD After the Show
Hold Up
The Pentagrom App
California University of Pennyslvania Isolated Incident
It Is Well With My Soul
SUNY Potsdam Stay Tuned
Central Connecticut State University Divisi
University of Kansas Genuine Imitation
Salisbury University Squawkappella
University of Florida Tone Def
Passionflower
UC Berkeley Dil Se
University of Delaware Vocal Point
The Johns Hopkins University Notes of Ranvier
The SUNY Binghamton Harpur Harpeggios
The Ohio State of Mind
University of Central Missouri Rainbow Tones
The University of British Columbia Fantastic Beats
The MIT Chorallaries
University of Connecticut A Minor
Texas Christian University License to Trill
The Towson Trills
The University of Waterloo Interdudes
Pace University Tonal Recall