Adapting to the Audience

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #156: Adapting to the Audience

Be it in the a cappella world or other walks of life, we’ve all had the experience of seeing a performer miss the mark when it comes to her or his audience. Whether it’s the stand-up comedian that tells dated jokes on a college campus, or the aging rock star who insists on focusing a concert on new material over the old hits the audience clearly came to hear, there are some performers who don’t seem to pay any mind to the actual the audience they’re playing for.

It can be a joy to see a great a cappella group subvert expectations and adapt material to be the optimal fit for the audience at hand. This might include singing the “radio edit” version at an ICCA competition or family weekend performance where the kids and parents in audience call for a family friendly show. On the flip side, it might mean getting raunchier and playing up the edgier material for a late-night campus show.

Groups that adapt to the audience—making an effort to ensure everyone is safe, comfortable, and having fun—have the opportunity provide a great performance without caveats or strings attached, for which no one leaves the auditorium shaking her head in disapproval, and with all of that, allow the music to be the focal point of the performance.

I love it!