Reason #195: Coming To A Cappella From Unexpected Places
Increasingly, there are stories of successful practitioners of the a cappella form who first heard a cappella as a child and got hooked, or who were part of their high school or even middle school a cappella groups and stuck with it straight through.
It’s not less exciting, though, to hear the stories of people who came to a cappella via less conventional or straightforward routes. It’s Bill Hare recording bands in his studio only to strike gold when the Stanford Mendicants commissioned his services, and he found his footing in what would become arguably the most legendary a cappella recording studio in the world. It’s Ben folds, who became aware of all of the collegiate a cappella groups covering his music and decided to do something about it—touring the country to record these groups for a special album, which led to him becoming the most popular judge on The Sing-Off. Heck, I count myself among these ranks, as someone who had heard a cappella groups sing a handful of times on my campus, but never thought about writing on the topic until I started dating a woman in a cappella group toward the end of my college career. That was a decade and a half ago.
One of the big selling points that I use to proselytize about a cappella to people in my own life is that it’s a form that has something for a wide audience—a diverse range of music being covered (and, increasingly, originals!), compelling stage performance, a buddying scene of reality TV shows centered on the form. And one of the great joys of meeting another a cappella enthusiast is learning about her journey into this world, because no two of them are ever quite the same.
I love it!