Groups Developing Over Time

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #71: Groups Developing Over Time

When a friend or loved one decides to undertake a performance endeavor—be it an improv troupe, community theatre, a garage band, or, of course, an a cappella group, the decision carries with it the responsibility for friends and family to commit to attending many a performance for the months, if not years to come. Sometimes this awesome—if your friend’s artistic sensibilities are in line with her own and she shows a real talent for what she’s doing, this can be an awesome new way to connect and a fun new recurring activity for you to partake in from a spectator’s perspective.

It can also be awful.

Let’s face it—despite their desire, not everyone was built for performance and indulging a friend’s new artistic passion can be one of the truest tests of a friendship.

But then, something interesting can happen.

Writing for The A Capella Blog, I attend year after year of competitions, often in the same geographic region. As a result I have a tendency to see the same groups perform time and again. There are some that that I look forward to when I see their names in a program; some that I prepare to grin and bear. And then there are those that surprise.

Take Ithaca College Ithacappella. To be fair, I’ve never seen this group put on a bad show. But listening to them in the years before I started the blog, I recognized them as a capable, but unexceptional all-male college group. In the years to follow, they seemed to put together the puzzle pieces of talent, song selection and group identity to forge a much greater whole. They went from borderline semifinalists, to semifinal mainstays, to back-to-back ICCA Finalists who even placed once, before taking their next steps as a major national group that need not compete every year to maintain its elite reputation.

Indeed, one of the truest joys of following a cappella is seeing groups evolve. Particularly in the case of scholastic a cappella, group members are constantly cycling in and out, and those members with multiple years of continuity in the group lend voices of experience to their group, but are also at stages of their lives in which they are learning and maturing themselves, and so all the more prone to pushing the group forward.

I love it!