200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

American Harmony

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #100: American Harmony

Whether you saw it at film festival, when it aired on The Documentary Channel, or *gulp* have yet to see it to this day, American Harmony is far more than a documentary—it’s an experience. And it’s one that makes you proud to be a part of the a cappella world.

From the story of Max Q—should-be champions struggling with lofty expectations, ego and perhaps too much talent; to the story of Reveille, an aging quartet that hopes for nothing more than one last chance to entertain, this film centered on the Barbershop Harmony Society International finals and the myriad journeys that culminate there. It’s a slice of something unique a cappella culture, and something as general as a slice of Americana; it’s a viewing experience few viewers—a cappella fans or not—will ever forget.

I love it!

Innovative Stage Entrances

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #99: Innovative Stage Entrances

There are groups who walk on stage and form arcs, or who stagger themselves across the stage, poised to key into a song’s choreography. There are those that demonstrate wonderful energy, bounding onto the stage and jumping, chest-bumping, and inspiring the crowd to start cheering before they’ve sung a single note.

And then there are those who get creative.

There’s nothing wrong with a traditional stage entrance, but there is something distinctively cool about an innovative entrance. Take The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers’ 2005 ICCA Finals-bound set that started with members of the group clustered in quintets around the auditorium, passing the lead around as they made their way from the audience to the stage only to form an arc and launch seamlessly into their second song.

Other groups have achieved similar intrigue by starting with a small percentage of the group on stage before others join in both in music and physically, or by keying off a set with the sort of wall of sound that would traditionally mark the set’s climax.
An innovative entrance surprises and captivates the audience from the opening notes. It forces the audience to pay attention.

I love it!

Well-Rehearsed Exits

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #98: Well-Rehearsed Exits from Stage

We’ve all seen it before—a group finishes a rousing performance and freezes. The crowd applauds. The group members look at one another, one of them starts to move, another awkwardly waves at the crowd, and finally group turns and walks off stage.

Sure, what matters most is what happens between the applause, when a group is actually performing. But when you consider professionalism, and the importance of that final impression a group makes on its audience, there’s no denying the importance of a well-coordinated, well-rehearsed exit from stage. If you’re going to bow, decide that, and who’s leading it. If you’re going to go bounding off stage as a ball of energy, that’s fine, too. It’s that awkward moment when the performers clearly don’t know what they’re doing that robs a performance of some of its verve; just as the well-prepared exit puts a bow on the package and communicates that a group has thought out every angle of its performance.

I love it!

Pentatonix

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #97: Pentatonix

Season three of The Sing-Off was the longest season the show had. The groups that best succeeded on the mini-marathon season were those that legitimately developed over their time on the series, and demonstrated a depth of talents that made them not only enjoyable but interesting to listen to over a period of months.

Using that criteria, no group could touch Pentatonix.

Whether they were wowing the audience with their take on “Video Killed the Radio Star,” reinventing soul with “Let’s Get It On,” making would-be clichés one-hundred-percent relevant with their Britney Spears medley, the fivesome seemed to have a trick up their sleeves for each and every theme week to win over long-time a cappella fans and casual viewers alike. Better yet, after the national spotlight had turned off, the crew remained vital using YouTube to continue to proliferate good, innovative a cappella songs with covers of “Moves Like Jagger,” “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “We Are Young.” Pentatonix has arrived as that rare a cappella group that needs no explanation or translation or non-a cappella fans, and whom the a cappella faithful can hold high as its shining stars who have blossomed in the big, bad world.

A Grammy, a Billboard chart-topper and all other manner of accolades and special performance opportunities, and Pentatonix is still very much going strong.

I love it!

GQ

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #96: GQ

While groups like Delilah and Musae were at the fore of the post-collegiate all-female a cappella revolution at the turn of the decade, and groups like Noteworthy, Divisi, and The AcaBelles were making the cases for women across the nation on the collegiate scene, 2012 saw the rise of an unexpected all-female sensation. Whether they were winning the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes, winning the SingStrong competition, or placing second overall at The Harmony Sweepstakes Finals GQ made a serious name for themselves in the a cappella world, and did so in very little time, accomplishing all of the above within just six months of first forming.

The ladies from Towson University boasted a unique blend of styles with clear barbershop influences, but defying the conventional structure of that medium and embracing more contemporary song selections. The group demonstrated that a group need not boast a wealth of choreography, an army of members, or new-school bells and whistles to make a dent in the contemporary a cappella scene, but have, instead, thrived off of mastering the fundamentals, putting together the perfect arrangements for their vocal set, and bringing together four distinct and outstanding voices to make magic happen.

I love it!

Family A Cappella Groups

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #95: Family A Cappella Groups

Members of a cappella groups often refer to their groupmates as family. There are those groups that take this to a whole ‘nother level, though—groups that are literal, biological and legal relations. Whether it’s the Fannin Family of Sing-Off, the California-based barbershop quartet My Three Sons, or any of a number less-known or less public outfits, intra-familial a cappella groups mark one of the most distinctive, interesting, and intimate make ups of a cappella groups possible.

Family a cappella groups celebrate the propinquity of a close family, provide the family a unique opportunity to collaborate and provide a real treasure for not just the family, but the surrounding community to drink in as a real inspiration and source of aural beauty.

I love it!

Next Page
American Harmony
Innovative Stage Entrances
Well-Rehearsed Exits
Pentatonix
GQ
Family A Cappella Groups
Barbershop Quartets
The A Cappella Bop
The A Cappella Walk
Photos of People Performing A Cappella
Good Sound Technicians
Good Lighting
Crowd Clap
Guitar Solos
Orange Appeal's Outfits
The Midnight Ramblers Cover of Lazy Sunday
SingStrong
SoJam
Post-Collegiate Groups
The Exhilaration of Getting Into A Group
The Intrigue of Auditions
Combining New Energy with Experienced Voices
Body Percussion
Big Show Atmospheres
Ben Folds Presents University A Cappella
The Nintendo Medley
Busting A Move
Women Singing Songs by Female Artists
Groups That Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously
Groups Developing Over Time