200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

The CMU Originals’ Boat

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #106: The CMU Originals’ “Boat”

Over the years, the stakes of visual presentation seem to have grown higher and higher in a cappella, and that’s particularly true on the collegiate scene. Groups that hope to go far need to think about choreography, movement, transitions, and many points in between.

Along this evolutionary process, particular moments have stood out. They’re the moments not quite like any others that preceded them, and that no one saw coming. One particular such moment arrived in The Carnegie Mellon University Originals’ rendition of “Run, Freedom, Run” during their 2008 ICCA set. A wildly charismatic soloist took the lead, but it was the whole group that truly stole the show by not just singing but putting on a visual show that reached its climax when the guys bent, leaned, and lifted to form a makeshift boat with their bodies.

I love it!

Witnessing Someone’s First Solo

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #105: Witnessing Someone’s First Solo

Every performer in a cappella group contributes to a greater whole and it’s usually pointless to argue over who is most “important” in a given performance. Nonetheless, when a group performs for the public and particularly casual fans, the soloist tends to attract the most attention—standing at the front of the stage, singing the most readily recognizable part of the song.

Some people get solos from the very beginning of their a cappella careers. Others have to wait years. Regardless, when a group member sings her first solo it’s a moment of vindication and celebration. It’s a coming out party, singling out and broadcasting that particular singer’s voice for the world.

I love it!

Hearing a New Song Debuted

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #104: Hearing a New Song Debuted

Many a cappella groups depend on a mixture of tried and true standards they’ve kept in their repertoires and relatively new pieces they’ve added to their repertoire over the last year or so. This combination makes good, practical sense and serves both an audience of loyal fans who expect to hear certain signature pieces, and an audience that appreciates the newer additions.

For either audience, nothing can compare to the electricity that comes with debuting a great new song. Groups tend to sing brand new material with greater verve, and there’s always the chance that the group will still change up parts or add choreography, which lends audiences the sense that they’re hearing and seeing a work in progress—that they and their reactions to the music are active parts of the  creative process. As a fan that’s a pretty cool place to be. It’s all the better when a group gets a song in “ahead of the curve” singing what will likely become an a cappella blockbuster/cliché ahead of the pack.

I love it!

Spitting On Mics

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #103: Spitting on Mics

Within the culture of a cappella, there is a distinctive sub-culture of vocal percussionists who, (pun plenty-intended) march to the beat of their own drummer. One of my favorite truisms for the VP folks is that they not only can but should spit on the mic. If they’re going to make the sounds that they should be, spit is a natural byproduct. Moreover, if they’re taking care not to spit, they’re probably too concerned about how they look on stage, not on what they’re supposed to sound like.

Watching a true artist let the spit fly is a beautiful thing and an art form unto itself.

I love it!

Impromptu Performances

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #102: Impromptu Performances

Unlike so many other performance arts, a cappella does not require any equipment or a formal stage. It’s an art that naturally lends itself to impromptu performance, captivating not only the attention but the imagination of a live audience in the most unlikely settings—a public park, a train, out on the street.

Impromptu performances are surprising and fun. They share a cappella with the public, but better yet share the idea that music can happen anywhere at any time, and just might inspire others to expose an unsuspecting audience to their own work. 

I love it!

The National Anthem

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

​Reason #101: The National Anthem

Over the years a cappella groups have found all sorts of venues in which to sing, ways in which to get their names out to the public, serve the local community. One of the truest staples, though has been singing the National Anthem. Whether it’s a matter of singing the anthem before a college sports game, or an NBA or MLB game, or any other number of settings, singing The National Anthem provides groups a unique opportunity to access an audience a new audience. Better yet, a cappella groups are often able to sing it with better tuning and precision than other acts. As such, each time an a cappella group sings the National Anthem, they’re not only helping themselves, but bettering the name of the a cappella genre.

I love it!

Next Page
The CMU Originals’ Boat
Witnessing Someone’s First Solo
Hearing a New Song Debuted
Spitting On Mics
Impromptu Performances
The National Anthem
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