Each Friday an A Cappella Blog contributor will take a look at both sides of a controversial, interesting, or seemingly random statement related to collegiate a cappella.
We welcome you to weigh in on the topic at hand by posting a comment.
We also welcome readers to offer up their own statements for our writers to consider, Measure for Measure.
This week's topic: A lot of the appeal of collegiate a cappella comes from contemporary music choices, and entertaining performance choices, in contrast to more traditional performances from more traditional performance ensembles. With this in mind, a collegiate a cappella show should push boundaries. Skits, multimedia clips, costumes, cameo appearances—bring them all on! The more special attractions at a show, the better.
True: One of the coolest parts of attending a collegiate a cappella show is that you never know what you’re going to see. I’ve seen comedic videos. I’ve seen a member of a group come out dressed like a banana. I’ve seen stomp routines, alumni guests, school mascots joining in the fun. Part of what makes these shows great is just how unpredictable they are, and the opportunity they afford truly creative groups to shine.
False: There can be fun extracurriculars in an a cappella show, but it’s only worthwhile if it doesn’t come at the expense of the musical performance. A show should be entertaining for a full audience—not a few select friends of a group who will get the inside jokes. Videos and skits should complement a show, but they shouldn’t be what the spectators are talking about afterward. The core of a great a cappella show rests with the music, and the level of performance. A few special attractions are OK, but they’re best limited to a rational level.