When I was preparing to head off to college, my mother picked up a thank you letter I had written for a scholarship, and gave it a read. The letter recounted much of my high school career, explaining how I had gone about selecting my alma mater. When she was done reading, Mom chided me that I couldn’t write anything without telling a story. It’s true that that letter, like so many other letters I had written, like my college application essays, like my poetry was centered not around giving thanks, arguing a point or drawing artistic allusions. Rather, what interested me in writing—in any creative process, really—was the story. Similarly, it’s the story that captivates me in the books I read, the sports I watch, the music I listen to. It’s the stories that got me hooked on collegiate a cappella.
There are a lot of stories in a cappella. There are news stories—The Midnight Ramblers’ decision to donate a $5,000 scholarship to an incoming University of Rochester student each year; the suspension of the University of New Hampshire Gentlemen. There are the stories of groups. Last year saw groups like the SoCal VoCals and Ithacappella, who had been performing at the upper tier of collegiate a cappella for years, finally break through to a new level of excellence, making their first appearances in the ICCA Finals—and, in the VoCals’ case, becoming international champions. There are the stories of a show or competition set—journeys through different time periods, through ballads and upbeat melodies. There are the stories of individual songs—Purple Haze’s emotionally ripping solo on “Samson,” Casual Harmony throwing the choreography into high gear for “Paralyzer.”
At The ACB, it’s a part of our job to bring a cappella stories to you, and this year, we are excited to do so in a variety of new ways.
In Their Own Words is a new guest column in which prominent figures will tell their own stories from the a cappella world.
How To will feature the top performers in collegiate a cappella explaining how to arrange, recruit, do vocal percussion, and more.
The Best I’ve Seen will see yours truly recount the very best material I’ve seen in collegiate a cappella.
Dos and Don’ts is Production Manager Mike Scalise’s new recurring column, detailing his recommendations for a cappella performance.
In addition to all of this new content, The ACB will continue to run event reviews, exclusive interviews, weekly Tuesday Tubin’ clips, and Measure for Measure analyses of controversial issues in a cappella. Other site features include a new, advanced Events page, and our ongoing collection of images on our Photos page.
Most importantly of all, The ACB is doing its part to make sure that the story of a cappella, and, indeed, music in general, lives on. Through a partnership with VH1’s Save The Music Foundation, we will be selling wristbands all season long, with all profits supporting music education programs.
Here at The ACB, we are incredibly excited to launch our third publication season. So fasten your seatbelts, add us to your bookmarks and RSS feeds, and get ready for one heck of a ride!