A Leopard Cannot Change his Spots


Proverb: A leopard cannot change his spots.

People can’t change. We’ve all heard this shorter version of the adage at hand before. Most of us know some exceptions to the rule, and far more people who fall in line with it.

A cappella groups get inspired. They hear Aurora or On the Rocks or The Boxettes perform, and no sooner are they done enjoying the performance are they thinking that could be us. With so many top flight a cappella groups singing today, there’s every temptation to change your identity to follow the latest “it group.” At its best, this impulse can lead groups to work harder and try new things. But it has the unfortunate side effect of also leading many groups to try to fundamentally change themselves.

While a group should try to evolve and try to innovate over time, there’s also a point at which you have to stay true to yourself; whether that means maintaining your arranging quirks, covering obscure indie rock, emphasizing choreography, continuing to go to the same diner after every rehearsal, or whatever else most intrinsically defines your group sound and dynamics.

Everyone loves Pentatonix. But how many of their imitators have really made name for themselves? Celebrate your own “spots.”