Don’t Overbook Your Group

Simply A Cappella

One of the most common mistakes that good a cappella groups make is to over-extend themselves. They start with an end of semester show. Fair enough. They decide to compete as well. OK. They decide to sing at the campus Relay for Life Event. Then Multicultural Night. Then the Take Back the Night March. Then as a guest group at a neighboring school. So the snowball builds, rolling downhill.

It’s great for a group to get its name out there and connect with a variety of audiences. At the same time, you need to recognize the toll performances can take on your group—particularly when you’re performing a lengthy set and or traveling to do it. Performing multiple times per week on a consistent basis can burn members out on a cappella and keep them from tending to their personal lives, the cumulative effect of which will make them less passionate, if not actively resentful of the group in general.

In addition to tiring the group out, performing too often places an emphasis on quantity of performance as opposed to quality. If you narrow your number of performances a bit and convert that performance time into time spent rehearsing, it can mark a step toward refining your sound, and being all the stronger when it comes time to the take the stage. It can also mark extra time for learning new music, and so present a fuller range of material when you perform.

Limiting the number of gigs your group takes on also allows you to refine your obligations down to performances the group actually wants to do. Rather than performing just for the sake of doing so, or to make someone else happy, when you put your group first, you can whittle down to engagements the group is actively excited about , and the performances will probably be all the more consistently strong for that.

By resisting the temptation to overbook your group, you will keep your group fresher, give yourself more time to prepare, and be able to focus on those performances that are most important to the group.