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April 24, 2013

Agony, Ecstasy, Irony: The Fight For The Soul Of College A Cappella

NPR - Linda Holmes- Culture blog

Saturday night at Town Hall in New York, the Nor'easters of Northeastern University in Boston were crowned national champions at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), the entirely real battle dramatized in last summer's surprise hit Pitch Perfect.

On the same night, the organizers announced from the stage that 19 Entertainment, which produces American Idol, was creating a reality series following the groups through the competition. And NBC has announced that it's bringing back The Sing-Off, its a cappella series that was previously believed to be dead. Thus, the Saturday night competition took place while this style of music is having a bit of a moment, from which its advocates didn't shy away — "This is the real Pitch Perfect," went the on-stage introduction.

You should know, though, that there is a big lie surrounding college a cappella.

The big lie, perpetrated by the movie — aside from the fact that nobody wears precisely matching sparkly costumes like that — is that college a cappella is dominated by mobs of twee goobers standing around singing cheesy '80s/'90s music with enormous grins on their faces. This is not the case. In fact, after hearing the first seven songs, I turned to the friend who attended the show with me and said, "So at this point, the most upbeat song has been 'Cry Me A River.'"

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An interesting read on this influential blog. Although I'm most pleased that collegiate a cappella is getting so much attention I do hope that media writers pay attention to the much wider (and varied) world on non-collegiate a cappella. There's much more to a cappella than covers of recent pop hits and large ensemble harmony.

Posted by acapnews at April 24, 2013 12:00 AM