10th March 2016
All About A Capella
Ever since the movie ‘Pitch Perfect’ arrived at the cinemas, everyone has been mad about A Capella. However, do you know about the real life ‘Pitch Perfect’? A dictionary definition of A Capella is “without instrumental music”. This means that it is creating music using your voices without any instruments. It also often includes dance routines which add more to the visual side of the performance.
Every year there is a competition called the ICCA which stands for International Championship of Collegiate A Capella. The competition final is held in America where the winners from the other rounds (including the winner of the semi-finals in England) compete for the title of the best collegiate A Capella group.
The ICCA was founded in 1996 by Deke Sharon and Adam Farb. It takes place from January through to April, in seven regions in the USA and two regions in the UK. The winning team of 2015 was the University of Southern California.
One of the most popular collegiate A Capella groups in England, with thousands of views on their videos, is Out Of The Blue Oxford. This consists of male students from Oxford and Oxford Brooks Universities. This year they competed in the ICCA and came fourth in the semi-finals held at Imperial College London. We interviewed Tim, who is a member of the A Capella group, to find out more about this interesting hobby.
Tim is in his first year at the University of Oxford. He joined the group because he “wanted to take beatboxing to the next level.” They rehearse three times a week to perform at gigs, and have recently performed at the ICCA semi-final. Tim said that it was “quite stressful, [and it] took up a lot of time and we worked really hard.” Although they didn’t get through to the finals of the ICCA, Tim told us, “honestly [it is] a massive weight off my shoulders because now we don’t have to keep doing the same three songs and we have a US tour to prepare for.” A Capella has been increasing massively in popularity, which means there are a lot of A Capella crazed fans out there. When we asked Tim how it feels to be so popular, he admitted, “to be honest, it came as a bit of a surprise.” To finish off the interview, he added “everyone should try A Capella because it’s just so much fun!”
Above is a picture of Out Of The Blue in rehearsal.
Bex was a spectator of the ICCA semi-final in England. She thought that it was really well put together, the singing was amazing and she was also surprised by the skill not only of the voices, but also of the dance routines of the different groups. The Techtonics of Imperial College London won the semi-finals, which means that they will be performing at the ICCA finals in New York on 30th April. Semi-Toned of the University of Exeter came second and Aquapella of the University of Bath came third. There were also special awards such as outstanding soloist and outstanding percussion awarded to particular members of the different A Capella groups.
If you like the idea of singing in a group or are looking for a new hobby that’s lots of fun, we recommend trying out A Capella!
By Lottie and Bex