The Full Wiki

More info on Collegiate a cappella

Collegiate a cappella: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Collegiate a cappella (or college a cappella) ensembles are student-run and -directed singing groups that perform entirely without instruments. Such groups can be found at many colleges and universities in the United States, and increasingly worldwide.


It is not clear exactly where collegiate a cappella began. The Rensselyrics of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutemarker (formerly known as the RPI Glee Club), established in 1873 is perhaps the oldest known collegiate a cappella group. However the longest continuously-singing group is probably The Whiffenpoofs of Yale Universitymarker, which was formed in 1909 and once included Cole Porter as a member. The Princeton Nassoons (c.1939-41) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (1946) were the first a cappella groups at the other of the "Big Three" American Ivy League Universities. The first all women's ensemble, the Smiffenpoofs, was founded in 1936 at Smith Collegemarker, and the oldest continuously-singing female a cappella group, the Mount Holyoke Collegemarker V8s, was founded in 1942. The first co-ed group was the Trinity Pipes, founded first as an all mens group in 1938 but converted to co-ed in 1970 at the same time as the college.

College a cappella has grown tremendously since 1980 quadrupling in the number of active groups from roughly 300 focused in the New Englandmarker Region, to over 1,200 groups throughout the United Statesmarker and around the World. This growth was fueled in part by the style change popularized in the early 1990s by groups like the Dissipated Eight of Middlebury College and the Beelzebubs of Tufts University. The new style, using voices to emulate modern rock instruments, marked a shift away from the more traditional sounds of the jazz or classical ensembles and glee clubs to contemporary a cappella, with groups focusing on modern pop music, complete with complex textures and a driving beat (see vocal percussion). Today, even some glee clubs have by-and-large a pop-music repertoire supplemented only in small part by the traditional genres.

Style & Culture

Collegiate a cappella spans multiple genres and styles: alternative and hard rock; comedy; Jewish, including mostly Yiddish or Hebrew songs; Christian, including Christian pop and rearranged hymns; jazz-influenced pop; fusion groups; barbershop; Rhythm & Blues; madrigals; and jazz. Music style and individual group preference mandate a great variety in both in how groups arrange and perform the music.

Whether a group is all-male, all-female, or mixed/coed, most share similar traits. Collegiate groups usually perform with 8-16 members, unlike professional groups that usually consist of four to seven members; a full group roster, however, can measure up to 30 members. Their larger relative size is driven by necessity, as college groups tend to see high turnover year after year, due to graduation and other student commitments. The relatively large number of members allows groups to maintain continuity year after year. The larger size of these groups has an obvious effect on the aural aesthetic created: depending on levels of talent and cross-section blend, collegiate groups are able to perform arrangements with sometimes more than a dozen separate parts.

Collegiate groups are generally self-sustaining, often entirely run by students. Groups may or may not receive financial support from their institution. Many groups record albums of their music, usually every two or three years. The quality of such albums has recently improved markedly, due to an increased focus on elaborate multi-track recording and the emergence of professional a cappella production specialists, such as Gabe Mann in Los Angeles, Bill Hare and Deke Sharon in San Francisco, Jeff Thacher and Ed Boyer in New York, Freddie Feldman in Chicago, Dave Sperandio and Liquid 5th in the southeast, and John Clark in Boston. Achievements in collegiate a cappella recording are recognized by awards programs (most notably the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, awarded by CASA) and compilation albums, such as the long-running Best of College A Cappella series.

Many college groups compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), an annual nationwide competition in which groups compete to advance through several stages of competition.

The term a cappella is often treated within the college world as a noun, rather than an adjective, and generally refers to the music of pop-driven student groups. Thus, an ensemble singing unaccompanied classical music might be said to be performing a cappella (in the adjectival sense), but would not be considered an "a cappella group."

Live performances of collegiate a cappella would occasionally incorporate comedy for some songs by using choreographed movements.

Arch Sings

Blair Arch, of Princeton University, is one of the earliest known locations of an arch sing.
arch sing is a type of performance put on by collegiate a cappella ensembles. The casual, public performances are typically held in an archway for reasons of acoustics and shelter from the weather. Typically one or a small number of a cappella groups will perform for a small audience, often to publicize upcoming concerts, though arch sings are also frequently held simply for their own sake. The term is also sometimes used to describe similar casual, outdoor performances not held under arches.

See also


External links

  • Varsity Vocals, an organization dedicated to the growth and development of contemporary a cappella at the secondary school and collegiate level. Varsity Vocals produces the Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) compilation, as well as the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA).
  • Recorded A Cappella Review Board, RARB is an a cappella album review service. RARB features over 650 album reviews, many of which are collegiate groups.

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address