By Julianne Alcott
Whenever I heard the word ‘acapella’ in the past, it always made me think about a bunch of old guys doing sleepy harmonising to songs that were popular when my grandparents were alive.
Musty, fuzzy, old fashioned and covered in cotton wool.
But that was before Pitch Perfect…
I didn’t bother seeing the movie when it was on circuit, because it sounded lame. I couldn’t imagine why anyone else would go and see it either.
Then I watched it at a friend’s house and was blown away. The plot was simple, but the characters were endearingly odd, and the message was one of perseverance, the value of friendship and the realising of dreams.
But it was the singing that has kept me coming back to watch that movie again and again.
I’m guessing that Collegiate Acapella isn’t something we see much in South African universities, but its huge in the USA.
They’ve even made a reality TV show about it that aired on SABC a while ago.
I took a more personal look at acapella when the music teacher at my school left, and the school started building a new school hall.
Suddenly, I was running choir, with no school hall to hold it in, and a piano in storage. Not that I could play it very well anyway, but now the option was totally gone.
Acapella seemed like a good angle to take. Most of the children are still Pitch Perfect fans, and they are looking forward to the sequel being filmed at the moment.
Its a different way of looking at music, layering songs, and weaving lines together, all the while adding the background sounds to create a harmonious whole.
A challenge for sure, but as the saying goes, “A change is as good as a holiday”.
And after an exhilirating practice with the Grade 7 choir leaders in the deserted computer room, I am more than ready to try something new!