“Pitch Perfect” is the second highest grossing musical comedy in the United States behind “School of Rock,” according to Wikipedia. This goes to show that there’s something about a cappella music that people love, and let’s be real, what’s not to love? This was the thought I had when I first watched the movie. After seeing and hearing how awesome a cappella music groups were, I knew I wanted to be part of that scene in college. On February 15, 2014, that dream came true at the ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinals at University Park.
Most of you are probably wondering what the heck “ICCA” is and how it has anything to do with a cappella music or Pitch Perfect. As a matter of fact, it’s an acronym for International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and as its name suggests, is the annual competition held for a cappella groups from colleges across the country. In other words, real life Pitch Perfect. That’s right, our campus’s own Penn State AbingTones took part in real life Pitch Perfect.
If you really want to know about the AbingTones you can look back a couple of posts for “A Family Away From Home: The AbingTones” by Jairus James, but for the sake of this post I’m going to assume you’ve at least heard of us before. Although the group has been around for a few years, it’s never participated in ICCA until this year. When I came to Abington in the fall semester as a freshman and auditioned for AbingTones I had no idea the group was planning on submitting recordings for ICCA nor did I even know what ICCA was. Once it was explained to me and we received the news that we were accepted to compete however, I was stoked.
During the midst of all this happening, I had to step back and look at how far I’d come musically. I was never in an organized music group until the musical during my senior year of high school and also my school’s Men’s Choir. In just a year’s time I’d gone from singing casually everywhere I went to singing a solo in front of hundreds of people as part of an audition-only a cappella group for ICCA. Talk about culture shock. Of course it wasn’t all fun and games; AbingTones needed to learn new songs, choreograph them, learn the choreography, and manage to sing and dance at the same time after all was said and done.
All the hours and extra rehearsals spent mastering our routine paid off in the end. We didn’t win, but you have to account for the fact that we were the rookies; the other groups had done ICCA before and knew what was expected of them. However, that didn’t faze us at all. We had just performed our routine on stage for hundreds of spectators to see and appreciate. Just knowing that we were accepted above all the other groups that didn’t make it was rewarding. For me personally, I had a blast.
As a freshman, I’ve already had some amazing opportunities presented to me through AbingTones, and knowing that I’ve got 1-3 more years here is making me anxious. Who knows what other awesome stuff we’ll get ourselves into and how else I’ll grow as a vocalist and as a person. I’ve already achieved my goal of being in an a cappella group so anything else that happens from here on out is a bonus! All I can hope is that whatever we end up doing, my pitch stays perfect.