A Cappella nerds, you can now relax. In honor of Music in Our Schools Month I have a very exciting announcement for you: The Sing Off is coming back!!! Last week, it was confirmed that NBC's best reality singing competition show will be returning for season 4. The ratings may not say it's the best but as someone who loves hearing people that can actually sing and have to prove that by singing a cappella every week, this show is THE BEST. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it is a singing competition for a cappella (singing without music, or to quote Pitch Perfect "it's all from our mouths!") groups where each week they must arrange and perform a cover of a song that fits within the theme of the week. They also have to incorporate choreography but that mostly just means moving around on the stage, not actual dance moves. As long as they can put on a show and sound good doing it, it works. Also, returning to The Sing Off will be host Nick Lachey (former 98 Degrees frontman), and judges Ben Folds, Sarah Bareillis, and Boys II Men singer, Shawn Stockman.
The Sing Off season 3 winners, Pentatonix
They can arrange medleys like nobody's business
"As Long As You Love Me/Wide Awake"
They can follow the trends of today's music
They can show some old school love
They can make a song suspenseful
"Dog Days Are Over"
And they can make R&B songs simple yet the most powerful and sexy thing you've ever heard
"Let's Get It On"
Let's be honest, if you don't have chills running through you after those last two, you shouldn't be on this earth.
Following the need of more a cappella in our lives, the 2012 hit comedy Pitch Perfect was released, which tells the story of Anna Kendrick as Beca, a rebellious DJ who turns the super traditional Barden Bellas, a female a cappella group at her college, completely upside down. The movie was not just a hit because of the crazy good cast (Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Adam DeVine, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, I could list everyone in the credits), but also because of the amazing music that it provided. The movie is still making profits even after the DVD release back in December, the album has stayed in the Top 50 (reaching number 1 for soundtracks and number 3 in Billboard's top 200) and has has 3 chart-topping singles. The most popular, "Cups", sang by Kendrick and accompanied by herself and a plastic cup, has now been rerecorded for the radio.
The movie also gave some fame to a local (well local for me) college a capella group, the University of Virginia Hullabahoos (they're the guys in the khakis and crazy shirt robes things singing "The Final Countdown"). UVA is known for having some of the best a cappella groups (one of their female groups, The Sil'hooettes, is one of the top a cappella groups in the nation right now) but they aren't the only school to produce national award winning groups. James Madison University has The Madison Project, Exit 245, and The BluesTones; Tufts has Beelzebubs (their fame started on The Sing Off and they went on to become "The Warblers" on Glee), Yale has The Whiffenpoofs, Oregon has On The Rocks, Brigham-Young University has Vocal Point, I could go on forever.
The UVA Hullabahoos posing with Elizabeth Banks