The Nine People You’ll Meet in an A Cappella Group


Photo by Chaz Delgado A few short years ago, a cappella had some unfortunate stereotypes—the dweeby kids, or the old guys in their candy-stripe suits, or the Ivy school elitist snobs—but now, much thanks to “Pitch Perfect,” a cappella is once again popular. Syracuse’s own Cockappella was this past Saturday, and wow, there is nothing better than guys singing to raise awareness about testicular cancer, especially when their voices miraculously sound like their balls never dropped. These guys have phenomenal voices, a whole lot of spirit and some oddly sexual dance moves. While the a cappella ladies of SU did not sing this past weekend, they’ve usually got the same thing going for them.

But enough praise. Let’s talk about some of the wonderful singers of SU’s a cappella groups and the characters one is bound to find in every group.


The kid that pre-writes jokes for the show

One of the great perks of SU a cappella shows is that they also seem to double as comedy acts. Many a cappella kids embrace their weirdness and love to make people laugh, but there is always one who tries just a bit more than the rest.

The heartthrob

Whoever goes for the sensual, romantic song of the evening is bound to steal some hearts. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t have eyebrows, or had a unibrow, whoever can out-sing Justin Bieber in “Cold Water” is going to have some extra friend-requests by the end of the night.

The freshman that hasn’t learned how to dance yet

College is hard, and definitely awkward at times. When you ask a shy, yet talented, freshman to get up on stage and shake it to “Hey Ya,” you might end up with some cringe-worthy moves and questionable hand gestures. In due time, young one.

The other freshman who is getting down and dirty with it

On the other hand you have those freshmen who have waited 18 years to be on that stage and can’t help but let the music move them. Often times this results in some aggressive hip-thrusting, a bit of dropping it, and a whole lot of stank face.

The pseudo-music director

Each group has a designated person to arrange the music, and while this person can be a bit neurotic at times, they are usually doing a pretty impressive job. This group member has planned each note personally and is responsible for getting everyone to hit the right ones. But then there is always someone else who comes in and tries to start being the boss—sure bet they aren’t getting a solo anytime soon.

The kid who peaks at a cappella parties

Like many of us at SU, after any successful event we want to drink to it, and a cappella groups are no different. When the mics turn off and the ties are loosened they do some serious partying. While it’s all in good fun, there are always those few people who “didn’t mean to drink a lot,” and end up getting down and dirty with it, feeling like they just had the best moment of their life. At least they waited until after high school.

The kid that is super into himself

We would be lying if we didn’t tell you that, like many performers, a cappella singers can get pretty self-absorbed. Many of them are down to earth and ready to embarrass themselves, but there are always a few who feel they are in line for the throne. Please, we all have great voices if the shower acoustics are just right.

The kid that sings even when no one else in a cappella is around

“Pitch Perfect” isn’t exactly a documentary, but it doesn’t lie about an a cappella singer’s urge to belt it anywhere. It’s great when you are up there on that stage wowing a crowd, but when you’re driving to Wegmans with your buddy, you probably don’t need to get falsetto on those radio edits. Some a cappella homies simply can’t stop singing.

The kid that never leaves

(Also, probably, the one that peaked at a cappella parties.) They are a few years graduated and still have a “toner” (“Pitch Perfect” pun for a musical boner) for college a cappella—probably because it’s super weird to start harmonizing to everything in public in the real world. They come back, sing at Chuck’s, get tattoos with their group mates, and start making plans for the next concert to come back for.


Bottom line, if you know someone in an a cappella group, you probably can identify which person on this list he or she is. And if you’re in an a cappella group reading this, thinking you don’t really fit into one of these categories...well, don’t fool yourself, kiddo. We all heard you singing Lady Gaga on your way to school today.


CultureSammy MonkComment