Lauren: Confessions of an A Cappella Girl

Remember that scene in the movie “Pitch Perfect” when the a cappella groups were performing in a huge competition on a national stage with awesome choreography and exciting songs?

That’s going to happen this Saturday at BU.  I repeat THIS SATURDAY.

And I’ll be there.  But I won’t just be attending.  I’ll actually be singing and dancing on stage with the 13 other amazingly talented girls in my a cappella group.  We’ve spent the last few weeks practicing our set list and we’re beyond excited to be competing against some of the best a cappella group in the New England area.

It’s been a long road to the quarterfinals.  We first had to submit a 10-minute video to show off our group’s performance style and musically ability.  Once we were accepted, we were beyond excited.  After hours of arranging songs, teaching music and learning choreography, we finally feel ready to show the crowd, and the judge, what we’re made of.

To be honest, this journey to the ICCAs has taught me a few important lesson:

1. Leader by Example

As music director, I’ve found that the best way to motivate the members of my group and get them excited is to be excited. I always try to have a positive attitude because it rubs off on people.  If you’re respectful toward others and work together with your group, they will emulate your behavior!  Nothing speaks louder than how you act, what you do and how your treat other people.

2. Be Realistic, But Never Lower Your Expectations

                  Everyone needs a break sometimes.  I can’t have my group rehearse for 7 hours straight, so I try to think realistically about what we can accomplish with the time we have together.   But that doesn’t mean I lower my expectations.  I still expect the girls to work hard and take rehearsal seriously.  I still expect us to sound fantastic and look like we’re having fun.  I know that a cappella is not our entire life, but I still want us to be proud of what we look and sound like when we sing on stage.  I try to push the members of my group to be better, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how they rise to the occasion.

3. Never Shy Away from a Challenge   

The ICCAs are in no way “mandatory” for any group, and it requires a lot of time and effort.   Many groups choose not to participate because of the stress and pressure.  But sometimes, the most difficult and time-consuming challenges can be the most rewarding.  Having this opportunity has not only brought our group together and made us closer, but it has also helped myself, and the other members of my a cappella group, grow as leaders.  Plus, we can say we performed at the ICCAs.  How cool is that?

Personally, what I’m the most excited about is getting the chance to watch several groups rock it on stage.  While the road to ICCAs has been anything but easy, I’m proud to have the opportunity to work hard alongside my best friends.