Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A cappella Day and S.O.S (Save Our Sing-off)

Did you know that National Show Choir day is August 20th?
Did you know that National Barbershop Quartet day is April 11th?
Did you know that March is music in our schools month?
Did you know that a cappella day is…wait…what is it?

Can you believe it? We don’t have a national a cappella day!!!

I know! [Cue Huge Gasp]

Why not? 20+ years after the breakthrough of contemporary a cappella and no way to celebrate it? Oh…and the Sing-Off was cancelled. Let’s address both ideas at the same time.

I know all too well the power of online petitions (Yay Community!) but I think if we want to save the Sing-Off, I think we need to go the extra mile. While many of our favorite programs entertain, the Sing-Off has educational value. Music educators are using the popularity of this program (and shows like Glee) to help justify the existence of music programs in schools and recruit more singers. Sure, anyone could argue that almost any show has some educational value (Survivor teaches you how to swallow bugs!) but I have seen first hand the kind of impact shows like the Sing-Off has had.

So I propose that an online petition is not the only thing we can do:

PEOPLE! WE. ARE. MUSICIANS. Stop talking and SING!!!

Let us swarm the masses! Gather your friends together and sing for the NBC executives. Send massive amounts of copies of your latest album to their mail room and flood the system. Call NBC and sing over the phone. Post an a cappella plea to NBC on Youtube. Call your famous friend and have him/her record the newest iTunes single a cappella.

Or better yet…let’s make a national a cappella day! A day where everyone in the country gathers together to sing for anyone in any place for any amount of time. And I’ll start by making a few suggestions:

1) June 14th- If we want to simultaneously attempt to save the Sing-Off and create a national a cappella day, June 14th would make sense. It is 6 months after the premier of the first episode of the Sing-Off. Problem is, it’s during the summer and this year it falls on a Thursday, which is awkward.

2) Sometime in March- March is already Music in our Schools Month. Let’s bolster that spirit with a day dedicated to the art of a cappella.

3) The day was founded

Any other date works- as long as it falls on the calendar year. (August 32nd is probably not going to work)

Losing the Sing-Off is a heavy blow to the proponents of a cappella promotion and education. While the upcoming movie Pitch Perfect will help bring our music back into the mainstream, we must fight to protect what we have. This means banning together and, in one loud voice, proclaiming that we are not going away.

Marc Silverberg

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