Saturday, July 14, 2012

A cappella should be at Comic-Con

There's only one thing everyone is talking about this weekend...Comic-Con 2012. Comic-Con is the biggest entertainment conference of the year. Not only does it promote comics, but it also promotes television shows, movies, video games, and anything else classified as "geeky."

As a fully fledged geek, I, like thousands of people, have been curious to see what events were brought to Comic-Con 2012. With all the movies being promoted, I was hoping to see "Pitch Perfect" somewhere within the convention.

In October, Universal Studios is releasing the first all a cappella movie, "Pitch Perfect." This is indeed a milestone in the history of a cappella music and the inclusion into mainstream media. So why doesn't "Pitch Perfect" have a panel at Comic-Con, or at least have an honorable mention?

Are we, as a cappella fans, really so different from comic book fans that there is no need for cross-promotion? If a cappella fans keep complaining that we are under-appreciated, then we should start promoting ourselves outside of "a cappella only" conventions.

It's obviously too late to insert ourselves into Comic-Con, but if there are any a cappella groups out there going, do me a favor- SING AT COMIC-CON!!!

A cappella needs to promote more. Social media is great for promoting concerts, but really, how many collegiate a cappella groups have advertised their concert outside of their respective college? I'm willing to wager that only a few have ever thought to do this. Professional groups have it even tougher. They have to build their own fan base.

What is the solution? We stick our nose into conventions that don't necessarily focus on a cappella music.

Here are some other conventions we should start sticking our big nose into:
1) ACDA and NAfME (formerly MENC)

I've said it before, but these are the two biggest musical organizations in the country and the a cappella presence is sorely lacking. Nothing could be better for the promotion of a cappella music, and a cappella education, than to show off a cappella techniques to thousands of choral directors who haven't a clue how to start an a cappella group, let alone know what is.

2) Other comic book/geeky conventions

NY-CON, APE, Wonder-Con, W00Tstock, Denver-Con...There are probably hundreds of other geeky conventions that would probably welcome the addition of a new musical exploration that has more and more become reliant on technology and pop-culture.

3) Conventions that have absolutely nothing to do with music

Okay. Go with me on this. If some company presenting at a major conference (E3 perhaps?) featured an a cappella group and someone took a video of it, I bet it would go viral. We don't need to do an entire presentation, we just need to have a presence.

4) Sports Games

This isn't new. All-star games have featured a cappella groups at half time shows, and most baseball teams have featured some a cappella group singing the national anthem. I say let's take it further. Put an a cappella group behind the featured singer in the Super-Bowl halftime show. Sing the national anthem at one of the World Series games. Record a sports-anthem that gets some airtime at a sports game. (The a cappella equivalent of "Who Let The Dogs Out")

Let's get our name out there. If one group promotes a cappella music, we all win.

Marc Silverberg
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