How I Knew Nota Would Win The Sing Off
Did anybody watch NBC's The Sing Off? I surely did. I was in a co-ed a capella group in college... the Tufts University Amalgamates. Tufts... ring a bell?
Yes, the Beelzebubs are from Tufts. When I was in school, they were great and talented guys. For the laugh, I auditioned for them. According to their historian at the time, I am the first woman to ever audition for the Bubs. They were sweet. The audition was great. I sang "I L O V E U" by Take 6, they had me sight read and blend with them, and they gave me a Bubs shirt. It was lovely!
So I watched The Sing Off with an excited but critical ear since I've done that stuff. I did a lot of a capella arrangements, and still do. When I play around in my home studio, I sing all the tracks. So this is my world.
I knew Nota would win. First of all, they're amazing. They're 6 guys who sound like 10. They blend amazingly, they keep pitch and time well, and they do interesting arrangements that give them a really full sound.
The Bubs showed up with 12 people, and did what I'm used to seeing them do... amazing singing, tremendous entertainment. You'd think they might win, but I knew they wouldn't.
The prize was a big stack of money and a record deal. The Bubs put out their own albums every year or every other year, and have done that for decades. They're undergrads, and what a lot of people don't realise is that many kids in college a capella aren't music majors or serious musicians. They are not people looking for music careers. They might be engineers, pre-med, pre-law, looking to go into politics or diplomacy, etc... When I sang in the Mates, I was the only music major.
Also, as undergrads, the group tends to change every semester. Someone takes a semester off, you have auditions and bring in new people, people graduate. The group is sort of constantly changing. So you have a changing group of what might be kids who are not thinking about music as a career, and who are already putting out their own albums.
Nota deserves it. They were beyond great. Multi-talented, multi-dimensional, and really solid. But the prize will be better used by them than the Bubs.
I've seen a capella live, and it's always blown me away. In college, I saw Take 6 live. I also saw Todd Rundgren's "Second Wind" tour, where for a few songs, he had his 10-piece band be an a capella group. I think that if people can stay away from autotuners and engineering tricks, a capella will definitely be on the rise now that it has had some national attention. I hope Nota will tour since I would definitely go if they came through my town.
Thanks to NBC for doing that show, bringing attention to a capella, and especially bringing attention to my alma mater, Tufts University... home of THE best college a capella groups in the country!