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Pitch Perfect: Inside the World of College Acapella

Aca-scuse Me? 

On September 28, 2012, the movie “Pitch Perfect” swept the nation. Its portrayal of a college acapella group was nothing short of hilarious and iconic, from the infamous Cup Song to characters like Fat Amy.  

The movie follows Anna Kendrick’s character, Becca, as she navigates the life of a college acapella at Barden University. After not so enthusiastically attending her college fair, she joins the Barden Bellas, an all-female acapella group at the university. This movie led the nation to ask the question: What is college acapella really like?  

The World of Acapella   

If you aren’t familiar with the world of acapella, in my experience thus far, I’ve realized it is really pretty similar to the movie. You audition, you rehearse, and you perform. It’s a blast.   

At Temple University there are seven acapella groups: Broad Street Line, Jewkebox, LiaChorus, Low Key, OwlCappella, Pitch Please, and Singchronized. All of which killed it Thursday night! 

It is such a supportive environment both within individual groups and across different groups. Everybody cheers each other on. Most of the members that I connected with said that they found their second family through college acapella.  

“All of us work together and make something beautiful and that is one of my biggest blessings,” says Lauren Miro, Social Chair and Secretary of Low Key one of the acapella groups on campus.  

“Pitch, Please in particular has helped me in finding and exploring my queer identity, and has made me a better person.” Zoe Necowitz, President of Pitch, Please commented. There are many more like Zoey who have found their voice through college acapella.  

As there is with any sort of competitive setting, people get competitive. Of course, things can get a little tense at times, but no one is being hit with flying burritos or sabotaging performances.  

It is not quite like the movie in the sense that any and all performance takes hours of practice and commitment, not just the “professional” performances. As cool as the riff-offs are, they aren’t very realistic. To perform that well with a group would take preparation. You can’t go into it blind.  

Not to mention, there are no aerial silks or acapella boot camps. Shocking, I know. However, most of the groups at Temple University do participate in the very same competition that is portrayed in the film, the International Championship of Collegiate Acappella, or ICCAs for short.  

Despite differences that may occur between groups overall, it is a very encouraging community united as Temple students.  

The Serenade 

As the clock struck 10:00 Thursday night, the first acapella serenade of the 2022-2023 school year had begun. The ROTC landing was packed with upwards of one hundred students, performers, and viewers alike ready for a night of music and madness.  

Prior to each group’s performance, they announced the so-called “newbs” or newbies to the Temple University Acapella scene. After making everyone feel so very welcome, each group went on to sing their piece.  

Audience members attending the serenade heard everything from pop-y Katy Perry and Ariana Grande to some soulful Jeremy Passion. A jazzy Hebrew piece to the Icelandic Dadi Freyer and a rendition of Share Your Address by Ben Platt.  

This was very fitting given that the very same Ben Platt plays Benji of the outstanding, one might say magic, Treble Tones in the film “Pitch Perfect.” Some groups really made the piece their own by adding simple choreography, captivating the audience. All the groups wowed the crowd and were met with thunderous applause at the end of their piece.  

Always held the first Thursday of every month at the ROTC landing at 10 pm, this event is highly recommended! The crowd is great, and all the acapella groups are sensational, with good vibes all around! Don’t miss the next one!  

* I’d also like to give a little shout-out to Broad Street Line who will be releasing their EP sometime in 2023! That is a difficult and exciting accomplishment so a big congratulations to Broad Street Line from the entire acapella community! 

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Eileen Obetz

Temple '26

This is Eileen's first year writing for HER Campus and she is super excited! In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, playing guitar, and writing.