High notes, high drama, and high jinks collide as elite collegiate a cappella groups compete to be the best in the nation
Journalist Mickey Rapkin follows a season in collegiate a cappella, covering the breathtaking displays of vocal talent, the groupies (yes, a cappella singers have groupies), the rock-star partying (and run-ins with the law), and all the bitter rivalries. Along the way are encounters with a cappella alums like John Legend and Diane Sawyer and fans from Prince to presidents.
Bringing a lively new twist to America's fascination with talent showdowns, Pitch Perfect is sure to strike a chord with readers.
According to GQ senior editor Rapkin, today's lively collegiate a cappella groups boast hip-hop repertory, professional vocal arrangements, competitions at Lincoln Center and a world shrunk by the Internet. During the 2006 2007 college season, Rapkin, an alum of a Cornell all-male singing club, followed three a cappella powerhouses: Divisi, an all-girl group from the University of Oregon, the testosterone-driven Hullabahoos of the University of Virginia, and Beelzebubs, from Tufts. Each is a collective with a score to settle, a tradition to honor. Robbed of a championship in 2005, Divisi wants payback; the Hullabahoos want respect without forfeiting their frat-boy charm; and the controversial Bubs want to hone their edge. Throughout, Rapkin engages with celebrity trivia (Heroes' Masi Oka sang a cappella at Brown) and music criticism. He profiles the cottage recording industry built from college a cappella. Most notably, he riffs through signature events and crisis moments with a snarky humor (onstage Divisi looks like "the women in that Robert Palmer video") that turns each chapter into a picaresque progression toward graduation.