GQ senior editor Rapkin, today’s lively collegiate a cappella groups boast hip-hop repertory, professional vocal arrangements, competitions at"/>
 

Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory

Mickey Rapkin, Author
Mickey Rapkin, Author Gotham $26 (275p) ISBN 978-1-592-40376-9
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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. (June)

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