Have you ever realized how big our community is?
When I’m not busy having a cappella run my life, I work for a local real estate company. Within my first few weeks of working there, I mentioned the word “a cappella” and our bookkeeper followed up with “Oh you do a cappella? Do you watch ‘The Sing-Off’?” I, of course, giggled a little because not only did I watch “The Sing-Off”, I had friends on “The Sing-Off”. Well it turns out the reason he asked was because he was an alumni of the University of Rochester YellowJackets and had been a member some 20 or 30 years ago.
This is not the only time I’ve made these connections. I’ve been on countless job interviews where the person interviewing me was either in collegiate a cappella or dated someone in a cappella or had a roommate in a cappella. (Pro tip: make sure to include your a cappella experience on your resume… people eat it up!) Or I’ve mentioned that I had to judge something and heard, “I went to BU! Do you know the Dear Abbeys?” Yes. In fact, I’ve cooked for the Dear Abbeys. Or I’ve had girls gushing about those cute Bubs and had the awkward moment of saying “Right… I live with one of them.” But that’s what this community is about. The connections.
Wait a minute, what does this have to do with BOSS?
Well, what better place and time to make these connections than an a cappella festival where there are hundreds of people that just love doing what you love to do? It doesn’t even matter how seriously you take a cappella. Whether it’s just a hobby or something you’re seriously considering as your career, you never know who you will meet.
For all you know, these are the people that will be your best friends for the rest of your life. The guy sitting next to you at the vocal percussion panel will help you get a job in a few years. The kid you met backstage at the collegiate competition, he’ll give you a couch to crash on next time you’re in New York City. That cute girl you met at the after party because you were utterly impressed by her ability to handle a jager bomb, she’s your future wife.
I know from the outside these festivals may seem a little like Comic-Con for a cappella nerds and well… they are. But if it’s not becoming the best that will draw you in (or the utter nerdiness), let it be the people and the community. Let it be the parties and awesome conversations. Let it be the networking and performance opportunities. Let it be the fact that you’ll get to meet people from all around the country and even the world. Let it be the lifelong friends you will surely make. And heck, let it be the cutie you make out with that becomes your future wife or husband. (Let’s be real… it happens.)