Pitch Perfect Trailer 2 Coming Soon Enough

Pitch Perfect Trailer Photo from VOLume facebook page - contributing to making A Capella popular . Better than a Pitch Perfect Trailer.

Pitch Perfect Trailer 2

Perhaps this was like a "Pitch Perfect Trailer" for us. On Saturday, Feb.8, 2014, Violettes and company attended the International Championship of College A Cappella, (ICCA) South Quarterfinal Competition. The Varsity Vocals International Championship of A Cappella is the only international tournament that showcases the art of student a cappella singing.

The sold out event was hosted for the first time ever at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville in the beautiful new music facility, the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. With the growing popularity of this kind of music, a larger facility will be needed in the near future. In my opinion, it was more exciting than the movie, “Pitch Perfect”. A movie that was in fact sponsored by the ICCA for the purpose of catapulting         a capella popularity. And because of the overwhelming success of this movie, there will be, in fact, “Pitch Perfect 2” due out in 2015.

After recently getting a sample of high quality unaccompanied singing at the Cornell University’s Glee Club performance, when they toured thru Knoxville, it was wonderful to see the competition host students - UTK’s very own men’s a capella group, VOLume, founded in 2009. What a delightful surprise available to hire for corporate events and party entertainment.

Synopsis of our A Capella outing by visiting Klexmer-Jazz composer, band leader and trumpeter, Paul Brody, who just released a new album with his band, Paul Brody's Sadawi, Behind All Words-Enja Records. 

A Cappella 2014 Tournament

While visiting my sister’s family in Knoxville I found something that is, despite globalization, rare in my adopted home of Berlin, Germany. We combed the events magazine to find an evening activity.  Classical music was out, plenty of that in Europe, country music would be too late for our eighty-eight year old Mom, and this winter’s chill prevented anything outdoors. So when we found the A Cappella competition hosted by the University of Tennessee, we struck gold.

In Berlin my daughter dragged me to the movie, Pitch Perfect. She is half German and half American and loved the language and spunkiness of the characters in the film. Although it’s a Hollywood portrayal of college a cappella groups, after the movie we both felt as if we were missing out on something uniquely American by living in Europe. Was that just the sentimental nerves of Americans living abroad?

The Knoxville competition was not staged by Hollywood but real students who have worked years to show what they learned in an allotted twelve minutes. Of course Europe offers a rich cultural life, but the energy that we felt in the university auditorium, the spontaneity, the rhythm of the steps stepping together, starting a tune in slow harmony then kicking in a beat box, inventing choreography between street dance, gymnastics and ballet, were far away from what inspires us in Europe.

I will take some of what I saw back to Berlin. Not necessarily the excitement seeing the of the  winning groups,  The Vanderbilt Melodores and The Beltones of Belmont, both from Nashville,  but the groups that showed some rough edges, students pushing the limits of their dancing and singing capabilities. Not only music students, but chemistry majors, future engineers, historians and teachers from all around the country who love performing, live in another world for twelve minutes. The let’s make something happen thing of Americans.

As a professional musician I benefit from great artistic opportunities in Europe, and I am happy to raise my children there, but every time I come back to the States I take a piece of American soul back with me, for myself, and to share.


Paul Brody is an American composer, writer, and trumpeter based in Berlin. He has written and produced programs for NPR and WDR and SWR in Germany, as well as hosted his own radio program in Berlin. He has toured the world extensively as a jazz and klezmer musician. Along with his own solo CDs and productions on EMI, Tzadik, and Enja records, he has performed with performers such as Barry White, Frank London, The Supremes, John Zorn, Shirley Bassey, David Krakauer, and David Moss.     www.paulbrody.net


A Capella Review - Pitch Perfect 2

PHOTO BY Dirk Hasskarl:  www.hasskarl.de