Tag Archives: a cappella

The Sing-Off

I enjoy The Sing-Off, which is a little odd — given how much I adore a cappella, it would make more sense if I also loved The Sing-Off. I think, however, that The Sing-Off isn’t the kind of a cappella to which I am especially attached: there’s just something about college a cappella that I particularly like. I also tend to place value on inventive choreography and smart arrangements, as well as great singing voices. And perc — that’s important, too. I also don’t necessarily agree with the judges’ decisions. Continue reading

The Sing-Off: I’m Cheering for the YellowJackets

Facebook alerted me today to the fact that the newest season of The Sing-Off has started. As I began to watch the show, the first thought that passed through my mind was that I miss a cappella so much. The second thought was that I’ve found my favorite group already — the University of Rochester’s YellowJackets.

And while I don’t really like the yellow blazers (it’s a bit loud for my tastes, although I think it’s a cute play on words), I’m a fan of the group. By the time they got to Kenya (well, really during the “we’re nerds” canoeing part), I was on their side. Continue reading

Stanford Fleet Street Singers’ “Prayer To The God Of Partial Credit”

A lot has happened today; hopefully, I’ll post about that tomorrow. Until then, I have one of the first videos I ever took with my very first digital camera, way back in 2007. My camera’s quality wasn’t very good; my hands weren’t very steady; I hadn’t quite figured out how to take the perfect a cappella video (I had it basically perfected by my senior year, though). However, the Stanford Fleet Street Singers are amazing (well worth watching an imperfect video), and “Prayer To The God Of Partial Credit” has been one of my favorite a cappella songs since I first saw it performed at Bryn Mawr, in March of 2007. Continue reading

Being Scared of Losing My Voice and Letting Go of That Fear

Over the past year or two, I’ve struggled with my voice and what I’m going to do about it. Mostly, my frustrations have been about sounding like a twelve-year-old. Around New Year’s, though, I decided for certain that I’m going on T. And while I absolutely believe that that’s the right decision for me, it’s also opened up a whole new set of worries about what will happen with my singing voice.  Continue reading

Recording Studios + Solos = Gender Issues


I sing with an a cappella group, which I love. It’s one of my favorite parts of my life at college. Today, we went to the recording studio to begin recording my senior solo. Recording is usually a lot of fun, but today it was really stressful.

To start with, I’m not a really confident singer, and my sense of rhythm is surprising lacking for a singer. So, I’m recording the scratch track (the track the others listen to as they record, so that we can all be together), and it fails. I’m continually off the proper rhythm. It doesn’t help that they keep using feminine pronouns for me, which only magnifies the discomfort I’m feeling regarding my voice and gets me feeling even more frustrated.  Continue reading

Hot Wall: Sam Tsui

Sam Tsui

Sam Tsui is my favorite of the YouTube artists I’ve found. He has an amazing voice, and he does incredible harmonies with himself. Plus, he’s adorable. Continue reading

I Want To Be Blaine Anderson

Darren Criss as Blaine on Glee, singing with the Dalton Academy Warblers

This isn’t some statement of an additional change in name: I’m still Ryan. Right now, I’m talking about Darren Criss. Well, Darren Criss’ character on Glee, anyway — Blaine (they haven’t mentioned his last name yet, but rumor has it that it’s Anderson). I’m not certain there’s every been a fictional character I wanted to emulate as much as him. And by “him,” I should make clear, I mean “Blaine, the singer and lead vocalist of the Warblers,” not “Blaine, the high school student and well-intentioned dispenser of often misguided advice.”  Continue reading