A cappella has come a long way in the last one hundred years, evolving from glee clubs into a tradition that is hugely popular, considerably profitable, and much publicized. There are more than 1,200 collegiate a cappella groups in the United States alone. And the good ones, well, it’s not what you think.
Pitch Perfect will take readers inside the a cappella subculture and explores what the proliferation of these amateur—but phenomenally accomplished—groups says about us, our quest for fame, and our taste in music. The story unfolds over the 2006-2007 school year and concerns three groups, each at a crossroads: the legendary Tufts Beelzebubs, the upstart Hullabahoos from the University of Virginia, and the ladies from University of Oregon’s Divisi.
Along the way we’ll run into boldface names like Jessica Biel, President George W. Bush, David Letterman, Nick Lachey, Merv Griffin, Jim Carrey, Harvey Weinstein, Microsoft’s Paul Allen, Prince and more. We’ll meet the father of contemporary a cappella, investigate a New Year’s Eve incident that sent members of a Yale a cappella group to the hospital and made international news, and find out what made Ed Helms from NBC’s The Office quit the Oberlin Obertones after just one semester in college.
“Mickey Rapkin has captured the world of a cappella—a subculture that can claim members as far afield as Cole Porter and Osama bin Laden—in all its funny, earnest, and thoroughly strange glory. He nails it.”
—David Rakoff, best-selling author of Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud: Essays
“Hilarious and moving.”
—Mindy Kaling, co-star and associate producer of NBC's The Office
"Like a Christopher Guest movie in book form, Pitch Perfect is hilariously harrowing and embarrassingly suspenseful. You don't have to survive four years of the a cappella experience to appreciate Rapkin's detailed look into the triumphs and tragedies of these three groups. But if you have, if you know what it is to live on a college campus akin to Lord of the Flies set to the Eurhythmics, Pitch Perfect will not only strike a chord, it will slam down directly on it."
—Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake
"Contrary to popular opinion, there's more to a cappella than mere song. In an often funny snapshot of collegiate life, Mickey Rapkin exposes a broad range of gritty issues, including drug use and breakdowns. He is a fresh new voice in journalistic nonfiction."
—Alexandra Robbins, best-selling author of Pledged: the Secret Life of Sororities