VoCALnation 2013 – legitimately the hottest a cappella festival of the year! – has come and gone. Hundreds of a cappella singers and fans engaged in enlightening classes and conversations, enjoyed thrilling acabombs, a showcase of CAL groups, and a professional concert, and reveled in the shared love for music. My family and friends that amassed in Philadelphia have since gathered their things, packed their respective vehicles, and found their way back home, taking with them three days of new friendships and incredible memories. And for me, the thing I brought home is an idea that I’ve known to be true for a long time.
Some of my friends and family have returned to places where this sort welcoming community doesn’t exist, or is so sparse that it might as well not. I think of my brothers and sisters from Sunday Afternoon, who were finally acclimated to this family, accepted in like long lost relatives, but return to their home state of Iowa where they sing among the corn husks (so to speak). My roommate’s group, Shot in The Dark, is an amazing group out of Seattle, and they’ve taken off in the past year, but they lack that local community of a cappella in their home city.
But me, I get to return home to DC, a place that was represented in force at this year’s VoCALnation! The Friday night concert showcased four spectacular groups from the DC area – about half of the groups that performed – including Capital Hearings, The District, Euphonism, and Vox Pop. Saturday, we had a featured acabomb put on by the ladies of Capital Blend. And besides the groups, there are amazing fans of a cappella at these festivals from the MD, DC, and VA area. Even the company that donated the sound equipment for the weekend, Clear Harmonies Productions, is a DC based company.
We have something incredibly special here at The Embassy. This region has a loving, thriving, tight community of a cappella singers and fans that isn’t found everywhere. I don’t think that people realize what we have. I’ve spoken with a lot of people across the country who are very jealous of what we’re doing in this area. As an Ambassador for CASA, my job is made incredibly easy because of all the excitement that we have in this area, but also allows me to do a lot of different things that other areas might not be able to, like throwing community parties and planting new groups.
My fellow brothers and sisters, I urge you to take advantage of what we have in MD, DC, and VA. Reach out to other groups. Set up casual get-togethers to form closer bonds. And for Gods sake just love on each other! Post-College groups: work with college groups to help them achieve bigger and better things. College groups: reach out to high schools in the area to help promote music in the schools. And in return, you may find hidden gems that will join your ranks when they graduate!
I love this area and wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’m extremely excited for what’s going to happen this year with The A Cappella Embassy, and look forward to increasing the bond between groups, singers, and fans within this region. Keep the music alive!
*NOTE: Featured image is actually from VoCALnation 2012 in Washington, DC. Photo provided by LivingFiction Photography and Michael Eldredge.