Voice is frequently called "the first instrument" and to that there can be little dispute: We humans tend to wail and howl from minute one of life.
There's also no disputing that adding instruments as melodic complements to a voice -- guitar, harp, drums -- is a magical thing, indeed. But enjoying that singular instrument, which changes person to person, is a pleasure, and a pleasure at the heart of a cappella.
Singing sans other accompaniment has been around for millenia but it has taken off as a force of nature, and wider popular culture in recent years. Look to the film "Pitch Perfect," the touring groups, and look to the Harmony Sweepstakes which is billed as "The Super Bowl of A Cappella."
The sweepstakes are about to sweep into Southern California. The Hermosa Beach Theater, specifically, and the night? Saturday, April 5.
A handful of harmonizing knit-tight units'll be mi-mi-mi-ing and occupying all the octaves, all in pursuit of a spot at the National Championships. Speaking of those, the 2013 National Champions, Honey Whiskey Trio, will be in the house to host. And on the groups going note-to-note on the competition roster? Arf, Abinante Family Singers, Down 4 The Count, and Overhaul will be at the mics.
Is it only a matter of time before there's a feature film, television special, or book series about making it to the top of the vocal mountain via the Harmony Sweepstakes?
Tickets for the LA Regionals are $25 each. And if you're keen to hit the National Championships, hang tight: They're headed for the Bay Area in May.