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RARB/CASA Forums • View topic - "Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A CAPPELLA Glo

"Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A CAPPELLA Glo

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Postby vkolko » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:33 am

I should have pre-ordered the book long ago, but I'm sad to say I just placed my order this morning. Having known Mickey for a number of years now, I'd just like to say that I am certain that he has done everything to uphold the integrity of his writing.

Can't wait to start peeling through it!
Val
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Postby dgooding » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:33 am

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Postby dekesharon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:40 am

Just got home - browsed the book.

DEEPLY flattered to have so much written about me, and have chunks of my past in book form.

Also, deeply relieved to know that at some point I must have regained control of my limbs ;)

I think some words were chosen more to make an interesting story than because they were the most appropriate adjective (CASA board = nefarious? Even his subsequent writing about the board doesn't support that moniker at all), but I understand he's not writing a history so much as tagging down on interesting moments and looking for drama.

There are also errors here and there, but I don't think they were intentional (that I can tell). It has to be hard to be essentially the first person to write about any of this; translating oral history to the written word is a difficult job of sifting perspectives and knowing who to trust.

To that end, I think he gave Don Gooding a far harder time than he deserves (even if he was in a number of legal wranglings with people), as it doesn't outline the fantastic, enormous contributions of time, money, and creativity Don has given our community. To say college a cappella is different and better as a result of his input is an understatement.

And Jonathan Minkoff is also portrayed inappropriately. I didn't agree with him at times on the CASA board (and that's no secret), but to have the sum total of his appearances in the book be negative is terribly unfortunate, and doesn't reflect the enormous contributions he too has made to a cappella over the past decade.

Frankly, the contributions of both of them deserve their own chapter in the book. And there are others who have given much that aren't even mentioned. As Ben says, this isn't a comprehensive history as much as a loose-brushed overview.

I also think there's an unhealthy obsession with what's cool and what isn't. It's as if that's a crucial perspective from which to view or judge anything and everything. Why does it matter so much if it's cool? And, taking the subject of people singing post-college, who cares? People like to sing, and they should. Not everything has to be cool. I think this is a limitation of having the person who writes the book be a senior editor at GQ; he sees the world with a far greater concern toward what's cool than most people.

Baltic folk dancing isn't cool, and yet if someone wrote a book about it focusing so much on coolness it would seem strange and inappropriate.

The one underlying question I have is "how interesting is this to someone who knows nothing about the college a cappella scene?" A movie, TV show, even recording/podcast is able to show instead of tell, but the written word (with a few photos) is at a fundamental disadvantage. I hope people who have no contact go search it out (your web site helps, as do others).

But for me and the a cappella community, I think it's a very interesting read, if incomplete and incorrect in places (e.g. I wasn't in NYC when Divisi came in 2nd). This is something important to know whenever you're reading - authors make mistakes, and perspectives are incomplete - and the message is brought home clearly when you're reading about things you personally experienced and people you know.

And, as you know, I'm hoping this book is a catalyst to an ongoing chain reaction of interest in collegiate a cappella (and beyond). We'll see!

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

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Postby dekesharon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:17 am

P.S. I told Mickey all this as well, as he's no longer reading RARB

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

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Postby dekesharon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:20 am

One other thought, lest anyone overemphasize the importance of a negative word or passage:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Last edited by dekesharon on Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

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Postby H.F. » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:52 am

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Postby dekesharon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:44 pm

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

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Postby lcmike » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:28 pm

Last Call ('03-'07)
www.menoflastcall.com
Cornell University '07
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Postby H.F. » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:24 am

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Postby H.F. » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:31 am

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Postby mcbc » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:11 pm

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Postby dekesharon » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:44 pm

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

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Postby davecharliebrown » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:18 pm

--Dave Brown



now: Mouth Off host | ICCA & CARA Judge

then: CASA president, CASAcademy director, CASA Bd of Directors | BYU Vocal Point | Noteworthy co-foun
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Postby billhare » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:26 pm

Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments.

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Postby divisigal » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:49 pm

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