The 2013 Acapocalypse!

As a member of an a cappella group here at the Claremont Colleges, I get the chance to perform across all of our campuses throughout the year, whether it’s a casual snack concert at CMC, some admissions event at Scripps, or a performance on the lawn of the Smith Campus Center. It’s always exciting to perform for the 5C community because let’s face it – as much as we love making music, there’s nothing we like more than getting the chance to share it. Every once in a while, however, we get the chance to take our talents on the road!

ASS's performance at PLNU's annual Acapocalypse!
ASS’s performance at PLNU’s annual Acapocalypse!

Most recently, the After School Specials spent the weekend in San Diego to perform at Point Loma Nazarene Univeristy’s (PLNU) annual a cappella invitational, the 2013 Acapocalypse! The host group, PLNU’s all-male group Pointless, whose amusing shenanigans don’t get in the way of their tight harmonies, invited us back, this time to the 2nd Annual Acapocalypse (which you might equate to another school’s SCAMFest)!

We packed our bags and loaded up our cars for the not-so-long-but-still-exhausting two-hour drive down to San Diego, but before driving further south to the city of Point Loma, we made a pit stop in Belmont Park! We’d visited this beach-turned-amusement-park (right between La Jolla and Point Loma) the year prior as well, and this year, it was where we actually spent most of the afternoon, tossing a frisbee around and checking out the boardwalk, avoiding the roller coaster knowing we’d have to sing in a few short hours…

Spending the day in Belmont Park!
Spending the day in Belmont Park!

We lost track of time and ended up arriving late to PLNU, but despite the fact that we were running a little behind schedule, we stopped to admire PLNU’s beautiful campus (which sits quite literally on the Point Loma oceanfront!) on the way to the venue (I’ll let the picture of the sunset speak for itself).

The best part about the Acapocalypse this year was getting to interact with the other local a cappella groups again! Backstage, we ran into familiar faces from other returning groups and socialized while we were eavesdropping on each other’s sound checks.  We actually used this performance as an opportunity to give our SCAMFest material a test run! We definitely learned a few things despite a warm and enthusiastic reception from the crowd.

The view from right outside the venue at PLNU!
The view from right outside the venue at PLNU!

Afterwards, all of the a cappella groups (from UC San Diego, San Diego State, U of San Diego, CSU Northridge, as well as PLNU’s two groups) congregated at the official after-party! As one of the returning groups, it was cool to see how the relationships we had established in the year prior actualized and continued to develop this time around. Groups exchanged compliments, geeking out over cool arrangements or praising particularly gifted soloists. I realized that despite the fact that we were two hours away from Claremont, southern California is still actually a pretty small world since a bunch of us ended up talking about mutual friends we had at each other’s schools.

Because we have such a rich a cappella community right here at the Claremont Colleges, it’s easy to forget that other colleges and universities also have their own such communities, and that, as students of the Claremont Colleges here in southern California, we are afforded the opportunity to engage with these larger communities. On most days, you’ll find everything you’re looking for within the colleges, but being located in Claremont grants us access to so much more beyond the boundaries of the consortium.