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Article Underappreciates College A Cappella

Letters to the Editors

By Ken Shen

To the editors:

As a member of the a cappella community, I found the premise of the Oct. 10 Arts article “All Jammed Up” on a cappella unsupported and needlessly melodramatic. There is no evidence at all to suggest that any of the groups are suffering from a lack of funds, talented auditionees or attendance at concerts. The number of a cappella groups at Harvard merely reflects the amount of interest in singing that exists among students. If there were less interest, or less talent, there would be fewer groups, fewer auditionees and smaller audiences. As it is, nearly a hundred Harvard musicians are rejected from a cappella groups every semester. Moreover, a cappella groups regularly perform in front of sold-out audiences. The claim that these audiences are mostly made up of friends and family, and not music appreciators, is silly; a few friends and family do not amount to 1,200 people. Instead of bemoaning the “overabundance” of groups, we should be celebrating the fact that there is such a broad and diverse choice for the musically-inclined at Harvard. Harvard’s a cappella groups are widely regarded for their excellence in various musical genres, and this is something that Harvard should be proud of.

Ken Shen ’04

Oct. 14, 2003

The writer is the president of the Harvard Din & Tonics.

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