aka Call Me Mabry
Hello. My name is Christine Mabry, and I’m an aca-holic. (Hi, Christine!)
I’m also a Chaser, a Pentaholic, and whatever a Take 6 junkie is called. In other words, a cappella groups, I’m your biggest fan.
I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, so I was exposed to the genius that is Take 6 early on. A cousin of one of the guys was in my high school class, and he brought demo cassettes for us to listen to. I bought their self-titled album as soon as I heard I could get it at the local Christian bookstore, and I was hooked for life.
Intrigued by the harmony and the absence of instruments, I slowly discovered other a cappella groups: Acappella and Glad (or G***, as Take 6 fans would refer to them). I may have been a little obsessed with The Dreamers while I was at Penn State (early ‘90s, for your reference). After college, I saw Take 6 several times live, but my a cappella love didn’t expand much beyond that.
Christmas Eve, 2009. I’m driving home from work in horrendous traffic, and "The 12 Days of Christmas" comes on the radio. And it was like no version of that song I had ever heard. That’s right – it was the Straight No Chaser version with "Africa" at the end. I remember saying out loud, “Who is THAT?!” As soon as I got home, I totally blew off my family and went straight to YouTube until I found the infamous video posted by Randy Stine that ultimately got them their record deal with Atlantic Records.
During my vacation, I scoured the internet for information. I watched every video and read every article I could find. I became a regular poster on the SNC website. I connected with other fans all over the world, and followed all of the SNC guys on Twitter (who had accounts at the time). And that’s when I remembered:
I love a cappella.
It’s hard to remember the progression after that, how I discovered groups or found members of the a cappella community on Twitter. Now I follow some 800+ a cappella-related accounts. I attended BOSS in April and got to meet a lot of those Twitter peeps in person. I joined CASA. I’ve seen dozens of professional and collegiate groups live, and I’m always looking for more opportunities. I started a fan blog to document my experiences. I share the fabulous music I discover with pretty much everyone I meet.
There are things I want to share with you all from this fan’s perspective: about the music, about the reviews, about the marketing and social media, about the importance of fans like me. And I will. So, stay tuned.
Until then, I’d love to hear your stories about how you ended up as a fan or a member of an a cappella group. Because it makes me happy.
Just a fan,
Christine, aka @LovedeAcapella
About the writer:
Christine Mabry is first and foremost a mother to two hilarious children, Xander and Aurora. In her other job, Christine is a Program Supervisor for a municipal recreation department in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she supervises things like swim lessons, kids’ day camps, and adult bocce and kickball leagues. She swears the time she spends on Pinterest is completely work-related. Christine’s love of a cappella started back in high school in Huntsville, Alabama, when she heard a cassette recording of Take 6 in 1988, and it grew from there. She figures her obsession with a cappella just about balances out her husband and son’s fixation with Star Trek. Connect with Christine on Twitter at @LovedeAcapella and visit her personal a cappella fan blog at lovedeacapella.wordpress.com.