Grab a high-resolution copy of the digital liner notes here: http://varsityvocals.com/varsity-vocals/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/BoBOCA-liner-notes.pdf Twenty years ago, collegiate a cappella felt like the music world's best-kept secret. Surrounded by CDs he had jealously hoarded during his undergraduate years as a Beelzebub at Tufts University, Deke Sharon wanted to find a way to get the best of the best of college a cappella music out into the hands and ears of other singers, other college students, and the world at large. When Brown Derbies graduate Adam Farb approached him in 1995 looking for a way to make a career of a cappella, Deke suggested they make the ultimate collegiate a cappella "mix tape," and since there was no online distribution, have the groups themselves sell it. The first Best of College A Cappella sold out as soon as they printed it. Before long, they changed the title to make it an annual compilation. Through these tracks you can hear phenomenal growth in the sound and style of collegiate a cappella. Different arranging styles, new vocal techniques, and constantly improving digital recording and mixing methods have driven enormous change in the way a cappella is sung, heard, and perceived on and beyond college campuses. From obscurity to punch line to media darling, collegiate a cappella is now both hot and cool, even 100 years after the Yale Whiffenpoofs were formed by a few guys who just couldn't get enough glee club singing. The most powerful and unbelievable aspect of it all is the fact that this incredible music is being made by amateur musicians. Most of these performers have no interest in a music career or even music degree. With majors spanning from comparative literature to computer science, the singers you're hearing are student-organized, student-arranged, student-directed, and often student-recorded. They all have a brief window during their college years during which time they get to be rock stars on campus, and now -- thanks to the ease of digital distribution -- around the world. The technology has changed, distribution has expanded, and Deke's partner in stewardship of the album has passed from Adam to Jessika Diamond to Don Gooding and finally to Amanda Newman. Yet the focus has remained a constant: selecting powerful, passionate tracks that will appeal to the uninitiated listener as well as the die-hard fan. The word "amateur" means "for the love of," and you can hear the love of a cappella from each of these singers in every note. Maybe that's what makes college a cappella so compelling, so alive, and so very much fun.