Campus News

September 15, 2010

Making a TV concept sing

Aural Pleasure, Emory's oldest co-ed a cappella group, is featured on "Pitch Slapped."

Professor, alumnus team up to produce a series about a cappella at Emory

By April Rim

Emory was the backdrop for a pilot episode of “Pitch Slapped,” executive produced by Goizueta Business School instructor Tracey Baker-Simmons and Stephen Beehler ’10B.

Jessica Hershatter, an Emory College senior and an assistant working on the TV series concept, describes “Pitch Slapped” as a reality version of Fox’s hit TV show “Glee.” The concept is based around Emory’s a cappella group Aural Pleasures.

Beehler came up with the idea of “Pitch Slapped” as a student in Baker-Simmons’ senior seminar class last fall.

“He presented a different concept initially, and I was interested in possibly further developing it,” Baker-Simmons says.

Baker-Simmons enlisted the help of her own entertainment company, Simmons-Shelley Entertainment, to provide the funding for this project.

The show plans to follow Aural Pleasures and other teams on their journey to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in New York in April.

“We capture the drama and excitement of the auditioning process, and all of the exciting places they go to sing,” Hershatter says.

The entire pilot was filmed on Emory’s campus. Glenn Memorial, Dobb’s Parlor, Schwartz Center and Goizueta Business School are familiar backdrops to the scenes.

“You’ll see the Quad, Emory’s front gate and Cox’s clock tower. We shot all of the iconic spots because we really wanted to embrace that we are Emory,” Beehler says.

Hershatter reflects on a memorable moment: “We were waiting around with the freshmen who got callbacks, and they were excited to know that they were on TV. Their reactions were pretty funny. One girl was like ‘Oh man! TV? I can’t wait to be on a pilot!’ ”

“Pitch Slapped” is now in the process of wrapping up its pilot episode and the team plans to present it to various TV networks in hopes that it will be picked up for a regular season.

“We’re hoping not necessarily an MTV per say, but a network like it,” Baker-Simmons says.

“We really wanted to show that Emory is a higher level institution that has students that are so talented, in so many ways, that they can be in pre-med or pre-law classes and then on top of that dedicate themselves to these music groups,” Beehler says.

“I think when we put them on a national platform, people will see how gifted they are,” says Baker-Simmons about the a cappella members, “and the students are going to see a new level of stardom that they didn’t know would happen for them.”

File Options

  • Print Icon Print

Related Information