THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF COLLEGIATE

A CAPPELLA

DEAR FRIENDS,

 

Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 21st season! After two incredible decades of presenting the best student groups – on stage and in the studio – our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever.

Our tournament has grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase it is today, featuring nearly 500 groups and 8,000 singers at 81 events across the US and UK.

Our tournament has inspired the hit movie Pitch Perfect, based on the non-fiction book documenting the true story of rival groups competing against each other in our very own ICCA. Already the highest-grossing musical series of all time, the franchise will release its third film at the end of this year.

The stories of our real ICCA competitors are also the subject on the TV docu-series Sing It On, which follows competing groups on their journey to ICCA Finals. Sing It On aired in 80 million homes on POP TV and is now available on Netflix.

Despite the incredible growth and mainstream popularity we’ve enjoyed, our focus remains sharply on the promotion and development of the talent that crosses our stage. We believe competition fosters growth, as groups work together toward a specific goal and cultivate lifelong friendships.

We provide top-notch feedback from our highly qualified judges – but more importantly, our singers get to connect with a larger audience from across the country, learning from their peers and finding inspiration in other groups.

With those same goals in mind, we are thrilled to launch the International Championship of A Cappella Open this year. “The Open” (#acaopen) is an all-access a cappella tournament that will bring together singers of all ages, regardless of student status, to compete on an international stage.

The 2017 Open Finals will take place in Carnegie Hall on Saturday, September 23, and the winner will receive a cash prize of $25,000 to launch their professional career. The winners of the 2017 ICCA and ICHSA tournaments are automatically entered in The Open Finals.

We hope The Open will encourage the growth of professional a cappella, much in the way the ICCA helped catapult competitive a cappella into the mainstream in Pitch Perfect and Sing It On, or how the development of the ICHSA contributed to the rapid growth of high school a cappella programs across the country.

This is the biggest program extension in our long history, and we think it’s a natural one. After all, our founding goal was “to inspire young people to sing their entire lives.” If we want people to keep singing past the age of 22, well, they’re going to need a stage.

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 21 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2017 season takes us. Committed to promoting our singers and energized by the great music they create, we look forward to another memorable season. Thank you for joining us!
 

Sincerely,

Amanda Newman
Executive Director

ICCA CENTRAL QUARTERFINAL

 

Ithaca High School
Saturday, February 18, 2017

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!

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Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation using #ICCA and #ICHSA.

ABOUT VARSITY VOCALS

 

Since 1996, we have encouraged students worldwide to sing a cappella throughout their lives. Our programs include the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA). We also produce the annual Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA) compilation albums.

Our a cappella competitions give top-notch a cappella groups the opportunity to showcase their talents for an international audience and to take home valuable feedback from our qualified judges. This year, competing groups will appear in venues all around the world, offering their energetic musical performances for your enjoyment.

The college tournament takes place from January through April in nine regions across the country and around the world. Each region holds anywhere from 2 to 5 quarterfinals, and the top groups from each quarterfinal advance to the semifinal. The winning group at each semifinal is named Regional Champion and advances to the ICCA Finals at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City.

The high school tournament is now in its 12th year and continues to grow fast. We are now holding quarterfinal rounds in most regions, so that we can feature even more high school groups. The winners of each of 8 semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City.

For a full tournament schedule, visit us at www.varsityvocals.com.

ABOUT TONIGHT'S SHOW

 

The performance order was determined by random draw this afternoon and will be announced from stage.        

Tonight’s performers will be evaluated on elements of their vocal and visual performance, which carry numerical weight. The highest and lowest score from the individual judges will be dropped for each group. Our judges may recognize exceptional performances with special awards as they see fit.

There will be a 15-minute intermission. After the final group has performed, a guest performer will entertain you while the scores are tabulated.

After the results are announced, the winners will perform and encore. Please show the winners the same courtesy and respect you’d want your favorite group to be shown and remain in the venue until they have finished their performance.    

Because each group only has 12 minutes to perform, we ask you to keep your applause to an enthusiastic minimum between songs. Please feel welcome to applaud as much as you want after each group has finished its set.

Videotaping and non-flash photography for personal use is permitted during the concert, so long as you do not disrupt our performers or other patrons. Due to licensing regulations, we do not provide a video or audio recording of this performance.

TONIGHT'S COMPETITORS

 

C Flat Run is a co-ed a cappella group from the University of Pittsburgh. They are two-time ICCA Semifinalists, recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine as "Best of the Burgh" in entertainment, and voted "Best Performance Group on Campus" at the University's Blue Stars Awards Ceremony. From singing at a Joe Biden rally to having concerts right on campus, they have been lucky enough to perform all around Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region, including corporate events, special concerts, and private functions. They also believe in supporting important causes and are proud to have raised over $4,000 Pittsburgh Action Against Rape and Save the Children at their annual benefit concerts in the last two years.

IC Voicestream 
is the premier co-ed a cappella group at Ithaca College. They perform two full concerts each semester, featuring a cappella arrangements of popular indie, rock, and hip hop music. Created in 2001, IC Voicestream is approaching its 15th anniversary!

This is Otto Tunes, a group of young and beautiful men ready to sing their hearts out for you. After bursting onto the scene in 2011 at Syracuse University, they have tried breaking boundaries from traditional a cappella. With 17 guys strong, they love nothing more than performing and making audiences smile.

Pittch Please 
originated from a men's alumni a cappella group composed of Pitt graduates. After what was thought to be the group's last concert, a push from student fans and current members led the group to seek registration as a bonafide student organization. Pittch Please now provides fraternal solidarity for its members, sentimental commemorations for its alumni, and musical excellence for the Pittsburgh community.

Founded in 2005, Rhythm and Roos is a co-ed a cappella group based out of Akron, Ohio. The Roos is composed of 23 members who are mostly non-music majors. They sing at various gigs on campus such as sporting events, special events, charity benefits, and social gatherings. Along with performing at UA, The Roos love traveling while sharing their music and representing The University of Akron. They have been featured on Fox 8 News, The Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Rubber Ducks games, and have worked with The man himself, Deke Sharon. The Roos pride themselves on making beautiful music together in a family atmosphere. They would like to thank their family, friends, and fans for their continued support over the last 12 years.

TBA
is an award-winning co-ed collegiate a cappella group at the University of Toronto. Formed in 2003, TBA has since made a name for itself with its fresh sound, tight harmonies, and innovative arrangements. The group now heads into its 14th year full speed ahead, backed by the momentum of four stellar seasons at the ICCA, where they turned heads and took home awards for Outstanding Arrangement, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Vocal Percussion, and Outstanding Soloist. In the 2016-2017 season, TBA aims to take Toronto and the world by storm with exciting arrangements and electric performances, while keeping its age-old motto in mind: have fun, sing good.

The Binghamton Crosbys
is the all-male a cappella group from Binghamton University. For almost 35 years, The Crosbys has been the university’s premier performance group, and has an established alumni base of over 150 artists, professionals, and educators. These singing fellows go on an annual winter tour through New York state, holding public performances and musical workshops with high school music classes. The Crosbys participate in invitationals and joint concerts throughout New York, Pennsylvania, and other nearby states. They have also toured in California, performing on "The Price is Right,” and in Miami Beach. They are one of the most frequently appearing groups in the ICCA Finals round, qualifying four times and winning the championship round in 2003. The Crosbys are proud to maintain high caliber, engaging presentations everywhere they travel. When the Crosbys perform, you're guaranteed to have a blast.

The Class Notes
, founded in 1983, is the oldest co-ed a cappella group at Cornell. Originally formed as a jazz group, they transitioned to pop in the 90s and have a repertoire that includes songs by Hozier, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and more. The Class Notes are so excited to compete at ICCA this year and wish everyone good luck

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Born in Oregon, raised in Rochester, N.Y., music has been with Mickey Hamilton for as long as he can remember. A cappella came into his life at college, tucked away in the Pennsylvania mountainside at Mansfield University. There, he was an arranger for The Ellision Collection and music directed for some time before graduation, while also filling in for the former Ithaca-based group, The Sons of Pitches. He has since graduated with a degree in voice performance from Mansfield University, along with degrees in recording technology and entertainment business from Full Sail University. In the midst of all this school, he has also been part of various Rochester-based groups, including Innerloop, The Smoking Hot Pipes, and Cut-Off. He has even had the opportunity to learn from the inimitable Bill Hare and Deke Sharon through the Soup 2 Nuts program. Now, he is happy to be working for Cut-Off Studios as an engineer, arranger, and producer. In addition to his a cappella background, Mickey has been running live sound for local bands in the Rochester, N.Y. area, singing with the internationally known band, Nik and the Nice Guys, and DJ'ing for a wide variety of events both private and public.

Peter Yang is a passionate and energetic individual, pursuing both a solo performing career and professional arranging and production career in a cappella. He's worked with the Vocal Company as a producer and now works for their vocal arranging team. After four years of collegiate a cappella with The JHU Octopodes, Peter currently sings with professional group, Vocal Over Drive. Aside from numerous live recognitions, Peter's solo a cappella work has been featured on Sing, Voices Only Forte, and at the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs).

Ariel Arbisser is a versatile, in demand performer based in Ithaca, N.Y. Her award-winning a cappella endeavors include The Funx, powerhouse female ensemble Lady Jaye, and experimental funk duo, Frisky Business. Ariel got her start with The Cornell Chordials with whom she became a nationally recognized soloist, and co-produced two of their award-winning albums. After Cornell, Ariel graduated from the Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, where she studied the Meisner Technique and went on to become a lead in its theatre company and a teacher’s assistant. From her Meisner roots, she developed the teaching module, “Sing It Like You Mean It,” which she continues to teach at festivals and schools nationwide. Ariel currently lives in Ithaca, N.Y., where she coaches private voice students, performs with soul outfit The Jeff Love Band, and works on her songwriting. She is CASA’s program manager of marketing, and on the Board of Trustees for the Melodramatics Theatre Company, Inc.

Kevin Doherty is a musician and educator who found a lifelong love of collegiate a cappella during his first month of college, when saw Binghamton’s Rhythm Method perform in a dorm lounge. He went on to become Rhythm Method’s musical director, and produced and engineered, its 2003 release, Unsound Syncopaths. Kevin spends his days directing five choruses, giving voice lessons, and teaching general music and music theory at the Middle and High Schools in Waverly, N.Y. One of his greatest joys is performing with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the primary chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, and has performed with them more than 120 times, and in venues around the world, such as Boston’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Royal Albert Hall. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in music education from the Boston Conservatory. Since graduating, he has remained active in the a cappella world by volunteering as a nominator and judge for the CARAs and adjudicating for Varsity Vocals competitions. Kevin lives in Sayre, Pa. with his beautiful wife, their three children, and three cats.

Peter Guidash is a recent graduate from SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music (2016) with a degree in music business and vocal performance. Ever since high school, he has participated and arranged for both all-male and mixed a cappella groups. He recorded two full-length studio albums and competed in three years of ICCA with The Potsdam Pointercounts. He would like to thank friends and family for all of their support and wishes the best of luck to this year's contestants.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Ithaca City School District and the amazing eight groups performing tonight; our judges, hosts, competitors, volunteers, partners, and producers; and you, the audience, for supporting Varsity Vocals programming.

 

Amanda Newman
Executive Director

Dave Rabizadeh
ICCA Director

Andrea Poole
ICHSA Director

Lucy Jackson
The Open Director
ICCA Southwest Producer

ICCA Northwest Producer

Andrew Poole
Director of Digital Media

Emily Sucher
Director of Publications

Erica Tackett
Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Virginia DeMoss
Album Production Coordinator

Mark Chen
Adjudication Co-Director

Emily Flanders
Adjudication Co-Director
ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Sara Yood
ICCA & ICHSA Finals Producer
ICHSA Northeast Producer

 

Holly Hayes
ICCA Northeast Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Andy Pacer
ICCA Central Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
ICCA Midwest Producer

Matt Shirer
ICHSA West Producer

Henry Harrod
ICCA UK Producer

Elise Hackl
ICHSA Midwest Producer
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
ICHSA South Producer
ICHSA Southwest Co-Producer

Pearce Illmer
ICHSA Southwest Co-Producer

Courtney Jensen
ICHSA Northwest Producer

OUR TEAM

 

We have an amazing team of people who work tirelessly to make our programs so valuable for our singers and audiences alike — and they all do it while holding down full-time day jobs, too! 

 

The top two placing groups advance to the ICCA Central Semifinal.

THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?

Carnegie Hall
Saturday, September 23, 2017

BRING THE HARMONY HOME

 

Find your favorite groups on Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA), available for purchase on iTunes and Loudr!

PURCHASE & DOWNLOAD

GET THE GEAR

 

Just in time for the start of the 2017 ICCA and ICHSA season, the official Varsity Vocals store is open for business! Did your favorite group make it on BOCA or BOHSA this year? Are you competing in the 2017 ICCA or ICHSA? Is your favorite group competing and you want to be properly attired at the show? Represent with your very own official Varsity Vocals swag!

 

SHOP VARSITY VOCALS

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