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 GREAT LAKES QUARTERFINAL

 

Grand Ledge High School Performing Arts Center 
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

 

GV GrooVe! is a co-ed a cappella group from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Founded in 2009, GrooVe! has grown each year into a bigger and stronger family of friends that love singing together. Performing all around the state and meeting other a cappella groups has created some of the greatest experiences and memories for GrooVe! as they spread their presence and love of music. From singing and playing at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum to competing in the ICCA Great Lakes Quarterfinal for  five consecutive years, GrooVe! performs at all sorts of events. GV GrooVe! is a group of crazy individuals who thrive off of inside jokes and their passion for creating music together.

Central Harmony is the premier co-ed a cappella group at Central Michigan University, with tight harmonies and even better personalities. The CH family shares a strong bond, from long rehearsals to late-night water balloon fights! Their common love for music has created memories that will last a lifetime. Central Harmony would like to thank their families for their endless support. They can’t wait to perform for you tonight, and remember FIRE UP "CH!"

Euphoria is all about sharing the joy of music with everyone around them. The group was the first co-ed a cappella group at Grand Valley State University, and has always striven to bring men and women together through one common outlet, a cappella music. While the names and faces of the people in the group may change over the years, the goals of the group have remained the same, for them to sing, you to listen, and everyone to experience the joy and euphoria that comes from their music.

Fish N' Chips A Cappella is the dynamic all-male group from Central Michigan University. Established in 2002, they hold concerts at the end of each semester, in addition to other on-campus gigs, such as sorority events, homecoming rallies, and other special events! They’ve also done other gigs around Mount Pleasant, such as Martin Luther King Day brunch, formal auctions, weddings, and many more! They have even traveled to open up for other groups, like Michigan State's Capital Green in East Lansing and Grand Valley's GV Groove in Allendale! They absolutely love what they do, and feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to bring music to other people around them.

Ladies First is MSU's only all-female a cappella group. Born in 1985, Ladies First performs at community, university, and private events! They love to make great music and like to think they entertain along the way.

Midnight Snack is an all-female a cappella group from Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Mich. The group was founded in 2005, and have grown tremendously since then. They enjoy performing upbeat music by powerful female artists, and love to keep the crowd engaged with their choreography. This is their second time competing in the ICCA, and they feel so honored to have this opportunity again. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more information about upcoming performances!

The MSU Accafellas is Michigan State University's premier all-male vocal athletic team. Originally founded as a wrestling team, this 10-member a cappella group takes pride in the great sounds they can make by keeping the group small. They are celebrating their 20th year as a group and are very proud to live on the traditions of Accafella music and brotherhood. Also, they were kidding about the wrestling part. Here are the MSU Accafellas!!

RCAHppella is a tight-knit, fun-loving group of musicians, based out of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. This is their fourth year at ICCA and they couldn't be more excited to be back. Offstage, they love smoothies, cinnamon roll hugs, and pretty much any occasion to celebrate an awards show. However, tonight they invite you to join them in doing what they love most: performing together.

State of Fifths is a co-ed a cappella group that was founded in the fall of 2008. This diverse group of MSU undergraduate students includes seven female and eight male voices.. They are excited to have gained four new members since this time last year. From Acappellooza in the fall, to Traverse City in the winter, dorm gigs, and ICCA, State of Fifths always aim to put on a great show! Lastly, a very big thank you to all who support a cappella by being here tonight!

The Sopranos is the premier all-female a cappella group from the University of Michigan, and was created in 2001 by The Michigan G-Men. Since then, they have been kicking butt and taking names, coming out with several EPs and attending its very first ICCA last year. The Sopranos are back to sing their hearts out! The group's affiliation with the mafia can neither be confirmed nor denied.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

John Tramontana is a 2004 graduate of Michigan State University and performed in nearly a dozen music groups during his time there, including the prestigious MSU Chorale and the a cappella group, Capital Green. John has a degree in journalism and previously worked as an anchor/reporter at television stations in the Upper Peninsula and Lansing. He has since moved into the public relations arena and is currently the Director of Communications, PR & Marketing for the Michigan Association of School Boards. A native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., John now lives in DeWitt, Mich. with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Isla (3) and Gia (6 months).

Lindsay CieChanski is the Director of Vocal Music at Skyline High School, which houses four choirs, including the a cappella ensemble, Skyline Blues. Lindsay graduated from the University of Michigan in 2002 with a dual major in voice performance and choral music education, and completed her master’s degree in music education, also from U of M. She has also worked as a guest clinician and enjoys participating in music conferences. Lindsay has also directed musicals and performs in several ensembles. Lindsay has lead Skyline’s choirs to successful performances at ICHSA, Solo and Ensemble, and Choral Festival. Skyline Blues has been featured in numerous performances around the Ann Arbor community, and has consistently competed in ICHSA and other a cappella events. Lindsay has greatly enjoyed her time working with Varsity Vocals and is inspired to continue to promote the art of a cappella singing.

Regina White holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Michigan State University, and has taught music in the Waterford School District in Michigan and the Avon Community School Corporation in Indiana. She has appeared with many ensembles as a performer and director, including The Flint School of Performing Arts, the University of Michigan Youth Programs, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Carmel Repertory Theater. Regina currently performs with several music and community theater groups around Detroit.

Tyler Knowles started playing numerous instruments at an early age, but didn't discover his voice as an instrument until hearing a performance by UW-Madison's premier men's a cappella group, The MadHatters. He auditioned for the group, and learned he had a knack for singing really, really low. Tyler sang with The MadHatters from 2002-2005, competing in and hosting ICCA in that time. After college, he sang professionally in the a cappella quartet, The Traveling Sailsme,  on the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship, cruising from Alaska down to the Horn of South America and numerous ports in between.

Grant Hendrickson majored in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, he sang with and directed the University of Wisconsin men's a cappella group, The MadHatters,  from 2001-2005. After graduating in 2005, Grant moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. After playing the Los Angeles club circuit for a couple years, he joined The Cat's Pajamas vocal band and traveled the world singing on cruise ships and national tours for four years. Grant helped launch The Cat's Pajamas at the Dutton Theater in Branson, Mo.i in 201,  where they performed 230 shows a year. Grant became a music director for Second City and toured with them on cruise ships in 2011-2012. Grant sang with the legendary Alley Cats for three years and performed in multiple national tours from 2012-2015.Grant has owned and operated Entertain You Productions (EYP)  since 2010, a live entertainment company now based in East Lansing, Mich. EYP focuses on wedding entertainment and corporate events.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Grand Ledge High School, GLHS Arts Center staff, GLHS Madrigals, Timothy Daniel, Sheri Tulloch, Andrea Poole, Andrew Poole, and Joseph Aquino; 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 Great Lakes 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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