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 MIDWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Centerville High School Saturday, February 25, 2017

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

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

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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

 

Audio Pilots is an all-male a cappella group at the University of Dayton. Specializing primarily in campus performances, it has been a pioneer year for expanding the group's abilities and bringing 15 talented voices off the UD campus and into the world of music. This is Audio Pilots’ first competition and, with that, it has already been an exciting experience for its members. These men not only sing as a unit, but perform as the entertainers that they are. Having started only two short years ago, Audio Pilots has come a long way as a collegiate a cappella group and they believe this is still just the beginning of a long and successful experience.

The Mosaic Whispers is WashU’s oldest co-ed a cappella group and has been bringing innovative co-ed a cappella to the St. Louis area since its founding in 1991. They tour extensively both locally and nationally, with recent stops in Chicago and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The group prides themselves with their fresh and exciting arrangements, which have been featured on a number of BOCA compilations. They just released their 10th studio album, Wavelength, last spring at their annual concert, Splash of Color, which had a track featured on Voices Only, as well as five CARA Nominations and a RARB track of the year.

Remedy comes from different ends of the Midwest to form the University of Dayton's first a cappella group. When they are not captivating their audience, Remedy enjoys spending time together as a group. From many walks of life and representing a vast number of majors, the group discovered camaraderie and harmony instantly. Remedy hopes to entertain and captivate the audience with their memorable performances.

Scarlet and Grace Notes was founded in 2011 at The Ohio State University, and is the premier all-female a cappella group on the Columbus campus. Composed of 20 talented ladies, this attractive group of buckeyes thrills listeners of all ages and backgrounds with their musical melodies and bodacious beats. From summer’s heat to winter’s cold, Scarlet and Grace Notes really knows how to roll out the favorites. Give them a chance, and you’ll be saying “how firm thy blendship” in no time. These girls love to spend time with each other outside of rehearsal too, you won’t find closer friends anywhere on campus! They hope you enjoy the show, and appreciate all of their loved ones' support!

Soul2Soul A Cappella is Miami University's most decorated a cappella group. They’re so excited to return to ICCA this year. They love making music, traveling, telling bad jokes, and eating several pizzas at a time. Mostly, they love the bond that they share by being in this group. It is a common misconception that their name is in reference to the classic song "Good Old A Cappella." They actually got their name when their least favorite member, Animaesh, got the soles of his shoes stuck together with some old chewing gum. Find them on Youtube and other social media, and check out their new studio album, Ghost Town, on Spotify and iTunes!

Sound of Science is a co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University. Founded in 2011, the group has since grown into its current 18 members. The name was originally chosen with the realization that everyone in the original group had a major or minor somehow connected with a scientific or engineering field. Sound of Science performs at all A Cappella Alliance concerts on Ohio State’s campus, and puts on its own concerts as well. However, they also love to look for other singing opportunities whenever possible. This close-knit and fun-loving group of students enjoys music as a creative outlet in their busy lives. The group also loves to express its nerdy side and sports different colored suspenders to all performances, performing a large range of songs from music by the Killers, Panic! at the Disco, various Disney songs, and everything in between!

The Miami Misfitz is an all-female a cappella group at Miami University founded in 2001 by six friends who loved singing together. The group currently has 14 members and over the years, has grown into a network of over 85 alumni. Although members come from a variety of academic areas and musical backgrounds, they join together through a shared passion for making music and creating lifelong friendships. The Misfitz perform a wide variety of music from rock to pop to country to R&B, and much more. Recently, they’ve tried their hand at some electronic music, as well as some good ol’ fashioned jazz and swing tunes. The Misfitz find their strength in a fierce, powerful sound paired with unique, dynamic arrangements. This combination lends itself perfectly to the intimate connection the group has with the music and with each other.

The Ohio State of Mind is a co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University, founded in 2010 as “Key of Gee.” The group consists of students studying subjects ranging from food science, technology, music education, and everything in between. The Ohio State of Mind performs at events on and around the Ohio State campus, and sings a wide variety of music, including contemporary, alternative, jazz, and much more. In their free time, the singers of OSM enjoy playing extremely competitive games of Catchphrase, eating burritos, and creating silly nicknames for each other. The Ohio State of Mind would like to thank family, friends, and all of its supporters for helping the group become what it is today!

UC Junoon is dedicated to the performance of Bollywood Fusion a cappella performance. They unite sounds from Bollywood as well as American pop, hip hop, and R&B to create a unique cultural and musical experience you won't soon forget. They are thrilled for the opportunity to share our creations with you, and hope you enjoy the show!

Founded in 2014 at the University of Cincinnati (GO Bearcats), this group is all about pop a cappella! The UC Vocaholics perform their own arrangements of top 40 hits and other tunes you may recognize from the radio. On occasion, the group makes exceptions for other genres of music they’ve fallen in love with. Competing both regionally and nationally at a cappella events such as Kettering Acafest and SingStrong Chicago, these performers are dedicated to spreading the love of a cappella everywhere they go!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Deepak Kumar entered the a cappella community as a freshman at the University of Michigan, when he joined Maize Mirchi A Cappella, the South Asian a cappella group on campus. Throughout his time in college, he became heavily involved in a cappella, both within the context of Mirchi and in the greater Michigan a cappella scene. He joined the Michigan A Cappella Council (MACC) executive board in order to enable a stronger sense of community across groups at the university. As a member of Maize Mirchi, he pushed the group to invest more in the a cappella community. As music director, Deepak aimed put Maize Mirchi on the map as a group that could bring South Asian a cappella to major venues (like the ICCA) and still create relatable and enjoyable musical experiences. Throughout college, he wrote arrangements for other college groups (UMD Anokha) and high school groups across the country, and continues to arrange for groups on request. Deepak is excited at the opportunity to be a judge for this ICCA season.

Jeremy Witt is an educator, conductor, and performer from Hilliard, Ohio. He is a recent graduate of Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Music Education and is currently the assistant choral director at Hilliard Bradley High School. Jeremy founded Cedarville’s first contemporary a cappella group, The Inversions, and served as the music director/president four years. Jeremy has become increasingly involved in the contemporary a cappella movement. He currently serves as a producer for the all-a cappella radio station, Acaville. Jeremy is also a nominator and judge for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), as well as the A Cappella Video Awards.

Brittany Taman is a former member of Florida State University's all-female a cappella group, AcaBelles. Brittany first became involved in a cappella during high school through her choir director Evan Powers, founder of FSU's all-male group, Reverb. Since joining AcaBelles in her sophomore year, Brittany has won awards for her outstanding choreography, been prominently featured in the 'Belles viral cover of "Royals,”  recorded on the CARA-winning album, Rebel, helped her group to become the 2014 SoJam Champions, and represented AcaBelles in the docuseries, "Sing It On.” Brittany is thrilled to be a part of the ICCA tonight, and to give back to the a cappella community.

Katie Schuman has been onstage since age 6 and is still in love with live performance. She holds a Bachelor of Music in musical theatre from Florida State University, where she was a member of All-Night Yahtzee from 2002-2006. With ANY, she won multiple Best Soloist and Best Arrangement awards at the Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds of ICCA. She also served as ANY's music director from 2004-2006, during which time the group first advanced to ICCA Finals in New York. She co-founded the semi-professional a cappella group, Threadbare, an experiment in long-distance a cappella collaboration. Katie continues to perform and teach in the Indianapolis area, where she lives with her husband and daughter. To all of tonight’s competitors: break a leg!

Katie Hayward hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is an alumna of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where she studied music education and voice. Today, she enjoys an active career as a performing musician, vocal coach, and choral educator. Recognized as a popular music specialist, she regularly judges events in the Cincinnati area. Katie is currently the artistic director of 2Knight 2Knight and One Knight Only, Kings High School's premier pop a cappella groups.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Ben Spalding and Forte; 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 Midwest 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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