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 SEMIFINAL

 

Indiana University
Saturday, March 25, 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

 

What do you think when you hear the word “amateur”? If you think of a casting couch with a scantily clad job applicant, you may be disappointed. However, if you think of smooth, sexy a cappella, prepare yourself for an enticing treat. The Amateurs hails from Washington University in St. Louis and has been sharing a love for music with audiences since 1991. This group has received major national awards, toured in cities across the country, and has appeared on international a cappella compilations like Voices Only and Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella. Check them out on Facebook, Youtube, Spotify, or theamateurs.org.

True Men 
is Truman State University's premier all-male a cappella group. Since 1997, they have been singing everywhere from campus to Disney World. The True Men are dedicated to entertaining their community far and wide, and they are driven to produce quality performances in a variety of settings. The group strives not only to entertain, but to provide a high level outlet for creative expression for men at Truman State University. That outlet comes in many different forms. Sometimes it is creating a ridiculous skit for the annual Christmas show, writing arrangements in a McDonald's at midnight, producing a high quality album, or performing at gigs and competitions. The friendship and brotherhood that exists among the members of True Men is something special that a cappella has given to each and every one of them. In return, they hope they can share all of the gifts a cappella can give to others through performance.

From Saint Louis University, The Bare Naked Statues is SLU's premier and only all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2000, BNS has consistently made unique, expressive, and high-quality music. Singing songs from artists ranging from Hozier to Twenty One Pilots to MisterWives and Stevie Wonder, The Bare Naked Statues continues to make a name for itself. Check out their latest EP release, Framework, on iTunes and Spotify! #BeBareNaked #BeAStatue

Sedoctave
is Ball State University's only mixed a cappella group. They are a part of the Association of Collegiate A Cappella on campus. They sing variety of music, from soul all the way to rock and roll. They have placed 3rd in their last two trips to ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals. Above all, this diverse group loves to have fun!

Ladies' Choice
is Ball State University's first all-female a cappella group, and was founded in 2012. Their members come from all over the Midwest, and convene in their current home of Muncie, Ind., land of the Cardinals! Chirp chirp! They are a group of fun loving women who love to create music together. They perform a wide variety of music genres, including pop, jazz, alternative, and R&B, drawing much of their inspiration from Beyoncé (because she is the queen). The women of Ladies' Choice use their passion for a cappella not only to spread love and happiness, but also to encourage female empowerment!

The Naturelles
is the premier female a cappella group at the University of Missouri. The ensemble is made up of 14 fierce women, none of whom are music majors, but all of whom are passionate about singing and desired to continue doing so in college. When they aren’t performing around campus or the Columbia community, they can be found singing in stairwells or dining at brunch.

The Stereotypes 
is a versatile, energetic, and talented all-male a cappella group from Washington University in St. Louis. Founded in 2001 as a fresh take on “stereotypical” a cappella, they sing everything from top 40 hits to rock, rap, choral, musical theatre, and more. In addition to well-tuned singing and original vocal arrangements, they approach each song as a comprehensive performance, engaging their audience and communicating each piece’s individual message. Besides serenading sororities and flash-mobbing weddings in St. Louis, they are best known for their annual Mr. Stereotype concert. Each year, the guys embody their “stereotypes” and compete in the world’s only all-male a cappella pageant. Beyond the stage, you can find them eating lunch together, harmonizing in a resonant stairwell, or tossing a frisbee on the weekends.

The Beartones
was conceptualized in 2000 under the frameworks of musical excellence, brotherhood, and just having a good time. For more than a decade, The Beartones have thrilled audiences of all shapes and sizes. The group is renowned for its “polished” and “memorable” sets, and has racked up notable performances across the country, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago, and New York.

Boots and Cats
is the first and only female a cappella group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Established in 2011, the group consists of 15 undergraduate women from all areas of campus. The Cats sing a variety of styles, ranging from jazz to top 40 music. In their free time, they enjoy beatboxing lessons and indulging in a slice of pie or two.

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.

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 the group's family, friends, and supporters for helping it become what it is today!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Kimberly Raschka Sailor is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), with more than 300 reviews authored since 2005 for groups at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She is the co-founder and past president of the University of Southern California's Reverse Osmosis, a group that has competed in the ICCA Finals. Kimberly has also served as a CARA nominator and judge. In addition to volunteering in the a cappella community, Kimberly is an author and elected school board member for the Mount Horeb Area School District in Wisconsin.

Aubrey Malito 
is delighted to judge these talented groups! She attended Illinois State University for musical theatre and music business, and while there, music directed the women’s a cappella group, Secondary Dominance. After graduation, Aubrey lived in New York for five years, where she performed in musicals and cabarets and house managed six Broadway shows. She continued to arrange a cappella music, and even was commissioned by “The Jersey Boys” to arrange a piece for its Hall & Oates concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since returning to Chicago, Aubrey has been an active performer and teacher. She currently attends Saint Xavier University, where she expects to graduate summa cum laude in December of 2017 with a degree in choral music education. She is currently the vocal director for “The Addams Family” at Plainfield South High School, manager of a full private voice and piano studio, and the kids’ chorus director at Hope Covenant Church. She remains a vigorous student of voice and studies bel canto technique with Laura Kempa Bogan and musical theatre/belt with Randy Buescher. Aubrey is represented by Lily’s Talent.

Bryan Guffey 
has been singing longer than he can remember (seriously, ask his parents). Since forming his first group, 50/50, in high school in 1997, Bryan has been a passionate advocate and believer in the power of vocal music to change lives for the better. After graduating with his B.F.A. in musical theatre from Kent State in 2006, Bryan worked with Grammy-nominated composer Frank Wildhorn on a remount of the Broadway musical, "The Civil War" in Gettysburg, Pa., which led him to audition for Full Sail, an a cappella group on the six-star cruise line, Crystal Cruises, where he had the opportunity to work with and learn from the likes of Home Free’s Tim Foust. Bryan returned to the U.S. where he helped launch A Cappella Records and become much more involved in the a cappella community. When he isn't solving technical issues for nonprofits, Bryan spends much of his time coaching a cappella groups in the Great Lakes region and volunteers his time with the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), The Vocal Foundation, the Women’s A Cappella Association and SingStrong, as well as serving as president of the Delta Lambda Phi Alumni Association. Additionally, Bryan works closely with Centerville High School’s Forte A Cappella, having co-produced their most recent all-original album, Uncharted Heart, and their upcoming album, Save My Soul. @musicjunkieg

Kristine Gage 
received her B.A. in music from Saint Louis University and her B.M.E. in choral music education from Webster University. Her love affair with a cappella began in 2009 when she joined Beyond All Reason, an all-female group at SLU that she eventually directed. Not long after, Kristine co-founded the co-ed group, Decadence, and also served as its music director. At Webster, she sang and toured with The Chamber Singers, a group featured at state and national conferences and in an instructional DVD produced by GIA Publications. After graduating, she spent a year singing with the all-female, semi-professional a cappella quintet, Jaded. She now teaches elementary music to students in grades pre-k through 6 at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy. Kristine currently represents the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) as the ambassador to all high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate a cappella groups in the state of Missouri, and teaches musical theatre classes at COCA.


Elise Hackl has worked with and performed music for over 15 years. A graduate of Illinois State University's music education program, Elise is currently working towards a Master of Music Education. Elise has held positions such as vocal percussion, arranger, music director, president, and section leader in her collegiate years, and served as the a cappella liaison for four groups at Illinois State University through the School of Music. Most recently, she has arranged pieces for over 20 high school and collegiate level groups throughout the Midwest. She also teaches private voice lessons and assists with solo and ensemble and clinician high school and middle school groups throughout Illinois. In her spare time, she loves judging Varsity Vocals events and writing raps for adaptive musical theatre groups.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank A Cub Bella, Crimson Cadence, Danielle Sutherland, Indiana University staff, and Katie Spohr; 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 placing group advances to ICCA Finals.

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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