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 NORTHEAST QUARTERFINAL

 

Berklee Performance 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

 

Having celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, The Veritones is one of Harvard College's oldest a cappella groups. Since its founding, the group has developed a fresh, contemporary style, with arrangements that reinvent a wide range of music, from indie/alternative to modern jazz. Known for showcasing individual voices within a bold group sound, The Veritones have traveled the country, performed with Josh Groban and Bobby McFerrin, and even sang on Thursday Night Football! Returning for their fourth ICCA competition, The Veritones are excited to defend their 1st-place win at last year's Quarterfinal.

SSockapella is Salem State University’s first and only mixed a cappella group. Gathering talent from a variety of majors from all over New England, SSockapella has been weaving intricate webs of sound in every genre since 2010. Balancing gorgeous backgrounds with intense lead lines, all while wearing high, colorful socks, SSockapella can be found at almost every large event on the Salem State campus and in the Salem community. In addition to creating ties with local singing groups, SSockapella has developed strong relationships with other collegiate a cappella groups across New England. Above all else, SSockapella’s continued success comes from bonds forged by its members through friendship, fun, and a collective love of music.

The Allegrettos is a student-run co-ed a cappella group from Boston University. Known for adding a fun twist to classic songs, the group draws upon the dynamic and creative talent of each of its members to create a unique sound. Inspired by the love of singing with friends, The Allegrettos can be found performing at competitions and charity events every semester. The group’s new direction boasts intricate arrangements, a wide array of genres, and a whole lot of energy!

The CharlieChords is Berklee's premier, award-winning all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2012, these manly men sing a varying repertoire of pop songs, old and new. They have great expectations and high hopes for this year’s group, which is bigger and better than ever, and they will be participating in competitions and recording an EP.

The Downbeats not only aims to create and perform music, but to also encourage one another to grow as musicians and individuals. Each member’s contribution helps form the uniqueness and style of the group as a whole. Through this process, The Downbeats create invaluable bonds among its singers, all while having an aggressively fun time. Whether wrapped up in onesies for their fall show or performing in their formal black and blues, they understand that commitment to the group does not have to sacrifice the pleasure of singing and the love for one another.

The Harvard Callbacks is Harvard's premier co-ed a cappella group specializing in bringing a soulful sound and powerful voices to modern favorites and classic hits alike. Founded with a focus on R&B and hip-hop, The Harvard Callbacks has since evolved into a hit contemporary a cappella group, with a broad range of musical interests and a wide repertoire that spans the ages. The Harvard Callbacks are honored to have had a song from their most recent album (dubbed 1986 in honor of their 30th anniversary celebration last spring), featured on the 2016 edition of the Voices Only compilation album.

Treble on Huntington, affectionately known at Northeastern as "Treble," is the University's original all-female a cappella group. Since the group's inception in 2007, the ladies of Treble have traveled in and around the Boston area and Northeast region of the U.S. for competitions, concerts, and collaborations with some of the area's most recognized a cappella groups. In 2015, Treble released its debut professionally-recorded EP, Ultraviolet. The album received national attention, earning features on the BOCA and Women's A Cappella Association 2016 compilation albums for "Heartbreak Dream" and "Love Me Like You Do," respectively. The ladies of Treble are known for their exceptionally full and rounded sound, with voice parts ranging from true female bass to floating soprano descants, and they pride themselves on balancing the fun with the fierce. Through their love of music and constant taste for improvement, they plan to continue growing as one of the nation's up-and-coming female collegiate a cappella groups.

Upper Structure is a new and edgy a cappella group. They create strong yet unexpected music, and are making their way through the Northeast and beyond. With members stretching from across the globe, Upper Structure takes current music and blends a combination of styles to create a big sound, filled with varying traditional and experimental music techniques. As a group, Upper Structure is very involved in the collegiate a cappella community, and strives to be welcoming, friendly, happy, and excited to make music with each other and the musicians around them. Follow US on twitter @UpperStructure, THIS IS US!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Katherine Bodor attended Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Applied Science and a second major in music. She was classically trained in piano from the age of three, played percussion and guitar for years, and has sung in concert and chamber choirs since high school.Throughout undergrad, she served as the music director and primary arranger for her co-ed a cappella group, After Dark, while also composing award-winning pieces for choirs and instrumental ensembles, many of which received premieres within the last year. Katherine currently interns and contracts with The Vocal Company and will be attending graduate school for composition in fall of 2017.

Andrea Asuaje is an alumna of No Southern Accent, University of Florida's first mixed a cappella group, with whom she was a member for four years and served as music director for three. After college, Andrea worked as the social media manager for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) and became a founding member and bass for the group, Jaded. As an a cappella grown-up, she spreads her passion for vocal music by conducting master classes and covering the art form via audio and online journalism. Andrea is currently a radio associate producer at WGBH and an independent podcast producer in Boston. She sings alto (and sometimes tenor) with The Jameson Singers in Belmont.

Allie Spurling has been involved with a cappella since 1994. At James Madison University, Allie started the school's first co-ed a cappella group, The JMU Overtones. The group appeared on BOCA in 1998. After graduating, Allie started The Flint Hill Major Minors, a co-ed high school group in Fairfax, Va., and directed them from 2001-2005. The group appeared on BOHSA for multiple years. When Allie returned to her New England roots, she co-directed an all-female group at the Wheeler School for three years, and directed and advised a co-ed group at the Moses Brown School for three years. In addition, Allie runs workshops and arranges for high school and college groups up and down the East Coast and mentors high school groups through the process of recording an album.

Amy Malkoff is the executive director of the Women's A Cappella Association (WACA), and is the marketing director for the A Cappella Education Association. Amy served on the board and as web content director for CASA, is a longtime ICHSA/ICCA judge, and is certified as a judge for other events. She is a frequent workshop teacher, master clinician, writer, designer, and runner of social media campaigns (www.amymalkoff.com), as well as a singer/songwriter and studio musician (www.amymalkoffmusic.com). She was a founding member of the award-winning groups, All About Buford and Deadline Poet, and has appeared onstage and in the studio with such luminaries as Wayne Brady, Jonathan Brooke, The Persuasions, Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, GrooveLily, Patty Griffin, and Dar Williams. She has a degree in music from Kenyon College, with music studies at Youngstown State University and master-level coursework at the New England Conservatory of Music. Amy's music has appeared on both the Rounder Records and Hear Music/Starbucks labels. @amalkoff

Gregory Ruffer is president and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts. He has previously served as the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, a nationally-recognized nonprofit community school of music based in Milwaukee. Previous positions have included Music Department Chair of Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Arts in Tampa, Director of Choral Activities and Applied Voice at the College of Central Florida, and founder of The Orlando Chorale and The Orlando Chamber Singers in Orlando, Fla. Additionally, he served as chorus master for Opera Tampa, music director for Orlando Ballet and Conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. As a conductor Gregory has appeared on stages across the U.S. and Europe. He is a voting member for the Grammy Awards with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, following his part in the recording, "Of Rage and Remem’brance," with the National Symphony Orchestra, the 1996 Grammy winner for Best Classical Recording. He holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in music education from Bowling Green State University and has completed the coursework for the Ed.D. in college music teaching (ABD) from Columbia University Teachers College.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Pitch Slapped, Berklee College of Music, Berklee Performance Center staff, Victoria Hurley, Miles Avila, and Sarah Petrillo; 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 Northeast 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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