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

 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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

 

A Minor, the University of Connecticut’s first co-ed a cappella group, was founded in 2004 by a small group of friends from the Asian American Cultural Center who simply loved making music together. Since then, this inseparable family has striven for musical excellence and showmanship in every performance. They remain passionate about their craft and thrive on the challenge to better themselves. Their repertoire has hit almost every genre in the books, from pop to indie, alternative to Broadway. In addition to performing at many on-campus events, A Minor is proud to be involved in charity events, benefit concerts, showcases, and more. With the upcoming release of its first album in four years, Ignite, A Minor is excited to share its music and spirit at its first ICCA competition!

Choral Pleasure is Purchase College's only a cappella group. It was founded in 2005 by Evan Feist, and has been student directed for its entire existence. Its group members are from all majors and backgrounds. Choral Pleasure is a sought-after ensemble in the area for gigs. They are constantly featured in on-campus events, and at venues in the surrounding New York area. They are known for their funky sound and enthusiastic performances. The music directors are Annie McLean and Michael Raia, and the manager is Kerry LeVielle. This is Choral Pleasure's third ICCA.

Divisi is one of Central Connecticut State's male a cappella groups. Divisi prides itself on its ability to sing a fun, entertaining, and supremely musical repertoire, while balancing great internal and external relationships. The most important part of Divisi’s mission is that its audiences leave feeling entertained and encouraged to spread its music to others.

Hooked on Tonics is SUNY Oneonta's fun loving co-ed a cappella group! Composed of diverse individuals from all majors and grades, these "hotties" are always looking to make people smile through a cappella! This is their second year competing in the ICCA and with practice and preparation, they've come so far from where they started! This group meets three times a week to rehearse, laugh, and make lifelong memories. Hooked on Tonics’ primary objective is fun, and they do not take this chance to perform lightly. This devoted and charismatic group is sure to dazzle and make the world a better place, one a cappella cover at a time. So put your swimsuit on, grab your sunglasses and sunscreen, because it's about to get H.O.T in here!

Many moons ago in 2003, a ragtag group of brave Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students joined forces to fight off the bitter winds of Troy, N.Y. through the power of music. They shared a love for singing a cappella and procrastinating on homework. Thus, Partial Credit was born. The Troy winters may still be cold, but the group lives on, spreading the warmth and joy of a cappella music in a wide range of musical genres. Whether an indie tune, a comedic musical salute, or a unique ballad, Partial Credit takes pride in entertaining others, while having fun performing.

Presenting Pitch Please! from the University at Albany. This co-ed a cappella group formed in 2013 is not “Pitch Perfect,” though many confuse them as such. They like to have fun when singing, especially at rehearsals. Appropriate or not, these are the bad Pitches of a cappella. Though people all have their quirky sides, this group gets hooked on a feeling when it comes to performing. "It's time to shine.”

The Golden Notes is the mixed a cappella group at the College of Saint Rose. Founded in Albany, N.Y . in 2010, The Golden Notes members come from many  different majors and backgrounds. Whether as a singer, beatboxer, or arranger, each Golden Note brings incredible talent to the group and is an essential part of The Golden Notes family. Performing a wide variety of music, including classics, throwback, Broadway, pop tunes, and more, The Golden Notes do it all.

The Rusty Pipes is a co-ed a cappella group from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Founded in 1997, RPI's second-oldest a cappella group performs original arrangements of songs from many different genres of music. They perform at campus and local events, participate in competitions, host semester shows, and record their music.

The Sexy Pitches is SUNY New Paltz's only all-female a cappella group. This is their first time competing at ICCA, and they sing songs that exemplify female empowerment. The girls love sharing their passion for singing with each other, their peers, and the community around them. They are so excited to perform and hope that everyone enjoys their performance.

UHarmonies is the only all-female a cappella group at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. As the group approaches its 10th year of existence, the "UHarms" continue to perform all over Connecticut, and strive for performances that exude musical excellence, as well as charisma. Each UHarm brings a different age, major, and background, but they all have a few things in common: an evident passion for music-making, a sassy, but lovable heart, and a need to show off their Caribbean blue bows. UHarmonies is very excited to perform and hopes you enjoy the show!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Betsy Stambach-Fuller holds both a B.M. and an M.M. from SUNY Fredonia. There, Betsy founded and directed the university's first all-female a cappella group, Some Like it Hot. The group went on to record three studio albums and perform at the ICCA. Presently, Betsy clinicians and performs regularly in the New York Capital District. She is also the choral director at South Glens Falls High School, where she directs three choral ensembles, including the region's first high school contemporary a cappella ensemble, Vocal Point. In addition to competing at the ICHSA and hosting the region's popular a cappella festival, TuneUp, Vocal Point has recently released their first studio album and will be performing at the inaugural National Convention of A Cappella in April. Apart from her professional accomplishments, Betsy takes pride in her two 'Ben Folds-a cappella loving' children, Evelyn and Timothy.

Diana Galeano is a graduate of Florida State University, where she studied music education with an emphasis in secondary choral education. At FSU, she sang with 2009 ICCA Southern Champions, The AcaBelles. Since graduating, she has worked as a high school chorus teacher, director at FSU's summer music camps, and is currently the assistant director and proud camp mom at A Cappella Academy in Los Angeles, Calif. When she's not teaching or taking care of her aca-children, Diana teaches at a cappella festivals, arranges, offers masterclasses to groups in the greater Boston area, and sings with semi-professional groups, Sound Off and The Hexachords, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Jon Lavalley developed an interest in a cappella in the late 90s and picked up beatboxing in his early teens. He began singing a cappella in sophomore year of high school and continued into college where he joined The Brick City Singers at RIT, singing T1 and rocking vocal percussion. He became the music director in his sophomore year and continued to sing with BCS until the end of his undergraduate career. A year and half after graduating, he joined the Boston-based group, Sound Off, and remains the group's beatboxing bari-tenor today.

Nate Altimari has been part of the a cappella community for nearly 20 years, singing with groups like Hyannis Sound, Jyde, and as a founding member of Boston's Firedrill! He has arranged for professional, semi-professional, collegiate, and high school groups all over the world. He has produced several award-winning, award-nominated, and just plain ol’ award-worthy albums. He has no sense of smell. He likes to eat barbecue. Nate is a working voice actor and voice acting producer at Voice Coaches, and lives in Glenmont, N.Y. with his beautiful wife and daughters. He's available for coaching, arranging, recording, and BBQ-ing (inquire in-person).

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).

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Miles Avila, the EMPAC staff, and The Rensselyrics; 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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