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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

The Riley 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

 

The UNT Green Tones is the premier co-ed contemporary a cappella group at the University of North Texas. Established in 2008, The Green Tones have work tirelessly to become a staple on-campus, in Denton's eclectic music scene and all over the DFW Metroplex. The group's diversity breaks a cappella boundaries, consisting of 18 unique members from all over the United States, with music to match. Back from placing 2ndin the ICCA Southwest Quarterfinals in 2016, The Green Tones are eager to show the a cappella world what they are made of.

Hi y'all! This is Here Comes Treble, the female acapella group at TCU. They are excited to enter their second year at TCU and first at the ICCA. In their first year, they have performed locally on campus, with Southwest Sound, and around the Fort Worth community. Connect with them on social media! Instagram: @herecomestreble

Returning for their second year at the ICCA, 
License to Trill is back and ready to show what they've got! With five returning members and 11 new members, License to Trill has grown in size and visibility in the last year, and they are here to deliver a powerful message. From performing with the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society to gigs around the Fort Worth and TCU communities, License to Trill is a growing force in the Texas a cappella scene! In addition to performing and competing in the last year, L2T has also partnered with the LUNGevity Foundation to support and bring awareness to lung cancer. For more information on License to Trill's philanthropy, please visit: http://licensetotrilltcu.wixsite.com/l2ttcu Facebook: LicenseToTrillTCU, Instagram: @tcu_l2t, Twitter: @TCU_l2t Post using #L2T so License to Trill can see what you thought about their performance!

Collin College’s premier a cappella group, OneSound, originated in 2012. It is composed of eight singers plus a beatboxer. This is their first year competing in the ICCA competition and they look forward to participating for many more years to come.

RISE 
is the premier, co-ed a cappella group at University of Texas at Arlington. Known for their energetic performances, RISE has quickly become a growing success within their community of Arlington, Texas. Pursuing excellence to the highest degree in all aspects of life, these students continue to grow as people, friends, and performers.

Meet Texas Christian University's all-male a cappella group: The Horned Tones. They are known all around campus for their personalities both on and offstage, and with the combination of their impressive vocals and incredible stage presence, these guys are sure to make you smile. The Horned Tones have performed in a variety of venues around Fort Worth, including both concerts on campus and performances at surrounding locations in Fort Worth. Originally founded two years ago, this is the group's second trip to the ICCA - and they are ready to show you what they got!

Northern Arizona Unaccompanied
, or Unaccompanied for short, is Flagstaff’s newest a cappella group. Joining their three fellow NAU groups only one year ago, this group of music majors is excited to take on the challenge of the ICCA. Unaccompanied is uniquely small compared to most groups in the collegiate a cappella world. With only seven singers, each member has a unique and necessary part to play. Unaccompanied enjoys a wide range of music, resulting in song selections that span the decades, favoring hits of the past over the hits of today.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Johanna Vinson got her start in a cappella with University of Oregon's Divisi. In addition to being a founding member of one of the first professional female groups in the country, Musae, Jo performed with Delilah on season 3 of "The Sing-Off," with Element on season 4, and is currently the leading lady in the five-member, Boston-based a cappella group, Overboard. She is the voice of the lady bass in the movie, “Pitch Perfect 2,” and is a director at A Cappella Academy, the prestigious summer camp in Los Angeles founded by friends Ben Bram, Rob Dietz, and Avi Kaplan. Jo regularly travels the world as a performer and teacher. While home in Houston, she teaches voice lessons and arranges for many a cappella groups across the country.

Anna Gann has been a high school choir director and private voice teacher for 15 years. She has served as head of all music in Big Spring Independent School District in Texas, choir director for the Big Spring High School choir, and head choir director of both East Central High School and Edgewood Fine Arts Academy. She has a degree in vocal performance from Lubbock Christian University and an M.S. in music/choral conducting from UTSA. She was involved in a cappella groups during college, including Sweet Adelines. Anna is a frequent adjudicator for Texas UIL competitions, as well as ICHSA. Professional memberships include TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, and TMAA.

Todd Bentzel has been in the music world since the tender age of 7. He has been onstage with various vocal and instrumental groups throughout his high school and college careers. Todd started his college career at Butler University in Indianapolis in 2009 as a vocal and instrumental education major, and founded The Butler University Glee Club, there. In 2010, he moved to Texas to join the University of North Texas and sang and arranged for The UNT Glee Club for two years, helping to arrange music. In 2012, he was inspired to found and direct UNT's premier male a cappella group, Forte. He organized shows, directed, and arranged music for UNT Forte for two years. In his spare time, he keeps himself busy with local singing groups and playing his upright bass at home.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Riley Center venue staff; 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 Southwest Semfinal.

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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