THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF COLLEGIATE

A CAPPELLA

DEAR FRIENDS,

 

Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 22nd 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 tournaments have grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase they are today, featuring more than 600 groups and 8,500 singers at 85 events across North America and the United Kingdom.

Our original tournament inspired the hit movie Pitch Perfect, based on the nonfiction book documenting the true story of rival groups competing against each other in our very own ICCA. The franchise released its third film this past December and remains the highest-grossing musical series of all time.

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 were thrilled to launch the International Championship of A Cappella Open last summer. “The Open” (#AcaOpen) is an all-access a cappella tournament that brings together singers of all ages, regardless of student status, to compete on an international stage for a chance at $25,000. In its very first season, The Open featured 70 groups from around the world and culminated in a sold-out Finals at New York City's Carnegie Hall -- and we expect even bigger things this summer, as our second season kicks off.

We hope that over the years, 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, right? 

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 22 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2018 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 MID-ATLANTIC QUARTERFINAL

 

George Washington University
Saturday, January 27, 2018

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, Instagram, and Snapchat, 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), the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and the International Championship of A Cappella Open (The Open). 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 3 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 13th 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.

The Open tournament took place for the first time in summer 2017 and featured 70 groups competing in six US  semifinals, an international semifinal, and a wild card round. The winners of those events advanced to The Open Finals at Carnegie Hall, where they competed against our reigning ICCA and ICHSA champions for $25,000. The second season of The Open will take place starting this summer and will culminate at Carnegie Hall on September 22.

 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.

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

 

MelUDees was founded in 2006 at the University of Delaware. They are in high demand on UD's campus and sing regularly at residence halls, Greek Life events, UD sporting events, and large-scale campus events like Relay for Life. In recent years, the Dees have begun performing more off campus. They have been invited to sing at local Susan G. Komen events, as well as for several weddings and bar mitzvahs. They have also gone on several tours along the East Coast, visiting schools as far as the University of Virginia. Two years ago, they released their first full length album, Drop The Pin, and last year, they released their single, “Ever After.” MelUDees have competed in the ICCA four times and were thrilled to have won their Quarterfinal in 2016. After taking a year off from competing, they are back and eager to participate again! Outside of singing, the MelUDee family loves to hang out with each other. The group enjoys doing everything  together, from “family game nights” to apple picking. They have super strong ties with the alumni and the family is always growing; they just took in a “New-dee” last fall! All in all, this group loves to share music with their community and cannot wait to make new friends at the ICCA! Peace. Love. MelUDees.

The GW MotherFunkers from the George Washington University is the a cappella group your parents warned you about. All peaking in middle school, this creative bunch still has a standing criminal record with their university police department for noise complaints and low Uber ratings. In addition to their habitual, unsolicited serenading, they recently recorded their debut EP, Watch Your Mouth, currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Also, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, because like every other millennial, they thrive off of instant gratification, post likes, and embarrassing comments from their parents. When everyone actually shows up to rehearsal, they are a certified Rihanna cover-band that likes to sing Top 40s and mashups. Never having won a single university award, they knew it was only fitting for them to compete on a cappella’s biggest stage. Living by Michelle Obama’s mantra, when they score them low, they go high, which is why they have been forced to switch to Lyft. On a more serious note, The GW MotherFunkers perform actively across campus and D.C. The Funkers is a relatively new group, founded in 2012, and they have been working hard to become a musical force, not to be messed with on or off campus. Their strong work ethic and confidence is both entertaining and infectious. Their music brings a funky-fresh take on a cappella that is casual, enjoyable, and approachable. Their goal is to bridge the gap between buttoned-up a cappella and mainstream music performance, of course with a little extra funk in the trunk. So sit back, relax, and enjoy! Oh and don't forget to turn off your cell phones; Siri doesn’t know how to sing on key yet.

Mason Some Noise is a co-ed a cappella group founded in 2014 at George Mason University. Since the group’s recent inception, their dedication to producing high-quality and fun music has caused them membership to blossom from a modest quintet into a small army, and their reputation and support have followed suit. They are proud of what they do, they love what they do, and they want all of our fans to love it too. Mason Some Noise sings a variety of genres of music at venues all over campus and beyond. They host solo concerts, sing at events, and collaborate with other a cappella groups on campus for joint performances. A melting pot of ages, ethnicities, majors, and personalities, MSN embodies the values of diversity and inclusion that are so beloved by George Mason students. Nothing matters more to them than the quality of their music and the enjoyment that they give their audience. They are the first group from GMU ever to compete in ICCA, and they intend to make a strong debut and represent themselves and their university well!

Founded in 2008, The One Note Stand is an independent, student-run, co-ed organization of music-loving members committed to giving signature performances, while having a good time. They arrange all the music they perform themselves. In addition to singing at campus and community events, they showcase their wide-ranging repertoire at competitions and large-scale concerts throughout the year.

The Catholic University of America's Take Note A Cappella was established in 2007. Today, Take Note is recognized by the CUA community and DMV area as a diverse and extremely talented group of students representing the general student body. They sing and perform in styles including pop, rock, and hip-hop, creating awesome a cappella entertainment!

The Vibes is the premier co-ed a cappella group at George Washington University. “Giving the GW community aural pleasure since 1999,” The Vibes cover a repertoire ranging from 1960s R&B to current indie rock hits. The group can be found performing at the highest levels of collegiate a cappella in the ICCA, at the White House, Disney World, and beyond. More than just a bad-ass a capella group, The Vibes is a big family that always aims to entertain and have a great time doing it. 

The RoaNotes is Roanoke College's only co-ed a cappella group. The youngest of the three a cappella groups on campus, The RoaNotes bring together unique voices from across their campus in order to perform, compete, and share their love of music. Sharing that passion for music and singing with their audience is their goal for every performance. 

No Ceiling is a mixed a cappella group from The College of William & Mary, established in 2015. They aim to represent the vocal talents of their school on a national stage and to give students the opportunity to engage in positive competition with talented groups from other schools. Though they enjoy singing lots of different types of music, No Ceiling found its niche in lesser-known songs that allow space for creative arrangements. The lack of audience expectation allows them to craft their selections into a dynamic set, rather than just a list of songs, and they strive to complement our music with equally unique choreography. Persistence is at the core of No Ceiling’s identity. Founded as an unofficial group, No Ceiling prepared its 2016 ICCA set at odd hours in vacant classrooms, stairwells, and even the living rooms of generous hosts. The dedication of 15 music-loving students saw the group through the difficulties of pending recognition from The College, and each achievement was a testament to the group’s perseverance. Even since becoming an official organization on campus, No Ceiling persists in the face of heavy workloads and busy schedules, and continues to push itself in order to be the best that it can be. Beyond its competitive aspect, No Ceiling is a group of close friends who enjoy spending time together. Their fondest memories include long road trips, group dinners, and late nights jamming to their favorite tunes. They like to think that their closeness as friends makes them stronger performers, and they strive to convey that connection each time the pitch pipe is blown.  As they say after each rehearsal: No Ceiling, lots of feeling. 

Redline A Cappella was founded in 2003, and is the oldest a cappella group at the Catholic University of America. They have a reputation for singing fun and incredible music on the university campus, at other universities, and in public spaces around the Washington, D.C. metro area. Performing music genres that range from today's hits to universal classics, alternative music, and more, their shows have a unique sense of variety, perfect for all types of audiences. This group of undergraduate men and women spans various majors and interests, but shares a common love for a cappella, and they hope you'll love it too.

The R.A.M.ifications of VCU is a co-ed a cappella group founded in 2010. This year, the Ramily is composed of 18 dedicated members who love and annoy one another just like a real family. Their common goal is irritating their beloved director, Andrew, and of course making their music the best it can be. Please like and follow them on Facebook at R.A.M.ifications of VCU, Instagram @ramificationsvcu, and YouTube @ramificationsvcu!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Joshua Singer served as music director and arranger for two-time ICCA Finalists, University of Maryland Faux Paz. In 2016, he was awarded Best Arrangement for the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Josh arranged the winning 2017 BOSS Scholastic Competition set for Faux. His work has been nominated for multiple Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), including a 2016 nomination for "Best Electronic Song" for his arrangement of "Our Own House" by Misterwives. This past year, Josh won the CARA for "Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement" for the recent Faux Paz single, "Where Are Ü Now" by Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Diplo. Josh was a featured director on the second season of Pop Network's “Sing It On," which followed his group's ICCA journey to Finals. Josh continues to engage with the a cappella community through his arrangements, collaborations, and workshops, and actively works to inspire groups across the country to take their music and performance to the next level.

Before attending the University of Rochester, Kyle Hogan channeled most of his musical energy through an alto saxophone and hardly knew what a cappella was. That quickly changed, however, when he joined The University of Rochester YellowJackets as the group's sole bass singer. During his time with the group, Kyle served as one of its lead arrangers, creative director for its recording projects, and co-director during its first stint at the ICCA. Since graduating, Kyle has collaborated with friends on various a cappella recording projects and sung as a substitute bass singer with “Sing-Off “alums, Street Corner Symphony. Outside of a cappella, Kyle returns to his childhood home of northwestern Connecticut each summer to work with high school students in concert band, jazz band, and choir at a local music camp.

Tony Wang sang with The Washington University Sensasians from 2011 to 2015. During his one and a half-year stint as music director, Tony led the newly-found group to their first-ever ICCA competition, where his arrangement of "Human" won Best Arrangement. Tony's love of music began on the piano, but continued through voice, guitar, and percussion, as well as arranging. Since graduation, Tony has stayed involved in the a cappella community, serving as a musical adviser for his former group and singing with a recreational a cappella group. Tony is an avid music theory junkie and vocal percussionist, and would love to trade some beats with anyone who asks tonight! 

Grammy-winning conductor and singer Frank Albinder directs the Washington Men’s Camerata, the Virginia Glee Club at UVA, and the Woodley Ensemble. A native of Hollywood, Calif., Frank holds degrees from Pomona College and the New England Conservatory of Music. He was Director of Choral Activities at Davidson College in the mid-1980s, and for 11 years, he was a singer, associate conductor, and finally acting director of the world-renowned vocal ensemble, Chanticleer. During his tenure with the group, Frank performed in all 50 states and in 20 foreign countries. He appears on 21 of the ensemble’s recordings, including Wondrous Love, which was recorded under his direction, and the Grammy-winning Colors of Love, for which he designed the concept and selected the repertoire. Other performance credits include the Boston Camerata, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, the Washington Bach Consort, and the Concord Ensemble. He recently served two terms as the National Chair of Repertoire and Standards for Male Choirs for the American Choral Director's Association, and  sang for 12 years as part of the professional music staff at St. John's Church, Lafayette Square, and the Church of the Presidents. Frank is currently President of Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses, a member of the steering committee for ChoralNet, the online portal for information and resources relating to the choral field, and the D.C. representative of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

Catherine Lewis is a freelance music critic and engineer based in Washington, D.C. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, Pitchfork, and Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), among many others. She currently sings with Kismet, an all-female semi-professional group in D.C.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank 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 Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Sara Yood
 ICCA & ICHSA Finals Producer
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Courtney Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West Producer

Henry Harrod
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Elise Hackl
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Riley McMahon
 ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
 ICHSA South & Southwest Producer

Mark Chen
ICHSA Southwest Co-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 ICCA Mid-Atlantic Semifinals.

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

varsityvocals

THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?

Carnegie Hall
 Saturday, September 22, 2018