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 MIDWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Centerville High School
Saturday, February 24, 2018

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

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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), 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

 

Audio Pilots is the all-male a cappella group at the University of Dayton. They began four years ago and have grown so much since. From singing for events on campus to jamming out on the weekends, they are a bunch of guys that love singing a cappella! They are super excited to have the opportunity to take part in this incredible event. 

Forged in the sun-scorched mountains of Columbus, Ohio, Buck That! has taken the Midwest by storm as The Ohio State University’s premier a cappella group. Clad in their trademark red Chuck Taylors, Buck That! synthesizes earth-shattering bass rhythms with soloists smoother than butter sliding down a hot, fluffy stack of aca-pancakes. They have performed all across the East Coast and Midwest, winning awards and competitions throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. It is their absolute pleasure to share their love of music and a cappella wherever they go! 

Since 2013, ETHOS has developed a reputation as one of Wright State University’s premier ensembles. After debuting in the annual Harmony in the Heartland celebration at Dayton’s Schuster Center, this dynamic group performs for formal celebrations, baseball games, area high schools, private parties, monster truck rallies, and more. 

Majors & minors is Ohio State's oldest competitive a cappella group! Founded in 2008, M&m is a co-ed a cappella group, featuring singers of all majors (and minors!). They love performing on and off-campus and have sung at past ICCA competitions, Kettering A Cappella Festival, SingStrong DC, and for Joe Biden at an It’s on Us Rally! They specialize mostly in pop music, but love mixing it up with classic rock, R&B, and even some Disney. M&m is not only one of OSU’s premier on-campus groups, but also a tight-knit group of friends. When not performing, they love to hang out together by volunteering with Clean Up Columbus, getting scared at haunted houses, and playing Dance Dance Revolution at group sleepovers. They would like to give a huge thank you to their family, friends, and everyone who has supported them over the years. They are super excited to show you their set tonight, and hope that their hard work, preparation, and love for music all shine through. 

New Chords on the Block of Ohio University is an SATB a cappella vocal ensemble. The members include a range of majors, and each brings something different to the table. They are just a group of people who love to make music and have a good time doing it! They love spreading the joy of music around the Athens community, especially at the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities. When they aren't singing, you can find them chilling together and eating pizza. 

The Ohio State of Mind is an entirely student-run co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University, consisting of majors ranging from psychology to music education, and everything in between. The Ohio State of Mind was the 2017 ICCA Midwest Semifinal Champion, and proceeded on to compete in the 2017 ICCA Finals in New York City. The group also performs at other competitions and events on and around the Ohio State campus and throughout Columbus, singing a wide variety of music genres. The Ohio State of Mind would like to thank family, friends, and all of its supporters for helping the group become what it is today!

The Kenyon Ransom Notes is a gender-inclusive a cappella group from the rolling hills of Gambier, Ohio. They make mouth sounds of all genres, perform full-length spring and fall concerts at their college, and especially love the opportunity to dance and sing at ICCA. They are the "fun mom" of a cappella, and are considered (at least by one another) the bestest in the Midwestest. This year, they traveled to New York City on their inaugural tour, and plan on expanding further along the East Coast in years to come. They hope you enjoy their set this year as much as they have loved preparing for it and performing it. As one of their members said, they are “just a lil' group that beep bops together."

Remedy, the University of Dayton's premier a cappella group, was founded in 2012, and is now composed of nine diverse members. This award-winning organization competes all over the country, one highlight being the Harmony Sweepstake Finals in California. This contemporary, co-ed group strives to spread the pop a cappella culture to the University of Dayton community, and to achieve excellence through performance and competition. 

Scarlet and Grace Notes was founded in 2011 at The Ohio State University, and is the premier all-female a cappella group on the Columbus campus. Composed of 19 talented ladies, this attractive group of buckeyes thrills listeners of all ages and backgrounds with their musical melodies and bodacious beats. From summer’s heat to winter’s cold, Scarlet and Grace Notes really knows how to roll out the favorites. Give them a chance, and you’ll be saying “how firm thy blendship” in no time. These girls love to spend time together outside of rehearsal too; you won’t find closer friends anywhere on campus! They hope you enjoy the show, and appreciate all of their loved ones' support!

The UC Vocaholics contain the most passionate undergraduates that you will see on any campus. The group consists of members in all years of school, and from almost every college offered at the University. They pride themselves on being a self-run machine by doing their own choreography, writing their own scores, and producing their own videos. They seek to engage their audiences by creating an emotional journey through their music. Although each of their songs means something slightly different to each member, they have come together to give you the dynamic, united performance of a lifetime.

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. 

Jeremy Witt is an educator, conductor, and performer from Hilliard, Ohio. He is a recent graduate of Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Music Education and is currently the assistant choral director at Hilliard Bradley High School. Jeremy founded Cedarville’s first contemporary a cappella group, The Inversions, and served as the music director/president four years. Jeremy has become increasingly involved in the contemporary a cappella movement. He currently serves as a producer for the all-a cappella radio station, Acaville. Jeremy is also a nominator and judge for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), as well as the A Cappella Video Awards.

Ryan Hutcherson is a believer in the power of music to give students a voice, passion, and a creative outlet for finding both. He has a special fondness for a cappella in giving life to this belief and beyond.. Ryan graduated from Otterbein University with a bachelor's degree in music education. There, he co-founded and co-directed Ottertuned, Otterbein's first mixed a cappella group. Ottertuned continues to compete in ICCA, was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall with Deke Sharon for DCINY, and has a single available on iTunes. He currently teaches at Maysville Schools in Zanesville, Ohio, and arranges for groups around the globe. Ryan looks forward to seeing passionate performers showcasing their hard work, and would like to say "Break a leg (but no more than one) and make memories that will last a lifetime."

Edric Mitchell, a 2014 and 2016 graduate from Ball State University, studied musical theatre and executive development for public services. During his time at Ball State, he got his start in a cappella with the all-male group, Charlie's Angels. He quickly became a founding member of the all-male a cappella group, Note to Self, with whom he spent four years as a member, coordinator, and music director. In addition, Edric was a founding member and music director of Sedoctave, and founder of the Association of Collegiate A Cappella (ACA) at Ball State. ACA is an umbrella organization that unites all collegiate a cappella groups on the BSU Campus, and hopes to eventually expand to other college campuses. When Edric was a competitor in the ICCA, he received two Outstanding Arrangement awards for "Can You Stand The Rain" and "Recovery Stitches," as well as a Outstanding Soloist award with Walter Edwards for "Smash Your Apology." He is currently the vocal music director at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Ind.

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 Midwest 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