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 SEMIFINAL

 

Washington University in St. Louis
Saturday, March 10, 2018

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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

 

Sedoctave is Ball State University's only mixed a cappella group, composed of 17 amazingly talented and diverse singers. They sing a variety of music, but specialize in soul, R&B, and jazz. This is their fifth year as a group and they hope to continue to grow their brand and message. Their main goal is to spread a message of love and acceptance for all through the power of music. 

Unexpected Resolution (UnR) is one of five a cappella groups from Ball State University. In the five years since its founding, Unexpected Resolution has built its reputation by performing throughout the school year both on campus and throughout the Midwest. The group takes pride in performing a wide variety of music and can be heard singing pop tunes, barbershop, and everything in between. Its members are just as varied as its music, with plenty of different majors represented among its ranks. Easily identified by their lime green ties and dashing good looks, UnR’s members are known for their charming personalities and never passing an opportunity for cracking a good joke. They’re excited to be performing at ICCA Quarterfinals for the fourth time and hope to put on a great show!

Carmony is the co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University at Lima. A self-dubbed "band of misfit toys," the group embraces unique personalities from all walks of life. Carmony has competed twice in ICCA, including a 1st place finish at Quarterfinals in 2017. 

The Kent Clarks from Kent State University have been around since 2011. They have been fortunate enough to perform at the White House and on “The Today Show.” This year, they are working on their first EP and album and they can't wait to show off their new sound! They sing all different genres and love to challenge themselves in every way they can.

It was the year 2000. Camera fades in. It’s an early, still night at Saint Louis University. Two students, a boy and a girl, sit by the clock tower making small talk, giggling at even the most pitiful jokes. The cold air is warmed by the red in their cheeks. Mid-sentence, one of the girl’s stories gets cut short by a sound. A melody. A haunting, piercing note. They tilt their ears to catch the tune as it grows. Swells of melodious sorrow, waves of unkempt joy wash over them, more intensely than the lamp under which they sit. Minutes pass, but it seems as if they share hours together. At last, the notesmiths reveal themselves. 12 of them - statues - stride into place around the couple, showering them with beautiful chords and piquing dissonance, until the sun rises. It was the year 2000 when The Bare Naked Statues, SLU’s premier all-male a cappella group, first revealed itself, and every day since has been a journey. Performing songs by anyone from Frank Sinatra to Twenty One Pilots, Beyoncé to Franz Biebl, The Statues have made a name for themselves in the Midwest and beyond. In 2014, they traveled to New York to compete at ICCA Finals, and just last year they traveled to Indiana for ICCA Semifinals. They revel in pleasing a crowd, shattering barriers, and setting new standards for the art form. So, take a seat, hold onto it tightly, and experience The Bare Naked Statues!

Beyond All Reason 
(BAR) is Saint Louis University's first and only all-female a cappella group. Founded in 2002, Beyond All Reason started with 10 singers and has since grown into a harmonious group of 15 ladies. BAR arranges and performs a wide array of music that keeps audiences hooked. From Beyoncé to The Beatles, they perform contemporary favorites from all genres. On campus, they host two concerts per year and sing for various student-organization-sponsored events. They have also found a place in the St. Louis community singing for a variety of local businesses, fundraisers, holiday events, and sports events. With their powerful altos and sweet sopranos, BAR is just...Beyond All Reason!

Since forming in 2012, The Hibernotes have been known for their high energy and captivating performance style. As the premier mixed a cappella group on the Missouri State University campus, they have performed in countless venues across the Midwest. Regardless of what song they're singing, they are sure to leave their mark onstage, performing with power and confidence in their vocals and choreography.

The Beartones
was conceptualized in 2000 under the frameworks of musical excellence, brotherhood, and just having a good time. For more than a decade, The Beartones have consistently thrilled audiences of all shapes and sizes. The group is renowned for their polished and memorable sets, while racking up numerous performances and awards across the country, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago, and New York City.

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!

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 went 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 their families, friends, and supporters for helping the group become what it is today!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Dr. Justin John Moniz maintains an active career in concert, opera, and musical theatre. Most recently, he starred alongside Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess (of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” at the Adrienne Arsht Center. As a two-time winner of The American Prize in Voice, Justin recently made his Chicago Symphony Center debut. This season includes performances in Hawaii, Indiana, Florida, and Illinois. He holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of Miami, and SUNY Potsdam, and currently serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Millikin University and Executive Director of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Justin is thrilled to return for his fourth season as a Varsity Vocals judge. For more information, visit www.justinjohnmoniz.com.

Antonio Rodriguez graduated in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in music from Washington University in St. Louis, where he sang with The Amateurs for four years. He also served as arranger and music director of the group. He spent the next five years performing as a stage actor in St. Louis before gaining his union card and moving to Chicago in 2014. Favorite past musical credits include “The Who’s Tommy” (Tommy Walker), “Urinetown” (Bobby Strong), and “Altar Boyz” (Matthew). He was a member of the St. Louis Theatre Circle Award-winning ensemble of the a cappella musical “All is Calm” for three years, and is a four-time nominee and two-time Theatre Circle Award winner for his individual acting work in both musicals and straight plays. In addition to performing in full-length stage works, he has conceived and performed two solo cabarets in both St. Louis and Chicago. Antonio is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Daniel Fister 
is a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis studying musicology. He earned his undergraduate degree in vocal performance and music history at Chapman University, and his master’s degree in music history at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He has presented and written on collegiate a cappella, musical theatre, and other American music. Before his life as an academic, Daniel directed, sang, and arranged for Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out, leading them to the 2010 ICHSA Finals, and then for Chapman University’s SoundCheck, with whom he competed regularly in ICCA and directed the production of their debut album, Everything (2012). He remains involved in a cappella as a judge and arranger.

Katherine Bodor 
is a massive choir nerd and award-winning composer of contemporary choral and chamber music. She attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she served as music director and arranger for her co-ed a cappella group. She graduated with a B.A.S. in engineering plus a music major, and her compositions have gone on to receive premieres all over the U.S. Currently, Katherine works as an arranger and recording contractor with The Vocal Company and is pursuing her master's in composition at IU Jacobs School of Music. 

Megan Petrie 
grew up studying dance and piano and performed in choral ensembles, show choir, and musical theatre productions throughout her high school years. She went on to study music education at Truman State University, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music, a master's degree in choral conducting, and a master's degree in education. Megan is now a choral teacher at Warrenton High School, where she leads three traditional choral ensembles and two pop a cappella groups, Pitch the Keys and Girls Night Out.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Washington University and Jeremy Winston; 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 placing group advances to ICCA Finals!

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