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 SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

The Carolina Theatre
Saturday, February 17, 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

 

Acappology is North Carolina State University's premier co-ed a cappella group, founded in 1994. Group members have come to NC State from around the country to study a variety of majors, but each joined the group in order to embrace a mutual love for music. They are known for being one of very few a capella groups to experiment with a collaborative arrangement style. Through collaboration, they create unique pieces in which everyone contributes to the finished product. Their songs, whether arranged collaboratively or by individual group members, stay true to their intricate group aesthetic. Their music is always evolving and each performance explores various music styles and imaginative blends.

Over a Bojangles' meal, two Appalachian State University students decided to found Enharmonix. Since 2011, this group has been fundamentally sustained on principles of inclusiveness and acceptance, all while continually striving for musical excellence and an original sound. Winning Best Overall Group and Best Co-Ed Group at Appalachian State's renowned competition, Acappellageddon, for consecutive years, the more casually known “ENX” has made quite a name for itself. Additionally, ENX is known campus-wide for having fostered meaningful relationships among different clubs and organizations through services and performances. Enharmonix's succcess remains on a steady incline. As a result of their ICCA journey last season, they've had an influx of requests across North Carolina, performing at college campuses, weddings, and other events of merit and prestige. A family of passionate students above all else, with meaningful connections onstage and off, this is Enharmonix A Cappella.  

Grains of Time is North Carolina State's premier all-male a cappella group. They pride themselves on being the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the state of North Carolina. Founded in 1968, they are celebrating 50 years of making music this year! They are self-run and bridge both contemporary and classic music with a modern a cappella style. Grains of Time is currently composed of 13 members, none of which are music majors or minors! They all come from very different backgrounds and places, but come together for their shared love of music. 

High Mountain Harmony is Lees-McRae College's premier a cappella group. The group was founded by Andrew Duggins and Amanda Jones. The current directors are Amanda Jones and Sabrina Becker, with assistant director Taylor Noll. High Mountain Harmony is composed of theatre majors and minors, wildlife biology majors, student athletes, and many other diverse students, all with a goal to bring different styles together for any audience! They perform songs from many contrasting genres such as pop, musical theatre, country, alternative, Disney, and many others!

The Petal Points is High Point University's only all-female a cappella group! The Petal Points love performing at community and school events, as well as hosting their own concerts throughout the year. They love music, laughter, and burritos. This will be their third year competing in ICCA. Check out their music on iTunes and Spotify!

Rhythm & Blue has been performing since 1992 and is Duke University's oldest co-ed a cappella group. Originally an offshoot of the university's choir, RnB has since developed its own style and become a prominent player in the a cappella community, both at Duke and beyond!

The Seabelles is the only all-female group on the campus of UNC Wilmington. Since forming in 2010, this group has become well known in the community of Wilmington, N.C., performing at various locations throughout the years. The group competed for its first ICCA at the 2017 Quarterfinals in Tallahassee, Fla. and they are excited to be back!

Tar Heel Voices is UNC's oldest co-ed a cappella group. Since its founding in 1988, THV has been an important part of the University's music community. With its diverse membership and eclectic repertoire, THV continues to entertain audiences on campus and in the community, performing at everything from charity and sporting events, schools, weddings, and the North Carolina Governor's Inaugural Ball. THV records an album every other year, has won several local competitions, and tours the country annually. THV is a close group of students bonded by music and friendship, and they will continue to carry on a lasting and growing tradition forever, remaining "17 hearts, one voice."

The Finer Niners is UNC Charlotte's only a cappella group! This co-ed performance organization sings contemporary hits from the last 10+ years for their campus and the local Charlotte community. This diverse group of musicians comes from a variety of vocal backgrounds, ranging from competition choirs to church groups. The one thing they all share? A love of music! Founded by Carrie Nowell in 2013, The Finer Niners' mission is to provide undergraduate students of all majors a musical outlet that fosters long-lasting friendships. Today, The Finer Niners are devoted to enhancing campus spirit and developing community recognition for UNC Charlotte through a cappella performance.

Wolfgang is a group of motivated and inspired individuals from NC State that have a collective love for music. They are constantly creating new music from varied genres and artists. Their music has been described as powerful, entertaining, and dynamic.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Lauren France has been a multifaceted fixture in the a cappella community for the past 12 years, serving as a performer, arranger, choreographer, master class clinician, and taking on various leadership roles. She is passionate about giving back, especially by working with and supporting students and other newcomers to the a cappella world. Over the years, Lauren has been exposed to a wide range of a cappella groups, styles, and competitive formats, by attending and assisting with more festivals and competitions that she can count. She believes that these opportunities not only reinforce the realms of what's possible in a cappella, but also helps a cappella experts and super-fans appreciate the dual challenge of creating an innovative set while executing a clean and polished performance. She is excited for tonight’s competitors to rise to this challenge and is thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to the ICCA!

Jill Clark was bit by the aca-bug in 2006 when she joined The UNCG Sapphires. After leaving the group in 2010, she has gone on to join forces with The Vocal Company as an engineer and (more recently) a live sound producer, traveling the East Coast to make collegiate concerts sound the best they can. As a member of the professional group Deviate, Jill has remained involved in contemporary a cappella production and performance. If you ever find yourself at SoJam, you can always catch Jill teaching any level VP class, seminars in recording, or private masterclasses.

Originally from the mountains of western North Carolina, April McTaggart is a seasoned vocalist and entertainer. Her heartfelt passion for vocal music began at an early age when she sang alongside family members in a professional gospel quartet. The group's affinity for organic arranging developed April's ear for creating harmonies and blending with other vocalists. As an undergraduate, April sang high soprano in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and other classical and sacred pieces with the prestigious Duke University Chorale and Chapel Choir. She concurrently developed her soulful alto voice in the varied pop repertoire of Lady Blue, one of Duke’s leading all-female a cappella groups. After graduation, April became the first female vocalist to join Transit Vocal Band, a four-member professional a cappella group based in Raleigh, N.C. Described as "A Cappella Arena Rock," this award-winning group has routinely entertained audiences  in venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall for the inaugural Open Final. As much as April loves performance for entertainment, she is equally passionate about music education. With Transit, she has conducted hundreds of educational programs for students at the K-12 and collegiate levels.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Alex Alberti and Freddy Perkins; 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 South 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