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 SEMIFINAL

 

R.J. Reynolds Auditorium 
Saturday, March 31, 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

 

BisCaydence is one of the  co-ed a cappella groups at the University of Miami located in sunny Coral Gables, Fla., right outside of Miami. Biscaydence's name is a tribute to the gorgeous beaches of Key Biscayne located close to the Miami campus, as well as the musical term, cadence. The group’s unique and energetic sound brings joy to all who listen. BisCaydence's performances are sure to get you on your feet and singing along.

It all began with a beach house, a storm, and a brave pup named Yahtzee. In the fall of 1998, Brian Haverkate gathered fearless singers, who needed no instrumental accompaniment, to form the first group of its kind at Florida State University. Dubbed All-Night Yahtzee, the group held its first concert in the spring of 1999, and thus, a cappella music was born at FSU. Since then, Yahtzee has competed annually in the ICCA, where they have received acclaim and numerous awards over the years. They also perform regularly at other festivals, like SoJam and BOSton Sings!, host a series of concerts and events around campus, and gig throughout the community. They tour Florida every winter and spring, stopping at all their favorite cities and many of their hometowns. They were also featured on the Pop Network docu-series, “Sing It On.” Their members come from different places, musical backgrounds, and interests, but blended together, they bring great music, entertainment, and a fun time to every audience. They look forward to yet another year of sharing their music and learning more from the growing a cappella community along the way!

UT Singers 
is a contemporary a cappella group composed of students from multiple majors across campus. They perform a variety of music, including R&B, pop, oldies, and rock, with many of their own arrangements. Their heavy performance schedule includes hired gigs for private and corporate parties, million-dollar UT donor functions, sporting events, NACC, competitions such as ICCA and SoJam, and VOLcappella, featuring Avi Kaplan from the Pentatonix! UT Singers is the oldest vocal ensemble on the UT campus with roots dating back to the 50s. Like any great artist, the group has evolved its image with the changing times. UT Singers began as a traditional choral ensemble, then changed to a show choir, a jazz choir, and now exists as a contemporary a cappella group. They have a long line of distinguished alumni and it’s rare not to meet at least one former member at UT functions.

Prismatics
is Belmont University's newest co-ed a cappella ensemble. They strive to promote unity within music and to spread love among musicians, as well as in the world. Founded in the fall of 2015, Prismatics is eager to compete at ICCA for their second year.

Sympathetic Vibrations
(SympVibes) is Georgia Tech's premier all-male a cappella group. Founded in the fall of 1997, they usually have 12-15 active members. They perform at various events on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta and across the state of Georgia. This vibrant group loves to spread around their love for music in a fun and enjoyable way. They enjoy performing music ranging from pop to rap to R&B, and are always excited to perform for audiences of all ages and backgrounds!

Cockappella
is the University of South Carolina's premier co-ed a cappella group. Established in 2008, the group is composed of students from all majors and musical backgrounds. Cockappella's uniting factor is its members' passion for sharing their love of music with one another and their school community. The group's unofficial motto is to always take their music seriously, while never taking themselves too seriously. They sing, they dance, they love like a family.

Wolfgang 
is a group of motivated and inspired individuals from NC State that share 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.

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.  

Hailing from the University of Central Florida, Mixed Mode is a force to be reckoned with in the South. Since its founding two years ago, Mixed Mode has defied expectations and turned heads in the competitive and recording circuits. Mixed Mode strives to create the perfect blend of delivering innovative, groundbreaking music, while maintaining an unbreakable bond of family and friendship. Mixed Mode is not your garden-variety collegiate a cappella group. They are constantly pushing the boundaries of what the human voice can do.

Gemini Blvd.
is the oldest co-ed a cappella group from the University of Central Florida in sunny Orlando, Fla. As a group, Gemini Blvd. prides itself on being a family and making sure they perform for each other on every stage. Year after year, the members of Gemini Blvd. strive to make a name for themselves by presenting their passion for music in every set they perform through a variety of powerful and dynamic songs.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Selame Scarlett hails from Okemos, Mich. As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, she was part of Capital Green A Cappella, and served as music director, arranger and vocal percussionist. Currently, she is an ICHSA producer, Varsity Vocals judge, and clinician for high school and collegiate groups in the Midwest. She serves as a percussionist and vocalist for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning, all-female sextet, Lady Jaye, and the all-female gospel powerhouse group, Traces, which was featured on Season 5 of NBC's “The Sing-Off.” In the summertime, Selame is an instructor and counselor at A Cappella Academy, a Los Angeles-based vocal camp for young adults (ages 13 to 17). Selame has been fortunate enough to record alongside groups such as Naturally 7, The Boxettes, Pentatonix, Duwende, and Traces of Blue (formerly Afro-Blue)! She has led percussion workshops and masterclasses, both on her own and with her beatboxing colleagues.

Kristin LoBiondo
is no stranger to the a cappella community. She has worked as the assistant director of events for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and performed with professional groups, Snowday, Vox Pop, and Jaded. She earned her B.A. in vocal music at Elon University, and has judged the ICCA in North Carolina and Maryland. Kristin is super excited to be judging again, and can't wait to see how the aca-bop has transformed over the years.

Dave Sroka 
began playing music at the age of 4 on piano. Since then, he has spent the past 30 years of his life with working on piano, clarinet, various brass instruments, and voice. He sang with several vocal ensembles at Virginia Tech (Camerata, Early Music Ensemble), and founded and direct the post-collegiate group, Cognitive Resonance. In addition, Dave runs a small mobile application development business called Robot Factorial, and is the current Executive Producer of SoJam.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

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