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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
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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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

 

ASU Law Cappella was founded in the fall of 2017 by two former ICCA competitors. It is the first graduate school-based group at the university and the only group under 10 members. The group is composed of current Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students and ASU undergrads who plan on attending the law school after graduation. Their goal in founding the group was to create a necessary musical outlet for students who spend the rest of their time with their heads in a book. It just so happens that Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students have a vast amount of vocal ability, so they decided to take their talents to the ICCA stage. This group focuses on pop music and displays the intricacies that only small groups can perfect.

The ASU Pitchforks is Arizona State University's only all-female a cappella group. They have been around for 26 years as of this winter! This year’s group is composed of 14 strong women who all have different majors but a passion for music. The group features a variety of songs from pop to folk! They arrange their own music and sometimes have featured arrangers from past members at ASU. They love collaborating with other a cappella groups on ASU's campus and in the Arizona a cappella community.

Hailing from the snowy mountain town of Flagstaff, Ariz., The Axecidentals is a group like no other. This all-female ensemble from Northern Arizona University prides itself in its diverse, musical prowess, stemming from a strong choral background. Founded in 2013, this group is solely student-run and consists of both music majors and non-music majors. With their sweet blend and killer harmonies, The Axecidentals is a group of ladies you can't forget.

Founded in 2008, CatCall is a student-led group from the University of Arizona. The group’s mix of various majors, ages, and musical interests undoubtedly contributes to the ensemble’s diverse repertoire and close-knit personality. All of Catcall’s arrangements are completed by current or graduated members of the ensemble, and the group has a tradition of ending every set with their rendition of the University of Arizona's fight song, "Bear Down, Arizona!”

Dolce Voces is an all-female a cappella group from the University of Arizona. This musically diverse group of ladies enjoys working together to create beautiful music. The group members have majors ranging from physiology and civil engineering to English and anthropology. Aside from making music, the group's aim is to bring more exposure to the a cappella community and encourage young women to dream to be extraordinary. Dolce Voces also strives to emphasize the importance of using music to cope with daily stress. They sing songs from all genres and their greatest achievements have been reached by working together in a kind and compassionate manner. They have been fortunate enough to open for Vocalosity, a professional a cappella group that tours across the country, in addition to performing in previous ICCA seasons.  Recently, they performed the national anthem for the commemoration of the new U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, located on the mall at the University of Arizona. The women of Dolce Voces thoroughly enjoy singing, dancing, and performing, and they hope to express the importance of both teamwork and individuality in their set. They believe that through music, anything is possible. 

Elevation is Northern Arizona University's premier a cappella group. Founded in 2008, Elevation has continued to grow throughout the years into the professional family of singers that it is today. The group currently has 15 talented NAU student members, all with different majors and musical backgrounds. During the fall, the group has various pursuits, from competing to album-recording to giving on-campus performances for fellow students. Known for its community involvement outside of college, Elevation goes on tour during spring break to reach out to high school students and spread awareness of NAU and collegiate a cappella. The group prides itself on the close friendships formed among its members, as well as their mutual passion for a cappella music.

Founded in 2013, Enharmonics A Cappella is an all-treble a cappella group from the University of Arizona. They specialize in pop and jazz arrangements from hits such as "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child, Alessia Cara's "Here," and more. Their focus as a group is to collaborate musically and create lasting friendships. They pride themselves in knowing that their group accepts all types of people. No matter what type of labels members have outside of the group, they’re family as long as they sing in the treble clef. Their members come from a wide array of studies, from engineering, communication, and even music education! For all of them, a cappella is an opportunity to get away from the stresses of college life and bond as a group. While they may be one of the younger groups on the University of Arizona campus, Enharmonics A Capella has performed twice at the ICCA, and each time was a blast! They are always trying to improve their musicianship and absolutely love any opportunities to perform, both on and off campus! They’ve performed at various events, including elementary outreach programs, high school performances, and all around the University of Arizona campus and Tucson area. They are currently in the works of building their repertoire for a bigger online presence and hopefully some albums and music videos!

Northern Arizona Unaccompanied, or Unaccompanied for short, is an eight-member collegiate a cappella group from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. The group, entering its third year, was founded in September 2015 and became the fourth a cappella group at NAU. With only eight singers, Unaccompanied is uniquely small compared to most groups in the collegiate a cappella world. Each member sings their own vocal line, and the group is known for its one-on-a-part arrangements. The group performs a wide variety of songs that span the decades, favoring hits of the past over the hits of today. Each member has a strong foundation in classical training and choral music, with some vocal jazz flair inspired by groups such as Take6 and The Real Group. They have headlined for various music conferences in the Southwest and actively perform throughout Flagstaff and the state of Arizona. Unaccompanied looks forward to competing in their third ICCA season!

Noteriety A Cappella is the premier co-ed a cappella group hailing from the University of Arizona! Founded in the fall of 2009, the group hopes to give University of Arizona students the chance to pursue their passion for learning and performing a cappella music. They love providing musical services to their campus and Tucson community, as well as others in the state of Arizona! Noteriety released its first EP, titled Noteriety, that is available on iTunes and Spotify. They have been creating more studio magic since then and plan to release two new singles this year! Noteriety has received several other wonderful accolades. These include awards for Outstanding Vocal Percussion, being featured in The Daily Wildcat, and performing for school events such as the Freshmen Convocation, events for the Residence Hall Association, and other UA clubs. Noteriety A Cappella hopes to keep growing within the a cappella community as well as in their hometown of Tucson, Ariz.!

The ASU TEMPEtations is the award winning co-ed a cappella group on campus! Started in the fall of 2010, The TEMPEtations began as a humble endeavor to spread the love of music and start the first co-ed group on campus. Since then, they have grown into a well-known organization that performs at prestigious events around ASU and Arizona. They have competed in the ICCA for four years, earning 3rd place and Outstanding Arrangement in the 2014 Southwest Quarterfinals. All of the music performed by The TEMPEtations is arranged by the members of the group, and the styles range from The Temptations to Imagine Dragons to Alt-J to John Williams. They hope to continue to share their love of music with all of you!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

As a founding member of the USC Sirens in 1997, one of the first female vocal percussionists, and an all-female a cappella trailblazer, Jenny Barmach has seen a cappella grow before her eyes and couldn't be more pleased! Jenny has competed in the ICCA and Harmony Sweepstakes, been featured on BOCA, participated in the West Coast A Cappella Summit, and sang/crashed with countless groups on tour, including Venus Envy (2001) and Acazona (2014). After graduating from USC and working for A&E in Los Angeles, Jenny moved to Chandler, Ariz., where she works as an Event Coordinator at Insight, and lives with her husband and two children.

Michael Sackett has been involved with music for as long as he can remember. He was a member of Brigham Young University's Young Ambassadors for two years, and spent one year with Vocal Point. Michael has been a featured soloist on many albums with Rob Gardner’s Spire Music and Tantara Records, and has his own solo album. In 2014, Michael started INSPIRE Entertainment, a performing arts academy and preschool in Gilbert, Ariz. He loves educating youth about the benefits of music and the arts in their lives. He hopes his efforts will provide the opportunity for many people to be touched by the power of music and the performing arts, both as performers and supportive audience members. In his spare time, Michael likes to read, travel, play soccer, and spend time with his family.

Nason Werth has been known to travel the country for a good a cappella show, and currently resides in Baltimore, Md. Originally from the great state of Michigan, Nason studied vocal performance at Michigan State University. There, he served as music director and bass with MSU’s first co-ed a cappella group and ICCA fixture, Capital Green. He gained broad ensemble experience as a student with the University Chorale, Chamber Choir, Jazz octet, and Chancel Choir with the Okemos Presbyterian Church. Since relocating to the Mid-Atlantic area, Nason has performed with the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Bach in Baltimore ensembles. He looks forward to a great show!


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 Southwest 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