THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF HIGH SCHOOL

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

ICHSA SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Tennessee
Friday, January 26, 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 six semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six regional champions, a wild card champion, an international champion, and our 2017 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those ten groups competed at Carnegie Hall in New York City this past September.

 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

 

Hype is one of two competitive a cappella groups at Alpharetta High School. This all-female group began in 2015 with a focus on women’s repertoire, and they work to promote the power of women through singing.

Hailing from Charlotte, N.C., Myers Park Vocal Affinity (MPVA) is the first-ever co-ed a cappella group at Myers Park High School. Charlotte N.C. Founded in 2015 as “Mixed A Cappella,” the group’s original goal was to find themselves a better name. This diverse family of 18 musicians believes in the talent of its members, rather than having a particular look or a specific background. From pop to rock to classical, Vocal Affinity has done it all. 

rEagle Harmonix is a second-year a cappella group composed of 22 members from the Seymour High School choral department. Last year, they auditioned for the University of Tennessee 2017 Avi Kaplan Workshop and were one of two exhibition choirs chosen for Avi Kaplan, the bass singer from the Grammy-winning Pentatonix. They also auditioned for the East Tennessee State University Deke Sharon Workshop and were selected to be the exhibition choir for Deke Sharon, the musical producer and director for “The Sing-Off” and “Pitch Perfect” movies.


TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Sharon Cho is a high school music director and recording artist in Nashville, Tenn. She has sung for Hans Zimmer Live on Tour, Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo' (whose album got nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album), New York/ Nashville Connection, and LoudMono Productions. In addition, she has recorded for several films, including “The Nanny” and “Johnefe, 17.” She currently directs the a cappella and jazz groups for LittleStone Music Festival and has led the a cappella group for Windish Music Productions. She continues to perform in the Chicagoland and Nashville area, singing jazz with her own band.

Kristina Richie received her Bachelor of Music from Miami University, where she served as music director of the all-female a cappella group, The Misfitz, and assistant conductor of two choral ensembles. After graduation, Kristina co-taught middle school and high school choir in Mason, Ohio. She then traveled to India, where she worked for six months as administrative director of the fledgling KM Music Conservatory. Kristina also worked for renowned film composer A.R. Rahman, orchestrating film scores and recording as a playback singer. Her work and performances appear in several films, including "Slumdog Millionaire." She received her Master of Arts in ethnomusicology and humanities from The University of Chicago in 2009 and currently serves as the education manager for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Seth O'Kegley is the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he leads the music ministry. In addition to his conducting, Seth maintains an active performance career as a pianist, vocalist, and actor. An advocate for community involvement in the arts, Seth is an active company member of Encore Theatrical Company (ETC), with whom he acts in shows, plays in pit orchestras, teaches educational camps, and music directs productions. Seth holds a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City, Tenn. At ETSU, he studied conducting with Dr. Alan Stevens and Dr. Thomas Jenrette, and voice with Karen Smith. Seth also holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Tennessee, where he studied with Dr. Angela Batey, Dr. Jaclyn Johnson, and Dr. Gene Peterson. There, he was assistant director of The UT Singers, the school’s co-ed contemporary a cappella group.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Dr. Angela Batey and the UT School of Music; 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 groups advance to the ICHSA South Semifinal.

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