THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF COLLEGIATE

A CAPPELLA

DEAR FRIENDS,

 

Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 23rd season! Our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever after almost a quarter century of presenting the best student groups on stage and in the studio.

Our tournaments have grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase they are today, featuring more than 650 groups and 9,800 singers at 87 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 Pitch Perfect franchise 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 enjoyed a long stay 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 two years ago. “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. Its third season will kick off this summer.

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 23 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2019 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 CENTRAL QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Rochester
Saturday, February 16, 2019

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!

varsityvocals

@varsityvocals

@varsityvocals

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 annually produce The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The 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 three to five 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 in New York City.

The high school tournament is now in its 14th year and continues to grow fast. We are now holding Quarterfinal rounds in all of our regions, and the 2019 season will feature the largest high school tournament field in our history. The winners of each of seven Semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City.

The Open Tournament took place for the second time ever in summer 2018 and featured six semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2018 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 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. 

Please note that no food or beverages are allowed in the theatre and all cell phones must be silenced during the performance. To ensure audience safety and comfort, House Managers and ushers will request all patrons follow generally accepted rules of audience behavior.

If you need to leave the theater during the presentation, an usher will escort you to the rear to minimize distractions for other patrons. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager. Infrared hearing assistance headsets are available for patrons with hearing impairments. If you wish to use a headset, please speak to an usher.

TONIGHT'S COMPETITORS

 

University of Rochester's After Hours has been moving audiences with its innovative arrangements and intense performances since 1998. As the first co-ed a cappella group on campus, they got their start as a vocal jazz ensemble, but soon began expanding their sound to encompass genres such as pop, folk, and R&B. They have traveled around the country, but are always most at home in Rochester, the city that brought them together. The members of After Hours hail from all across the globe, and are a close-knit and quirky family on and offstage. Check out www.urafterhours.org for regular updates on all things After Hours, including videos and recordings! 

Call4Backup is the first and only all-female a cappella group at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. The group was founded in 1998, the year most of the current members were born! Call4Backup has only recently begun competing, and is completely student-run, meaning they arrange all of their own music, raise their own money, and book their own gigs. This investment contributes to each member’s dedication and excitement for the group. Call4backup is made up of a wide range of majors, backgrounds, and personalities. Each member of the group brings something different to the table, which keeps the group diverse and unique. The group bonds over girl-power and a shared passion for singing. The group’s main goal is to have fun together, both on and offstage, and they hope to spread that enjoyment to as many audiences as possible. 

The CrescenDON’Ts is an a cappella group from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. They hold two concerts each year and sing at various event on campus and throughout the larger Buffalo community. The CrescenDON’Ts were founded in the fall of 2012 by four Canisius College students. After holding campus-wide auditions, eight members joined to form the original a cappella ensemble. They also organized CrescenDON’T-specific concerts for the public, all of which were standing-room-only due to the amount of attendees. In the spring of 2013, The CrescenDON’Ts was recognized as Club of the Year by the Canisius College Student Programming Board, the youngest club ever to receive the award. In 2014, The DON’Ts met Kevin Olusola, beatboxer of Pentatonix, and performed an impromptu concert for him! Off-campus, they have entertained at weddings, the Erie County Fair, and alongside their aca-neighbors, The Royal Pitches from the University at Buffalo. 

Founded in 2003 as Vocal Fusion, Exit 8 is SUNY Geneseo's oldest all-gender a cappella group and currently has 18 members. The group’s repertoire is focused on today's hits, as well as pop standards. Exit 8 performs twice a semester in SUNY Geneseo's All-A Cappella concerts, at various local businesses and organizations, for charity events, and for special on- and off-campus events. Occasionally, Exit 8 collaborates with collegiate peers by performing together at invitationals. The group has also competed at ICCA Quarterfinals in 2015, 2016, and 2018. 

Eight Beat Measure is RIT's original all-male a cappella group! The group members pride themselves on their diverse repertoire, love of musical performance, and brotherhood. They hope to inspire others with their live performances and their albums, including their new album, which will be released by the end of this year! Eight Beat Measure just celebrated their 30th anniversary last year and they are excited to continue bringing amazing music to the ICCA stage and beyond! 

Rochester Institute of Technology’s original all-female a cappella group, Encore, has been singing around the Brick City since 1995. With songs ranging from 50s’ favorites to modern pop and indie hits, these ladies are always excited to share their music with the community through gigs and charity events both on and off RIT’s campus. Currently, they are recording their first studio album since 2014’s Back in Teal, and this fresh set of vocalists could not be more ready to step up their sound in competition. In the meantime, they have been taking masterclasses and attending workshops to continue strengthening the group’s foundation. They have been cheering on their peers from RIT at the ICCA for the past few years, and as none of Encore’s current members were around for their own group’s previous ICCA appearances, they are thrilled for the chance to get out of the audience and up onstage. Despite the fact that Encore has no vocal or music theory majors, these 13 women come together with a shared passion for making music. 

The Skidmore Dynamics (often referred to as the Dynos) was founded in October 1995, and is Skidmore’s oldest co-ed a cappella group. Grounded in the principles of diversity and cohesion, The Dynos is an eclectic mix of personalities and singing styles. Their love of singing together is apparent through their electrifying and inspiring performances. Every Valentine’s Day, The Dynos raise money for a different charity through singing telegrams, a well-received tradition by the Skidmore community. 

With a name like Trebellious, it’s no surprise that this co-ed a cappella group has been breaking down barriers since its inception. Founded in the spring of 2009 and university-approved in 2015, Trebellious has grown from a small, musically-minded group of friends into a strong musical force on the University of Rochester campus. Aside from performing around campus and the community, Trebellious offers weekly workshops for those who wish to improve a cappella skills and have fun! With a deep understanding of the importance of music education, the group is always looking for ways to teach and share their knowledge and love of a cappella with the next generation of singers, musicians, and students around the Rochester area! 

Trillers A Cappella is a modern, co-ed a cappella group comprised of members from a variety of faculties at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada). Founded in 2010, the group has gradually grown larger and more skilled, with a repertoire of pop anthems, classic oldies, electronic, and tunes you wish you knew before. For the past two years, Trillers placed 2nd in the Queen's University A Cappella Competition, making them the number-one Queen's University A Cappella Group for 2017 and 2018, and received awards for Outstanding Male Solo and Outstanding Choreography in 2018. They were also honoured to receive 1st place at the first-ever Queen's University "Riff Off" in January 2018! The group is self-choreographed and many of their songs are arranged by the group’s music directors, including “Ariana Grande Medley” and “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. Other group members have also arranged songs, such as “Let Me Love You” by DJ Snake and “Like I Can” by Sam Smith, both of which were featured at the Queen's University A Cappella Competition. When they’re not performing at charity events, end-of-semester concerts, or competitions, they are probably having a blast at one of their many socials throughout the year! 

Vocal Point is the only all-female a cappella group at the University of Rochester. Originally founded in 1969 as an ensemble of 12 women accompanied by piano, the group has transformed in the five decades since into the voices-only group of singers they are today! They are currently working on a full studio album that will celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.


GUEST PERFORMER



Founded in 1998, The Midnight Ramblers is a nationally recognized TTBB a cappella group. Since the group's creation, they have been entirely student-run, from organization to music direction. In 2018, the Ramblers advanced to the ICCA Central Semifinals, winning awards for Outstanding Vocal Percussion at both Quarterfinals and Semifinals. Acclaimed for their energetic and musically ambitious live performances, The Ramblers’ recorded work has also been recognized on all four of the major international a cappella compilation albums. The Ramblers have recorded 11 full-length studio albums since 1998, with their latest release, This Side Up, coming last fall. For more information on The Ramblers, visit www.midnightramblers.org.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Christopher Brody is an a cappella producer, arranger, coach, performer, enthusiast, and cheerleader. In 2016, Christopher graduated with a music education degree from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich. A proud alumnus of Gold Vibrations, he was a rare four-year music director and part of the team that helped lead Gold Vibrations to the 2016 ICCA Finals. Christopher is now an award-winning producer and arranger, having produced and arranged four tracks that are featured on BOHSA and BOCA, and also a member of Inverse Vocals. He continues to work with many college and high school groups to help students learn and grow about the art form he is so passionate about. His dream is to create the first-ever a cappella group composed completely of pugs. 

Katie Goodman (née Riegal) first experienced a cappella while working on her Bachelor of Music Education at Roberts Wesleyan College. There, Katie was a member of The Sirens (now Key of She), and served as music director for three semesters before graduating and moving on to teach full time at York Central School in 2010. A founding member of Cut Off, Katie moved on from the group after a year to focus on growing her middle and high school vocal program at York. She founded two a cappella groups in the high school: Vocalibrium, which is all-female, and Aria 51, which is all-male. Vocalibrium has had a standout year, making their ICHSA debut and recording their first EP with The Vocal Company. Katie resides in Rochester, N.Y. with her aca-husband, Josh, and dog, Lexi. 

Stanislaw “Staś” Hoholuk has been an a cappella enthusiast, vocalist, and vocal percussionist for over 20 years. He attended SUNY Potsdam, performing with The Potsdam Pointercounts from 1999 through 2002, and Rochester’s former semi-professional group, Inner Loop, from 2003 through 2005. Staś holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Nazareth College of Rochester and a Master of Music Education from Syracuse University. He has taught in the Syracuse City School District, and is the current music teacher for band and chorus at Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, N.Y. Staś is part of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) and is approaching his third year of membership. He is the acting Vice President of Music, Asst. Music Director, and loves to sing baritone for the Chorus of the Genesee of Webster, N.Y. He also sings as a lead and baritone with the 2017 BHS Seneca Land District Novice Champion Barbershop Quartet, Homecoming. 

Matt Warren has presented sessions across New York State on integrating popular music into school music curriculums. He has written for The Choral Journal, the a cappella music blog, Acatribe, and frequently publishes educational materials on his personal website. Matt has taught chorus and general music for seven years at Spry Middle School in Webster, N.Y., and was awarded the Outstanding Young Choral Director award by the New York State chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in 2009. He was a member of The Potsdam Pointercounts as an undergraduate at SUNY Potsdam and you can follow him on Twitter or Facebook @MattWarrenMusic.

Kyle Yampiro 
holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from James Madison University, and has served on faculty at University of Memphis and Eastern Mennonite University, teaching musical theatre voice and music history, respectively. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he is a nomadic actor who has performed with numerous opera and musical theatre companies across the country, most recently with the Springer Opera House in Columbus, Ga., and The Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith, N.H. He music-directed University of Delaware’s Vocal Point as an undergraduate, and JMU's Exit 245 while earning his master's degree. With Exit 245, he contributed to the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning album, Boyfriend Material, from which his solo track, "Cinema," was featured on the compilation albums BOCA 2013, Voices Only 2013, and SING 10. He also spent a year singing with Memphis-based Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) group, DeltaCappella, and currently serves as a reviewer for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) and as a judge for the CARAs and A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers, The Alumni and Advancement Center, A Cappella Productions, Mike Jankowski, Carol Personte, Heather Maclin, and Macy Hyland; 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 Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Helena Benthall
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Courtney Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Elise Hackl
 ICHSA Midwest & Southwest

Producer

Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West Producer

Riley McMahon
 ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
 ICHSA South Producer

Nicole Kohlweiss
 ICHSA Northeast 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 finishing groups advance to the ICCA Central Semifinal!

BRING THE HARMONY HOME

 

Find your favorite groups on The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA), available for purchase on Apple Music and Amazon Music!

VIEW ALBUMS

varsityvocals

THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?

Carnegie Hall
 Saturday, October 5, 2019