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 MID-ATLANTIC QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Maryland
Saturday, February 2, 2019

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 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.

TONIGHT'S COMPETITORS

 

The UMBC Cleftomaniacs is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's premier co-ed a cappella group. Their love for making music and memes combines to form a dynamic and original sound. As a cohesive team, they create fearlessly original arrangements and perform unique choreography. The group’s vibrant personalities and unfiltered creativity come together to make them a blast to watch. They enjoy being involved in campus activities, as well as the greater a cappella community, and always  putting on a performance to remember. Be sure to watch your acts, because The Cleftomaniacs are here to steal the show! 

DaCadence is the newest co-ed competitive a cappella group hailing from the University of Maryland. Founded in 2010, DaCadence has made a large impact in the Maryland a cappella community, with a 3rd place finish at their 2017 ICCA Quarterfinal and an appearance at the Mid-Atlantic Semifinals in 2018. The group regularly performs at local gigs and universities, and attends a cappella festivals around the country. DaCadence released its latest EP, Unhinged, in the spring of 2018 and it is now available on all major music platforms. The group prides itself in creating powerful, emotional music, a true family bond between its members, and the highest quality musical experience for fans.     

Faux Paz is the University of Maryland’s award-winning premier co-ed a cappella group. They regularly participate in competitions like the ICCA and Boston Sings (BOSS) and have been in existence for 25 years. They were awarded with 1st place at BOSS 2017, 3rd place at the 2016 ICCA Final, and were featured on Season 2 of “Sing It On.” As they have expanded their audience, Faux has been able to travel all over the country to perform, compete, and meet amazing people! They recently released their ninth studio album, Lithium, and it is now available on all streaming platforms. 

Founded by Hank Miller in 2004 in the face of a shocking lack of co-ed a cappella at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Interchorus a cappella has been hittin' you with some aural pleasure ever since! From Bill Withers to what you're rocking out to on the radio today, Interchorus has probably sung your favorite song and made it awesome! 

The Mama's Boys is UMBC's first and only all-male a cappella group! As a group dedicated to music and performance, each member has an important role in the group’s sound and overall performance. They never fail to put on a show for on-campus events, and they bring that same energy on the road to entertain every crowd. Wherever they go, they bring the party with them! After celebrating 15 years, The Boys are going strong and hope you enjoy the show as they return to ICCA. 

Music Dynasty is Johns Hopkins University’s only Chinese a cappella group. They sing American and Chinese songs, ranging from ballads to bops, and classics to Disney hits! Founded in 2013, the group is now in its fifth year and is currently made up of 16 amazing singers, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Music Dynasty provides a fun way for these students to spread their culture and appreciation for Chinese music on the Hopkins campus, and to perform some favorite American hits as well. They’ve become a close family that leans on one another, and they’re excited to share their voice at ICCA! 

Notes of Ranvier is Johns Hopkins' premier community service a cappella group. Named after the unmyelinated regions of the nervous system that allow humans to think, listen and feel, The Notes aim to better the Hopkins and Baltimore communities through music. Founded in 2013, Notes has expanded quickly from its humble roots. The group has performed at numerous service locations, ranging from children's hospitals in Baltimore to retirement homes in New York City, and all proceeds from their concerts go to local charities at the end of each semester. 

The Treblemakers is the women's a cappella group from the University of Maryland. They are all best buddies who share a love for “Shrek” and all types of cheese. They enjoy singing in the basement of campus buildings, onstage, and even in the shower. They do what they love and they love what they do. 

Known for their dashing good looks, neatly-pressed vests, and ability to make crowds of women weak in the knees, The AllNighters have been crooning across the Mid-Atlantic since the group’s inception in 1992. The AllNighters have made five appearances in the ICCA Semifinals, and an appearance in the Finals round in New York City. A total of 143 women were hospitalized between these performances. In December 2015, The AllNighters released their first EP, Night Shift, with Liquid 5th Productions. Their single, “Miracle," was rated 5/5 by the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), and their fifth track, "Break Free," received a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nomination in the "Best Male Collegiate Arrangement” category. Beyond competitions and awards, The AllNighters are most proud of the energy and excitement they bring to the stage. 

The MelUDees is a co-ed a cappella group from the University of Delaware. Founded in 2006, they are an in-demand group on UD's campus and frequently perform for Greek life, sports games, and large-scale events like Relay for Life and the Blue and Gold Dance. In recent years, “The Dees” have been invited to sing at local Susan G. Komen events, other universities, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and as the opening act for comedian Jeff Foxworthy! The Dees have an annual Halloween concert, “Spookapella,” where they invite friends from other schools to perform. They have also started branching out to virtually connect with more audiences, with a full-length album, Drop the Pin, a single, “Ever After,” and a new EP this year, Road to the Sky, which features songs from their 2018 ICCA set. The MelUDees competed in the ICCA five times and were thrilled to win their 2016 Quarterfinal. Apart from singing, The MelUDees enjoy “family game nights,” apple-picking, and cheering on their fellow members at other campus events. The group has strong alumni ties and the family added six “Newdees” this past fall! The MelUDees love sharing music with their community and are eager to take the ICCA stage!

GUEST PERFORMER


Ember is a six-piece vocal band based in Baltimore, Md. Formed in December 2017, the band aims to curate high quality, impressive, and progressive musical content, supplemented by energetic and nuanced live performances. With a focus on music education and members ranging from an internationally ranked beatboxer to students of The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, the group has performed for audiences of all ages around the country.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Rob Redei is a music educator, choir director, arranger and composer at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md. His arrangements and compositions are regularly performed by groups around the world, and have been featured on numerous recordings. He is a former director of Berkeley Preparatory School's Mello Divas (2014 ICHSA Finalists) and currently directs RidgeSound, a middle school contemporary a cappella group. 

Michael Sanky is a multi-instrumentalist hailing from the Boston scene, now living in Washington D.C. Michael recently graduated from Harvard, where he was the music director and primary arranger of Under Construction. In 2017, he was also part of Berklee's Upper Structure, where he sang bass and helped them place 2nd in their ICCA Semifinal and 2nd in the Wild Card round. The next year, he shifted his focus to Under Construction, taking them to their first-ever ICCA competition. Arranging and doing vocal percussion for their inaugural ICCA set, Michael won Outstanding Arrangement for the set, and the group won their first-ever Quarterfinal. With a strong love for a cappella and music, Michael loves arranging for and advising groups nationwide and is excited to be part of the musical journey of the groups competing tonight. 

Tony Wang sang with The Washington University Sensasians from 2011 to 2015. During his years as music director, Tony led the newly-found group to their first-ever ICCA competition, where his arrangement of "Human" won Outstanding Arrangement. Tony's love of music began on the piano, but continued through voice, guitar, and percussion, as well as arranging. Since graduation, Tony has stayed involved in the a cappella community, serving as a musical adviser for his former group and singing with a recreational a cappella group. Tony is an avid music theory junkie and vocal percussionist, and would love to trade some beats with anyone who asks tonight! 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Edwin Williams, Dahlia Levin, and our guest group, Ember; 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 Mid-Atlantic 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