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 MIDWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Granville High School
Saturday, February 16, 2019

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 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

 

Forged in the sun-scorched mountains of Columbus, Ohio, Buck That! has taken the Midwest by storm as The Ohio State University’s premier all-male a cappella group. Established to develop, promote, and teach musicianship through all-male a cappella music, Buck That! synthesizes earth-shattering bass rhythms and signature choreography with soloists smoother than butter sliding down a hot, fluffy stack of aca-pancakes. They have performed all across the East Coast and Midwest, winning awards and competitions throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. It is their absolute pleasure to share their love of music and a cappella wherever they go!

Dhamakapella is Case Western Reserve University's premier South Asian fusion a cappella group.They derive their influences from Indian classical, contemporary Bollywood, pop, dubstep, and electronic genres. The group was created in 2005 by Mayank Prasad, a student at the university, along with fellow students Raksha Soore and Manoj Nair. Within three years, Dhamakapella grew into a 16-member group, with singers of various styles. Since they began competing in 2011, they have accrued 13 national titles and 16 individual awards at competitions across the United States. 

Flash Harmony is the second-oldest co-ed a cappella group at Kent State University, and they’re so glad to be back at ICCA! Their main mission is to introduce more voices to the Kent a cappella community ("aca-munity"). While they specialize in pop, their repertoire features all sorts of genres! Fun fact: Half of them are theatre majors and minors, so when they’re not putting on a show as an a cappella group, you can usually find them putting on other shows at the KSU School of Theatre and Dance. 

Kent Clarks A Cappella is Kent State University's first contemporary a cappella group! The group was founded in 2011 by Stephen Cox, an original member of The Vanderbilt Variations. The Clarks have performed all over the country, including performing on “The Today Show,” at the White House for former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, and for former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

Majors & Minors was the first a cappella group on Ohio State’s campus. With 16 members, zero of which study music, it’s hard to convince people that they’re good. But it’s easy to impress people by saying that they arrange all their songs themselves! M&m has done everything from nursing home performances to singing at a Joe Biden rally against sexual violence. The only thing they love more than music is one another, and the only thing they love more than one another is memes. 

Composed of students across all majors, Rhythm & Roos is the University of Akron's only co-ed a cappella group and has been around for almost 15 years. Driven by its commitment to a sense of unity, Rhythm & Roos draws its energy from sharing stories through song. 

Scarlet and Grace Notes at the Ohio State University is the only all-female acapella group on campus. They enjoy singing music of all genres around campus, and especially enjoy performing at gigs that honor women. Scarlet and Grace Notes was founded in 2011 and began competing in 2015. Outside of rehearsal, they love spending time together and making memories on their wonderful campus. 

Get ready to suspend-ers your disbelief. They’re that good (at puns). Sound of Science is a co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University. Born on November 9th, 2010, it is now one of the many great OSU a cappella groups. The name "Sound of Science" was selected in 2011 when the group realized that each member's major was, a science, engineering, or just an unusual, interesting major. You can spot 'em by their trendy suspenders and nerd-tastic swagger. 

The Ohio State of Mind is Ohio State's premier co-ed a cappella group. They all come together to sing, but eating comes in as a close second for their favorite hobby. In 2017, they made history by being the first a cappella group in Ohio to advance to ICCA Finals alongside many talented groups within the nation. They pride themselves on their in-house arrangements, as well as their awards for Outstanding Bass, Outstanding Soloist, Outstanding Arrangement, and Outstanding Vocal Percussion at various ICCA competitions. They can't wait to have new experiences and make more memories competing and performing together. 

Kent State University’s Vocal Intensity has been growing exponentially ever its founding in 2015. Vocal Intensity is made up of non-music majors who still love music and are grateful to have this group as a way to express that. Last year, Vocal Intensity competed in its first-ever ICCA, an experience which inspire them to keep competing and challenging themselves everyday. Although there are many things in the world that can’t be changed, Vocal Intensity has found that music can move people and change hearts. With music as their voice, they encourage self-love and promote self-expression through every song they sing, recognizing potential within each individual. The members personally benefit from this just as much as they hope their audience does. The group prides themselves on the group’s diversity and the way that music brings them together. The group is close-knit, supporting one another through challenges in and out of rehearsal. They hope to convey their mutual admiration and passion for music in every performance. With that, they are eager to continue their growth as performers, individuals, and as a family.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Christopher Andres attended The Ohio State University and studied music education and music performance. He has been playing the piano since age five, and also plays flute, tenor saxophone, baritone tuba, and trombone. Chris has been featured on numerous stages around the world, both as an instrumentalist and vocalist. In high school, he was a part of a show choir group called The Wavaires, which was the first show choir to perform at Lincoln Center on Broadway. Chris’s love for a cappella started in 2009 with an all-male group in California called Chanticleer. This group motivated him to arrange and compose music. He also was a member of The Ohio State University Men's Glee Club and University Chorus. For 10 years, he served as music director for the Greenville Baptist Temple. Chris also works along Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and hopes to continue fighting for this cause. Currently, Chris is back at his roots where it all started. He serves as the vocal accompanist/assistant director at Greenville Senior High School in Greenville, Ohio, and hopes to start an a cappella group at the school. 

Michael Grimm teaches general music, beginning band, and choir in Olentangy Local Schools and serves as Director of Ambassador Choir for Southwest Ohio HOBY. Michael can currently be found performing in Water2Wine, the praise band at St. Andrew Christian Church, singing and playing bass guitar. In addition to teaching, Michael freelances as a pianist and vocal percussion/beatboxing coach, and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Ohio Music Education Association. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. At Otterbein, Michael performed with Ottertuned (which he directed for one year), concert choir, Otterbein Summer Chorale (which he co-directed for one season), wind ensemble, flute choir, and the Cardinal Marching Band. 

Lane Harris is a music director and founder of Square One, a semi-professional a cappella group based in Columbus, Ohio. Lane graduated Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio with his bachelor's degree in music education. At Otterbein, he was a founding member and music director of Ottertuned, the university's first co-ed contemporary a cappella group. Lane has performed on a variety of stages from the ICCA to the SingStrong A Cappella Festival. Currently, Lane teaches choir at Brookville Intermediate/High School and directs their brand-new a cappella group, Shades of Blue! 

Nason Werth has been known to travel the country for a good a cappella show, and currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz. Originally from the great state of Michigan, Nason studied vocal performance at Michigan State University, where 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 section leader in the Okemos Presbyterian Church. Nason relocated to the Mid-Atlantic after college and has performed with the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Bach in Baltimore ensembles. He currently serves as a nominator and judge for the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs) and Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) and is looking 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 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 Midwest 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