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 SEMIFINAL

 

Washington University
Saturday, March 30, 2019

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

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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

 

Dissonance was founded in 2016 and in three short years has become the premier mixed a cappella group on the Millikin University campus. Entirely student-run and managed, Dissonance's members have the opportunity to plan and go on tours, commission arrangers from all over the country, direct, tech live sound, record, choreograph, and manage an a cappella franchise, in addition to singing and performing. This freedom has allowed Dissonance to grow exponentially in a relatively short time, hosting their own concerts, performing at many events on and off campus, and becoming the headlining performance group at Millikin's annual "Flat-Out Vocals" all a cappella concert. Dissonance also currently plans to release an EP by the end of the year, in collaboration with Millikin's Commercial Music studio. 

There once were two wise men, Goldwasser and Fleisher, that wandered forth from Solomon's temple, aghast at the state of song in the ancient land. Brave dissenters of all things ordinary, they vowed to reject the tired tenet of imitation and bound forth into the flowing rock that was all-male a cappella. With leaps of joy, they raised their arms and said, "Huzzah, The Stereotypes!" And it was good. All kidding aside, The Stereotypes is a versatile, energetic, and talented all-male a cappella group from Washington University in St. Louis.  Founded in 2001 as a fresh take on “stereotypical” a cappella, they sing everything from top 40 hits to rock, rap, choral, musical theatre, and more. In addition to well-tuned singing and original vocal arrangements, they approach each song as a comprehensive performance, engaging their audience and communicating the piece’s individual message. Besides serenading sororities and flash-mobbing weddings in St. Louis, they are best known for their annual Mr. Stereotype concert. Each year, the guys embody their “stereotypes” and compete in the world’s only all-male a cappella pageant. Beyond the stage, you can find them eating lunch together, harmonizing in a resonant stairwell, or tossing a frisbee on the weekends. 

Based out of Springfield, Mo., The Beartones is Missouri State University's all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2000, The Beartones have always been focused on musical excellence, brotherhood, and having a good time. The group is renowned for their “polished” and “memorable” sets while racking up numerous notable performances all across the country, in cities such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York City! 

The Amateurs hail from Washington University in St. Louis and have been sharing their love of music with audiences since 1991. They get their name from the Latin word amator, which means lover, devoted friend, or someone who is in avid pursuit of an an objective. In the original sense, an amateur is someone who does something for the love of it and because they have a passion for it. When all is said and done, The Amateurs are simply a group of friends bound by their love of music. The Amateurs have received major national awards, toured in cities across the country, and have appeared on international a cappella compilations like Voices Only and Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella. Check them out on Apple Music, Youtube, Spotify, Facebook, or theamateurs.org.

Sedoctave is Ball State University's only mixed gender a cappella group. They're a group full of soul, jazz, pop, and R&B, and all of the group members share a strong passion for music. They value diversity and inclusivity, which they try to showcase in all of their performances! 

Ten40 Acappella is an all-male a cappella group from Bowling Green State University. Members of the group come from a variety of majors on campus, but connect over a shared love of music. Ten40 sings regularly for campus events, charity events, and private events, and enjoys taking part in showcases with other a cappella groups. The group is proud to perform music from a wide variety of genres and entertains audiences wherever they go.

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.

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.

Remedy is a co-ed, pop a cappella group from the University of Dayton. Founded six years ago, Remedy works to maintain both a serious work ethic and a true familial bond, producing strong musicians and lifelong friends. The group includes members from all around the world and uses this diverse background to learn and grow from one another. Remedy is very excited to compete and looks forward to watching all of the talent that this year’s competition has to offer. 

Founded in 2014, The University of Cincinnati Vocaholics is a pop a cappella group composed of the most passionate students that you will see on any campus. The group consists of members in all years of school, and from almost every college at the University. They pride themselves on being a self-run machine, doing their own choreography, writing their own scores, and producing their own videos. They engage their audiences by creating emotional musical journeys. Although each song from tonight’s set means something a little different to each member, they are excited to give you the dynamic, united performance of a lifetime.

 



Viva Voce is an all-female a cappella group at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 2016, Viva Voce is a musically talented, highly dedicated group of high school girls who come together to share their love of music with their peers and community. Currently, Viva Voce is a group of 17 girls with a variety of different interests, from field hockey to computer science to debate, united through their love for a cappella and vocal music. Outside of rehearsals, you can find Viva Voce sharing their music at community events and concerts, and they are always looking for new opportunities to perform! Contact them at 
vivavocelhs@gmail.com or visit their website (www.vivavocelhs.weebly.comto find more information about events.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Lacey Cupp teaches vocal music at Oakville Middle School in St. Louis. Her music experience began at an early age and continued through high school, college, and graduate school. She has trained privately on voice, French horn, and piano. Lacey went to Missouri State University, where her undergraduate degree was focused on vocal music, and she was an active member of A Cub Bella, serving as music director for one year. She arranged several songs for A Cub Bella and continues to arrange songs for her own school choir. Lacey completed her Master of Music Education at the University of Florida in 2009. She and her husband, Joe, met while singing in collegiate a cappella groups. They have two daughters, Mallory, age seven, and Lydia, age three. In her free time, Lacey enjoys cooking, baking, working out, and attending musical theatre productions. 

Daniel Fister is a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis studying musicology. He earned his undergraduate degree at Chapman University in vocal performance and music history and his master’s degree at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in music history. He has presented and written on collegiate a cappella, musical theatre, and other American music. Before his life as an academic, he directed, sang, and arranged for Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out, leading them to the 2010 ICHSA Finals, and went on to participate just as actively in Chapman University’s SoundCheck, with whom he competed regularly in ICCA and directed the production of their debut album, Everything (2012). He remains involved in a cappella as a judge and arranger.

Kristine Gage received her B.A. in music from Saint Louis University and her B.M.E. in choral music education from Webster University. Her love affair with a cappella began in 2009 when she joined Beyond All Reason, an all-female group at SLU that she eventually directed. Not long after, Kristine co-founded the co-ed group, Decadence, and also served as its music director. At Webster, she sang and toured with The Chamber Singers, a group featured at state and national conferences and in an instructional DVD produced by GIA Publications. After graduating, she spent a year singing with the all-female, semi-professional a cappella quintet, Jaded. She now teaches elementary music to students in grades pre-K through six at Patrick Henry Downtown
Academy. Kristine currently represents the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) as the ambassador to all high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate a cappella groups in the state of Missouri, and teaches musical theatre classes at COCA.

Deepak Kumar entered the a cappella community as a freshman at the University of Michigan, when he joined Maize Mirchi A Cappella, the South Asian a cappella group on campus. Throughout his time in college, he became heavily involved in a cappella, both within the context of Mirchi and in the greater Michigan a cappella scene. He joined the Michigan A Cappella Council (MACC) executive board in order to enable a stronger sense of community across groups at the university. As a member of Maize Mirchi, he pushed the group to invest more in the a cappella community. As music director, Deepak aimed put Maize Mirchi on the map as a group that could bring South Asian a cappella to major venues (like the ICCA) and still create relatable and enjoyable musical experiences. Throughout college, he wrote arrangements for other college groups (UMD Anokha) and high school groups across the country, and continues to arrange for groups on request. Deepak is excited at the opportunity to be a judge for this ICCA season.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Luke Thomas, Danielle Sutherland, Joey Bogdajewwicz, Ashton Gannon,  Victoria Dickson, Emily Melton, 560 Music Center Staff, Washington University, and Viva Voce; 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,  
& Great Lakes Producer

Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West 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 placing group advances to the 2019 ICCA Finals!

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

GUEST PERFORMER