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 NORTHEAST QUARTERFINAL

 

Berklee College of Music
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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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

 

Off the Clock is a co-ed a cappella group from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. After becoming officially recognized in 2010, thanks to a group of ambitious students, Off the Clock has quickly made a name for itself in the a cappella world and around Bentley's campus. They mostly perform at Bentley sporting events and at events hosted by other campus clubs and organizations, but also enjoy performing with other groups in the greater Boston area. 

On The Vox is one of Berklee's best award-winning co-ed a cappella groups! Founded in 2014, they’ve come a long way in just a couple years. The group is composed of members from all around the world, and they focus on putting a twist on pop music and making it truly their own. They began competing seriously in 2018 and have grown tremendously ever since. In October 2018, On The Vox placed 1st in the Haunted Harmonies festival in Salem, Mass. They’ve also been featured on Kelly Clarkson's social media pages for their music video, "I Don't Think About You." While they’ve grown more serious and competitive, they haven’t lost touch of their values of fun and family. On The Vox cares most about nurturing the group’s tight bond and making sure that they love what they do and have fun doing it! 

The CharlieChords is Berklee's premier all-male a cappella group at Berklee College of Music. Founded in 2013, The CharlieChords have performed at many venues, from local colleges to TD Garden to Carnegie Hall. Last spring, they released their debut EP, Breathe. This lively group of men loves to go bowling, eat pizza at Supreme's, and will always jam out to some Bad Lip Reading music videos! By putting a jazzy spin on all of their favorite songs, from pop to R&B and even pop punk, The CharlieChords prove that they are hotter than the green line in the summertime! 

For Good Measure is a dynamic all-female a cappella group from Emmanuel College. They use music as a platform to highlight important issues and empower groups of people from all walks of life. Through their voices, For Good Measure works to spread messages that they are passionate about. A true family, they hope that others can feel empowered and relate to the stories they share in their performances. 

Syncopasian is MIT’s East Asian a cappella group! Founded in spring 2008, Syncopasian comprises a group of 14 students (both undergraduate and graduate) from all walks of life who share a love of singing a cappella. They promote awareness of Asian pop culture at MIT and the surrounding community through performances of Asian a cappella music. Unlike other a cappella groups on campus, this group’s repertoire includes songs in various languages in addition to English, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, and other languages that are East Asian in origin. All of the group’s repertoire is arranged by group members and alumni, so every arrangement you hear them perform is completely original! 

The Chorallaries of MIT is MIT’s oldest co-ed competitive a cappella group! Having recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, The Chorallaries’ music has changed a lot over the decades, but their desire to perform together and love of laughter has remained the same. They perform in the Boston/Cambridge area at various school and administrative gigs, as well as for collaborative and charitable events. Last spring, they toured down south in NOLA, and they gather with their alums in Vermont every fall. They recently released a remastered version of their first album and look forward to dropping another full album later this year. Follow them on social media and listen to them on major music outlets such as Spotify and iTunes to keep in touch! When they're not laying down their sweet tunes onstage or in the studio, you can always find them hanging out as a “Choralfam.” Though they are nerds, first and foremost, tonight they're excited to show that they also sometimes sing. 

Pitch, Please! is the grittiest, most emo, most loving all-female a cappella group at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. A passionate and dynamic group, they aim to push boundaries that challenge the standards of traditional collegiate a cappella. Despite being the newest addition to the Northeastern a ca[pella scene, they have taken competition season by storm, placing at both BOSS and ICCA and winning multiple special awards. Most recently, they competed in last year’s ICCA, placing 3rd and winning Outstanding Choreography. They love being angsty and making people feel things! 

Originally founded in 2003, Distilled Harmony has grown from humble beginnings into one of  Northeastern's most recognized a cappella groups. They perform music ranging from mainstream pop to indie rock, culminating in a repertoire as varied as the interests and academic backgrounds of the group members. Despite their differences, ohana still means family for this fun-loving and ever crowd-pleasing group. 

Sporting their characteristic “flowerchords” since 2007, PowerChords is the oldest a cappella group at the Olin College of Engineering. Despite their wide range of interests, they have found unity in all styles of a cappella through the group’s powerful arrangement style and electric enthusiasm in performance.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Scott Cobban is a singer and vocal percussionist for Boston-based group, Five O'Clock Shadow, and a former member of Overboard. Growing up, he tried his hand at a number of musical instruments, but focused on singing in high school. He's been involved in a cappella since 2000, when he joined Clark University's co-ed group, The Clark Bars. Outside of a cappella, he's a full-time web developer in Boston. 

Kevin Guest studied music and audio production at Ithaca College and learned the art of stage performance, music production, and music theory through his advanced education. Kevin had the distinct pleasure of being a four-year member in the award-winning (and ICCA Finalists in both 2008 and 2009) all-male a cappella group, Ithacappella. Based just outside of Boston, Mass., Kevin has given numerous workshops and master classes around the New England area and the continental United States, regarding musical artistry and performance techniques for all levels of contemporary a cappella and choral ensembles, including classes at the N.E. Voices High School Festival, Boston Sings, SoJam, and the National A Cappella Convention (NACC). His arranging, production work, and singing has garnered several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) wins and nominations. Kevin has gained recognition at the regional and national levels at the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival (as an arranger and performer), and has appeared on multiple Sing, BOCA, and Voices Only Forte compilation albums. He’s currently an Executive Board member of the N.E. Voices high school a cappella festival, an office delegate of the Ithacappella Alumni Association, and co-musical directs, arranges, and sings with award-winning, Boston-based Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) groups, Redline and Sound Off. 

A member of the Greater Boston a cappella community for more than half his life, Adam Levine is a passionate advocate of vocal music. During his time in VoiceMale at Brandeis University, he gained recognition as a soloist, arranger, and songwriter. His original composition, "Phoenix," received CARAs for Best Male Collegiate Solo and Best Scholastic Original Song, as well as placement on various compilation albums, including BOCA, Sing, and Voices Only. Post-graduation, Adam had the opportunity to spend five years as the director of The Suffolk University Ramifications, where he mentored in arranging, performance technique, group leadership, and more. He now sings as part of the Boston-based professional a cappella group, Uproar, and is honored to be participating in local Varsity Vocals events this year. 

Evan Linsey is a freelance producer and arranger based in Cambridge, Mass. He music-directed The Boston University Treblemakers from 2013-2016, and continues to arrange for the group. Upon graduation, he joined some friends from The Treblemakers in neo-vocal pop band, Birdland Avenue, which released its debut album, Come Around. Since February 2017, he's co-hosted the “Head/Voice” podcast with Kayla Pichichero, interviewing some of the best vocal musicians from around the world. 

Italian vocalist Giorgia Renosto was born and raised in a musical family. Her grandfather, a clarinet player, introduced her to classical music and opera, and she enriched this background with jazz with formal training at Centro Jazz Torino (Italy). Her ability to focus on individual vocal styles within the diverse world of vocal jazz allowed her to take in sophisticated elements of vocal technique, and at age 17, she was selected as one of the winners of the "Giovani Proposte" of the Italian contest, "Sanremo Giovani.” While pursuing her bachelor's degree in art history (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy) with a minor in theatre (Universitée de Caen Normandie, France), Giorgia kept her passion for music alive, touring Europe as a soprano with the award-winning a cappella group, L'Una e Cinque, as well as the Free Style Orchestra, the jazz big band directed by Maestro Diego Borotti. Through these experiences, Giorgia developed her voice into a powerful and clear instrument, capable of expressing emotions through the solid foundation of vocal technique, conscious stylistic vision, and profound understanding of her repertoire. She was honored twice as a recipient of the World Scholarship Tour from Berklee College of Music and graduated summa cum Llude with a degree in performance. At Berklee, she performed in some of the school's most prestigious shows and has also performed musical theatre in both Europe and the United States. Giorgia is one of the core members of the award-winning quartet, Women of the World (2017 AcaOpen Champion, 2014 Harmony Sweepstakes Champion), which has been touring nationally and internationally since 2008. 

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 Northeast 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