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 SEMIFINAL

 

Symphony Hall Boston
Sunday, March 31, 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

 

The Downbeats aim not only to create and perform music, but also to encourage one another to grow as musicians and individuals. In doing so, they continuously learn that their own contributions form the uniqueness and style of the group as a whole. Through this process, they create invaluable bonds of friendship and beautiful music, all while having an aggressively fun time. Whether wrapped up in onesies for their fall show or performing in formal attire, they understand that commitment to the group does not have to sacrifice the pleasure of singing and love for one another. Founded in 2001, The Downbeats is Northeastern University's aggressively fun and amazingly talented co-ed a cappella group. They put on one showcase each semester to perform their latest jams, while also performing at various other events throughout the year, both on and off campus. 

Founded in the fall of 2007, Treble on Huntington is Northeastern University's first all-female a cappella group. They are currently made up of 11 talented members who have come together from around the country and world through a shared love of music. They like to think of themselves as a group of best friends who are also dedicated singers. Through their repertoire of pop and mixed-genre music, they showcase the unique styles of their soloists along with the hard work, fun, and artistry of the entire group. Based in Boston, they have had the pleasure of performing at some incredible venues both on campus and around the city, including at the Massachusetts Conference for Women and at Fenway Park to sing the national anthem for Boston Red Sox. 

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 cappella 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! 

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! 

The NYU N’Harmonics was founded in 1997 at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. The group is a collective of artists, coming together to create a refreshing vocal sound. In 2016, The N’Harmz placed 3rd in the ICCA Wild Card round and won Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Choreography in their Quarterfinal. The group has performed at Beacon Theater, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, and Joe’s Pub. 

Frequency is the fresh new face of collegiate a cappella at Pace University in New York City. In the fall of 2017, Frequency was founded by a few Pace students as a creative outlet to help them develop their musical gifts. Frequency values diversity and strives to be a place where students from all different cultures and backgrounds can come and express their love for music. The group includes majors ranging from musical theatre to chemistry. Frequency also works to be diverse in sound. They pride themselves in being a cappella risk-takers, performing songs such as a mash-up of "Bills, Bills, Bills” and “No Scrubs," as well as "Runnin" by Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce. They arrange and perform songs across all genres in order to access all of their audiences. In the spring of 2018, Frequency placed 2nd at ICCA Quarterfinals, and advanced to Semifinals in Boston. On top of that, Frequency was awarded Outstanding Soloist (Jana Jackson) and Outstanding Choreography (Justin Lowrey). 

The Bottom Line is Bryant University's premier award-winning, co-ed a cappella group. Founded in 2006, the group has grown from a small on-campus performance group, only performing once or twice a semester, to a full-sized competitive a cappella group with a packed schedule of gigs. Their favorite venues range from Boston Symphony Hall to the retirement home in town, and they even got to perform with The Filharmonic at their Friends in Family Weekend. As performers, they love to get up onstage and "live their truth," but as friends, they love going to Taco Bell, watching Vine compilations, and especially going to Thursday night Karaoke at The Thirsty Beaver in Smithfield, R.I.! This year, The Bottom Line is working hard on many projects, including launching a new website and recording their first single. The Bottom Line is a place where musicians become friends and friends become family. 

A Minor, the University of Connecticut’s first co-ed a cappella group, was founded in 2004 by a small group of friends from the Asian American Cultural Center on campus who simply loved making music together. Since then, this inseparable family has strived for musical excellence and high-energy showmanship every time they perform. They remain passionate about their craft and thrive on challenging themselves to improve. Their repertoire has hit almost every genre in the books, from pop to indie, alternative to Broadway. In addition to performing at many on-campus events, A Minor prides itself on participating in charity events, benefit concerts, showcases, and more. The singers of A Minor are excited to share their music and spirit at their second ICCA competition! 

The Vocaholics is the fiercest a cappella group at NYU! A gender-inclusive TTBB group, they sing a variety of iconic bops, from artists like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga to Nathan Sykes and Michael Jackson. The group includes members from all across NYU, in several different majors and programs. They aim to cultivate a diverse group of singers and friends who share a love of performing. 

Founded as a casual singing group back in 1998, Sigma'cappella comes from humble beginnings at Hofstra University. Flash forward 20 years to today, and although the group has definitely grown, they’ve stayed true to their roots as a tight-knit group of singers who live, breathe, and thrive on music. Together, the members of Sigma'cappella belt, riff, and harmonize through a wide variety of music. Performing a repertoire of Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt,Ariana Grande, and everything in between, Sigma'cappella has covered lots of ground in the Northeast region as three-time award winning ICCA competitors. They’ve recently released their first studio single, "Creep," which is available on all major music platforms! 

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Eric Chung is an award-winning veteran of collegiate and professional a cappella. He has been singing, arranging, and writing since 2013 with Similar Jones, a seven-member Boston-based a cappella band that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. From 2008 to 2013, Eric was the primary director, arranger, and songwriter for the Portland-based pop/rock vocal band, Strangers in Harmony. Under his leadership, the Strangers won the 2011 Portland’s Got Talent competition, placed as the runner-up in the Pacific Northwest Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, and earned  multiple A Cappella Community Awards nominations. Previous a cappella projects include Boston-based Downtown Crossing (now called Immutable), award-winning New York pop/jazz group Stay Tuned, and The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones. Eric has earned national recognition for his solo a cappella work, winning the nationwide 2008 A Cappella Originals songwriting contest and receiving multiple nominations in the annual A Cappella Community Awards for Best Solo A Cappella Performer. More recently, he received a nomination in the Best A Cappella Song category of the 2016 Independent Music Awards. His 2011 EP, “It Was You All Along,” was one of the first solo a cappella albums to be released consisting entirely of original music. Eric’s arrangements and original compositions continue to be performed by many a cappella ensembles across the country, and he has enjoyed serving as a judge for annual a cappella competitions since 2005.

Diana Galeano is a graduate of Florida State University, where she studied music education with an emphasis in secondary choral education. At FSU, she sang with 2009 ICCA Southern champions, The AcaBelles. Since graduating, she has worked as a high school chorus teacher, served as director at FSU's summer music camps, sang with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and is currently the assistant director and proud camp mom at A Cappella Academy in Los Angeles, Calif. When she's not teaching or taking care of her aca-children, Diana teaches at a cappella festivals, arranges, offers masterclasses to groups in the greater Boston area, and sings with semi-professional groups Sound Off and Blacklight.

Alex Grover is the choral director at Danvers High School, where he leads the a cappella groups he created, Falconize and Ingrid Sound. Both ensembles have represented the Northeast in national competitions at ICHSA Finals and NACC, respectively. He is also the founder and former director of Salem High School's a cappella group WitchPitch? (three-time ICHSA Northeast Champions). Alex's groups have made appearances on the Varsity Vocals BOHSA compilations and been nominated for Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs). He was a four-year member and three-year director of his undergraduate collegiate group, The Gentlemen Callers, and co-founded the group's Alumni Union. Alex leads the planning team for the Haunted Harmonies A Cappella Festival in Salem, Mass. He holds a B.A. in music from Wheaton College and a M.M. in music education from Boston University. www.grovervocals.com 

Amy Malkoff is the Media Director of the Women's A Cappella Association (WACA), Marketing Director for the A Cappella Education Association, and one of the producers of Haunted Harmonies in Salem, Mass. Amy served on the board and as web content director for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) and is a longtime ICHSA/ICCA judge, as well as a certified judge for other events. She is a frequent workshop teacher, master clinician, writer, designer, runner of social media campaigns (www.amymalkoff.com), and a singer/songwriter and studio musician (www.amymalkoffmusic.com). She was a founding member of award-winning groups All About Buford and Deadline Poet, and has appeared onstage and in the studio with such luminaries as Wayne Brady, Jonathan Brooke, The Persuasions, Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, GrooveLily, Patty Griffin, and Dar Williams. She has a degree in music from Kenyon College, with music studies at Youngstown State University and master’s-level coursework at the New England Conservatory of Music. Amy's music has appeared on both the Rounder Records and Hear Music/Starbucks labels. @amalkoff

Amanda Roeder is a high school choral and a cappella director in Chelmsford, Mass., where she directs The Thursdays and The Crescendos. She has previously led an award-winning a cappella program in Marblehead, Mass. In 16 years of teaching, her groups have earned multiple CARAs, ICHSA titles, and spots on BOHSA compilations. Amanda is a co-founder and board member of the N.E. Voices high school a cappella festival. She performs as a freelance vocalist, flutist, and pianist, and teaches private lessons and masterclasses in the greater Boston area.

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,  
& 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