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 SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Florida
Saturday, February 9, 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

 

Clemson's Dynamic Harmonium (CDH) is Clemson University's first and only co-ed a cappella group since the university's founding in 1889! Purely grassroots organization, the group began in 2016 with just three girls who wanted to continue living their passion for music, but didn't have time in their schedules for a choir or ensemble at Clemson. CDH is a student organization, so members do not need to be enrolled in an official Clemson choir to join. This uniquely positions the group to attract extremely talented singers who may not have otherwise been able to pursue music due to an academically rigorous schedule. They aim to share their music with others in the community, to strengthen their own musical abilities, to push one another to improve, and to inspire others to pursue their passions for music. 

Founded in 2016, Gestalt hails from the University of Florida. Gestalt references the German psychology theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With musical leanings between the recognizable and the sublime, their quest is to break the mold of contemporary a cappella. 

No Southern Accent is the University of Florida's premier co-ed a cappella group. In 2001, as one of the first prominent groups in the south, the group founders sought to make their respectability as musicians clear; indeed, they do not have southerns accents. Today, NSA is wholly composed of and run by a tight-knit family of UF students across all years and majors. Their mission is simple: “to perform purposeful and memorable music conveying impactful narratives that establish a connection with each other and [their] audience.” 

ReVOLution is in its 10th year of being the premier all female contemporary a cappella group associated with the University of Tennessee School of Music. ReVOL is a diverse group of women, with majors including everything from biochemistry to psychology to music education and business. The group ranges in age from freshmen all the way to graduate students. They sing at campus basketball games, local high schools, office parties, SEC tailgates, local festivals and all university choral concerts. Their favorite artists to perform include Sara Bareillis, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Sia. They strive to be confident go-getters, just like the talented artists from whom they draw inspiration. 

The Acaphiliacs is one of three co-ed a cappella groups at Florida State University. Led completely by students, the group formed with an intent to create beautiful music in their community. The Acaphiliacs enjoy performing for both local and non-local audiences, as well as recording (their album, Overcome, and a number of their singles are on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play). They are an extremely eclectic group with musical styles ranging from pop and R&B, to jazz, choral, and gospel. 

The Carolina Gentlemen is an all-male ensemble and the University of South Carolina's oldest a cappella group. Each year, they are invited to perform for sororities on campus, participating in events like bachelor auctions, fundraising events, talent shows, and other Greek-hosted festivities. The group has performed for the president of the university and his guests on several occasions each semester. Each year around Christmas time, The Carolina Gentlemen take part in Columbia's annual Carolighting, the big celebration with Christmas carols and a tree-lighting at the South Carolina State House. They participate in every charity event and association they can attend. The massive amount of outreach they have is unparalleled, due in huge part to the amount of connections made throughout the years they have been a group. Last year, they were invited to sing the national anthem at a USC men's basketball game and then were invited to sing again at a women's basketball game! For every performance they have, they are called back for another event. The Carolina Gentlemen strive to charm their audiences (and woo the ladies) by showcasing music from all genres, from pop and hip-hop to alternative.

The Sedoctaves is the oldest all-female a cappella group at the University of Florida, founded in 2004.These lovely ladies exist as a family of hard-working, diverse, and empowered women. The Sedocs come from a variety of majors, ranging from theatre to exercise physiology, and they love to bond over their love of music. These dynamic women seek to inspire others with their originally crafted pieces, captivating performances, and positive attitudes

The Sirens is a competition-focused group of singers who aim to surpass the boundaries of all-female a cappella through their progressive and captivating sound. The Sirens strive to embody the mythological legend of the siren while capturing the artistic vision, character, and sophistication of its members. 

Stationed in good ole' Rocky Top, the orange and white Stallions of the University of Tennessee are back and proud to be making another appearance in the ICCA series. It's crazy to believe it all started 10 years ago in an old Alumni Hall basement with no windows or A/C. But look at where they are now, and it couldn't have been possible without their wonderful fans. Here's to ya'll! Now just sit back as VOLume takes the stage. They have a feeling you'll be hooked! 

Vox is so excited to be competing in ICCA for the first time! They are the second-newest co-ed a cappella group at Florida State University, and formed in 2017. The group was created to provide aspiring musicians with a musical outlet on FSU’s campus. Vox has attended the Betsy Acafest two years in a row and has competed in numerous competitions and showcases on FSU's campus. They are dedicated to showcasing each member’s unique strengths and maintaining an encouraging atmosphere within the a cappella community. After ICCA, they hope to release a debut album.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Lauren Menendez-Barreiro has a degree in music from Florida State University, where she began her a cappella career singing with The FSU AcaBelles, eventually becoming music director from 200910. After leaving FSU, Lo pursued a professional career in a cappella as a sought-after adjudicator, arranger, and clinician, working with The Vocal Company, the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and Varsity Vocals. She founded the professional group Musae and sang with them until 2013. Currently residing in Tampa with her husband, Lo is happy to be returning to the a cappella community.

Eric Glaze is a choral director and voice teacher based in Orlando, Fla. He received his bachelor’s degree in choral music education from Florida State University. Eric was a member and associate music director of Reverb A Cappella during his time at FSU. In Reverb, he was fortunate enough to compete and place in prestigious a cappella competitions such as ICCA Finals (4th place, 2013), SoJam (2nd place, 2013), and BOSS (1st place, 2014). Additionally, he can be heard on Reverb’s Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning debut album, Evolve (2015). Currently, he serves as the choral director of East River High School in Orlando, where he directs four choirs, teaches music theory, and assists with musical theatre productions. As a voice teacher, he has helped multiple students receive full scholarships to study music at top-tier colleges and universities. He also is an active performer in the Orlando, Fla. area.

David Ko holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in music therapy from Florida State University. In his undergraduate years, he was an active member of Reverb, serving as the group's music director from 2011 to 2013. During his two years as music director, Reverb went on to win multiple Outstanding Arrangement awards, two ICCA South Quarterfinals, and one South Semifinal, plus 4th place overall at ICCA Finals. David currently practices psychiatric music therapy in Tallahassee, Fla. and works on commissions for choral and a cappella arrangements in his spare time.

Joshua Singer served as music director and arranger for two-time ICCA Finalists, University of Maryland Faux Paz. In 2016, he was awarded Outstanding Arrangement for the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Josh arranged the winning 2017 BOSS Scholastic Competition set for Faux. His work has been nominated for multiple CARAs, including a 2016 nomination for Best Electronic Song for his arrangement of "Our Own House" by Misterwives. Josh won the CARA for "Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement" for Faux Paz's single, "Where Are Ü Now" by Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Diplo. Josh was a featured director on the second season of Pop Network's “Sing It On," which followed his group's ICCA journey to Finals. Josh continues to engage with the a cappella community through his arrangements, collaborations, and workshops, and actively works to inspire groups across the country to take their music and performance to the next level. 

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 South 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