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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts 
Saturday, January 26, 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

 

Amplified A Cappella is a co-ed a cappella group at the University of Arizona in Tucson. With a focus on storytelling through music, Amplified invites you on a journey to a better future of self-discovery. Amplified performs contemporary music ranging from top 40 hits to songs you need to hear, but haven’t yet. They thank you for opening yourselves to their music and are grateful to share their sound with you. 

Founded in 2008, CatCall is a student-led group at the University of Arizona. The group makeup of various majors, ages, and musical interests no doubt contributes to the diversity of the ensemble’s repertoire, as well as their close-knit bond. All of CatCall’s arrangements are completed by current or graduated members and they traditionally every set with their rendition of the University of Arizona's fight song, "Bear Down, Arizona!". Highlights from past years include performing in a Straight No Chaser music video, hosting a workshop with the Grammy-winning New York Voices, hosting an ICCA West Quarterfinal in the UA's Centennial Hall, advancing to the 2012 ICCA Semifinal at USC, taking 1st place at the 2015 ICCA West Quarterfinal, and from there going on to advance to the 2015 ICCA West Semifinal at Pomona College. Recently, CatCall has done heavy philanthropic work, performing for charities such as the MDA Muscle Walk 2019 and even performing for the University of Arizona Police Department. Be sure to check out their albums, Scratch Tracks, 9 Lives, and Don't Press Paws, all available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. 

Founded in 2013, Enharmonics A Cappella is an all-treble a cappella group from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. They specialize in pop and jazz arrangements of hits such as "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child, Alessia Cara's "Here," and more! As undergraduate students, their group goal is to collaborate musically and create lasting friendships. For them, a cappella is an opportunity to get away from the stresses of college life. The group prides itself on accepting all types of people. No matter what labels they may have outside of the group, they are family as long as they sing in the treble clef. Although they are one of the younger groups on the University of Arizona campus, Enharmonics A Cappella has performed twice at the ICCA. They are always trying to improve their skills as musicians and love any opportunity to perform. They perform at various events around the Tucson area and are currently building their repertoire to keep on growing. 

Law Cappella is a co-ed a cappella group composed of students from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Founded in August of 2017, Law Cappella became Arizona State University's first graduate program-based a cappella group. When Law Cappella's nine members are not singing together, they can be found diligently working toward their careers in the legal field. Their ideal practice areas include criminal defense, intellectual property law, international law, health law, and commercial litigation, while others are still discovering their passions. Even with such diverse interests, music serves as a unifying force and they have found that it makes law school infinitely more enjoyable. 

Noteriety A Cappella is the original co-ed a cappella group hailing from the University of Arizona! The group was founded in fall 2009 to allow University of Arizona students to pursue their passion for learning and performing a cappella music. They love providing musical services to their campus and Tucson community, as well as others in the state of Arizona! Noteriety’s first EP, Noteriety, is now available on iTunes and Spotify, and they have been creating more studio magic with the goal of releasing two new singles this year! Noteriety has received wonderful accolades, including awards for Outstanding Vocal Percussion and 3rd place in the ICCA Southwest Quarterfinals. They have also been featured in The Daily Wildcat, and keep busy performing for school events such as the Freshman Convocation, for the Residence Hall Association, Spring Fling, and other UA club events. They have also had the opportunity to perform with the Disney Performing Arts Program at the parks in Anaheim, Calif. 

Priority Male. They deliver. 

The Devil Clefs from Arizona State University is the most diverse co-ed a cappella group on campus, with repertoire ranging from jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop, and R&B. This will be their fifth year as a group and their third year competing in the ICCA! They always have the best time singing together and are so excited to show their talented group of singers and VPs to the world! 

Established in 1992, The Pitchforks is both ASU and Arizona's oldest a cappella group, and is composed of female singers with diverse majors, backgrounds, and beliefs. The ASU Pitchforks prides itself on women’s empowerment through music. All of their arrangements are written by group members, and many of them have found the group to be an amazing creative outlet. The ASU Pitchforks not only competes, but performs for different businesses, parties, and throughout the valley, which has given them an audience of all different types of people. As such, they sing a diverse repertoire, including pop, jazz, R&B, and even some classic rock (they love Fleetwood Mac). The ASU Pitchforks try to stay involved in the community by participating in projects and fundraisers for nonprofit organizations throughout the year. They believe their group is so incredible because of the variety of singers in it, from their biology major president to their criminal justice major treasurer. The ASU Pitchforks have grown both through their music and through the bonds and friendships they have created together. 

The ASU TEMPEtations is the award winning co-ed a cappella group on campus! Started in the fall of 2010, The TEMPEtations began as a humble endeavor to spread a love of music and start the campus’ first co-ed group. Since then, they have grown into a well-known organization that performs at prestigious events around ASU and Arizona. They have competed in the ICCA for four years, earning 1st place and Outstanding Arrangement at their 2018 Southwest Quarterfinal. All of their music is arranged by members of the group, and their style is a mix of classic and contemporary pieces. They hope to continue to share their love of music with all of you! Like their Facebook page to keep up to date on TEMPEtations concerts and events!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., Bronwyn Bent has a background in vocal performance studies and arranging, and seven years of high-level stage performance experience. In college, she was a part of Brigham Young University's award-winning a cappella group, BYU Noteworthy, and served as assistant music director. She continued her undergraduate studies in vocal performance at BYU-Hawaii, and has participated in top-level choirs at both BYU-Hawaii and BYU.

Michael Sackett has been involved with music for as long as he can remember. He was a member of Brigham Young University's Young Ambassadors for two years, and spent one year with Vocal Point. Michael has been a featured soloist on many albums with Rob Gardner’s Spire Music and Tantara Records, and has his own solo album. In 2014, Michael started INSPIRE Entertainment, a performing arts academy and preschool in Gilbert, Ariz. He loves educating youth about the benefits of music and the arts in their lives. He hopes his efforts will provide the opportunity for many people to be touched by the power of music and the performing arts, both as performers and supportive audience members. In his spare time, Michael likes to read, travel, play soccer, and spend time with his family. 

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 Southwest 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