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 SEMIFINAL

 

Center Stage
Saturday, March 30, 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

 

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. 

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. 

Boots & Cats, the premier all-female a cappella group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, features 16 undergraduate women from all areas of campus. Founded in 2011, the cats love to sing all kinds of music, from Arctic Monkeys to Beyoncé to Florence + the Machine. B&C was grateful for the opportunity to place 3rd in last year’s Quarterfinal, also receiving awards for Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Choreography. The cats are so excited to be competing again this year! When they’re not rehearsing, learning to beatbox, or hanging out with one of the other UNL a cappella groups, you can probably find the cats at Village Inn enjoying Free Pie Wednesday. 

Pitch Please is UNL’s premier co-ed a cappella group. The group is in its sixth year on campus and continues to grow within the a cappella community. They perform a variety of music from R&B to rock to pop and beyond. Just like their array of musical genres, the members come from a variety of majors, including, but not limited to, music education, business, engineering, and nursing. The group rehearses two nights a week and is entirely student-led and directed. Each member has their own unique passion for the group and music as a whole, and that passion, combined with wonderful friendships, motivates the group to move forward. They are incredibly thankful for each performance opportunity and the chance to share all of their hard work. 

LEGACY, in its first year of existence, is an elite ensemble that enjoys singing everything from jazz, hip/hop, R&B, and of course, a cappella music. It is a very diverse group from the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado. Legacy looks forward to making its mark in the music industry and the world, one performance at a time.  

Rifftide is an eight-member group which combines tight harmonies and crisp choreography to create performances that are musically and visually exciting. Since their debut in fall 2016, Rifftide has been featured on both Best of BYU A Cappella albums, sold out both concerts they've hosted, and were invited to perform in the A Cappella Jam every time it's been held. They take pride in providing uplifting and energetic performances to help make audiences smile.

The ChapTones is one of five a cappella groups at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. They pride themselves on being first and foremost a family who takes care of one another, and also on their ability to perform an eclectic mix of chart toppers and original music around campus and beyond! Since their founding in 2014, they’ve competed in the ICCA three times (2019 will be their fourth consecutive year competing), and they’re so excited to share what they’ve created with you. 

Uniting Voices began in 1994, before most current members were born, with roots from UC Irvine’s Filipino cultural club’s choir, Kababayan. Now, a good chunk of the group members are, in fact, Filipino, but the mission of the group has branched out. Inspired by R&B and gospel music, this multicultural team contains voices and abilities as diverse as their heritages. None of them are music majors and do what they can to break down barriers. A student-run group, United Voices strives to create an inclusive space to learn and grow as musicians, performers, and people. They have collaborated with the music department and Vermillion Vocalists to put on ACALOVE to show Southern California what modern a cappella looks like. They were the first from UCI to make it to the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival and won Best A Cappella for the last two years in a row at UCI Soulstice. From a choir to a competitive group, United Voices is living the college life a cappella style. 

HardChord DynaMix began in the spring of 2007. Since then, HardChord DynaMix (a.k.a. HCDM) has grown into a group of 12 to 18 members, holding competitive auditions at the beginning of most semesters. HardChord DynaMix puts on two full-length concerts each semester and performs at several gigs around campus, as well as around the Bryan/College Station area. This group has so much love for music and one another! 

OneSound is from Collin County Community College, a two-year school located in Plano, Texas with over 50,000 students enrolled in its four campuses and online. OneSound is proud to be the only a cappella group on campus. Their director, Professor Kathy Morgan, has been a full-time music professor at Collin since 2000. The group is a class (instead of a club) and is audition-only, open to both music majors and non-majors. The group’s small size allows each singer to be featured, creating a one-on-a-part sound which sets them apart from larger a cappella groups. This size also lends itself to the group’s unique look, which allows individual personalities to shine. This year’s OneSound group is composed of nine women, plus their bass and beatboxer. Most arrangements are done by the group in class, using ear training and creativity, a process which can occasionally be tedious, but always worth the effort. OneSound has participated in ICCA for the past two years and are looking forward to be back on the ICCA stage.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

As a founding member of the USC Sirens in 1997, one of the first female vocal percussionists, and an all-female a cappella trailblazer, Jenny Barmach has seen a cappella grow before her eyes and couldn't be more pleased! Jenny has competed in the ICCA and Harmony Sweepstakes, been featured on BOCA, participated in the West Coast A Cappella Summit, and sang/crashed with countless groups on tour, including Venus Envy (2001) and Acazona (2014). After graduating from USC and working for A&E in Los Angeles, Jenny moved to Chandler, Ariz., where she works in marketing and lives with her husband and two children.

Celine Durney graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Choral Music Education. During her time in college, she participated in elite ensembles of various vocal styles, including choral, jazz, and opera, and was a founding member and music director of the nationally acclaimed all-female a cappella group, The NAU Axecidentals . She has been given an Honorable Mention under the voice: popular category by National YoungArts and is a professional recording artist and composer for various musical projects. Over the years, she has performed live on several radio shows and at various venues alongside the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Groove For Thought, The Real Group, and Grammy-winning artists such as Pentatonix and Josh Groban. She loves staying involved in the a cappella community as a frequent workshop leader for creating arrangements at choral and a cappella festivals across the state and has arranged for choir programs across the country. Celine currently teaches choir at Greenfield Junior High School and Gilbert High School, while still actively performing with and arranging for her own a cappella group, Side Note.

Bri Holland is a songwriter, singer, producer, engineer, and arranger/composer based in Los Angeles, Calif. She studied music at the University of Chicago, and her vocals, vocal arrangements, original songs, and recordings have garnered dozens of Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) and nominations. She currently holds the title as the IMSTA FESTA LA Songwriting Competition Winner. Bri has produced albums for musicians and groups across the country, continues to perform as a live-looping and vocal artist, and is deeply passionate about music education. 

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 CARAs and is looking forward to a great show!

Catherine Williams received both a Bachelor of Music in media music and a certificate in sound recording technology from Brigham Young University. At BYU, she served as music director for Noteworthy, directing and arranging the group’s 2007 ICCA-winning set, and going on to arrange for them for over 10 years. She has also recorded and produced three albums for Noteworthy. Catherine writes commercial music and writes and produces her own solo music as well. Most recently, she has been recording and mixing for JANE a cappella.

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