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 WEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Pomona College
Saturday, February 2, 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

 

Vocal Percussion Radio, or VPR for short, is a kooky, sassy crew of weirdos, and definitely not California State University, Northridge’s premier a cappella group. Their rehearsals run very efficiently due to great leadership and of course, Korean barbecue and boba runs. They hold auditions at the beginning of each semester and are always blessed to get a fresh batch of newbies coming from varying levels of experience, including those who through they were going to watch auditions like “America's Got Talent” instead of actually auditioning (true story). To VPR, a cappella is about lifelong friendship and family as much as it is about singing and performing Yes, as cheesy as it is, it's true! They keep in touch with past members by inviting them to hang out and to check out rehearsals. They haven't competed at the ICCA in about nine years, so they are eager to show everyone how they have grown. VPR is hungry to learn, thrive, and grow, and can’t wait to reconnect with the a cappella community. So, what do you get when you have musical theatre kids, a lanky bass player, a Hawaiian exchange student, and an Ed Sheeran wannabe? VPR! 

Acasola is California State University, Northridge's premier a cappella group. Since its birth in 2006, each successive generation of the group has built upon the foundation laid by those who have come before them. Acasola has appeared on television shows such as FOX’s “Raising Hope," and ABC's "Castle," for which they recorded at Capitol Records. This past year, Acasola's single, "24k Magic" by Bruno Mars, was selected to open the BOCA 2018 compilation album, and won Best Mixed Collegiate Video at the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). This diverse group of students aims to deliver a fun and unique musical experience to its community through the art of a cappella. 

Mood Swing A Cappella has been performing across the Claremont Colleges since 2004, with members from each of the five schools. The group brings their talents to a variety of musical genres, from Sam Smith power ballads to their legacy song, “A Change in My Life” from Rockapella. In line with their black and yellow concert attire, Mood Swing is a one-of-a-kind collection of individuals. The Mood Swing family is tied together through teamwork and a disposition matching their sunny signature color. 

Established in 1995, The Claremont Shades is the first co-ed a cappella group at the Claremont Colleges. For more than 20 years, this group of funky, fun-loving singers has been performing, arranging, touring, recording, and creating community in Claremont. The crux of their mission is to create good music and have fun doing it! The Shades are committed to professionally recording their music to share their work with a larger audience. They have recorded and released seven professional studio albums, were featured on three BOCA albums ,and recently released their first official music video! The Shades also love to travel and tour once each semester, performing on streets and stages in cities across the country. Tour locations in past years have included San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, and more. The Shades are honored to organize and host the Southern California A Cappella Music Festival (SCAMFest) every November at Pomona College. The SCAMFest is an annual highlight and showcases some of the best a cappella groups from Southern California and beyond, including The SoCal VoCals, After-School Specials, and more, all in an exhilarating evening with audiences well over 2,000! They hope you enjoy their set tonight! 

The ScatterTones is a pink-and-black-wearing co-ed a cappella group hailing from the University of California, Los Angeles. With every arrangement uniquely set by a member of the group, you never know what'll hit the mic next. The ScatterTones have opened for Obama, accompanied Taylor Swift, rocked Spring Sing and the ICCA, sung at the Hollywood Bowl, and are always out and about! Most recently they placed 3rd at the 2017 ICCA Finals. You can catch them gigging around the greater Los Angeles area! 

Founded in 2012, Resonance began as a quintet that quickly grew to become one of the premier vocal ensembles at the University of California, Los Angeles. Over the past few years, Resonance has established itself as a vibrant a cappella group with a unique sound and high-level musicianship. In 2014 and 2016, the group qualified and performed for an audience of 10,000 at UCLA's Spring Sing, the university's largest musical showcase. In 2015, 2017, and 2018, Resonance competed in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF). They competed at the ICCA for the past two years, and placed 1st at last year’s Quarterfinal at UCLA. In 2017, Resonance recorded its first studio album, In This Light, which is available on iTunes and Spotify. Their first single, “In The Name Of Love,” is featured on Voices Only 2017, a highly selective compilation album of collegiate and high school groups across the world. Guided by their passions for performing and friendship, Resonance hopes to make a lasting musical impact on their community. As such, they perform at at a number of philanthropy events and concerts across California, the greater Los Angeles area, and on the UCLA campus. 

Bruin Harmony is the University of California, Los Angeles’ premier and only all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2006, Bruin Harmony was built on the foundations of entertainment, brotherhood, and outreach to UCLA events and performance opportunities around the greater Los Angeles county. Three years after its inception, Bruin Harmony founded LAAF, which has become a sought out event for a cappella groups, and attracts travel from far and wide. Featured in movies like “The Social Network” in 2010 and “Bones” in 2016, Bruin Harmony provides quality entertainment through their music and humor, and looks forward to continue sharing the joys of all-male a cappella. 

Founded in 2016, Pitch, Please! is the newest a cappella group at University of California, Los Angeles. Their music varies widely, from indie ballads to upbeat Beyoncé and Little Mix hits. Just this year, Pitch Please released its first studio recorded single, “My Heart With You” (opb. The Rescues) which is available on iTunes and Spotify. Find them jamming live or rehearsing outdoors on the UCLA campus! 

From the University of California, Riverside, Not So Sharp A Cappella is a mixed a cappella group known for its versatile musical performances and diverse group makeup. Founded in the spring of 2009, Not So Sharp is excited to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. This ICCA, Not So Sharp is bringing a soulful performance, striving to reach new heights with a very different repertoire from years past. Last year, the group placed in the ICCA for the first time, and they hope to follow up on that milestone with a touching and entertaining performance. They are not afraid to try new things with music, so their two music directors often present challenging arrangements that require members to step out of their comfort zones. With hard work and perseverance, Not So Sharp has been developing a unique and powerful sound. When they're not singing together, this close-knit group enjoys hanging out, going on trips, studying together, and more. Whether performing at ICCA or on campus in front of the bell tower, Not So Sharp makes every performance fun for their audiences and for themselves. 

Naked Voices is the premier co-ed a cappella group at the University of California Santa Barbara and a three-time competitor in the ICCA. Naked Voices has been previously won Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Choreography awards at ICCA Quarterfinals and notoriously performs barefoot.


GUEST PERFORMERS


The After School Specials hails from the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of liberal arts colleges in the southern California area. Characterized by their upbeat attitudes, green attire, and signature A.S.S. (After School Specials) hats, they sing original arrangements that cover an expansive range of music. Their members are as diverse as the music they sing, hailing from all corners of the country and world. They also major in fields spanning all academic disciplines, across the gamut of the humanities and sciences. The group believes in creating a space for passionate individuals that share a love for making great music, regardless of their backgrounds. The After School Specials have also had the privilege of performing and recording at various exciting locations. Past venues include The Fonda Theatre, Diane Warren's recording studio, and the White House. They love getting to showcase their assets in front of as many people as possible, and they hope to make music wherever people will listen. Last year was the group's third appearance at the ICCA, and they took 1st place in the Wild Card round, advancing to ICCA Finals for their first time! 

Groove Nation Dance Crew is a 5(C) student-run hip-hop dance crew. Although the group members come from different dance backgrounds (including ballet, b-boy, jazz, tap, popping, street, and lyrical), they focus on showcasing hip-hop pieces. GNDC strives to become a space for these dancers to grow through other opportunities such as freestyling, choreography, and off-campus workshops.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Laura Dickinson is a Grammy-winning music producer and Emmy-winning singer best known for her extensive work over the last decade as vocal director and contractor for Disney TV Animation. She is currently vocal contracting and performing recurring roles on “Elena Of Avalor,” “Milo Murphy’s Law,” “Sofia The First,” and “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening’s “Disenchantment.” Film and television credits include over 100 episodes of “Phineas and Ferb,” "Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2," "The Nun," "Sing," "Pitch Perfect," "Pitch Perfect 2," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," "War for the Planet of the Apes," “The 7D,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero,” “Wander Over Yonder,” “Son of Zorn,” “Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer,” “Pickle and Peanut,” “The Last Tycoon,” and “A Christmas Story: Live on Fox.” Laura also serves as Michael Bublé’s vocal contractor, arranger, and background vocal director. Mr. Bublé’s recent Grammy-nominated album, Nobody But Meincludes a featured vocal by Laura and a gospel choir she contracted and directed. Other recording projects include collaborations with Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, and Engelbert Humperdinck. A cappella credits include founding Groove 66 with Deke Sharon, musical and artistic directing Vybration, singing first female voice in m-pact, assistant musical directing Voasis with musical director Greg Jasperse, and singing first soprano in Voices of Liberty under Tony DeRosa’s musical direction.You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @ElsieLaura, so go tag her right now! www.lauradickinson.com 

Hunter LaMar is a singer, arranger, and vocal percussionist who has participated in Varsity Vocals' programs for over seven years. In high school, he competed for four years with the nationally recognized group, The Dobbs 16, from the Masters School. He continued his a cappella experience when he matriculated to Berklee College of Music, and arranged, sang bass, and did vocal percussion for The Charlie Chords, winning Outstanding Vocal Percussion at ICCA Semifinals with his partner Faisel Qazi. Post-college, he returned to arrange for and coach his old  high school group. A seasoned performer, Hunter's musical talents have led him on tours of Japan, England, and The Cayman Islands, and he has been fortunate to perform on numerous stages around the world! He currently works as a wedding singer and freelance arranger. 

Audra Priluck began her music and performing career in Atlanta, Ga., performing with the Atlanta Workshop Players, the Atlanta Jazz Theater, and The Atlanta Opera. She also hosted her own one-minute news broadcast called "Kids' Beat" on TBS from 1982-1987. Audra attended UCLA from 1993-1995, and the prestigious USC School of Cinema-Television from 1995-1997, where she co-founded The SoCal VoCals in February 1996. Audra choreographed and performed in The SoCal VoCals' winning set in USC's 1997 annual Songfest competition. She is also a soloist on The SoCal VoCals' first album, singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart." In 2012, Audra released her own EP, I'm All In, which includes four original songs. Audra is currently Vice President, Media & Entertainment for a global market research company, and resides in Woodland Hills, Calif., with her husband, Jason, and sons, Justin and Garrett. 

Jim Raycroft holds a master’s degree in voice from the California Institute of the Arts and has performed all over North America and in Europe. He is a 33-year member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and sang with the Los Angeles Opera for 12 years. He has soundtrack credits for movies including “Home Alone,” “Jurassic Park,” “A.I.,” “Lady in the Water,” “Godzilla,”and more. He appeared as a singing pirate in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” in numerous television shows, and has performed at the Grammys, for the President of the United States, and the Queen of England. He founded and sings with the vocal jazz group, Pacific Swingline, the barbershop quartet, The Nickelodeon, and The Singers Elite Vocal Big Band. He is a published arranger and orchestrator, choral director for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, music director at First United Methodist Church of Redondo Beach, and has prepared choruses for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra. His singer referral service, Singers Elite, has entertained Southern California audiences for more than 30 years, and in 2002, he founded the annual “Choral Taste of Los Angeles,” a reading session of choral music by area composers. 

Rachel Zumberge has a strong and varied background in performance, direction, and instruction of vocal and instrumental music. She currently serves as music director for two groups: The Over Tones A Cappella, a multi-generational a cappella group in the San Fernando Valley she founded in 2015, and Premiere A Cappella, an all-female a cappella group based in the Los Angeles area. While attending Lincoln High School, a performing arts magnet school, Rachel served as Concertmistress for the Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble and performed with Lincoln’s elite vocal a cappella jazz ensemble, winning many performance awards in orchestral and vocal ensemble competitions throughout the United States. Rachel went on to study violin performance the University of California, Santa Cruz, under Roy Milan, concertmaster of the SF Ballet., and has been a first violinist with the San Fernando Valley Symphony. She was a violin instructor for several years at Cazadero Performing Arts, led its All-Camp Choir l Program in 2010, and was its guest conductor in 2012. As music director for All About Theater in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Performing Arts Company, Rachel directed adults, teens, and children in many musical theatre productions. She has performed as a freelance violinist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and from 2008-2012, she ran a private studio in San Jose where she taught voice, violin, music theory, and piano lessons. Rachel was also a music teacher at East Palo Alto Academy, RJ Fisher Middle School, and Lincoln High School. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Bridges Auditorium team, especially Sharon Kuhn, Matt Pavey, and our sound engineer, Jon, our guest groups,  The After School Specials! (especially Perrin York) and Groove Nation; 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 West 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