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 SEMIFINAL

 

The Elsinore Theatre
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

 

Mind the Gap is the University of Oregon's co-ed a cappella group. They were founded in 2007 by Russell Kamp and have moved steadily upwards ever since. This ambitious and passionate group of people loves to make music together and wants to take their skills as far as they can go!

Portland State University's The Green Note is a passionate group of musicians always reaching for the top. With a focus on high- level musicianship, sportsmanship, and their goal of cultivating a support network for its members, they have come far in their eight years as the only a cappella group on campus. They are getting ready to release their first album and are thrilled to show the a cappella community what they have to offer! Their unique arrangements, individual style, and broad repertoire reflect the group’s diversity and signature modern sound. The Green Note attends regional and national competitions, clinics, and events. In addition to the competitive scene, the group keeps busy working gigs on campus, in the Portland metro area, and around Oregon.This inclusive group of committed students loves performing and sharing the beauty of music! 

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. 

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! 

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. 

The Stanford Mendicants is Stanford's original a cappella group, founded all the way back in 1963. Along with their rich history, The Mendicants typically perform a selection of ballads and love songs, as well as pop tunes for the student body. The Mendicants hail from all over the world, with hometowns including New York City, Hong Kong, Chicago, Saudi Arabia, and more. The Mendicants always have a blast performing at ICCA and are excited for tonight’s set. They hope you enjoy their show! 

The Afterglow is the only all-male a cappella group on The University of California, Davis campus! Getting their name from the after-party following a barbershop concert, The Afterglow's foundation is mainly in barbershop music. Over the years, their repertoire has grown to include many genres, such as rock, pop, country, R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Since the group’s inception in 2006, The Afterglow has been performing around the Davis community and for concerts and festivals all around California! Whether they are singing for a special serenade, wedding, or competition, their number-one goal is to spread their passion for music by engaging their audiences and having fun! 

Furmata is the University of Washington's premier co-ed a cappella group, also known as The A Cappella Group Formerly Known as Furmata A Cappella. They made the executive decision to drop the "A Cappella" after realizing that Google was getting more traffic for "furmata a Capella" and "furmata who???" than their actual name, so they just decided to run with it. They have worked hard since the group's inception in 2008 to develop and hone their powerhouse sound and electrifying stage presence. After a few years of feeling like Michelles, they eventually realized their destiny, child (!), and channeled their inner-Beyoncé for ICCA 2017, where they won the ICCA Northwest Champion title. After taking a year off of ICCA to further develop their sound and record their debut EP and music video, they are ecstatic to return to ICCA for their 10th year anniversary year. They cannot wait for you to see all of the tricks, surprises, ferociousness, and hard work they have put into this year. 

Eh? Cappella is one of the two competitive a cappella groups at the University of British Columbia. Only a few years old, Eh? Cappella has gone through numerous changes each year to become stronger, more cohesive, and find their sound. Last year, they became the first UBC group to win ICCA Quarterfinals,, and had an amazing experience competing in Semifinals with some of the best groups in North America. They are an extremely tight-knit family that spends too much time together outside of rehearsals, whether through studying, getting ice cream, or sharing their passion for music. 

Let’s take a trip back to a time immemorial. 1995. The scene: a quiet study lounge in the Tercero Housing Complex. Illuminated under fluorescent lights, several young men and women are gathered in the center of the room. The setting sun breaks through the clouds, enveloping the ring of figures in a warm shaft of light. The silence breaks. Once the light fades into a soft glow, a name emerges from the melodies and harmonies: The Lounge Lizards. Present day, 22 years later, The Lizards continue to show off their unique style and sass. The oldest a cappella group at UC Davis, they are often seen performing their favorite tunes, from MJ to Beyoncé, at campus and local events. The best time to hear them is at their annual concert, No Instruments Attached, where they assemble groups across California for a night of wonderful music. Like the original 1995 group, the current Lounge Lizards bring more than just their voices to the group. Offstage, they can be found getting boba, having freestyle rap battles, and sharing homemade chicken nuggets. They weave that friendship into every song they perform and always look forward to sharing that bond with new audiences. 




B-Side Book Club was established in 2015 by a group of Lewis & Clark Alumni who all shared a love for singing. Over the past three and a half years, B-Side Book Club has evolved from what was once an alumni group to a close-knit Portland-based family. B-Side has performed in multiple venues throughout the Northwest, collaborated with theatres, bands, and other a cappella groups, recorded an EP, become a recognized nonprofit organization, and won awards in local and regional competitions. B-Side strives to engage their community through their music and share music that is both meaningful and beautiful. If you'd like to find out more about them, you can find them online at bsidebookclub.com, Facebook, Instagram, and on Spotify.  

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Beth Davis grew up with extensive experience singing in choirs, church, musicals, and classic rock. She received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and music education from Ithaca College and a Master of Music in vocal performance from California State University, Northridge. She has extensive experience as a teacher, performer, and administrator in a wide variety of musical genres, including choral, classical/opera, church music, musical theater, jazz, pop/rock, and a cappella. Today, she is a voice teacher, coach, and adjudicator in the greater Seattle area, as well as an active performer. In addition to maintaining her own voice studio, she also teaches voice at Village Theatre KIDSTAGE, and is the Managing Director of A Cappella Academy.

Jordyn Day is an award-wining vocalist, voice teacher, music director and business owner from the Greater Seattle area. Her voice studio stays full with an average of 40 students per week, and provides technical instruction for musical theatre and pop performers. Jordyn’s students are award winning performers who have appeared on regional theatre stages in Seattle, Chicago and New York. Since 2016, Jordyn has been the music director for the University of Washington's musical theatre department and a lecturer for the School of Dance, teaching a course on combining vocal technique with advanced choreography for performers. She also owns and operates Edge Performing Arts and Dance, a children’s educational theatre program that brings the performing arts to local Seattle schools. Jordyn is proud to perform with Restless Vocal Band, the 2016 PNW Harmony Sweepstakes Champions, as a lead vocalist, soprano, and arranger. RVB performs an average of 25 times per year for audiences large and small, and is proud to be the house band for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure event each year.

Rachelle DesRochers is a vocalist and native Oregonian. She has been involved in a cappella since 2006 when she got her start in Divisi, the University of Oregon’s award-winning female a cappella group, featured in the best-selling book, “Pitch Perfect." Since Divisi, Rachelle has performed with The Backbeats (featured on NBC's "The Sing-Off") and is a current member of JANE, a professional a cappella group based in Salt Lake City. Most recently, she competed with JANE in the inaugural Varsity Vocals Open competition and advanced with them to Finals at Carnegie Hall. Rachelle has been the Director of Outreach and Community Engagement for the Women's A Cappella Association (WACA) since 2012. She has competed in four Varsity Vocals competitions since her collegiate a cappella days and is thrilled to be one of your judges tonight!

Chris Dobson is the Artistic Director for the Oregon Children's Choir, director of the Oregon Young Men's Ensemble, and choir teacher at South Eugene High School. A graduate of the University of Oregon, Chris sang in the University Singers, the Chamber Choir and On the Rocks (the University of Oregon’s men’s a cappella group). Chris was the 2005 recipient of the Max D. Risinger Award for Excellence in Choral Music Education. As an active local musician, he conducts and sings with various choirs throughout the performance season. He has also served as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for various Oregon choral festivals such as the 2017 Northwest Semifinal of The Open, the 2017 ICCA Northwest Semifinals, and the 2018 "Just Sing It!" Choir Festival. Chris sings with the nationally-recognized contemporary a cappella group, Rezonate. He is also an active composer and arranger, having won the Best Original Arrangement award at the Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes competition in March 2009.

Elise Hackl is a music educator in the suburbs of Chicago, who fell in love with a cappella in her undergrad as a member of Secondary Dominance. Having earned bachelor's degrees in music education and special education (Illinois State University ‘14) and a master's degree in educational leadership (Concordia University Chicago ‘17), Elise was awarded the Illinois State Board of Education’s "Those Who Excel" award of merit for her work in music curriculum development. Elise is currently in the home stretch of graduate coursework in music education, with her thesis focusing on inclusivity training for music educators and providing successful inclusion within the music classroom. In addition to her full-time job, Elise is the director for Modern Melodies a cappella, director of Big Deal Productions’ Broadway and Choral Buddies programs, and music director of the Crescendo Barbershop Chorus through the Metropolis Performing Arts Center. A freelance arranger and clinician, Elise also teaches private voice lessons and assists with solo and ensemble throughout the state of Illinois. In her spare time, she loves judging Varsity Vocals events and writing raps for adaptive musical theatre groups.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Pete and Trina from Yoakum Light and Sound, tonight's emcee, Jake Yoakum, photographer Jake Young, B-Side Book Club, and all the staff at the Elsinore Theatre - especially Tom Fohn, Greg Reider, Stephen Munshaw, Carlee Wright, and Heather Duncan; 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

GUEST PERFORMER