THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF HIGH SCHOOL

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

ICHSA SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

Winter Park High School 
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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@varsityvocals

@varsityvocals

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

 

HyperOctave is composed of members of the Heritage High School Ambassador Show Choir.  This choir performs a variety of music throughout the year and consistently earns Superior ratings at Music Performance Assessments (MPAs). This group is passionate about singing and making music together. 

InToneNation is the award-winning contemporary a cappella group form New Manchester High School in Douglasville Ga. They sing a variety of music, from pop to gospel to R&B to musical theatre. They are currently working on their debut album, The Beginning, which will be out at the end of March. 

N'Harmonics began at Norcross High School in 2014 and is an audition-based group open to all students. The group was originally a chamber chorus, but the style of the group changed to a cappella with the arrival of a new director, Mrs. Kimberly Money. N'Harmonics focuses on pop and R&B styles and includes positive students who are just happy to be part of the a cappella community. They are excited to see and be inspired by all the wonderful performances this season.

Rhapsody is composed of members of the Heritage High School Rhapsody Show Choir, a new group at this school year. These ladies are passionate about singing and making music together. 

Rhythm of the Knight from East Ridge High School meets once a week after school and produces three pop concerts a year. Under the direction Jason Misner and Jenn Stewart, ROTK has performed nationally for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Educational Technical Conference, The Orlando Home and Garden Show, Homes for Heroes, and various other conferences. They constantly receive Superior and 1st place ratings at national festivals. ROTK is a host choir for “America Sings”  and has performed at the Universal Orlando Resort, the Lincoln Memorial Steps, and many other exciting locations.   

The Lion Experience has been in existence for three years, and is a student-led group. Most of the group members are active in the choral program of Shelby High. The group has competed at the Carowinds Show Choir Festival and ICHSA, and regularly perform in the community. The Lion Experience is looking forward to competing in ICHSA again and hopes you enjoy their performance. 

Vocal Society, also known as VoSo, is the upper school mixed choir on Trinity Prep's campus. VoSo often performs for school activities and chapels, participates in local and state honor choirs, performs annually with all-state ensembles, and enjoys arranging and participating in a cappella performances, including ICHSA. This is VoSo's second year in the larger international a cappella community and they look forward to many years to come. 

Voce Bella formed as an a cappella group in 2013 at Norcross High School. The number of members fluctuates from year to year, and this year they have eight amazing members. This is their first year competing and they are very excited to be here. 

Acapocalypse is Pine Ridge High School's a cappella ensemble, established in 2015. Their repertoire focuses on telling stories that audiences can relate to, tackling personal and social issues through their music. This is Acapocalypse's fifth year participating in ICHSA, having progressed to Semifinals in 2017. Follow them on Instagram @prhsacapocalypse.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

After winning the ICHSA championship title in 2010 with Limited Edition, Brian Brammer went on to earn his B.M. in commercial vocal performance from Belmont University. Brian has been performing professionally in the United States and Europe for nearly a decade, including work on cruise ships, regional premieres in New York City, and in the Orlando Fringe Festival. Currently, Brian plays the role of Crush in “Finding Nemo the Musical” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Brian has studied jazz music with many renowned directors and arrangers in the industry, including Steve Zegree, Kirby Shaw, and Sandra Dudley. 

Alex Mendez is an alumnus of the Florida State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in music therapy. Alex also has a passion for teaching and and is pursuing a certification in both theatre and music education. Alex has served in a wide variety of leadership roles, notably with the all-male group, Reverb, in positions such as music director, business manager, and choreographer. Alex has received numerous Outstanding Soloist, Choreography, and other awards at ICCA and other a cappella competitions, and is a three-time CARA winner.

Skip Stradtman is an a cappella veteran whose biggest claim to "aca-fame" is his involvement with Reverb, FSU's all-male a cappella group. With Reverb, he performed multiple times in the ICCA, including their 2013 ICCA Finals performance in New York City, which placed 4th overall and received the award for Outstanding Choreography. During his two years as music director, Reverb placed 2nd at the 2013 SOJAM a cappella festival competition, placed 1st at the 2014 BOSS competition, and produced the group's first full-length album, Evolve, which went on to receive multiple CARA nominations. Skip was personally recognized with an Outstanding Arrangement award at ICCA 2013 Quarterfinals and Semifinals, SOJAM 2013, and BOSS 2014. Currently, Skip is the chorus director at East River High School in Orlando, Fla. He continues to arrange for high school and collegiate a cappella groups, as well as for various choral ensembles across the Southeast. 

Billy B. Williamson is an adjunct professor of music at Seminole State College of Florida and Rollins College. He has an A.A. from Seminole State College, a B.A. in music and secondary education from Rollins College, and a M.M.E. in choral music education from Florida State University. When he is not teaching, Billy also serves on the staff of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. He is frequently called upon as a guest conductor for choral organizations, as a music director for musicals at the high school and college levels, and even as a stage manager for various productions, from classical music to ballet. Billy is a member of the Florida Vocal Association, the Florida Music Education Association, the National Association for Music Education, and is the Conference Manager for the Florida Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Billy lives in Sanford, Florida with his wife, Hanna. 

Dalys Parkhurst received her B.M.E. from Stetson University and has been teaching for 16 years. Dalys is currently the director of choral activities at Tuskawilla Middle School, and was formerly the choral director and musical theatre director at Millennium Middle School Fine Arts and Communication Magnet and Seminole High School in Seminole County. She currently has 280 students in her choral program. Her choirs have earned Superior ratings at Florida Vocal Association Assessments and have been featured in numerous community performances. Most recently, her high school a cappella group earned 1st place at their ICHSA Quarterfinal. She is a frequent honor choir clinician, choral adjudicator, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2014. Dalys has also served on several Seminole County Choral Curriculum and Leadership Writing teams. Dalys presented a session on American Children's Choir in Xi'an, China last Summer. She teaches private voice lessons and performs with the Festival Singers of Florida.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank our guest groups tonight, Winter Park High School's Take 7 and Naughty Scotty and the Octapella; the Winter Park High School Administration, Principal Matthew Arnold, the Winter Park High School Performing Arts Department, the Winter Park High School Choral Department , directors Matthew Swope and Hollie Pratt, booster president Terri Rotz, chorus student president Jake Rotz, chorus student vice president Jeremy Roldan, ICHSA parent volunteer coordinator Indhira Acosta, the WPHS Chorus Parent and Student Volunteers, and audio engineer Steve Johnson (Johnson Digital Audio); 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 three finishing groups advance to the ICHSA 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

GUEST PERFORMERS

 

Established in 2008, Take 7 is the select treble a cappella group from Winter Park High School. These young women pride themselves on their attention to ensemble awareness, storytelling through song, and interpersonal relationships. A two-time ICHSA Finalist (2012 and 2015), Take 7 has also competed in the AEA Invitational at the National A Cappella Convention and performed for the Florida American Choral Directors Association (2018). They recently released Rise with their brother group, NSO. This debut recording led to their selection to BOHSA 2018, Women’s A Cappella Association Vol. 5, and Voices Only 2018 compilations. Take 7 would like to thank their families, friends, teachers, and NSO for their love and support! Find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @wphsTake7

Naughty Scotty and the Octapella (NSO) is Winter Park High School’s select tenor-bass a cappella group. Founded in 2008, NSO has performed for the Florida Music Education Association, SoJam A Cappella Festival, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and the Washington National Cathedral. These 12 guys know how to have a good time, but take their music-making seriously. NSO has released two award-winning albums, Eight Arms and Rise. NSO has appeared on the BOHSA 2017 and 2018 and has been nominated for three Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. This past December, NSO launched their first EP, Three Hearts, and have recently released two music videos. They would like to thank their families, mentors, and Take 7 for their support! Check out their music on Spotify and iTunes, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @wphsNSO