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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Deer Park High School
Saturday, February 9, 2019

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

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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

 

A-Side is a dynamic, elite and innovative group of high school students from A&M Consolidated High School. A-Side consists of leaders in student council, choir, cross country, swimming, robotics, theatre, Symphony Belles, UIL academics, golf, church youth group, marching band, French club, and musical theatre, as well as those with after-school jobs. One of A-Side’s own was named Homecoming Queen this past fall. A-Side is known for having a familial dynamic as students become close through the process of performing together. A-Side got its name from the group’s affinity for all things retro, like the cassette tape. Theoretically, artists put their best material on the front of the cassette, the a-side, and as such, A-Side the group takes care to provide their best material to their audience. A-Side loves to explore all musical genres, traveling together, swarming up by dancing to zumba videos, and supporting one another. A-Side has competed yearly at ICHSA and hopes you enjoy their performance tonight! 

The Connally High School Headliners is in its second year of ICHSA competition. They are excited to come back for a second year because last year made a huge impact on them as musicians and performers. The Headliners are from Austin, Texas and the Pflugerville School District. They are the only a cappella group on their campus and one of two groups in the district. They pride themselves on setting the standard in a cappella performance and competition for the district and hope others will follow.

Infiniti has been around for over a decade at Rockwall-Heath High School but they are new to the world of a cappella. Each member of Infiniti is also a member of the varsity chorale at RHHS, so they spend many hours each week practicing their vocal craft. The members of Infiniti range from freshmen to seniors and each member brings something unique to the group. Infiniti members are involved in many different activities on the Heath campus, ranging from athletics to theatre to band and more. Infiniti has truly been enjoying this new a cappella journey and hopes to continue to grow and get better as the years go by! 

Founded in 2018, Purple Flair, from Anna High School, is a group dedicated to improving themselves and their audiences through music. Their small-town roots keep them actively engaged in their community and they love bringing music to everyone around them. Some of their musical inspirations include Voctave, Pentatonix, and the Newfangled Four. Like these groups, Purple Flair strives to be musically excellent, expressive, and most importantly, always having fun.The students come from all walks of life and musical backgrounds, but are all connected through a shared love of music, however long or short it has been an active part of their lives. In their short time as an a cappella group, they’ve become a close-knit group of best friends. The group is focused on reaching out to their audience to give an impactful and impressive performance. Music is fun, and they want their audiences to have fun with them! They are so excited to be involved with a cappella and are eager to improve! They hope their involvement in ICHSA can help guide them on their path to a cappella awesomeness! 

Vocal Legacy is the mixed a cappella group from Bryan High School and is made up of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. 

Vox Cor is the voice of a cappella music at the heart of Rudder High School in Bryan, Texas.  A dynamic group of nine singers, they are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of a cappella music. Vox Cor’s identity is found within their name, which means “voice” and “heart.” The intertwining of sound and passion unites these singers in everything they do. Though this is only their fourth year together, they are looking forward to many more.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Greg Hudson's interest in vocal music began in high school, where he sang with an a cappella group for three years. In college, he went on to perform with True Men, Truman University's acclaimed all-male a cappella group. For the past 12 years, Greg has served as music director for Reign, one of Iowa's top a cappella groupsm which competes in ICHSA and performs around the state. When he isn't directing, Greg teaches at West Des Moines Valley High School.

Hailing from the soybean capital of the world, Elliott Robinson is the current bass man and co-founder of Axiom Vocal. El is an a cappella veteran, having toured the globe with professional groups Chapter 6, The House Jacks, Home Free, and more. You also might recognize his rich bass notes as being the sonic foundation of Das Sound Machine in “Pitch Perfect 2.” In his spare time, he enjoys reading, working out, listening to music (with instruments), and being grateful that he no longer lives in Minnesota. 

Sue Schreiner received her B.A. and M.A. in vocal music performance from California State University-Northridge. After graduation, she served as a member of the Los Angeles Opera Company, performed as a featured soprano soloist with various symphonies and choruses throughout the country, and sang the national anthem for several professional sports teams including the New England Patriots and the Portland Trailblazers. She has taught vocal music students at both the university and the high school levels for the past 40 years until her retirement in 2016. Sue founded and directed the contemporary a cappella group, Soul’d Out, at Wilsonville High School in Oregon in 2007. Since then, the group has enjoyed great success, winning the Northwest ICHSA Semifinal in 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2018. They placed 2nd at ICHSA Finals in 2011, and were chosen to be the only high school group to perform on season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Sue has been a certified judge of a cappella, as well as state high school and college choir competitions, since 2008. She has judged and coached a cappella competitions throughout the Northwest, prior to moving to the Austin area in 2016. Sue loves Texas and she loves a cappella. 

A native of upstate New York, Erin (Shults) Smith developed her passion for contemporary a cappella while getting her B.A. in voice at Ithaca College. As a member of Premium Blend, Ithaca College’s Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning all-female a cappella group, Erin quickly discovered a love for arranging and vocal percussion. Soon after earning her B.A. in 2010, Erin moved to Florida to pursue her M.A. in arts management at the Florida State University College of Music. Since then, she moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and worked on the development teams for Fort Worth Opera and the University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music. Erin is currently the Director of Foundation Relations Communications for the UNT Division of Advancement, and is pursuing her M.B.A. in marketing at UNT. Since her Premium Blend days, Erin continues to arrange and has previously served as a master clinician, workshop presenter, and panelist at SoJam. She continues to sing as a member of the Lewisville Civic Chorale and with the Denton Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, and remains a dedicated advocate for the contemporary a cappella discipline and the performing arts.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Jason Dove, Caleb Moore, the entire team at Deer Park High School including school staff and administration, Andy Moore, and your amazing students for serving as such gracious hosts; 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 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