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 WEST SEMIFINAL

 

Elsinore Theatre
Friday, March 29, 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

 

The Silverton High School Choralaires have been a part of the Silverton community for several decades and now includes students with parents as past members. Originally a vocal jazz ensemble, The Choralaires have experimented with their sound over the years and found their way to contemporary a cappella. This will be The Choralaires’ first year competing in the ICHSA and they are excited to continue growing within the a cappella community. 

Free to Breathe, from Sunset High School in Portland, Ore., loves long walks on the beach, holding hands around the campfire, watching rom coms starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, and stargazing while trespassing on private farms. Oh...and Free to Breathe also loves to sing.   

Spartacappella has been bringing tunes and grooves to the Corvallis area for over eight years. As a zero-period class, they meet at 6:00 a.m. to rehearse. They have performed for local chapter meetings, statewide a cappella showcases, and the ICHSA. They dabble in jazz but mostly focus on pop arrangements. This year marks their sixth year competing in ICHSA.

Rhythmix hails from West Albany High School and is thrilled to perform for you this evening. Under the direction of Cate Caffarella, Rhythmix specializes in performing everything, from madrigals and motets to contemporary a cappella chart-topping hits. Rhythmix has received superior ratings at ACDA small ensembles festivals, the OR ACDA Gold Award for outstanding performances and Judges Choice awards at the A Cappella in Albany Festival.  In 2016, Rhythmix earned 1st place at their ICHSA Semifinal. Most importantly, they enjoy performing for enthusiastic audiences throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley.   

Soul'd Out, founded in 2007, is a mixed a cappella group from Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, Ore., just south of Portland. The group is composed of students from all grade levels, musical backgrounds, and vocal types. They are quickly making a name for themselves as one of the best high school a cappella groups in the country with their stunning arrangements and breathtaking solos. In 2010, they won the ICHSA Northwest Semifinal, received awards for Outstanding Choreography and Soloist, and placed 5th at ICHSA Finals. Soul'd Out took 2011 head-on, winning the Western Regional and taking 2nd place at ICHSA Finals. In 2012, Soul'd Out took 1st place in the first-ever Rose City Sing-Off, and sang in the Portland Rose Parade. Later that summer, they produced their first studio-recorded album, Off The Loft. In the 2014 ICHSA Northwest Semifinal, Soul'd Out took 1st place and again went on to compete in Finals. Later in 2014, Soul'd Out received 1st place in the Rose City Sing-Off for the third consecutive year in a row. They have continued this streak of success in the years since, earning 1st place at the 2018 ICHSA Northwest Semifinal, and performing at Lincoln Center with the 10 best high school a cappella groups in the nation. 

The Sherwood High School Mixolydians is a group of fun-loving musicians from Sherwood, Ore. They love spending time together just as much as they love singing and creating crowd-pleasing choreography.  For the past five years, The Mixolydians have placed in the top three at the Portland Rose City Sing-Off, and earned 1st place in 2015 and 2016! The Mixolydians are also proud of their 2015 ICHSA Quarterfinal awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Arrangement of their entire set, as well as their 3rd place title in 2016. Most recently, they earned Outstanding Arrangement at their 2018 ICHSA Quarterfinal and a 1st place title at the Bend A Cappella Festival. The Mixolydians have enjoyed participating in the ICHSA for six years in a row and are so excited to be back this year! 

Encore is an advanced, audition-only middle school a cappella ensemble from Oakland School For the Arts (OSA) in Oakland, Calif. This year, the group is composed of 16 students in the seventh and eighth grades. Encore studies a wide variety of complex four to eight-part choral arrangements, with a focus on learning a contemporary repertoire from the soul, pop, rock, and R&B genres. Encore is a repertoire-driven ensemble and requires learning music at an advanced pace. The students rehearse four hours per week in school and are expected to put in additional independent hours to maintain their musical theory and aural skills. Encore performs all over the Bay Area, including at Dreamforce (the largest non-profit technology conference in the world), the Fox Theater, Freight and Salvage at the WeSing Vocal Festival presented by the Women’s A Cappella Association (WACA), and at private parties and events throughout the year. 

Abbe Road A Cappella is Santa Susana High School’s competitive a cappella group. Evolved from a traditional vocal jazz ensemble, Abbe Road consists of 16 voices. Each of them come from different walks of life and join together for a love of a cappella singing. From top 40 pop hits to classical choral music, Abbe Road utilizes the diverse skill sets and backgrounds of its members to broaden their collective musical horizons and put together unique performances. 

Fuse is a brand-new a cappella group from the Young Artists Conservatory of Music in Vacaville, Calif. The members of Fuse attend different high schools but have joined together in one group over a shared love for a cappella music. Fuse members are all active young musicians who keep busy participating in their school choirs, chamber choirs, orchestras, and youth theatre productions in their area. Fuse is beyond excited to be competing in the ICHSA for their very first time! 




You’ve heard of the rumble in the jungle, the shiver in the timber, but now it’s time for you to hear the tale of Jake "the Quake" Yoakum. Quake doesn’t refer to his size unless you consider his height. Although your eyes beset a beast taller than the Redwoods, you remain puzzled by the seemingly high-pitched ringing in your ears. Suddenly the ground Quakes, the Earth shakes and you realize you’ve stumbled into the presence of a vocal savant. Arrangements and notes abound, and you’ve entered a world unknown. Introductions and support are guaranteed, but what other excited await? Beatbox features? Crowd singalongs? An ASMR reading? Well, probably not, but now that he has your attention, expect a show!

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.

David Fowler is a musician and entrepreneur who makes his living entirely through a cappella. Whether it's recording and production work, arranging, workshopping, consulting, performing, or judging, he actively pursues as many opportunities as he can to further involve himself in the art form. David’s parents will corroborate that his favorite pastime for the entirety of his life has been music, and especially singing (sometimes at the wee hours of night. Loudly). A California native, he moved to Oregon in summer of 2018 in order to work full-time with Peter Hollens at his studio. He also has an a cappella YouTube channel, which currently holds 33,000 subscribers and 3.4 million aggregate views. While his greatest dream is to one day own a corgi named Douglas, he also believes in the unifying power of a cappella, and seeks to make it more accessible and available to others in every way he can.

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 Jake, Trina, and Pete Yoakum, the Elsinore Theatre staff, Jake Young, Emilie Ormsby, and all of the incredible singers who have worked so hard this year; 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 ICHSA 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