THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF COLLEGIATE

A CAPPELLA

DEAR FRIENDS,

 

Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 24th 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 660 groups and more than 10,000 singers at 90 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 Perfectfranchise remains the highest-grossing musical series of all time.

The stories of our real ICCA competitors were also the subject of the TV docu-series "Sing It On," which followed 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 three 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 fourth 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 24 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2020 season will take 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 GREAT LAKES QUARTERFINAL

 

University of Michigan
Saturday, February 8th, 2020

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!

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@varsityvocals

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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 four 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 at The Town Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 18th.

The high school tournament is now in its 15th year and continues to grow every year. We are now holding Quarterfinal rounds in all of our regions, and the 2020 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 on Saturday, April 17th.

The Open Tournament celebrated its third year in summer 2019 and featured six Semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2019 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 groups competed in October 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.



 For a full tournament schedule, visit us at 
www.varsityvocals.com/events

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

 

To Whom it May Concern: 58 Greene is HERE! 58 Greene is the second-oldest a cappella group on the University of Michigan's campus. They’re a multicultural co-ed group that sings a variety of music and loves to have late night dance parties (a.k.a. LNDPs). Whether it’s SZA, Billy Joel, or Tame Impala, the Greenies always make songs their own and have fun while doing it. Each of them is strong individually, but when they come together, they truly shine. Register to vote and get your flu shot! Sincerely, 58 Greene.

Amazin’ Blue is the oldest co-ed a cappella group at the University of Michigan, where it has existed through six U.S. presidents, the end of Soviet Russia, and the rise and fall of pop supergroup, Milli Vanilli. 30 years of existence carries many transformations along with it, but the core principles of AB have remained the same: Take care of one another, take creative risks, and take a few musical theatre kids. AB has produced 16 studio albums and performed at a cappella venues around the country, but beyond competing and performing, AB’s ultimate goal is to inspire a love of a cappella in their audiences. 

Capital Green is the oldest co-ed a cappella group at Michigan State University. In fact, they are celebrating 21 years of singing together this year! This group is a collection of singers who are incredibly dedicated and hard-working and also great friends. Capital Green participates in many events, always having a blast while jamming together. Although the group is made up of non-music majors, they are all exceptionally impressive and entertaining. Capital Green is known for performing various types of music including classics, pop, alternative, and more! They rehearse for hours each week and some of their members even arrange their songs! CG has five new members this year and they are so grateful to have them! Some of Capital Green’s favorite things include participating in MSU’s A Cappellooza, competing in ICCA, singing at fall/ spring concerts, and going on summer singing tours around the state and Midwest region! CG is grateful for every opportunity they have to perform together! 

DJs A Cappella from the University of Michigan is a fun-loving group of people with an intense passion for creating eye-opening (or perhaps ear-opening) music. Known for experimenting with all different types of genres and sounds, this incredibly close musical family thrives on pushing boundaries and trying new things, whether that ends with them discovering a great new song to arrange or doing yoga poses on the West Virginia cliffsides. This a cappella group is dedicated to musical excellence while fostering a fun and inclusive environment for members, audiences, and friends. 

Euphoria is an a cappella group from Grand Valley State University. Active since 2016, they have competed at conferences like VoiceJam, BOSS, and SoJam, and performed for clients including the Bissell Family, NASA, and the President of Palau. They are so excited to be back at ICCA after taking a year off, and hope you “experience Euphoria,” while listening… or at least mild pleasure? If you like what you hear, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram @euphoriagvsu and visit their website at www.euphoriagv.com

Fish N Chips A Cappella is the oldest contemporary a cappella group at Central Michigan University. Blending sweet tunes, both old and new, with a fun and lighthearted stage presence, Fish N Chips has been entertaining audiences for over 17 years! 

Maize Mirchi A Cappella is the University of Michigan's fusion a cappella group. Operating by the motto "South Asian-inspired, but never required," Mirchi integrates South Asian music into Western pop music and performs these original arrangements on and off campus. Mirchi has competed and placed in the South Asian All-American Awaaz A Cappella circuit finals, and their historical participation in ICCA and advancement to Semifinals as a South Asian group has been groundbreaking for similar culturally-inspired groups all over the country. Maize Mirchi prides itself on its beautiful and diverse musical family and is excited to capture your hearts tonight! 

Melodytroit is a co-ed a cappella group from Wayne State University. Members are currently enrolled in a variety of majors, including pre-nursing, environmental science, education, kinesiology, public relations, global supply chain management, and many more. When the group isn't practicing, they love to go camping, grab some cider and donuts, play heads-up, sing karaoke, and share spicy memes. Founded in December 2011, Melodytroit celebrates Detroit's rich history of music. Some of their favorite pieces include “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, “Ain't Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations, and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, all arranged by Libby Lussenhopp. They have competed at ICCA for the past two years and have loved every moment of it. In addition to ICCA, some of their favorite performances include singing carols at The Detroit Zoo for Zoo Lights, performing at the Renaissance Center, and opening for Spring Sing 2019 in Detroit. Melodytroit is on Facebook and Instagram @Melodytroit and on YouTube @MelodytroitWSUACappella. Please follow them to stay updated on what they are up to and when they will be performing. Good luck to all of the groups competing! 

RCAHppella is a co-ed a cappella group based out of the Residential College of Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University, and is pleased to feature members from a variety of majors. RCAHppella is always excited to share their love for music with others, and have performed together on campus with other a cappella groups, at competitions like ICCA, coffeehouses, and various other community venues. This group is known for their unique friendship that comes across in their performances, and is now being recognized for the work they have put into evolving musically, visually, and professionally. These members, initially connected by their passion for singing, have melded into a diverse, musically skilled family. RCAHppella is thrilled at the talent and closeness their new members have brought, and look forward to showcasing their hard work at ICCA. 

The Sopranos is a proud, all-woman-identifying a cappella group founded at the University of Michigan in 2001. They describe themselves as a “hard working, tight-knit, badass family,” hoping to make a positive impact on the a cappella community. They would like to take this time to clarify that they are not all actually soprano voice parts. Webster’s dictionary defines “sopranos” as “the group you are about to hear,” so without any further ado, please ready your ears and open your hearts, because it’s about to get real. 


GUEST PERFORMER


The G-Men, or Gentlemen for long, is the premier all-male a cappella soccer team at the University of Michigan. They are known for their collective love of music and having a blast on and off stage. In recent years, The G-Men have competed in ICCA Finals in New York City, performed the national anthem for the Detroit Pistons and Tigers, and entertained audiences all around the country and within the Ann Arbor community. You can listen to their most recent album, Hijklmnog, on all streaming platforms. Give it up for the G-Men!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Paige Broderick has been immersed in the world of a cappella since her time as a member of Michigan State University's only all-female a cappella group, Ladies First. Since joining in 2010, Paige served as vice president and competed with Ladies First in the ICCA in 2011 and 2014. At their 2014 ICCA Quarterfinal, they placed 2nd and Paige won Outstanding Soloist, advancing the group to compete at ICCA Great Lakes Semifinals. Upon graduation from Michigan State University, Paige is still singing as a member of professional all-female group, Revel. With Revel, Paige competed at the 2017 Open competition and continues to record and perform with them to this day. Aside from continuing to write and record her own original music, Paige currently resides in Berkley, Mich. with her husband, Joe, and Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Waffle. Paige is thrilled to be back at the Great Lakes ICCA competition and wishes all groups the best of luck competing! 

Olivia Child knew as soon as she arrived at Michigan State University that she had to get involved in a cappella - specifically Ladies First, the only all-treble group on campus. Being a member of Ladies First meant a lot to her, especially because her own mother was one of the founders of the group when she attended MSU in 1985! Olivia performed with Ladies for all four years of her undergraduate career, competing in ICCA each year in the Great Lakes region and moving on to Semifinals in Chicago for two years in a row. She was an arranger for the group and served as business manager for a year and a half, thriving in the additional logistical challenges involved in these roles. After graduating from MSU in 2018, she found herself wanting even more a cappella and joined the off-season group, MSU Spartones. She competed with Spartones at the ICCA Open in 2019 and looks forward to finding more opportunities to stay involved with a cappella in the future, starting with this exciting opportunity to judge the talented groups this season! 

Lindsay CieChanski is the Director of Vocal Music at Skyline High School, which houses four choirs, including the a cappella ensemble, Skyline Blues. Lindsay graduated from the University of Michigan in 2002 with a dual major in voice performance and choral music education, and completed her master’s degree in music education in 2007, also at U of M. She has worked as a guest clinician and enjoys participating in music conferences. Lindsay has also directed musicals and performs in several ensembles. Lindsay has led Skyline’s choirs to successful performances at ICHSA, Solo and Ensemble, and Choral Festival. Skyline Blues has performed for numerous events around the Ann Arbor Community and has consistently competed in ICHSA. Lindsay has greatly enjoyed her time working with Varsity Vocals and is inspired to continue promoting the art of a cappella singing. 

Jeff Magee is a vocal music education graduate from the University of Toronto, and currently teaches high school vocal and instrumental music. He has been an active part of Toronto's a cappella community for 12 years as a beatboxer, singer, director, arranger, and vocal coach. Jeff has experience in a variety of a cappella choirs, ranging from jazz and classical to pop music. He has directed collegiate a cappella choirs for eight years, incorporating award-winning choreography, soloists, and arrangements. Jeff is passionate about bringing the fun and excitement of a cappella music to new audiences. 

Jake Przybyla began his life in music with piano lessons at the age of six. He joined the school choir in 3rd grade and continued singing in choirs and musicals through high school. Jake attended Michigan State University where he joined The MSU Accafellas in the fall of his freshman year. Becoming one of the "Fellas" was a pivotal experience for Jake and he went on to lead them as president and music director during his junior and senior years. At the group's 2012 ICCA Quarterfinal, Jake shared the award for Outstanding Arrangement and the group placed 3rd overall. After his first four years of college, Jake took a year off his studies in order to pursue professional music opportunities. He and a few of his fellow Accafellas formed an a cappella quartet and landed a six-month contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines singing on the Celebrity Summit. Since coming home and finishing his degrees, Jake works as a chemistry supervisor by day, but carries his passion for music with him by continuing to arrange music for a cappella groups and participating in musical theatre in the Lansing area. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Cameron Clemens,  Darin Martin, the University of Michigan, Moira Rose, Anders Borg, and Liquid5th Productions; 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

Patty Floyd
 Accountant

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Courtney Jensen
 Associate Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Elise Hackl
PA/MA Program Coordinator  
ICHSA Great Lakes, Midwest, & Southwest 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 two placing groups will advance to the 2020 ICCA Great Lakes 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?


FALL 2020