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 MID-ATLANTIC QUARTERFINAL

 

Drexel University
Suday, February 23rd, 2020

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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 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

 

8 to the Bar is Drexel University’s all-male a cappella group based out of Philadelphia. Founded in 1997 as Drexel’s first recognized a cappella group, they’ve been around for quite some time! The group members come from many different majors and backgrounds so their diversity meets no end. They’re proud to have placed 1st at Carlisle’s “M&T Bank Glee: College A Cappella Competition” in 2018 and compete annually in the ICCA. 

The Drexel Cleftomaniacs is a co-ed a cappella group established in 2012. The group features Drexel University students who share a passion for singing and creating music. Since the beginning, the group’s mission has been to produce quality a cappella music, while also fostering a diverse and tight-knit family. They aim to help each member develop as individual musicians, while constantly elevating the performances of the group as a whole. 

The Drexel TrebleMakers is Drexel University's premier all-female a cappella group. With a repertoire tailored towards EDM, pop, and R&B, the group strives to create a unique sound and twist preconceived notions of female a cappella. Overall winners of the 2017 “M&T Bank Invitational Glee: College A Cappella Competition” and 3rd place finishers of 2019 ICCA Quarterfinals, The TrebleMakers are excited to continue upping their game at the ICCA and share their voices with the a cappella community. 

LiaChorus is a gender-inclusive competitive a cappella group from Temple University. Last year, LiaChorus made group history by competing in their second ICCA and made it all the way to Semifinals in Wilmington, Del. They pride themselves in being a group of best friends that hang out, go to events together, play games on the weekend, and even live together. 

Established in 1995, Melica is a group of sassy, classy, and fabulous ladies who love music. The members come from various majors and come together through sisterhood and friendship. They sing a wide range of music, from classic country hits to the latest pop songs on the radio. They celebrate the diversity in music and in their group. 

Pitch, Please is Temple University’s one and only queer advocacy a cappella group! Founded in 2014, Pitch, Please strives to spread love and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community through their music. Known for their close bonds and lavender accents, they hope to continue their streak of queer representation and empowerment as they celebrate their fifth year as a group! 

Singchronize is Temple University's first and only all-female-identifying a cappella group, composed of both music and non-music majors. Founded in 2002, Singchronize Female A Cappella was created to give Temple female-identifying students an outlet to sing and arrange pop music in a positive and supportive environment. With on and off-campus gigs, semesterly concerts, and recording endeavors, Singchronize works toward creating an a cappella group that encompasses more than just a unique sound. Singchronize strives to promote female empowerment through music and high-caliber performances. Performing genres such as pop, R&B, and even country, Singchronize combines complex arrangements and powerful lyrics to put on a truly one of a kind performance. 

The Supernovas is Villanova’s oldest co-ed a cappella group. Ever since its founding in spring 1999, The Supernovas has grown in size and sound and developed a truly unique style of a cappella. Singing a range of music from artists like Drake, Beyoncé, John Legend, Florence and the Machine, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, and Ariana Grande, The Supernovas perform each arrangement true to the artist's original production while incorporating their own distinctive Supernova sound. Throughout the year, The Supernovas perform at various events on and off Villanova’s campus, from basketball games to Villanova’s Special Olympics Fall Festival. In the past, The Supernovas have performed at benefit concerts for Hurricane Relief, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia as part of the PIFA Festival, and were even invited to audition for NBC's “The Sing-Off.” The Supernovas have been performing competitively in the ICCA for the past four years and were named Champions of their 2017 ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal and went on to place 3rd in Semifinals. The Supernovas have also placed 3rd in 2014 and won Outstanding Arrangement. 

Untitled was formed in 2018 at Towson University. A relatively new group, they have grown so much over the past year. Formed with the intention of competing in the ICCA, the group performs for various gigs, concerts, and showcases. They are a hard-working and fun group and they can't wait to show what they can bring to the stage.

Vocal Point has been creating a cappella music at the University of Delaware since 1998. They try to make music as fun as possible for themselves and make cool discoveries along the way. Vocal Point arranges in a variety of genres and styles for audiences of all kinds. 

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Lydia Anthony has been a singer for most of her life, performing as a soloist, in musicals, and with numerous choral groups. Her passion for the field led her to Berklee College of Music and Elizabethtown College, where she received her Bachelor of Music, specializing in music therapy. In school, she sang, co-directed, and arranged for Vocalign, a co-ed a cappella group at Elizabethtown. Lydia is a certified music therapist and utilizes vocal music to increase the quality of life for her clients. Recent projects include arranging songs for a choir of older adults who suffer from dementia and their loved ones. 

Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Penn., Amanda Cornaglia started her a cappella career as musical director of Special K at Hamilton College. After graduation, she moved to rural Japan for four years, where she founded, trained, and performed with the award-winning international a cappella group, The Amigos. Upon moving to the D.C. area in 2005, Amanda founded and continues to perform with the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) group, Euphonism, and Snowday, a group that provides a cappella educational programs all over the world. She is the managing partner of Clear Harmonies Productions, president of CAL, and she served on the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) Board of Directors from 2010-2015. 

Madelyn Curtin earned her Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in voice from The College of New Jersey. While at TCNJ, she was able to compete in the ICCA every year with the co-ed group, The Trentones. She was fortunate enough to be the group’s music director for three years, leading the group to ICCA Semifinals in 2018 and winning an award for Outstanding Arrangement. She is currently the choir director at Steinert High School, where she started the district's first a cappella group, The Spartones. She also loves theatre and enjoys music-directing and teaching advanced acting classes every summer. A cappella has become one of her true passions and she remains active running masterclasses and arranging for groups. She is excited to be part of Varsity Vocals once again! 

Ricky Jabarin is thrilled to be judging again for Varsity Vocals! With eight years of a cappella experience, he currently works for A Cappella Productions (ACP) as a studio production engineer and arranger. In 2012, Ricky co-founded and directed Penn State's award-winning group, The Coda Conduct. While performing with Coda, he received the Outstanding Arrangement award for the group’s entire 2015 ICCA set. Ricky also serves as admin for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) and teaches at a cappella festivals like Boston Sings (BOSS) and NE Voices. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank 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 Mid-Atlantic 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