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

 

George Washington University
Saturday, January 25th, 2020

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 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

 

Since 2013, Extreme Measures has developed a unique and strong sound that evolves and progresses from year to year. They are known for participating in various competitions, including the ICCA and Richmond Rhythm, as well as performing in the Newport News community at Glow in the Darcapella and Hollydazzle. In 2018, they released their first EP, California Dreamin’, which was followed by a music video and single, released in June 2019. Their love and commitment for Extreme Measures goes beyond the music and they credit their success to their shared personal bond as musicians and a family. 

Mason Some Noise is George Mason University’s premier gender-inclusive a cappella group! Founded in 2014, MSN performs at events on campus and in the D.C. area. MSN exemplifies the amazing diversity of GMU, hosting varied members all united by their shared friendship and love of music. MSN is a group with a history of award-winning and record-setting. In 2018, Mason Some Noise became the first a cappella group in GMU history to compete in the ICCA and became the first to advance to Semifinals in 2019, claiming a total of five awards in its first two years of competition. Their sights are set even higher for the 2020 season. Everyone at Mason Some Noise thanks you for your support! 

No Ceiling is a mixed a cappella group from The College of William & Mary, established in 2015. They aim to represent the vocal talents of their school on a national level and engage in positive competition with other talented collegiate groups. Although they enjoy singing lots of different types of music, their niche is in lesser-known songs that allow space for creative arrangements. The lack of audience expectation allows them to craft a dynamic set and they complement their music with equally unique choreography. Founded as an unofficial group, No Ceiling prepared its 2016 ICCA set at odd hours in vacant classrooms, stairwells, and even the living rooms of generous hosts. The 15 students went through the difficult process of earning recognition from William & Mary, and each subsequent achievement further proved the group’s perseverance. Since becoming an official campus organization, they continue to persist in the face of heavy workloads and busy schedules, while striving to be the best that they can be. Beyond the competitive aspect, they are a group of close friends who enjoy spending time together and strive to convey their close connection in their performances. As they say after each rehearsal: No Ceiling, lots of feeling. 

On October 31, 2013, Patriot Pitches was founded as George Mason University’s first co-ed a cappella group by a small group of friends with a shared interest in vocal music. Looking to professional groups and other established collegiate a cappella ensembles for inspiration, the founders sought to bring the sounds of vocal pop music to northern Virginia. Over the last six years, The Pitches has grown from a small contingent of a cappella enthusiasts to a 16-person ensemble which performs actively throughout the D.C.-Metro area and competes in national a cappella competitions. Last year, The Pitches had the privilege of making their ICCA debut and they released their first-ever music video, “Boyband Medley.” 

Ramifications is the most active a cappella group at Virginia Commonwealth University. Through hard work and creativity, The Ramifications aim to bring their bold ideas to life while upholding a high level of quality and professionalism. Over the past couple of years, The Ramifications have demonstrated this through the release of their first full studio album, Genesis, and a music video for the song “Cellophane.” In 2018, they were the first group from Virginia Commonwealth University to advance to the ICCA and they  placed 3rd at the 2019 ICCA South Quarterfinal in Durham, N.C. While The Ramifications excitedly look forward to new projects, this spring they will proudly celebrate their 10-year anniversary and all of the work that has defined who they are today.

Take Note, founded in the spring of 2010 at Christopher Newport University under inspiring leadership, has grown and continues to grow as a group with each passing year. At least once a year, Take Note holds auditions and gains the membership of talented young women from various musical backgrounds. Take Note prides itself on its fun-loving and open-minded approach to creating and performing music. This sense of joy is reflected in the widely varied musical genres represented in their repertoire. Not only are the women of Take Note dynamic onstage together, but they are also fierce friends. 

Formed in 1996, The GW Pitches are proud to be the first all-female a cappella group at The George Washington University, champions of GW’s Battle of the A Cappellas 2017, and select performers at the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival.This entirely student-run organization is a tight-knit family composed of women with a variety of talents, interests, and backgrounds. The Pitches are very active in the D.C. and GW communities. You can catch them singing in their fall or spring concerts, putting on gigs, producing their biennial albums, or appearing on “Voice of America.” The United Nations Foundation has even referred to them as “The Real Pitch Perfect.” The GW Pitches love music, performance, sour gummy worms, and most importantly, one another. 

Three-time ICCA Semifinalists and back-to-back GW Battle of the A Cappellas champions, The Vibes is GW’s premier a cappella group. Founded in 1999,  this co-ed group enjoys performing for their GW community and beyond, including Christmas carols at the White House and the national anthem at the Nats Stadium. Check out the 2019 BOCA album to hear one of their award-winning songs and listen to their newly dropped EP, Twenty, on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and any other major streaming platforms! More than just a bad-ass a cappella group, The Vibes is a big family that always aims to entertain and have a great time doing it! 

Founded in 2008, The One Note Stand is an independent, student-run, co-ed organization of music-loving students from the University of Mary Washington. They arrange all of the music they perform themselves. In addition to singing at campus and community events, they showcase their wide-ranging repertoire at competitions and large-scale concerts throughout the year.


GUEST PERFORMER


OneManJAMZ is a Virginia-bred singer, rapper, producer, and loop artist. His band solely consists of his voice putting together drum beats, bass grooves, tight harmonies, and dynamic lyrics. JAMZ prides himself on creating music that is genuine and human, focusing on a wide range of topics. JAMZ has performed all over the country with Varsity Vocals and SofarSounds, and he's thrilled to be back here at GWU!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Charnice Frazier has a long-lasting relationship with music, and has been singing since she could speak. In addition to singing in choirs from middle school through college, Charnice was part of a chamber a cappella ensemble in high school called Infinity. Through this ensemble, she realized that she wanted a cappella to always be a part of her life. In the fall of 2012, Charnice joined James Madison University's premier female a cappella group, Note-oriety, and served as business manager and president during her years with them. Along with leading the group, she arranged songs and helped record their award winning album, Note-oriety. Charnice currently resides in Southern Maryland and is the choral director at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, Md. Outside of teaching, Charnice sings in D.C.'s newest all-female vocal group, The District, and is one of the group’s assistant music directors. 

Alyce McNulty is a music teacher and singer from Los Angeles, Calif. who came to Baltimore, Md. to pursue a career in music at the Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Denyce Graves and Margaret Baroody. At Peabody, she founded her own professional group, Ember, with some of her dearest friends and musicians at the conservatory and in the a cappella community. They competed together at The Open in 2018 and were named Northeast Champions, singing a set of all original music that they were given the opportunity to premiere at Carnegie Hall in The Open Finals that September. Ember has since evolved into a working professional a cappella group that travels across the country, performing to many diverse audiences with a focus on music education whenever possible. When she's not singing or directing Ember, Alyce is a full-time traveling music teacher, teaching introductory piano and guitar classes, as well as general music classes, to an average of 17 schools each week. 

Rob Redei is a music educator, choir director, arranger and composer at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md. His arrangements and compositions are regularly performed by groups around the world, and have been featured on numerous recordings. He is a former director of Berkeley Preparatory School's Mello Divas (2014 ICHSA Finalists) and currently directs RidgeSound, a middle school contemporary a cappella group. 

Joshua Singer served as music director and arranger for two-time ICCA Finalists, University of Maryland Faux Paz. In 2016, he was awarded Outstanding Arrangement for the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Josh arranged the winning 2017 BOSS Scholastic Competition set for Faux. His work has been nominated for multiple Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), including a 2016 nomination for Best Electronic Song for his arrangement of "Our Own House" by Misterwives. Josh won the CARA for "Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement" for Faux Paz's single, "Where Are Ü Now" by Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Diplo. Josh was a featured director on the second season of Pop Network's “Sing It On," which followed his group's ICCA journey to Finals. Josh continues to engage with the a cappella community through his arrangements, collaborations, and workshops, and actively works to inspire groups across the country to take their music and performance to the next level. 

Tony Wang sang with The Washington University Sensasians from 2011 to 2015. During his years as music director, Tony led the newly-found group to their first-ever ICCA competition, where his arrangement of "Human" won Outstanding Arrangement. Tony's love of music began on the piano, but continued through voice, guitar, and percussion, as well as arranging. Since graduation, Tony has stayed involved in the a cappella community, serving as a musical adviser for his former group and singing with a recreational a cappella group. Tony is an avid music theory junkie and vocal percussionist, and would love to trade some beats with anyone who asks tonight! 

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