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 MIDWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Ball State University
Saturday, February 22nd, 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

 

Eastern Illinois University’s Eastern Euphonics provides students an outlet to express their love of various types of music. Eastern Euphonics is an a cappella group that strives to thrill their audiences with tight harmonies and beautiful melodies and show that not all music needs accompaniment. 

Just Duet is made up of talented members of all majors and backgrounds. Established in 2013, Just Duet is already making great strides in the world of a cappella. They have competed in the ICCA and had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City under the baton of modern a cappella legend, Deke Sharon. Most recently, Just Duet just finished recording their first studio album. Just Duet sings at on-campus functions throughout the academic year, as well as at a cappella invitationals, solo concerts, and more. Just Duet performs for audiences as small as personal serenades or as large as 3,000. Just Duet has traveled to universities across the country to perform with other talented a cappella groups. The group holds three two-hour rehearsals every week and arranges and performs their own music. 

The Miami University TrebleMakers is an a cappella group currently composed of 17 talented Miami women. Founded in 2010, The TrebleMakers quickly became one of the finest groups on campus, performing in concerts throughout the school year and often collaborating with the other groups in Miami's talented a cappella community. They released their first EP in 2016 and released a full album in 2017. In the spring of 2019, they participated in their very first ICCA competition and they are so excited to come back and compete this year alongside the many other talented groups! The group members' voices and styles are as unique as their different personalities. They love coming together to share laughter and a passion for music. They also love long walks on the beach, and hanging out with the official TrebleMakers mascots: Luna the chihuahua mix, and Poppy and Posie, the dwarf hamsters. 

ICCA, what's going on? Note to Self is one of the two all-male a cappella groups in the Association of Collegiate A Cappella at Ball State! This is their sixth year performing in the ICCA and they couldn't be more ecstatic to show you what they’ve got! From their humble beginnings of singing in dining halls on campus to performing at the 2016 ICCA Semifinals in St. Louis, they have found themselves through singing with close friends. Note to Self’s dynamic sound will bring the jam to your day, the groove to your night, and the beat to your life! 

The singers of On a Side Note A Cappella love vines, Taco Bell, and most importantly, a cappella. Although they aren’t a group of people pursuing music careers, they are dedicated to making wonderful a cappella music. The group is only three and a half years old, but this will already be their third time competing at ICCA. On any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday during the school year, you can find them practicing in the Campus Center, some stairwells, outside by the fountains, or on the canal. Their founding member graduated last year and they are very excited to carry on her legacy this ICCA season. They are coming back with a new urban-inspired style, leaving behind their ties and dresses for streetwear. They are very excited for this year’s ICCA set, which centers on the big L word, “LOVE.” Their set focuses on how love can make you a little bit crazy sometimes, exploring the good, the bad, and the ugly. Rather than show a traditional love story with a happy ending, On a Side Note put together three separate pieces about how love can go wrong. They are so excited to perform on the ICCA stage! 

Purdue Soundtracks Acapella is the first co-ed, contemporary pop a cappella group on Purdue University’s campus. Founded in the spring of 2017, this SSAATTBB ensemble sims to bring a musical and creative outlet to a heavily STEM-oriented campus. The group includes a wide selection of majors, from aerospace engineering to veterinary medicine to linguistics. This blend of personalities and backgrounds leads to a unique blend in the group style, differentiating them from any other a cappella group. A fully student-led group, Purdue Soundtracks is passionate about their music and hopes to translate that passion to their audience. They arrange their music with its specific members in mind, focusing less on individual soloists and more on a holistic group sound. This doesn’t stop them from having stellar solo vocalists, but don’t be surprised when entire sections take a melody line and run with it. They are excited for the opportunity ICCA brings to perform onstage with other amazing groups. Finally, Soundtracks would like to acknowledge and thank all of their supporters around campus and across the country, especially their advisors, Dr. Jason Ware and Mr. Kit Klutze. They hope you’ll enjoy their performance tonight now! 

Sedoctave is Ball State University's mixed a cappella group, known for their gold shoes and fun stage presence. They perform year-round in the Muncie area, both on and off campus, and specialize in jazz, pop, R&B, and soul music. Last season, they were fortunate to represent the Midwest at ICCA Finals in New York and are so excited to see where this year's season takes them! 

The Parallels A Cappella is one of Ball State University's five a cappella groups. This all-female group focuses on alternative pop and singing what makes them happy. The Parallels strive to create a home for musicians of all different backgrounds. Together, they seek to spread joy to every individual they reach through rheir music.

Founded in 2017, UC Avocalypse is the University of Cincinnati’s first all-female competitive a cappella group. They are rooted in empowering the women of UC with powerful voices. They strive to challenge themselves with different musical themes and to give women on UC’s campus more opportunities for musical expression. They are a passionate and talented group of women with majors ranging from engineering to design to nursing and everything in between. UC Avocalypse has had the opportunity to perform for various showcases, festivals, and fundraisers around the Cincinnati/Dayton area, and at the 2019 ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals. 

Founded in 2014, The University of Cincinnati Vocaholics is a pop a cappella group composed of the most passionate students that you will see on any campus. The group consists of members from all years of school and from almost every college at the University. They pride themselves on being a self-run machine, doing their own choreography, writing their own scores, and producing their own videos. They engage their audiences by creating emotional musical journeys. Although each song means something a little different to each member, they all work together to give you dynamic, united performances.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Daniel Fister is a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis studying musicology. He earned his undergraduate degree at Chapman University in vocal performance and music history and his master’s degree at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in music history. He has presented and written on collegiate a cappella, musical theatre, and other American music. Before his life as an academic, he directed, sang, and arranged for Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out, leading them to the 2010 ICHSA Finals, and went on to participate just as actively in Chapman University’s SoundCheck, with whom he competed regularly in ICCA and directed the production of their debut album, Everything (2012). He remains involved in a cappella as a judge and arranger. 

Jason Klinect earned his Master of Music in music education from the University of Akron, where he served as a graduate assistant for the bands for one year. He student-taught at Cuyahoga Falls High School in the fall of 2019. He earned a Bachelor of Music in brass performance from Akron as well, where he performed in various instrumental and choral ensembles. During his undergraduate career, Jason was a member and frequent arranger of Rhythm and Roos A Cappella for four years, serving as assistant music director for two years. 

Kaleem McGill's musical background has gone through many turns, all of which have shaped him into a dedicated member of a cappella world. He has participated in local and regional choirs throughout the Midwest, touring and singing in places such as Lincoln Square, numerous venues in Mainland China, and The Vatican. Although he did not participate in college a cappella, he found his way back to music with the group Impromptu. His group has placed in two Varsity Vocals competitions and was the 2018 VoiceJam National Champion. They have also performed with groups like DCappella, The Real Group, and many other amazing performers. Kaleem is very excited to participate in this very special genre of music and for tonight's groups to share their gifts. 

Ian Williams has been involved in music since childhood and grew up participating in solo performance, musical theatre, and concert and show choirs. At U of M, Ian continued his musical training in voice performance from world renowned bass-baritone, Stephen West, and jazz arranging and performance from Grammy-nominated trombonist, Dennis Wilson. Currently, he serves as a Principal Vocal Artist for Heartland Sings, Inc. and works as a performer and teacher in Fort Wayne, Ind. At Heartland Sings, Ian frequently performs contemporary a cappella and has even collaborated with the Swedish a cappella sensation, The Real Group. He has spent the last few years teaching private voice lessons and coaching large and small vocal ensembles. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Thanks to Ball State University, ACA, Molly O'Connor, Luke Thomas, and Danielle Sutherland; 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 Midwest 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