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

 

Missouri State University
Saturday, February 29th, 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

 

Founded in 2002, A Cub Bella is the premier, all-female a cappella group at Missouri State University. The group states that their purpose is to provide its members with an outlet for self-expression through vocal music and performance. They strive to promote female empowerment and give members a powerful and uplifting community of like-minded individuals with a passion for music.

Since its founding in 2001, Washington University's After Dark A Cappella has been performing, achieving, and looking good. They pride themselves on being open to performing any genre of music and creating interesting and fun arrangements. Each year, AD hosts a joint Halloween concert (in-costume!), presents a two-night spring concert, competes in ICCA, and performs gigs in and around St. Louis. In addition to their live performances, After Dark has released five full-length studio albums, including their 2018 release, Dark Matter, which is available on Spotify and iTunes. 

Miner Key is Missouri University of Science and Technology’s first and only a cappella group. Since its founding in 2018, the group has grown from eight friends with a love for music to an 18-member competitive ensemble. Composed predominantly of engineering and science majors, their goal is to promote a local community of music and have fun while doing it. They are excited to make their ICCA debut this year! 

Minor Detail, the fiercest group at Truman State University, is an all-female a cappella group that loves being together almost as much as they love performing. They come from all different majors and backgrounds, but unite through their love of a cappella music. Founded in 2002, Minor Detail’s main hobby is recording fun videos that showcase their diverse group’s different personalities. Their favorite date is April 25th because it's not too hot, not too cold, and all you need is a light jacket. They spend their free time taking cute pictures together and sharing #minormoments with all of their friends, family, and superfans. They are currently in search of an energized crowd ready to dance with them. In all seriousness, this group of women is extremely dedicated to music, the group, and the bond they share. They rehearse for at least six hours a week, focusing on pitch accuracy, tone, blend, and dynamics. Each member brings their unique voice and personality, which makes the group truly powerful. They perform at a variety of events and continue to expand their range of performances and experiences each year. Their name may be MINOR Detail, but you shouldn’t underestimate MAJOR talent. 

Mizzou Forte is the premier co-ed a cappella group of the University of Missouri. The group has been alive and well since its founding in 2005. These students come from a variety of places, study a variety of majors, and bring, you guessed it, a variety of different personalities. Each member's unique strengths and experiences help them learn from one another and grow stronger as a whole. The group currently contains zero music majors, which means the group consists of ex-choir kids. Mizzou Forte is an opportunity for them to break away from their normal class schedules and put their energy into something just because they’re passionate about it. They rehearse and perform songs from all different styles and genres. They’ve performed nearly everywhere in their Columbia bubble and have been given numerous opportunities to perform on the behalf of their university. Their goal is to create positive music experiences for their university and community. 

Redhawk Rhythm at Southeast Missouri State University is pleased to make its debut at the ICCA! Not only is this the group’s inaugural competition season, but it's their first year on campus as well. They have enjoyed forming this group and interacting with students on campus. Redhawk Rhythm is composed of 15 members, primarily underclassmen, who come from many different backgrounds and have a common goal of creating beautiful music. The group members’ diverse backgrounds and experiences have allowed them to creatively perform various genres and styles. Throughout the school year, they perform at sporting events and at small concerts for various audiences. Redhawk Rhythm is thrilled to perform their boy band themed set list today. They’re proud to represent their university and hope to embody what it means to be a Redhawk. 

Based out of Springfield, Mo. The Beartones is Missouri State University's all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2000, The Beartones have always been focused on musical excellence, brotherhood, and having a good time. For more than a decade, The Beartones have consistently thrilled a variety of audiences. The group has received accolades for their “polished” and “memorable” sets and has performed across the country, in cities including Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York City! 

Since forming in 2012, The Hibernotes have been known for their high-energy and captivating performance style. Regardless of what song they sing, they are sure to leave their mark onstage, performing with power and confidence in their vocals and choreography. The group currently includes 13 members. 

The Naturelles from the University of Missouri was founded in 2007 and they have been singing together ever since! While none of the current Naturelles are studying music at Mizzou, they’ve found that the best thing about being in a group is all the unique ways they fit together, despite their different areas of study. Despite their differences, they all love to perform together and absolutely can't wait to show you what they can do! 

The Sensasians is WashU’s premier Asian-interest a cappella group. They specialize in fresh, bilingual mashups that showcase their passion for music from around the world. Though they were only founded in 2009, they have won awards in back-to-back ICCA seasons, including a 1st place finish at their 2016 ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal. In the spring of 2016, they released their debut EP, The New Kids on the Wok, and in spring 2018, they released their second EP, 21st Sentury, which you can check out on iTunes or Spotify. They aim to share their style of Asian fusion music with the WashU community, as well as other schools and cultural groups outside of St. Louis.


GUEST PERFORMERS


Flockappella is the premier a cappella group from Glendale High School in Springfield, Mo. Founded in spring 2019, Flockappella hopes to spread the joy of a cappella music to the greater Springfield area. This mixed-voice ensemble represents students from all grades levels. Fun Fact: both of this group's directors are competing in the ICCA on this very stage. Break a leg, everyone!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

John Holland is an a cappella arranger and performer in the Saint Louis area. An animator and content manager by day, John moonlights as an arranger and critiquing assistant for a cappella groups. As a student at Saint Louis University, John music-directed the all-male group The Bare Naked Statues, leading them to win the 2014 ICCA Midwest Semifinals and progress all the way to Finals in New York City. His notable arrangements include "When You Were Young," originally performed by The Killers, which won Outstanding Arrangement at the 2014 ICCA Midwest Semifinals and was nominated for Best Male Collegiate Arrangement for the 2015 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), and "Holding On To You" by Twenty-One Pilots, which won Outstanding Soloist at the 2016 ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals. 

After singing in choirs since elementary school, Alli Jakubek entered the world of a cappella in her freshman year at the University of Mary Washington. She joined the co-ed a cappella group, The One Note Stand, in which she sang alto and was a frequent soloist for her four years there. When Alli began with the group, they had never performed at the ICCA, and she led the group’s effort to compete in 2017 and 2018, helping them reach 3rd place at their Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Alli became affiliated with Cut Off Studios, where she coordinates and teaches at educational events. She has worked as a clinician for two years and specializes in helping groups find their identity, both musically and literally. 

Nicole Loudis studied vocal music education at Missouri State University and went on to be the elementary general music, middle school choir, high school choir, theatre, and assistant band director at Hartville R-2 Schools. During Nicole’s tenure, the bands and choirs won many 1st place wins at contests. She currently teaches elementary music at Hickory Hills and Bowerman Elementary Schools in Springfield, Mo. Niki also performs in a '50s and '60s "rock 'n' soul" cover band called The Detectives.  

Nathan Rudolph holds an undergraduate degree in music education and a master's degree in choral conducting, and has been a public school music educator for 23 years, leading multiple choirs of various genres at the high school and middle school levels. He has been at Blue Springs High School for the last 12 years, where he also directos an a cappella group, The Fortissibros. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Danielle Sutherland, Kenny Kabak, Gio Hernandez, Kaitlin Kilby, Laura Frost, Weston Thomas, the Plaster Student Union Staff, and Missouri State University; 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