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 NORTHEAST QUARTERFINAL

 

New York Society for Ethical Culture
Saturday, March 7th, 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

 

The Cleftomaniacs is the only all-female a cappella group at NYU! They recently released a full-length album, Bittersweet, which is available on all streaming platforms. This is their second time performing in the ICCA, after debuting last year and winning Outstanding Arrangement for their entire set at Quarterfinals. 

Frequency is the fresh new face of collegiate a cappella. In the fall of 2017, Frequency was founded by a few Pace students to offer students a creative outlet to grow their musical gifts. Diversity is one of Frequency's core values. They strive to create an environment where students from all different cultures, genres, and backgrounds can come together and express their love for music. 

Hawkappella is Hunter College's one and only a cappella group! As a result, they’re also the best one! They like to have a little bit of everything in their repertoire, from soul to pop to classical-turned-jazz, and they specialize in bringing smiles to their audience's faces! They’re all huge music lovers (despite being mostly science majors), and their biggest hope is to share that love with all of you! 

Formed in 2001, The Satin Dolls is Fordham University's all-female a cappella group! Throughout the year, they enjoy performing at on-campus events, collaborating with other clubs, and singing with the community around campus. Contrary to what their name implies, you’ll find these ladies wearing all black (no pink bows in sight) and their tunes have the edge to match it. 

Established in 2004, The Audiophiles is Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s only co-ed a cappella group, as well as its only group that has previously competed in the ICCA. This past year, they released their first studio EP, WAV, which features a wide variety of songs arranged by several members of the group. Since they primarily perform arrangements by active members, their repertoire and music style reflects the group’s tastes at any given time. While the academic interests of our group range from actuarial sciences to electrical and computer engineering, they bond over their shared love of singing. 

The F Sharps is Fordham Lincoln Center's only a cappella group and includes singers of all genders and from all class standings. They are slightly famous, as they once sang “Happy Birthday” to Josh Peck on Twitter and he retweeted it. They are also notoriously good looking.

The Macaulay Triplets is the premier a cappella group of The Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. Composed of students across all eight CUNY campuses and the five boroughs, they have performed at various venues throughout New York City, including Lincoln Center and the United Palace Theater. Their style ranges from modern pop to alternative, but have also performed other genres like Latin, R&B, soul, and Motown. 

The Vocaholics is a premier SATB a cappella group from NYU. After becoming gender-inclusive in 2016, The Vocs officially transitioned from TTBB to SATB. They perform a number of musical genres from various artists, ranging from Sam Smith to Ariana Grande to Florence The Machine. The Vocaholics are very excited to be back performing at the ICCA after winning 1st place at Northeast Quarterfinals last year at Hofstra University. 

Pace University's Tonal Recall is a co-ed a cappella group which brings together members across all different majors and programs within the university. Tonal Recall sings all genres of music, but has recently been focusing on pop and alternative pop songs. The group members come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and experience levels, ranging from those who have been chorus members all throughout grade school to those who are fairly new to this whole singing thing. 

Vocollision is NYU's first Asian-interest a cappella group. They take pride in performing the most diverse repertoire of music, including American pop, 90s R&B, K-Pop, J-Pop, C-Pop, Bollywood music, and good old Disney. You can find them performing at various club events. Outside of NYU, they like to sing around New York City and travel to other colleges in different parts of the country. They performed at Northwestern University and University of Michigan as part of an intercollegiate a cappella festival, Quad A, and competed in the past few ICCA seasons. This year, Vocollision accepted seven new members to bring their current membership up to 20. Not only that, the group has a new music director this year and as such, is undergoing a transformation in culture and skills. Members of Vocollision performed at ICCA last year in the group Procrastinotes, which focused on having a high-energy set. These fun-loving singers want their set to reflect who they are and hope the audience comes out of it feeling both energized and joyful.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Katya Dreyer-Oren is an award-winning a cappella leader and arranger. She was music director of Fermata Town and BLACKOUT NYC A Cappella, leading both groups to numerous Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) wins and nominations, as well as placements on multiple Voices Only albums. She has led arranging workshops at Boston Sings (BOSS) and the National A Cappella Convention (NACC). Katya holds a degree in vocal jazz performance from New England Conservatory. 

Jasmine Edwards attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts for voice, but found her love for a cappella music while studying music therapy at Florida State University. She sang, arranged for, and competed with The AcaBelles, performing with them multiple times at ICCA Semifinals and SoJam. She acted as music director for her final two years in the group and led their efforts in recording a full-length album which earned multiple CARA nods. Post-graduation, Jasmine attended New York University for her master’s degree in music therapy and is now a full-time music therapist at the Mt. Sinai Health System and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. 

Candice Helfand-Rogers, a longtime Varsity Vocals judge, has been active in the a cappella community for decades. At Rutgers University, she sang with and music-directed Deep Treble, then went on to help found and direct ShockWave, leading the latter group to ICCA Finals in its first year. After graduating, she teamed up with several other college a cappella alumni to found Restated (formerly known as The Red States) and served as its musical director for several years. She has garnered multiple awards for her onstage and in-studio contributions to each of these groups, particularly as an arranger and choreographer. In addition, Candice's voice can be heard in Universal Studios' hit a cappella movies, "Pitch Perfect" and "Pitch Perfect 2.” Today, she sings with numerous New York City ensembles, including Broadway Inspirational Voices and Ghostlight Chorus, and has been a featured performer at venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Minskoff and New Victory Theaters. Outside of music, Candice is a journalist (and an extremely proud mom). 

David Rowen is an actor, musician, and producer, based in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Music in voice and piano from James Madison University, where he music directed the premier co-ed a cappella group, The Overtones. He has had arrangements featured on the BOCA and Voices Only compilation albums. David has performed Off-Broadway and at numerous regional theatres, and has spent time working as a music teacher, music director, and private piano instructor. He regularly arranges music, and covers a variety of songs and musical genres through his music YouTube channel, davidrowen/creative. 

Peter Yang is a veteran a cappella producer and singer. His work as a senior producer with The Vocal Company has garnered him over 100 CARA nominations, working with both scholastic and professional groups. As a singer, he has performed internationally with Vocal Over Drive, toured the U.S. with The Cat's Pajamas vocal band, and has now established his residency in New York City, where he continues to make music with professional recording group, zephyr vocal band. Follow Peter on Instagram @pyang302.

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 Northeast 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