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 SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

Howard W. Blake High School
Saturday, February 15th, 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 University of South Carolina's Cockappella is an eclectic group of students bound by a common passion for music. In addition to performing across their campus, they jump at any opportunity to get involved performing in the outer community of Columbia. You can often find their members at a lively USC tailgate, in the T. Coop library studying until the wee hours of the morning (like the studious kids that they are), or kicking it back together at movie nights and family dinners. They sing, they dance, they love like a family, and they can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings them! 

HEARTbeats is the FIU Honors College a cappella group and is made up of students who have nothing but love for music. Although there are no music majors in the group, they believe it’s possible to live up to and exceed expectations through their strong dedication to music. This group was formed in order to provide academically focused students an opportunity to let go in their free time and it has continued to do just that year after year. With the support of the Honors College, the singers of HEARTbeats share their love for music around campus and they have even been able to extend that to the community through partnerships with Zoo Miami, Make-A-Wish, and others. Every performance, every meeting, and every song serves as a reminder of why they all decided to come together as one. HEARTbeats isn’t only an a cappella group, but a family that enjoys spending time together and is always there to lend a helping hand. 

Tampa Tones, from The University of Tampa, is thrilled to create music together in 2020! Tampa Tones is thankful to share their passion for a cappella with one another and want to inspire others to take their chance onstage as well. They would like to wish all other teams competing this year the best of luck! 

Scarlette Fever is the University of Tampa’s newest a cappella group made up of a diverse group of females! The women in this group come from many different backgrounds and showcase their roots in the music they arrange and perform. They are passionate about inspiring others, especially other women, through the gift of music. This cherished sisterhood shows that anyone is capable of doing what they love with a group of sisters by their side. Their main focus is women’s empowerment and spreading the message that together, women can change the world. All of their music is arranged by Lily Wiggle and Alyssa Cabrera, whose intricate compositions seek to move their audiences. They mostly perform pop music, but like to throw in the occasional showtune. They hope to keep inspiring others with their talents and cannot wait to change the world, one voice, one song, and one step at a time. 

Tones of Gold is the premier a cappella group from the University of South Florida. They are a group of fun, music-loving students from all different majors and musical backgrounds. Founded in 2013, they are constantly improving and progressing, both individually and as a group. They enjoy participating in the community and spreading their love and joy through music. 

Rocky's Angels is an all-female a cappella group at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. A relatively new group, they just celebrated three years of singing together this past fall. After a year of transition, they are proud to be returning to ICCA with a slew of fresh faces and a beautiful sound. The girls' strong bond forms a firm foundation for the group, which shines through in their sets. This will be the group’s first time competing since their founding members have graduated and they are ready for what’s ahead. They believe that women are strong and deserve to be heard and can’t think of a better way to show this than to sing with every ounce of their souls, display all of their hard work from rehearsal, and perform songs that focus on women’s empowerment. The group members embrace their differences and have truly established a sisterhood. They would like to thank the culture of USF for accepting their group, allowing them to prosper, and providing them performance opportunities to further grow over this past year. They will make you proud. Go Bulls! 

The University of South Florida's EnsemBull was founded in 2015 by Vybhav Jagganth. EnsemBull is a service-based a cappella group, performing monthly at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as at on-campus showcases and fundraisers. The EnsemBull is unique in that no members are music majors and all of their music is arranged by members inside the group. 

Tulane University’s only competitive group, [wavelength], is an exploration of what happens when they crystallize the identity of New Orleans into an a cappella format. This group is made up of musicians, arrangers, singer/songwriters, composers, dancers, and artists. They find that in each of their other groups and a cappella experiences, the making of art often comes second to meeting goals and expectations. They want and all need to change that. [wavelength] provides an additional artistic outlet for the group members, while also bringing the motto of New Orleans to a cappella: “laissez les bon temps rouler,” which is oftentimes translated as “life is too short to be angsty all the time, get down a little!” They’re here to bring joy to the sonic sphere, jazz to a cappella, and a sense of community to the Tulane a cappella and musical environments.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Lauren Menendez-Barreiro has a degree in music from Florida State University, where she began her a cappella career singing with The FSU AcaBelles, eventually becoming music director from 200910. After leaving FSU, Lo pursued a professional career in a cappella as a sought-after adjudicator, arranger, and clinician, working with The Vocal Company, the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and Varsity Vocals. She founded the professional group Musae and sang with them until 2013. Currently residing in Tampa with her husband, Lo is happy to be returning to the a cappella community. 

Born and raised in Dunedin, Fla., Katherine Crumrine graduated with honors from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Music Education in 2005 and a Master of Music Education in 2011. She was a member and music director of The AcaBelles from 2002-2005. She then taught in Pinellas County Schools for six years, first as assistant director of band and chorus at Largo High School, and then as director of chorus and strings at Dunedin Highland Middle School. While teaching, she directed four high school a cappella groups and was a founding member of the Tampa-based co-ed group, Eleventh Hour A Cappella. Katherine was also a founding member of Festival Singers of Florida and former member of Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, The Zielinski Singers, Opera Tampa, and Tapped In, Inc., a professional Tap Company. Most recently, she graduated with a master's degree in arts administration from Florida State University. She remains involved in the vocal world through groups such as Premiere All-Female A Cappella and the Long Beach Master Choral, as an adjudicator for Varsity Vocals, and as an instructor and master clinician for the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. After returning to Florida, she is now the chorus director at Mandarin Middle School and Children’s Choir and staff singer at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. 

Alex Mendez is an alumnus of the Florida State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music in music therapy. Alex also has a passion for teaching and is pursuing a certification in both theatre and music education. Alex has served in a wide variety of leadership roles, notably with the all-male group, Reverb, in positions such as music director, business manager, and choreographer. Alex has received numerous awards and other awards at ICCA and other a cappella competitions, including Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Choreography, and is a three-time Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) winner. 

Daryl Yasay is Associate Choral Director at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla. He directs several award-winning choirs, as well as the a cappella group Noise Complaint. Under his direction, Noise Complaint has competed at ICHSA Quarterfinals and Semifinals, as well as the National A Cappella Convention (NACC). They have also been showcased at the Betsy’s A Cappella Festival in Miami, working with arrangers Shams Ahmed and Ben Bram. Formerly a member of The Potsdam Pointercounts (SUNY Potsdam), Daryl serves as an active arranger, choreographer, and clinician. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Blake High School choirs and director; 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 South 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

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THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?


FALL 2020