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

 

The Morton Theatre
Saturday, February 8th, 2020

WE'RE SOCIAL

 

We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!

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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 Alabama at Birmingham’s only a cappella team, Beyond Measures, is a group of roughly 20 undergraduate students from a variety of different backgrounds and disciplines, ranging from music education to neuroscience. Beyond Measures takes pride in its diversity, as well as its strong presence in the UAB and surrounding Birmingham communities, partnering with local organizations and nonprofits to help support causes while inspiring the community through music. Since the group’s founding in 2015, Beyond Measures has risen to become one of very few competitive a cappella teams in Alabama. Unlike many a cappella teams, most of the group members have not had any professional singing experience prior to joining, and they are proud not only of their ability to provide a musical outlet to their members, but also in their ability to strengthen their members’ music knowledge, vocal capabilities, and overall vocal confidence. This year, over half of the team is composed of brand-new members! Ultimately, Beyond Measures defines itself as UAB’s premier competitive a cappella team, embracing singers of all backgrounds in an effort to spread the joy of music throughout the Birmingham, UAB campus, and global a cappella communities. 

Founded in 2013, Codachrome is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's only a cappella group. Inspired by the iconic Kodak color film, Codachrome strongly identifies with the notion that through music, people are able to live in color. Through their performances, they continually aim to paint the lives of others and bring a sense of euphoria to their community and beyond. 

General Admission is Washington and Lee University's only co-ed a cappella group and the only group on campus to compete in the ICCA. Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains, the group consists of students from all different majors, from music to politics to neuroscience. The group's musical background includes those who have had classical training and others whose only previous experience is singing in the shower. They perform a variety of music, ranging from classic rock to contemporary pop and R&B, arranged by a couple of their own singers, along with others outside the group. They entertain the greater W&L and Rockbridge communities at concerts and charity events, including performances at the Souper Bowl for their Shepherd poverty program and their Stand Up SPEAK Out concert against sexual assault, as well as exchanges with other a cappella groups. They try to make their group not just an a cappella group, but a family. 

Harmonic Notion is Vanderbilt University’s premier fun-n-flirty ICCA-competing co-ed a cappella group. Harmonic Notion, also known as “HN” or “Harmonics,” was formed in January 2013. Although they are a fairly new group to campus, the group has quickly risen to great heights. Two years ago, Harmonic Notion placed 3rd at Quarterfinals, and went on to win their 2019 ICCA South Quarterfinal, advancing to Semifinals! Aside from competing, Harmonic Notion stays busy showcasing their music at concerts and events all around Vanderbilt’s campus, as well as recording! The group strives to perform a cappella music at a high level for the Vanderbilt community and have fun while doing it! This fall, Harmonic Notion also released their first EP, Magic Technique, which can be found on Spotify and Youtube! Outside of rehearsals and performances, you will still find them hanging out together in their fuzzy HN quarter zips, dancing and singing along to ICCA sets of years past.

Named for its Lochness mascot, and the multiple lakes on campus, Lochs & Keys was formed in the fall of 2019. They make their home at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., minutes from downtown Atlanta, where they also perform in Spivey Hall, the campus' internationally recognized concert hall. If any aca-fans are ever in their area, let them know! They have lots of beautiful lochs...and they also have keys! 

Nothin’ But Treble, Georgia Tech’s premier all-female a cappella group, was founded in 1998 by Dipika Jain as part of the Georgia Tech A Cappella Club, along with the guys’ a cappella group, Sympathetic Vibrations (est. 1997). The group is made up of a variety of Georgia Tech students, from engineering and biology to STAC majors, and typically includes between 10 and 12 active members ranging from freshmen to graduate students. All of the music in Nothin’ But Treble’s growing repertoire is arranged by  current or former members of the group. They rehearse at least twice a week and perform at various venues and events. In the past, they have performed at the Variety Playhouse in Little Five  Points, for College of Management events, and opened for Nappy Roots, Bubba Sparxxx, and Crime Mob. The’ve also performed annually at Georgia Tech's Ph.D. Commencement and at the annual Presidential Scholars’ weekend. Nothin' but Treble has also competed at SoJam in 2012 and the 2015 ICCA, taking home an award for Outstanding Arrangement at their ICCA Quarterfinal for "Chandelier." 

Pitchmen is the groundbreaking all-male a cappella group from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. The young group has become known for mixing powerhouse men's vocals with energetic and creative arranging to produce a sound unique to the a cappella world. The group reflects the growing and dynamic Nashville music scene by performing a wide variety of genres. Although rooted in pop and R&B, Pitchmen has arranged and performed genres such as rock, country, folk, and jazz. Coming into their second year of competition, Pitchmen plans to capitalize on last year's experience and bring a powerful and meaningful performance to the ICCA stage. The music in Pitchmen's 2020 ICCA set is at first glance emphatic, fun, and boisterous, but is actually centered around the Pitchmens’ own story. The songs each contain themes of patience, hardship, acceptance, and understanding, all of which the Pitchmen have walked through while shifting into their current identity. With this set, the group hopes to carry their story outside of Nashville and to a broader audience. 

The Accidentals is the University of Georgia's only all-male identifying a cappella group. From performing at locations all across the East Coast, as well as local areas such as Atlanta and North Carolina, The Accidentals is a well-practiced and professional group. In every performance, they bring an energy and personality that is unique to the collegiate a cappella realm. 

The Beltones is an 18-member student-run, co-ed a cappella group based in Nashville, Tenn. at Belmont University. Founded in 2009, they have spent the past 10 years sharing their love for music with local and national audiences, including ICCA Finals in New York City in 2013, 2014, and 2017. The Beltones commit to a foundation of positivity and value the privilege of making good music with people they love. 

reVOLution is in its 10th anniversary year of being the premier all-female contemporary a cappella group associated with the University of Tennessee School of Music. reVOL is a diverse group of women majoring in various disciplines, from biochemistry to psychology to music education and business. They also range in age from freshmen all the way to graduate students. They sing at campus basketball games, local high schools, office parties, SEC tailgates, local festivals, and at all university choral concerts. Their favorite artists to perform include Sara Bareilles, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Adele, and they strive to be confident go-getters like all of these talented women.

GUEST PERFORMER


Founded in 1988 in Athens, Ga., Noteworthy is still the University of Georgia's only all-female a cappella ensemble. At its core, Noteworthy is a musical group of dedicated college women brought together by a common love of music, a passion to make it, and a desire to share it. The women of Noteworthy consistently strive for musical excellence and put their passion into everything they create.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Paige Betts is the orchestra director at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. This is her sixth year as a music educator, having taught string orchestra, chorus, and musical theatre, and has been a runner-up for Teacher of the Year. She has given clinics with various orchestras, chorus, and a cappella ensembles across the Southeast, and has taught private voice and viola lessons. Paige is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.M. in music education. There, she was a member and musical director of UGA's all-female a cappella group, Noteworthy. Paige lives in Buford, Ga. with her husband Andrew and their rescue dog, Jake. 

Brad Maffett is the assistant conductor of the Athens Symphony. He previously performed with the Athens Symphony Chorus and continues to serve as a rehearsal assistant. Brad presently conducts band and choir at Franklin County Middle School and has previously conducted for “Musica Fraterna” of the Atlanta Children’s Choir, Local Vocals, and B Natural. Brad has been involved in all aspects of music, from serving as a singing waiter to playing tuba in a polka band. When he isn’t making music, he can be found cooking barbecue in competitions throughout the Southeast. 

Kim Neidlinger attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she earned a B.S. in music mducation (voice, piano) and an M.M. in choral conducting, studying under Don Neuen. Mid-career, she attended Georgia Southern University, Statesboro and received the Education Specialist degree in music education (ABD). She has taught at all levels (elementary, middle, and high school), teaching general music, chorus, beginning guitar, and piano lab in South Carolina and Georgia. She has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The Warwick Choral Festival , and as a soloist with the Savannah Symphony Chorus. She has performed on double bass with the Oconee Regional Orchestra and the Athens Symphony. Kim currently teaches at Haywood Community College and Western Carolina University as an adjunct instructor. 

John Robinson got his a cappella start in 2005 as a founding member of The UCF Crescendudes. In grad school, he served as music director for Georgia Tech's Infinite Harmony, and recorded and produced its first album. Since that first foray into audio production, he has helped record, edit, and mix albums for several collegiate and post-collegiate groups in the Southeast (he hates live sound engineering, but does that too). He sang bass for Catatonic (2014 Harmony Sweeps Finalist) and has taught masterclasses and courses at SoJam on the science of vocal sound and microphones. 

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank our guest group UGA Noteworthy; 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

varsityvocals

THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?


FALL 2020