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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

The University of Texas at Austin
Saturday, February 8th, 2020

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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

 

Beauties and the Beat, the premier all-female a cappella group at the University of Texas at Austin, is proud to have been singing (and having a wonderful time doing it) since its founding in 2013. Since then, they have grown drastically, performing on their university campus, in the Austin area, and in festivals and competitions across the U.S., like ICCA, Sing!, SXSW, and VoiceJam. As an all-female group, Beauties and the Beat strives to support women’s causes and female empowerment at UT, as well as in the a cappella community, by reflecting the strength and power of women through their music and performance. Their entire repertoire is arranged by group members, and the Beauties pride themselves on their self-choreographed and self-arranged competition sets. Most of their music consists of contemporary pop, but they also like to mix it up with other genres like R&B and folk music. They build their musical cohesiveness by valuing mental health and self-care and nurturing their bond as a tight-knit group. The Beauties see their music as an important form of expression and creativity and they value the emotional connection a cappella creates between performers and the audience. 

HardChord DynaMix is Texas A&M University's only mixed contemporary pop a cappella group. They enjoy performing for organizations on campus and for the Bryan/College Station community and they have enjoyed traveling to perform at ICCA competitions around the country. They are a unique a cappella group, coming from a university without a music program. All of their music instruction and practice is student-led and none of them are majoring in anything remotely close to music. They are also extremely close to one another and they always perform as a loving family. 

One Note Stand is a competitive co-ed a cappella group founded in 2009, based out of The University of Texas at Austin. Since its founding, ONS has become one of the most accomplished a cappella groups in Texas. One Note Stand is a completely self-funded group with a mission to spread their own stories, struggles, and triumphs, through music. The group performs throughout Texas at holiday parties, corporate events, UT campus events, and for larger audiences, such as the National Robotics Competition Finals in front of 20,000 people at Minute Maid Park! ONS leads and organizes the annual UT Acapalooza, a benefit concert that raises money for various causes, such as interpersonal violence prevention and hurricane relief. The group has competed in Boston Sings (BOSS) three times and ICCA twice. In 2018, ONS placed 1st at ICCA Quarterfinals, 2nd at ICCA Semifinals in Phoenix, 2nd in the ICCA Wildcard round, and earned Outstanding Choreography for “Conscious,” One Note Stand was chosen to appear on the BOCA 2017 and Voices Only 2017 albums with two tracks from their full-length album entitled Yours. Most recently, ONS placed 2nd at BOSS 2019 and was featured on BOCA 2019 and Voices Only 2019

Overly Chromatic, known as “OC” around campus and the San Antonio community, is UTSA’s premier a cappella group. Performing tops hits of today and yesterday, OC competes in local and regional competitions, and has won several awards, despite its short history of two and a half years. OC members come from all walks of life, with majors spanning the UTSA curriculum (ironically, excluding UTSA’s Music Department), speaking to the well-roundedness of its members. OC strives to provide a family away from home for its members, building positive relationships among members, volunteering in the community, and attending the occasional karaoke night at local hubs. The singers of OC are proud to represent the University of Texas at San Antonio and its core values of culture and diversity wherever they go and in whatever they do. 

Techtones A Cappella is Texas Tech's award-winning contemporary co-ed a cappella group! Established in the fall of 2017, their repertoire spans a wide variety of contemporary artists and genres. Not your mother's glee club, TechTones is a group of vocalists that bring intense energy to performances and an edge to their arrangements, sound, and style. They hope to continue paving the road for a legendary program at Texas Tech. 

The Texas Songhorns is The University of Texas at Austin's premier all-male competitive a cappella group. Founded in 2011, the group had a major turning point in spring 2014 when they competed at ICCA for the first time. The experience helped to shape The Songhorns from a purely social organization to a highly competitive singing group. Since then, The Texas Songhorns have competed across the country singing arrangements written by its members for its members. 

The Horned Tones, founded in 2015 by former member Ray Shideler, represents Texas Christian University as the only male a cappella ensemble. The group was founded to be a group of guys who enjoy one another, while also being able to sing and sing well! The Horned Tones are commonly featured throughout TCU's campus and Fort Worth, including performances at TCU athletic events, the Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo, private events, for the TCU Chancellor, and many others. Their music video expressing their love for Chick-fil-A went viral on YouTube in 2017, which led to a feature on FOX 4 News. In 2017, The Horned Tones were the ICCA Southwest Quarterfinal Champions and they are excited to get back to competing at a high level while having fun. The current group roster is made up of 15 talented and rather handsome guys from various majors on campus, from music education and musical theatre to entrepreneurship and finance. 


GUEST PERFORMER


PFC is from MacArthur High School in San Antonio. Under the direction of Matt Woodward and Anna Gann, they are the 2011 ICHSA National Champions and 2012, 2016, and 2019 ICHSA Finalists. They have enjoyed the opportunity to open for a cappella groups including Clearly Vocal, Overboard, Delilah, Arora, Dcappella, and The Swingle Singers. Over the past several years, PFC has been a featured entertainment at TEDxYouth@Austin, served twice as host group and performers at the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA)-sponsored Texas A Cappella Celebration (TAC), served as the host group for the South Texas A Cappella Camp and Talent Overload (STACCATO), and served as emcees and featured entertainment at the ICCA Southwest Quarterfinal. In 2019, they professionally recorded a song and music, "High Hopes," that was retweeted and shared by the original artist, Panic! at the Disco. Currently, "High Hopes" has over 250K views on YouTube and Facebook and has been nominated for Best High School Video by the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). Finally, PFC hopes you will go vote this election year. Their collective future literally depends on it.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Anna Gann has been a high school choir director and private voice teacher for 15 years. She has served as head of all music in Big Spring Independent School District in Texas, choir director for the Big Spring High School choir,and head choir director of both East Central High School and Edgewood Fine Arts Academy. She has a degree in vocal performance from Lubbock Christian University and an M.S. in music/choral conducting from UTSA. She was involved in a cappella groups during college, including Sweet Adelines. Anna is a frequent adjudicator for Texas UIL competitions, as well as ICHSA. Professional memberships include TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, and TMAA. 

Caleb Moore is a singer/songwriter from Dallas, Texas. He graduated from University of Texas-Arlington with a B.A. in music industry studies with an emphasis on music media. Caleb has successfully led two groups to ICCA Finals, as well as the Open Finals at Carnegie Hall. In addition to receiving numerous Outstanding Arrangement awards, his groups have recorded on Patti Labelle’s Christmas album, sang on a national Cheerios commercial, and his music has been nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Award (CARA) for Best Original Song. He currently arranges for high school and collegiate a cappella programs across the country, serves as clinician at festivals, and continues to write and perform original music.

Greg Rowsey has been involved with music since his youth, studying classical piano, theory, and singing in all-state choir. He matriculated to Washington University in St Louis, where he sang with the all-male group The Stereotypes, and served as assistant music director, choreographer, and arranger for the group. He also has performed with, led, and competed with a professional barbershop group. While he now works full time as a Discover Debit marketing associate for Discover Financial Services in Houston, Texas, he still will occasionally answer to his Stereotype nickname, Mr. Sassy. 

Sue Schreiner received her B.A. and M.A. in vocal music performance from California State University-Northridge. After graduation, she served as a member of the Los Angeles Opera Company, performed as a featured soprano soloist with various symphonies and choruses throughout the country, and sang the national anthem for several professional sports teams including the New England Patriots and the Portland Trailblazers. She has taught vocal music students at both the university and the high school levels for the past 40 years until her retirement in 2016. Sue founded and directed the contemporary a cappella group, Soul’d Out, at Wilsonville High School in Oregon in 2007. Since then, the group has enjoyed great success, winning the Northwest ICHSA Semifinal in 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2018. They placed 2nd at ICHSA Finals in 2011, and were chosen to be the only high school group to perform on season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Sue has been a certified judge of a cappella, as well as state high school and college choir competitions, since 2008. She has judged and coached a cappella competitions throughout the Northwest, prior to moving to the Austin area in 2016. Sue loves Texas and she loves a cappella. 

Erin Yousef has been singing since she could talk. She studied piano pedagogy and sang in ensembles at Baylor University, studied music and voice at UT-Austin, and received her M.Mus. in musicology from King’s College London. Erin currently directs, arranges for, and sings with The Austonettes, a contemporary a cappella group based in Austin, Texas. She sings in Chorus Austin, Conspirare Symphonic Choir, the Diocesan Choir of Austin, and the St. Ignatius Mass Choir, where she also cantors. She is also on the roster of Inversion Ensemble, a choral collective made up of composers and singers formed to give voice to innovative choral works and to encourage the creation of new music. 

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 Southwest 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