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

 

Utah Valley University
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 Provo hills are alive with the sound of their music. Formed in 2013, this group from Brigham Young University has proven that they possess the same drive, desire, and determination of Princess Anna trying to save her ice-queen sister. Their mission is to touch hearts and blow minds with their superior musicality and hankering to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. They want to be the best and they will not be denied, because they are Beyond Measure and they would like to ask you in their native Utah tongue to enjoy their flipping amazing set. 

Like a finely aged cheese, Business Casual A Cappella at the University of Utah keeps it sharp - in their dress of course! It should also be noted that they are not affiliated in any way with the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. However, Spencer Eccles, if you are out there, they are completely open to changing the name of their group to The Eccles Eccel-pella Group upon the gift of a small donation in your name. Moving on, Business Casual A Cappella loves to sing, but more importantly, they love to have fun together. After being around for only a year and in the spirit of amateurism, they are trying to build the campus life at the University of Utah through music, fun, and a bit of humor. 

The University of South Dakota's The High Howlers is the premier competing a cappella group at USD. Performing at local events and charities, The High Howlers focus on giving back to the community and strive to entertain their audiences in new and creative ways. The members of The High Howlers come from all different backgrounds and pool their talents together in order to provide entertaining performances. Competing in both the Midwest and Southwest ICCA Quarterfinals, The High Howlers love the outreach associated with their ICCA tours in the past and have enjoyed forming new relationships from all over the region.

In The Buff is the premier men's a cappella group at the University of Colorado at Boulder. If you're looking for the ultimate collegiate singing experience and an unsurpassed sense of brotherhood, look no further. And also sexiness. Lots of sexiness. In the Buff was established over 25 years ago at the University of Colorado at Boulder and caters to students with an interest in singing and performing bass and tenor arrangements. ITB is more than just a singing group, but a family. They plan vacations, ski trips, camping trips, and all of the weekend college extravaganzas that you might expect. ITB has performed at and participated in countless Boulder and Denver community events, weddings, sorority events, CU Boulder events, and much more. They strive to perform and perfect all genres of music, from oldies to hip hop to folk, jazz, pop, and, of course, rock. All of their arrangements are created by current and past members of the group and tailored specifically to fit their voices.

Legacy is an a cappella vocal ensemble made up of college students that graduated from high schools in Aurora, Colo. This is the group’s second year and they are excited to continue what they began in 2019. Last year, Legacy competed in the ICCA and won 1st place in their Quarterfinals and 2nd place in Semifinals. Although there are only 10 members in the group, they bring a very powerful and soulful sound. Thank you for supporting Legacy and they hope you enjoy their music. 

Founded in 2016, One Note Stand is CU Boulder's premier co-ed a cappella group! They love to perform a wide array of genres, from hip hop to classic rock. Currently, the group includes three freshmen, one sophomore, four  juniors, and two seniors. When they’re not having actual riff-offs (it's amazing), they're likely eating obscene amounts of food. Leading the helm are co-presidents Sarah Lesho and Marshall Douglas, along with music director Jacob Weichert. The group members have varied musical tastes and backgrounds, which makes for some really awesome arrangements! This is the group’s first ICCA and they are incredibly excited! They have traditionally performed in lecture halls and venues in Boulder and are grateful for this opportunity to meet and perform alongside so many different groups. They are ready to sing their hearts out! 

Rifftide is an eight-member mixed a capella group that loves combining tight harmonies and crisp choreography to create fun and engaging performances. Since the group's debut in fall 2016, they have been featured on two Best of BYU A Cappella (BOBAC) albums, released five singles with accompanying music videos, hosted multiple sold-out concerts, and were 2019 ICCA Semifinalists. You can find Rifftide on social media at @rifftideacappella or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/rifftideacapella. 

Vocal Iron is the University of Northern Colorado's original a cappella group, pioneering an involved and collaborative a cappella culture at UNC and inspiring the formation of five other excellent groups. In addition to performing in Greeley's many cute coffee shops and headlining major local venues, Vocal Iron is dedicated to community involvement and outreach. Vocal Iron performs for new and prospective students on behalf of UNC, as well as at campus events, such as their annual Take Back the Night rally and other artistic, social justice, and self-care programs. Vocal Iron is also involved in the broader Northern Colorado community, volunteering at Boulder's World Singing Day event, singing at tourism events in Loveland, and performing for high school music programs in cities such as Fort Collins and Broomfield. Though Vocal Iron is rooted in UNC’s School of Music, it is composed of various majors. The group also includes members from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as those from different ethnic backgrounds and religions. With this diverse makeup in mind, they perform music of many styles to represent all kinds of artists. Vocal Iron is a tight-knit group that brings positivity, goodwill, and social awareness to Northern Colorado through music. 

VOX is the newest a cappella group to Utah Valley University, mixing exciting syncopated rhythms with smooth harmonies. Singing songs from Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" to Taylor Swift's "Trouble,” VOX creates vocal arrangements that appeal to a broad audience and even arranges songs for people on the spot! They are unique because they like to use modern technology to enhance the listening experience. Using a loop pedal, they are able to loop the human voice live on stage, which is a huge crowd pleaser. They are all amazing musicians on their own, but together, they create magic. 

UVU VoiceLine has performed on national television and in front of thousands of people, with performances in California, Idaho, and all over Utah. From fairs and corporate events to private parties and public concerts, VoiceLine does it all! Their high-caliber performances are full of fun, humor, and a variety of songs for the whole family to enjoy. VoiceLine members are incredibly dedicated to performing. They donate their hard work and time to the group in an effort to serve the VoiceLine Mission, “to uplift, inspire, and bring joy to all within the sound of [their] voices.”

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Greg Baird was a singer and arranger with BYU's Vocal Point from 1997-1999. In 2001 his "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" medley, performed by Vocal Point, won Outstanding Arrangement at the ICCA West Quarterfinals. In the years since, he has toured the country working with dozens of collegiate groups, he runs a small recording studio, and does periodic consulting with a cappella groups. He has been an ICCA adjudicator for the past 10 years. Greg and his wife are proud parents of three aca-children. His latest hobbies include sports and portrait photography, graphic design, and writing math textbooks. 

Eva Kiviat Brown has been an active a cappella performer, arranger, and enthusiast for the past 15 years. As a member of Binghamton University's mixed Jewish-themed group, Kaskeset, she served as the group's musical director for two years and remains an active arranger for them, as well as for other groups. Eva is a classically trained musician and instrumentalist and has studied with esteemed professors from The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and the Vienna Conservatory. She is currently a music educator and founded a rock music summer program for teens. 

Janae Klumpp has been working and performing in the a cappella field for over eight years. She was a member of BYU Noteworthy for three years and of its offspring group, Lucca for one year. She has choreographed for groups such as BYU Vocal Point, BYU Noteworthy, Lucca, UVU Voiceline, Covey Center's Frequency, and Remix Vocal Academy. She currently works as a studio singer and local performer for artists including Michael McLean, Hilary Weeks, Joey Contreras, and Natalie Weiss. In 2016, she was nominated and won runner-up for Best Female Collegiate Soloist in the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs).

Dr. Daniel Tuutau is originally from Los Angeles, Calif. He holds B.A. and M.M. degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a D.M.A. in vocal performance from the University of Utah. He is currently adjunct voice faculty at the University of Utah and performs around Salt Lake City. As an undergrad, Daniel sang with UC Santa Barbara's co-ed a cappella ensemble, Naked Voices, and in 2003, he founded the school's first all-male a cappella ensemble, Brothas From Otha Mothas (BFOM). He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Brandy, and their four children. 

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