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 WEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Rialto Theater
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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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

 

Big Bing Theory, or BBT, was established back in 1999 and is Gonzaga University's only a cappella group. They are completely student-run and sing a wide variety of music from the latest popular songs to classic hits. BBT currently has 14 members, and while most of their shows take place on campus or in the larger Spokane community, they did participate in the ICCA last year all the way in Salem, Ore. Big Bing Theory holds auditions at the beginning of the fall semester and all full-time students are encouraged to audition! This group starts every year with a retreat immediately after auditions at the beautiful Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho. This weekend together allows them to bond as a new group through hiking, eating, and learning how to make beautiful music together. One of their biggest concerts of the year is the Gonzaga University Christmas Tree Lighting. In the first week of December, they run the ceremony of the giant tree lighting for the university with an hour of singing, dancing, and magic. In years past, they have also had the opportunity to perform with BYU’s Vocal Point at the Spokane show in their annual tour. 

Eh? Cappella is a powerhouse a cappella group from the University of British Columbia. Although each year yields a different crop of members and a new energy, this family has always bonded over their shared passion for performing a killer set on the ICCA stage. Eh? Cappella strives to create something unique each year that draws from both traditional and innovative aspects of music, choreography, genres, and artists. Fresh off of representing UBC two years in a row at the ICCA Semifinal, this year's team is a whole new collective of singers ranging from their first to fifth years of university and coming from different backgrounds across the world. Each year, Eh? Cappella undergoes a large amount of growth as a competitive a cappella group. They are ready to take the ICCA stage by storm and make people feel alive through their performance. 

Furmata is the University of Washington’s premier co-ed a cappella group. Founded in 2008 as the Hus-keys, Furmata has competed in the ICCA off and on since then, progressing all the way to Finals in 2017. Furmata has had the chance to sing at various gigs, including weddings, holiday parties, and music festivals in the Seattle area. Though all of their members spend a large amount of time arranging, learning, and singing music for Furmata, only one of the members majors in music! Furmata performs a wide variety of music, with recent arrangements from Imagine Dragons, The Chainsmokers, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Louis the Child. Furmata also spent a few months creating and producing a music video of their 2019 ICCA set, which can be found on Furmata’s Youtube channel. Furmata is also on Spotify and Apple Music, Instagram, Twitter, and Christian Mingle, so check out all the socials for new content and to find out where they are performing next! They are so excited to be back at ICCA to share their hard work with all of you! 

“Sassy, Brassy, and Classy.” HERmonic is a treble group from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. They pride themselves on their love of music, individuality and spirit! 

Pacific Note West, the competitive mixed ensemble of Western Washington University, is composed of their treble group, Major Treble, and their tenor/bass group, Rebel Clef. Their goal is to foster an inclusive and collaborative community, focused on empowering all identities to creatively express themselves through a capella music. Pacific Note West is composed of singers from many different majors and years in school, which gives them a constantly growing sound as their singers grow along with the group. The ensemble covers a wide variety of music, most of which is arranged within the group. Pacific Note West prides itself on working collaboratively with other musical groups on campus in an effort to build their music community and spread a cappella outreach, as well as to share different genres of music and grow together. 

PLUtonic is Pacific Lutheran University's premier TTBB a cappella group. PLUtonic is completely student-led, and performs a wide variety of music, from classic rock to pop and jazz. They perform around PLU's campus and throughout the greater Tacoma/Seattle area and all of their music is arranged by students. 

The Northwest Collective is one of two competitive a cappella groups hailing from the University of British Columbia. They are super stoked to showcase their sound, cohesion, and musicality on the ICCA stage this year as a diverse band of close-knit people with a shared competitive spirit. Outside of rehearsal, The Northwest Collective can often be found together getting meals, performing gigs, making memes, and confirming that it’s true (Ça c’est vrai). A relatively new group, The Northwest Collective is proud of their incredible journey to ICCA last year. This cast of 15 lovable, driven, and talented vocalists hope to follow that performance with one that reflects the love they have for music, for performing, and for one another. 

The Trill Seekers, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, seek to bring your fears centerstage in their spine-tingling set, The Nightmare. This journey is composed of eight masterfully transitioned songs and takes you on a journey following Luna and the dreamons (hybrids of dreams and demons), who sardonically welcome her through their world of madness. The nurturing tone of Madura, brought to life by Tatiana Urazova’s gentle croons in “Brahms’ Lullaby,” is replaced by the powerful mockeries of Blair, sung by Taylor Soloy, in Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” As chaos ensues around innocent Luna, she is brought deeper into her slumber by Salem, embodied by Cole Blakely, who presents the corruption of innocence in Halsey’s “Control.” The set transitions into Gary Jule’s “Mad World,” captured by Suyash Shingare’s robust vocals and Beyond Zhao’s fusion tones, and then gives way to Klergy’s “World on Fire,” where dreamons Belladona (Saumya Johri) and Mallory (Marina Ragimova) confront Luna with the ruins of reality. The set changes tone when morally ambiguous D’Angelo, played by Karim Ghossein, takes the stage with Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” creating a powerful effect that will be sure to leave you at the edge of your seat. 

The Trebled Acaholics is a subgroup of the UBCO Beats A Cappella club that seeks to get you addicted to a cappella! They come from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and love bringing their hype of a cappella to the stage. With members from Vietnam, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Ukraine, Canada, and more, they are an incredibly diverse group spanning across the globe. They seek to unite people of all cultures and backgrounds together through the joy of singing and they especially love songs that get the crowd hyped up and singing along. The Trebled Acaholics was the first group under the UBCO Beats A Cappella club to seek out new horizons and perform at the ICCA in 2018, and they were proud to place 3rd at their Northwest Quarterfinal! Since then, the group has performed at local arts galas, opened for international vocal artists, and competed in the 2019 ICCA. They just received a new round of undergraduate members this past September, who quickly found their place in this family. They hope you have as much fun watching them as they have performing for you!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Matt Caruso is the owner and chief engineer at the exclusively a cappella studio and production company, ACappellaPsych, based in Portland, Ore. He has been singing, arranging, directing, and teaching contemporary a cappella for over 14 years. His "Aca-Jedi Mind Tricks" workshop has been a highly attended, extremely successful event offered at major a cappella festivals, such as the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, Boston Sings, VoCAL Nation, AcappellaFest, SoJam, and more. He has performed masterclasses and clinics for choirs and a cappella groups around the country. From 2009-2012, Matt served as the music proctor and touring proctor for the American Boychoir and American Boychoir School in Princeton, N.J. This is Matt's second year adjudicating for Varsity Vocals and he can't wait to be blown away by the incredible talent onstage tonight.

Jordyn Day is a performer and voice teacher in the Seattle area specializing in pop, musical theatre, and contemporary performance styling and riffing. Her students have performed all over the United States at regional and local theatres, participated in competitive summer intensives based in Chicago and New York, and received admittance to many of the top musical theatre and performing arts college programs. Jordyn is the sole female member of the award-winning, pop a cappella group, Restless Vocal Band, based out of Seattle. RVB performs up and down the West Coast for corporate events, fundraisers, competitions, weddings, and schools. She also performs with guitarist Kevin McCarthy-Anderson, performing easy-listening pop covers for wineries, restaurants, and private parties. www.jordynday.com 

Kevin “KM” Gospel has a B.A. and M.M. in music from the University of Washington, as well as a Doctorate in Worship Theology. He has been a choral director for over 15 years, notably for the Farwest Jazz choir. He’s been a member of numerous award-winning vocal groups, and presently serves as bass for Seattle’s own Restless Vocal Band. An acclaimed tuba player, KM currently plays with The Seattle Imperials. 

Hannah Knapp-Jenkins is a Seattle-based musical theatre artist and body-positivity activist. Some of Hannah’s favorite past roles include Sophie Sheridan ("Mamma Mia!"), Diva ("Priscilla Queen of the Desert"), Berthe ("Pippin"), Lucy Van Pelt ("You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown"), Martha Dunnstock ("Heathers"), Margot ("Legally Blonde"), and Ensemble ("Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"). Hannah was last seen playing Helga in the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society's production of "Cabaret." When she's not on stage, Hannah continues to be involved in musical theatre by directing and educating at various elementary and high schools in the area. Hannah earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington with a double degree in musical theatre and drama, and attended the Summer 2016 Professional Musical Theater Training Program at Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21). Check out her website at www.hannahknapp-jenkins.com  and follow her on Instagram @hannahknappjenkins.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Jake Yoakum, Pete and Trina Yoakum from Yoakum Sound and Light, all the staff at the Rialto Theater - especially Chris, Akida, Rich, Amanda, and Vanessa, and volunteers Nick Etzell and Lexi Zerbe; 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 West 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