THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF HIGH SCHOOL

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 Perfect" franchise 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

ICHSA SOUTH QUARTERFINAL

 

Berkeley Preparatory School
Saturday, February 22nd, 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 After School Specials is a co-ed a cappella group composed of auditioned students from the entire student body at Palm Harbor University High School. The group performs a variety of musical genres, including classical, rock, and musical theatre, but they are most at home with their favorite pop song arrangements. The group was founded by the original chorus teacher, Mr. Justin Havard, and continues to perform many of his arrangements at concerts, community gigs, and competitions each year. After School Specials has competed at ICHSA competitions for several consecutive years and looks forward to another exciting season! 

Founded in 1993, The Berkeley Beatitones is Berkeley's male a cappella singing group. The members share a fraternal friendship and meet twice a week to rehearse. They sing a wide variety of music and tend toward modern settings of classic and current popular music. They have many traditions, including senior solos, a pre-concert toast, and annual performances of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and their senior send-off song, "Amici." 

Duly Noted is in its fifth year of singing and having fun together. The girls enjoy choreographing their songs together as a group, even though choreo days get really loud!  They currently hold two Outstanding Choreography awards for their performances (Voices in Harmony, 2017 and ICHSA Quarterfinals, 2019).  They love to compete and have had 3rd place finishes at Voices in Harmony and Volcappella, and a 2nd place finish at the 2019 ICHSA South Quarterfinals in Durham, N.C. They’re excited to be in sunny Florida performing in their second ICHSA Quarterfinal!

HyperOctave is an offshoot of the Ambassador Show Choir from Heritage High School. This group performs music from all musical genres, from classical to pop a cappella.  Their favorite performances of the year are performing at Disney during the holidays and, of course, at ICHSA! 

The Mello Divas is Berkeley’s all-female, competitive a cappella ensemble. Always in-demand, The Divas have been entertaining audiences for almost 25 years! 

Pawcappella is Plant High School's mixed a cappella group. The Paw in their name refers to the school mascot. Go Plant Panthers! Pawcappella consists of 13 members, including five sophomores, five juniors, and three seniors. They are all also a part of Plant High's larger chorus program and are required to take two periods of chorus to further their musical training. They pride themselves in representing their school out in the community and at school events. They like to perform a wide range of songs, from classics to modern pop. They are "paw-sitive" you will love them! 

Rhapsody is Heritage High School’s Women's Show Choir. These ladies range from freshman to seniors. They love to perform at Disney during the holidays and loved their first ICHSA experience last year! 

The Pink Panthers is an all-female a cappella group from Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. The group is made up of 15 talented and energetic girls who are always ready for spontaneous dance parties, sleepovers, and talking about anything related to Andrew Barth Feldman (their favorite Broadway actor). At 15 members, The Pink Panthers is the largest it has ever been! Ranging from sophomores to seniors, every group member is also a member of a varsity-level chorus at Plant High School. This is their fourth year as a group and they have been competing since their founding in 2016. They are entirely student-led and conduct their own rehearsals, arrange their own music, and create their own choreography. They are known for their rich harmonies, matching pink converse, and electric ability to light up the stage with their smiles and sassy dance moves! Each member displays musical knowledge, a passion for performing, and most importantly, encouragement towards their fellow Pink Panthers to reach their full potential. They are so excited to compete in the 2020 ICHSA season and would like to thank their families, friends, and their sponsor, Mr. Bruce Yost, for supporting them in everything that they do. 

The A Cappella Group is a 23-voice group from Cypress Lake Center for the Arts. The group, which was founded in 2003, is recognized as one of the elite groups in the nation. TAG has released 11 full-length studio albums. Their most recent album, 11:11, was honored with Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) for Best High School Album and Best Scholastic Original Song. Overall, their albums have received eight CARA wins and 40 CARA nominations, holding the record for most nominations for any high school group. They have earned an appearance at the ICHSA Finals in New York City three times, placing 3rd in 2007 and 4th in 2016. In April of 2018, the group won the high school championship at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis, besting 10 groups from around the country. Their 12th studio album, Reality Lately, will be released in October.  The group recently accepted an invitation to be the featured group at the International A Cappella Festival in Milan, Italy this summer.


GUEST PERFORMER


Reverb is Florida State University's only tenor-bass a cappella group from Tallahassee, Fla. Reverb was established by its founding members, Evan Powers and Justin Womack, in the fall of 2007. Reverb performs at various concerts, competitions, and goes on a yearly tour across Florida. Reverb spent last year focusing on their newest album, Panorama, which was released this past summer and has received eight CARA nominations. The group characterizes itself as men who aren't afraid to break musical boundaries, dance onstage, and push past what's expected of a tenor-bass a cappella group. Though its members may change every few years, Reverb will always strive to produce performances that are musically impressive, emotionally captivating, and thoroughly entertaining.

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. 

Adam Petroski holds a B.A. in choral music education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an M.A in choral conducting from the University of St. Thomas. For the latter, he composed a thesis titled "The Teaching and Learning of Contemporary A Cappella." In addition to his fascination with the academic side of a cappella and choral music, Adam also has a long history as a performer and music director. He performed and traveled around the world with Lake Effect, a group based in Duluth, Minn., and directed three high school a cappella groups, all of whom had the opportunity to compete in ICHSA. Currently based in Florida, Adam teaches at Gainesville High School, where he is building a brand-new choral program based in contemporary music.

Nick Powers is the chorus director at Lake Brantley High School. Previously, he was the chorus director at both Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, Fla. and Central Middle School in Melbourne, Fla. Nick was the founding director of the high school a cappella group, Acapocalypse, which has placed at ICHSA Quarterfinals and Semifinals. He is an active a cappella arranger and choral judge and clinician around the state of Florida. He holds his Bachelor of Music Education from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. 

Kevin Trapasso has spent the last 10 years preparing, competing, and judging for ICCA and ICHSA. While majoring in choral music education at Arizona State University, he helped found the school’s first all-male a cappella group, created an annual statewide a cappella festival, and eventually led this group to a Quarterfinal win in his senior year. Since then, he moved to Florida and earned a master’s degree in choral conducting. He currently teaches chorus for grades 6-12 in Polk County, and is a member of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. He is so pleased to judge the very competition that helped him grow tremendously as a musician and educator and looks forward to a great night of music! 

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 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 Director of Vocal Music Morgan Burburan, sound and production engineer Chris Cook, Student and Parent Volunteers, Headmaster Joseph Seivold, Director of Upper Division Ryan Jordan; 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 three placing groups will advance to the ICHSA 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