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

 

Hagerty High School
Saturday, January 25th, 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

 

Acapocalypse has been singing and competing in ICHSA for four years. These singers go to Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, Fla. Their signature look (especially for their vocal percussionist, Kaleb) includes the “kiss of death” shade of red lipstick. They also love to joke around together, share lots of laughs, and take over the world with their kick-butt voices. They may look harmless, but remember: awaken the voices within and let the Acapocalypse begin. 

InToneNation is the award-winning contemporary a cappella group from New Manchester High School under the direction of Mr. Trey Giddens. InToneNation sings a variety of music from pop and R&B to gospel and musical theatre. They recently placed 2nd in The Open and are the reigning 2019 ICHSA Champions. InToneNation just released their debut album, entitled The Beginning

The Sharkappellas is the only a cappella group at Ponte Vedra High School. This student-led group consists of incredibly talented singers who are also involved in various other activities, including football dance, swim, and more. The Sharkappellas love to share their voices with their school and community. The group performs at nursing homes during the holidays, school events like pep-rallies and orientation, and to anyone who will listen. As the very first a cappella group in St. John's Country, The Sharkappellas have paved their way up the a cappella ladder and hope to accomplish world domination in their field. The group rehearses every Monday and typically begins practice with a group warm-up that might make passers-by wonder if they are okay. As a 25-person group, including the competition team and understudies, The Sharkapellas require a full four-person team of student officers to lead the group. They are so proud of how far the group has come and cannot wait to see what else they will accomplish. The Sharkappellas are excited to be performing at ICHSA for another year and truly consider it the best part of every season!  GO SHARKS! FINS UP! 

The Tribe A Cappella started humbly in 2011 and has grown to include most of the interesting people at Chamberlain High School. They meet daily, plus several doughnut and pizza-filled Saturdays to try their hands (and feet) at choreography. They love having fun and every type of music imaginable and never agree on anything. 

Vocal Society (VoSo) is the select high school vocal ensemble at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL. This is VoSo’s third year participating in ICHSA as Quarterfinalists, coming off of a successful 2019 run in which they progressed to the South Semifinals. When not performing in campus concerts and events, VoSo performs with honor choirs in the Central Florida area, shares performances with other community a cappella groups, and is a repeat performing choir in Walt Disney World’s Candlelight Processional. They are currently working toward releasing an EP. 

Vocality was born in 2018 at Boone High School in Orlando, Fla. Composed of students who have a true love for a cappella music and cool harmonies, the group is versatile and can sing a variety of styles.


GUEST PERFORMERS



Members of Husky Harmony may "just be middle schoolers," but they pack a punch of talent, drive, and passion for performing that will change your perspective on what middle schoolers can do! Composed of 7th and 8th graders in the Avalon Middle School ChorusfFamily in Orlando, Fla., Husky Harmony is thrilled to be performing tonight. 

ForteFy is a first-year group from Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs. They recently performed at the CASA LocalVocal Orlando Showcase and are so excited to sing here tonight! 

Each performance captures its own moment when the music comes alive and you get to feel just why these singers have been brought together. Founded on the desire to create powerful music and share their experiences with audiences everywhere, dare to be square with the University of Central Florida's Voicebox!

The Hagerty High School Chorus would like to thank Varsity Vocals for allowing them to host this wonderful event. They would also like to thank the Hagerty administration for supporting the arts!

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

After directing the University of Central Florida’s oldest all-male a cappella group, The Crescendudes, Harrison Acosta founded UCF’s award-winning, competitive a cappella group, Voicebox. Under his musical direction, Voicebox earned the title of 2016 SoJam Champions, performed for the Betsy A Cappella Festival in both 2014 and 2015, and as a guest for NBC’s “The Sing-Off” live tour. In its first two years, Voicebox has been awarded nine Outstanding awards at the ICCA, two awards at the SoJam collegiate competition, 1st place at ICCA Quarterfinals and Semifinals, and placed 4th at the 2016 ICCA Finals. Harrison has been awarded Outstanding Arrangement a total of six times, including at the 2016 ICCA Finals and multiple SoJam competitions. Harrison completed his Bachelor of Arts capstone at the UCF School of Performing Arts by researching a cappella as a compositional medium. After studying instrumental music performance, game soundtrack design, and film score for two years, Harrison is now studying composition, theory, and education while preparing for graduate school. 

After winning the ICHSA championship title in 2010 with Limited Edition, Brian Brammer went on to earn his B.M. in commercial vocal performance from Belmont University. Brian has been performing professionally in the United States and Europe for nearly a decade, including work on cruise ships, regional premieres in New York City, and in the Orlando Fringe Festival. Currently, Brian plays the role of Crush in “Finding Nemo the Musical” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Brian has studied jazz music with many renowned directors and arrangers in the industry, including Steve Zegree, Kirby Shaw, and Sandra Dudley.

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. 

Kevin Trapasso has spent the last eight years in the world of a cappella and ICCA. While majoring in choral music education at Arizona State University, he helped found the school’s first all-male a cappella group, create an annual statewide a cappella festival, and eventually led this group to a Quarterfinal win in his senior year. Since then, he has moved to Florida and earned a master’s degree in choral conducting. He currently teaches chorus for grades 6-12 in Polk County, and directs an a cappella group at University of South Florida. 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 National A Cappella Convention (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 Hagerty Chorus director Christopher Hickey, Chorus Booster president Val Oberson, the Hagerty Chorus Booster members, and the Hagerty Chorus students; 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