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 SEMIFINAL

 

New Manchester High School
Saturday, March 7th, 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

 

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

Vocal Society (VoSo) is the select high school vocal ensemble at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Fla. 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. 

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. 

Crescenloe of Enloe High School is full of individuals who are incredibly passionate about a cappella. A completely student-run group, the students of Crescenloe lead themselves, teach themselves, choreograph themselves, and usually arrange themselves! While they love a good uptempo pop song and an R&B tune, they can groove and even rock out on occasion. The group was created four years ago by students who wanted to introduce a cappella to their school and many of their alumni have gone on to perform in college a cappella groups. They believe a cappella is all about connection, and rely on each member of the ensemble to keep balance. They have competed in ICHSA twice now and love every step of the competitive journey. After-school rehearsals quickly turn into evening rehearsals and their familial bond deepens with their dedication to the group. This time around, they want to honor their previous group members while also creating a new image with the current ones. Every year brings a new group of people with a new sound and they want nothing more than to show you what they’ve got! 

WA Cappella is Western Alamance’s premier co-ed a cappella group. The group was founded in the fall of 2010 by a group of students who wanted to perform music outside of the classroom. 10 years later, the group has developed into an established, award-winning group with a close bond both on and off stage. The group has performed at a variety of events, including the ICHSA, Acappallooza at Elon University, Jam for Hope in Winston-Salem, Parkapella, and other community events. WA Cappella released their first EP in January of 2017. In the future, WA Cappella hopes to continue growing as musicians, performers, and a family. 

N'Harmonics is the co-ed a cappella group at Norcross High School. This audition-based group was founded four years ago by their director, Kim Money. This will be their third year competing and they are very excited to be a part of the Varsity Vocals experience. 

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. 

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 for several consecutive years and looks forward to another exciting season! 

Duly Noted is in its fifth year of singing and having fun together. These 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. 


GUEST PERFORMERS



Bella Voce is the premier all-female a cappella group from New Manchester High School. This 10-member award-winning group specializes in songs that feature female empowerment and strength. 

Sympathetic Vibrations (Symp Vibes) is Georgia Tech's premier all-male a cappella group, founded in the fall of 1997 by James Clawson. The group typically includes 12-15 active members with majors from all across campus, ranging from engineering to business to computer science. They rehearse three times a week and sing music arranged by members and alumni of the group. They perform at various events on Georgia Tech’s campus, in Atlanta, and across the state of Georgia. They also host a few of their own concerts each semester. In recent years, they have performed in various competitions and festivals, including SoJam and the ICCA, where they placed 1st in South Quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018, as well as 2nd in South Semifinals in 2017.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Paige Betts is the orchestra director at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. This is her sixth year as a music educator, having taught string orchestra, chorus, and musical theatre, and has been a runner-up for Teacher of the Year. She has given clinics with various orchestras, chorus, and a cappella ensembles across the Southeast, and has taught private voice and viola lessons. Paige is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.M. in music education. There, she was a member and musical director of UGA's all-female a cappella group, Noteworthy. Paige lives in Buford, Ga. with her husband Andrew and their rescue dog, Jake. 

Trey Carroll attended the University of Georgia where he received a bachelor’s degree in music education, with an emphasis in voice and percussion. While attending UGA, he was a member of The UGA Accidentals. Trey also earned his master’s degree in music education from Georgia College and State University. He has been working at Washington County High School for five years, as head of the choral program, assistant band director and guitar teacher. Trey has conducted choirs all over Europe with American Music Abroad, and was the musical director for the Georgia all-state show, “In the Heights,” that was selected to perform at the International Theatre Festival. Trey was also appointed Teacher of the Year for the Washington County School System. As a music educator, Trey Carroll strives for perfection in all that he does and enjoys making music for a living.

Gina Deaton has a background in vocal performance and has been singing as long as she can remember, but her love for a cappella came after college when she co-founded the semi-professional group, Breakdown. The group performed primarily in the Atlanta area, with Gina writing original songs, arranging, and acting as co-director. Most recently, she recorded an album of a cappella originals with members from that group which was nominated for multiple CARAs. Gina has been volunteering with the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) for many years and currently serves as the President. She began judging with Varsity Vocals in 2010 and has served as a coach for a cappella performances and recordings across the country.

Brad Maffett is the assistant conductor of the Athens Symphony. He previously performed with the Athens Symphony Chorus and continues to serve as a rehearsal assistant. Brad presently conducts band and choir at Franklin County Middle School and has previously conducted for “Musica Fraterna” of the Atlanta Children’s Choir, Local Vocals, and B Natural. Brad has been involved in all aspects of music, from serving as a singing waiter to playing tuba in a polka band. When he isn’t making music, he can be found cooking barbecue in competitions throughout the Southeast. 

Tye Tavaras was a member of Emory University's Aural Pleasure from 2005-2009 and from 2012-2013. She was also a member of Catatonic, a semi-professional group based in Atlanta, Ga. and the 2104 Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes Champions. In addition, she was co-executive producer of SoJam in 2014. She currently works for Emory University and is having fun singing with The Graduates.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank tonight's host group InToneNation; 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 placing group will advance to 2020 ICHSA Finals.

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