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 SOUTHWEST QUARTERFINAL

 

Walden Grove High School
Saturday, February 1st, 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

 

A happy-go-lucky group of desert dwellers, Change of Pace is making their ICHSA debut! Excited to explore the world of competitive a cappella and share their talents with the world, Change of Pace includes two world-qualifying Irish step-dancers, two National Merit scholars, the punter for their football team, a yoga acrobat, several self-proclaimed Mario Kart experts, a cross country runner, a recording artist, and future commanders-in-chief that keep Mr. Mattison in line. The Changeos’ personality type is ENTJ, meaning they are unafraid to take charge and see opportunities in every performance! Mr. Mattison, their leader, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and a proud bass alum of The Deaftones. A Varsity Vocals alum himself, Mr. Mattison’s ensembles have twice garnered 2nd place performances at the 2007 and 2009 Mid-Atlantic ICCA Semifinals. Change of Pace would like to thank all of the supporters in their musical and worldly careers who got them to this point, including their teachers, parents, grandparents, siblings, and alums! 

The Classy Cats is an audition-only competitive jazz and show choir from Cienega High School. Competing in local and state festivals and receiving superior ratings for over six years, this group is also responsible for their school's musical theatre production each spring. They perform a variety of styles and genres, including jazz, Latin, world music, musical theatre, funk, hip hop, blues, and more! 

Gold Dust Avenue is an elite a capella group apart of Chaparral High School's choir program. The group is completely student -un, meaning all arrangements, leadership, and schedules are handled by members of the group. The students in this group come from many different musical backgrounds such as pop, classical, musical theatre, and jazz, including some who also have training in music composition, different instruments, and music production. After a long day of school, Gold Dust Avenue stays after hours building their friendships with one another while making music and memories that will last a lifetime. 

OC Voices (Oaks Christian Voices) is made up of vocal students ranging from freshmen through seniors who have been singing together for the past seven years. Two years ago, this group moved from mostly traditional choir music to all a cappella. Oaks Christian High School is a private college prep high school located in Westlake Village, Calif. and has 1000 students. 

Red Harmony, from Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Ariz., has been bringing contemporary a cappella to Southern Arizona since 2015. A student-led ensemble rehearsing outside of school time, these students put their time where their mouth is, bringing dynamic energy and a passion for singing to each performance. Performing at school and community events, they've established a reputation for their passionate and creative takes on established repertoire, from original arrangements to refreshing older tunes. Red Harmony puts it all on stage. Go Red Wolves! 

Titanium is a co-ed contemporary a cappella group from the Grammy-winning choral program at Tesoro High School in Las Flores, Calif. Formed in 2012, Titanium has recently formalized itself as an official ensemble. The group is composed of 16 students selected from Tesoro's choral program who rehearse together after school for four hours a week. The group is led by Tesoro alumna Erin Theodorakis and Tesoro's choral director Keith Hancock. Erin is the former music director of Chapman University's co-ed a cappella group Soundcheck, and led the group to ICCA Finals in 2016. Mr. Hancock was awarded the Grammy Music Educator of the Year award in 2017 for his work at Tesoro.

TONIGHT'S JUDGES

 

Celine Durney graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Choral Music Education. During her time in college, she participated in elite ensembles of various vocal styles, including choral, jazz, and opera, and was a founding member and music director of the nationally acclaimed all-female a cappella group, The NAU Axecidentals. She has been given an Honorable Mention under the voice: popular category by National YoungArts and is a professional recording artist and composer for various musical projects. Over the years, she has performed live on several radio shows and at various venues alongside the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Groove For Thought, The Real Group, and Grammy-winning artists such as Pentatonix and Josh Groban. She loves staying involved in the a cappella community as a frequent workshop leader for creating arrangements at choral and a cappella festivals across the state and has arranged for choir programs across the country. Celine currently teaches choir at Greenfield Junior High School and Gilbert High School, while still actively performing with and arranging for her own a cappella group, Side Note. 

Courtney Evans is the director of choral activities at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, where she directs all four choirs and assists in directing the musical. Courtney is a founding member of the award-winning a cappella group Unaccompanied, with whom she has recorded professionally and performed internationally. As a soloist, she has placed first in NATS vocal competitions at the state and regional level. This past July, she was a resident artist for the Ad Astra Music Festival in Kansas. She currently sings with the professional choir Canto Vivo Chorale and is part of a new vocal jazz group in Phoenix. She is also a choreographer for high school show choirs and a cappella groups across the country. Courtney has presented at various conferences, music camps, and a cappella festivals, leading workshops on competition preparation, student leadership, vocal technique, arranging, and vocal percussion. Courtney graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in music education from Northern Arizona University. 

Katie Paschall is an alumna of the Phoenix Girls Chorus, of which she was a member for 10 years. She attended Arizona State University and was a member and music director of The Pitchforks, ASU's only all-female a cappella group. She currently serves as an adjudicator for local theatre in the Phoenix area, and is excited to be judging this evening's ICHSA! 

Nason Werth has been known to travel the country for a good a cappella show, and currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz. Originally from the great state of Michigan, Nason studied vocal performance at Michigan State University, where he served as music director and bass with MSU’s first co-ed a cappella group and ICCA fixture, Capital Green. He gained broad ensemble experience as a student with the university chorale, chamber choir, jazz octet, and section leader in the Okemos Presbyterian Church. Nason relocated to the Mid-Atlantic after college and has performed with the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Bach in Baltimore ensembles. He currently serves as a nominator and judge for the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs) and Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) and is looking forward to a great show!

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Walden Grove High School, Ben Lebovitz, Sahuarita School District, AJ Lepore; 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 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

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THE OPEN

 

The International Championship
of A Cappella Open

ARE YOU READY?


FALL 2020