A cappella group performing on stage
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The Evolution of ICCA

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #200: The Evolution of ICCA

Since its founding in 1996, the ICCA tournament has undergone changes.

There have been changes in scope. Even when I hopped on the a cappella bandwagon in 2005, most quarterfinals featured five-to-seven groups. Now there are about ten more quarterfinals across the tournament, and it’s rare to catch one with fewer than ten competitors.

There have been changes in exposure. Executive Director Amanda Newman tells tale of having to give out tickets on the street for early ICCA Finals shows; after the success of the Pitch Perfect film franchise, Finals now routinely sells out well in advance and at much larger venues.

There have been changes to the number of judges and judging procedures. Special recognition awards have grown more routinized. Groups are now performing with individual mics for each group member. The very name of the competition has shifted from an NCAA-based pun (the National Collegiate Championship of A Cappella, or NCCA) to its own unique, legitimate, and recognizable acronym and brand.

The bottom line: ICCA has evolved.

I’ve attended ICCA shows regularly for a decade—not as long as some, longer than many. At the end of the day, it’s remarkable to see how much this competition has advanced, as groups grow more diverse, tighter in sound, and greater in number. As audiences get larger. As more and more media outlets grow cognizant of and offer coverage to the tournament.

I don’t know what the future will hold for this unique institution, but if my experience thus far is any indication, it will keep getting better, and better, and better. 

I love it!

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