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ICCA Quarterfinal

Event Review: ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at Syracuse University

On Saturday, March 1, Syracuse University played host to an ICCA Mid-Atlantic quarterfinal. Photos from the show are available now on The A Cappella Blog Facebook page. Before the review, a quick summary of the show.

The Competitors:
Syracuse University Groovestand
The Cornell University Touchtones
Syracuse University Main Squeeze
Syracuse University Orange Appeal
The University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers
The Monroe Community College Tributones
Rochester Institute of Technology Proof of Purchase
The Syracuse University Otto Tunes
The University of Rochester YellowJackets
Ithaca College Voicestream

Host Group: The Syracuse University Mandarins

Event Review: ICCA South Quarterfinal at Johns Hopkins University

On Saturday, February 22, Johns Hopkins University played host to an ICCA South quarterfinal. Photos from the show are available now on The A Cappella Blog Facebook page. Before the review, a quick summary of the show.

The Competitors:
Johns Hopkins University NINE
University of Maryland Faux Paz
St. Mary's College of Maryland Interchorus
The University of Delaware MelUDees
University of Maryland PandemoniUM
University of Maryland Anokha
The Johns Hopkins University Vocal Chords
University of Delaware Vocal Point
University of Maryland DaCadence A Cappella

Host Groups: The Johns Hopkins University Mental Notes and Octopodes

Event Review: ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at Penn State University

On Saturday, February 15, Penn State University played host to an ICCA Mid-Atlantic quarterfinal. Photos from the show are available now on The A Cappella Blog Facebook page. Before the review, a quick summary of the show.

The Competitors:
The Penn State University Coda Conduct
Penn State University Blue in the FACE
Elizabethtown College Phalanx
The Stony Brook University High Cs
The Penn State, Abington College AbingTones
Binghamton University No Strings Attached
The Binghamton University Harpur Harpeggios
Elizabethtown College Vocalign
Rochester Institute of Technology Encore
Elizabethtown College Melica

Guest Performers: Kelsey Hendler and Alex Kershetsky

Event Review: ICCA South Quarterfinal at University of Tennessee Knoxville

On Saturday February 8, 2014, The University of Tennessee Knoxville played host to an ICCA South Quarterfinal. Host group, VOLume from The University of Tennessee Knoxville, began the evening with a fun rendition of “Steal My Kisses” by Ben Harper. The all-male group looked sharp in jeans with orange and black shirts. The group provided a fun opener and a clap along that the audience really played into. Seth, a member of VOLume then took the stage as the emcee for the night.

The Competitors:
The Gardner-Webb University AcaFelons
University of Central Florida Gemini Blvd.
Vanderbilt University Harmonic Notion
The Vanderbilt University Melodores
University of Tennessee reVOLution
Salisbury University Squawkappella
The Belmont University Beltones
The UMBC Cleftomaniacs
The UMBC Stilettos

Event Review: ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at Rutgers University

On Saturday, February 8, Rutgers University played host to an ICCA Mid-Atlantic quarterfinal. Photos from the show are available now on The A Cappella Blog Facebook page. Before the review, a quick summary of the show.

The Competitors:
Rider University Acapocalypse
The Haverford college Outskirts
New York University Ani V'ata
The Monmouth University Sea Sharps
Wagner College Vocal Synergy
The Fordham University b-Sides
Rutgers University Casual Harmony
Ramapo College of New Jersey 4GotteN suitCase
The Rochester Institute of Technology Brick City Singers
The Fordham University F#s

Host Group: The Rutgers University Orphan Sporks

Event Review: ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at Nazareth College

Eric Soriano is a first-year medical student at the University of Rochester. He is an alum of the JHU Octopodes and a current member of the URSMD group On Call.

The weather may be cold, but the mics were hot in Rochester as Nazareth College hosted the last ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal of the 2013 season. The Linehan Chapel was buzzing with excitement as a sell-out crowd had gathered to watch the show. Nine groups, all hailing from New York State, competed for the final two spots at Semis. The competitors were:

The Cornell Chordials
RIT Eight Beat Measure
RIT Encore
The Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Macaulay Triplets
Syracuse Main Squeeze
The Cornell Class Notes
The Syracuse Otto Tunes
The UB Buffalo Chips
The Syracuse Mandarins

Host Group:
Nazareth College Call4Backup

The night began with a welcome from the emcees for the evening, none other than Mike Chin and Mike Scalise, co-founders of The A Cappella Blog! You really have to hand it to these guys. For the past six years, the ACB has consistently been one of the most comprehensive and widely-accessible sources of a cappella content for the collegiate community, and it is due in large part to all of the hard work they have dedicated to the website. The Mikes handed the floor over to the host group, Nazareth College Call4Backup, who opened with a medley of Pat Benatar hits including “Shadows of the Night,” “We Belong,” “Heartbreaker,” “Love is a Battlefield,” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer Holli Matze came on next to greet us before yielding the floor to the competing groups.

Event Review: ICCA Quarterfinal at University of Georgia

Dave Samuels is a Ph.D. candidate and graduate student at the University of Georgia. He is the director of the co-ed group at UGA, Ecotones. This is his first review for The A Cappella Blog.

Greetings from the historic Morton Theater in downtown Athens, GA, site of the second ICCA South quarterfinal. Before I begin to discuss the event, I’d like to throw out a few quick facts to help frame the review. From my seat in the orchestra pit, I had a prime view of all of the performers…from the waist up. Any awesome footwork from these groups pulled off went completely unnoticed by me. This seat allowed me to hear all of the singers well, even in the “spread out across the ENTIRE stage” choreo formations that several groups used. People who had to rely on the condenser mics to pick up sound may not have had the same sonic experience. Finally, as a member of the UGA a cappella community, I’ve got a dog in tonight’s race. While I’m going to try to keep this review dispassionate, I may not be entirely successful in that endeavor.

The show started with an opening number by host group UGA Noteworthy. Their catchy Destiny’s Child mash-up of “Bugaboo/Survivor” got the packed house ready for a night full of great music.

Kicking off the show was the co-ed Beltones from Belmont University. I’m going to give this group a lot of credit for coming out and competing, despite being founded less than 3 years ago! The ladies of this 19-member group took the stage in black dresses accented with a red flower while the guys were in white shirts with red and black ties. The jitters seemed apparent when they started VV Brown’s “Shark in the Water,” but they quickly settled down quickly and found their groove. There was some pretty neat choreo throughout the song, highlighted by the backs “playing” air trumpets and trombones under the choruses and a nice group move coming into the final chorus. Lady Antebellum’s “Just a Kiss” showcased powerful onstage chemistry between the two leads. The two soloists seemed completely lost in each other, highlighting the meaning of the song. Their last song—La Roux’s “Bulletproof”—featured a breakdown which allowed their VP to take center stage; he did not disappoint. Taking part in competitions like this will surely help this group establish itself as a solid group in the region.

Event Review: ICCA South Quarterfinal at Duke University

The event took place in Duke’s Page Auditorium, the campus’s main performance venue. While nicely sized, holding just over 1,200 people, the acoustics in the space are less than ideal, especially for those seated in the back of the orchestra seating. Being a Duke student myself, and knowing this from attending past performances, I found a seat toward the front to avoid as much room coloration as possible.

Duke’s own Out of the Blue opened the evening with a nice jazzy take on Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best.” The soloist for this opening number hit it out of the park, and was backed up by great energy from the rest of the group. The arrangement used colorful notes to keep the jazz flavor from the original, and was a great opener to the set. This was followed by “Tell Me ‘Bout It” by Joss Stone, featuring another strong soloist, and a clever integration of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” toward the end. For me, however, the highlight of the group’s set was their closing number, “Nude” by Radiohead. The choreography for this song was very effective and appropriate—a slow sway that began with the soloist, and slowly progressed toward stage right, until the entire group, initially motionless, was all swaying together. The emotional focus and intensity delivered by the soloist, Monica Villar, was spectacular—both vocally and visually from her stage presence. Overall, the group delivered a very strong performance, especially for this being their first ever performance at a live competition. Transitions between the songs were smooth, and each member was very engaged from beginning to end, never losing focus, which made for a compelling performance.

Event Review: ICCA West Quarterfinal at Berkeley

On Saturday, February 18th, UC Berkeley hosted the ICCA West Quarterfinals. Nine groups competed:

UC Santa Cruz - Acquire
UC Davis - Afterglow
UC Santa Cruz - Cloud 9
UC Berkeley - DeCadence
UC Berkeley - Dil Se
UC Davis - Liquid Hotplates
Stanford - Mixed Company
UCLA - Scattertones
University of Colorado, Denver - UCD6

Hosts: UC Berkeley Men's Octet and The Golden Overtones

Event Review: ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at Cornell University

On February 19, 2012, Cornell University hosted an International championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Mid-Atlantic quarterfinal. The event occurred in Call Auditorium in Kennedy Hall.

Before we get to the review, a quick summary of the show:

The Competitors:
Binghamton University Kaskeset
SUNY Potsdam A Sharp Arrangement
The SUNY Potsdam Pitches
Elizabethtown College Phalanx
The SUNY Potsdam Pointercounts
The Cornell University Class Notes
The Cornell University Hangovers
University of Rochester After Hours
The Cornell University Touchtones
The University of Pittsburgh Pitt Pendulums

Guest Group: The Cornell University Key Elements

The Cornell University Key Elements kicked off the evening with Joan Jett’s ”I Love Rock N Roll.” The killer perc and a fun breakdown section toward the close were the highlights for this talented co-ed group. Saqib Mikey Yasin from Varsity Vocals took the stage next with the standard announcements, then handed things over to Olivia, the emcee.

The first competing group was Kaskeset a Jewish, co-ed a cappella group out of Binghamton University. They wore black and blue. The group took the stage with energy and attitude, en route to kicking off their first song. This was a fun performance. While it clicked musically, the truest highlight was the visual presentation, which included a pair of female, and later a pair of male backup dancers joining the soloist for a well-choreographed routine up front. Nothing jaw-dropping here, but a solid opener to set a light a tone and help establish the group’s identity.