It's the final countdown for some aca-awesome performances at the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella quarterfinals.
With only a couple weeks left to prepare, student-led A cappella groups Prismatics, Intonations, The Pitchmen and first time ICCA participants The Belles are polishing their performances for this year's competition on Feb. 11 at the University of Tennessee.
The ICCAs are a competition where A cappella groups from across the country come together and compete.
Following the quarterfinals, some groups will advance to the semifinals and then finals.
“We’re really excited to bring the group and present something we’re proud of,” said Belles vice president Kate Barr. “Although it would be nice, our main goal is not winning, it's just to go and have a good time and make really meaningful memories.”
Planning for the competition, preparation starts at the beginning of the fall semester.
“In the summertime, we'll start to talk about what we want the theme of our set to be,” said Intonations vice president Abbi Love. “Then we brainstorm different themes, choreography and song ideas. In the fall we have to submit an audition video.”
Each group typically performs three songs as sets have a 10-minute limit.
They like to keep song and theme selections a secret until the performance.
“Prismatic specifically usually has a storyline throughout their set,” said Prismatics president Amber Poziviak. “For example, last year our set was about the stages of a toxic relationship.”
Each group practices on its own individual schedule. The Intonations, for example, practice three hours a week when they are not getting ready for the ICCAs and nine hours a week when they are.
“This semester we have been practicing like crazy,” Love said. “We have been practicing for three hours three times a week. We have days where we just work on music and then have choreo days where we rent out the dance studio.”
On competition day, the groups are given an itinerary and are assigned a time for their 15-minute sound check. After a random drawing to determine the order of performers, performances finally begin and awards are given out after the show comes to a wrap.
“There are special awards like outstanding choreography, outstanding VP, outstanding arrangement and outstanding soloist that play a part in the points, but also, they just rank the groups one through 11 and then the top three from that competition go to semifinals,” Poziviak said.
Although students in the A cappella groups hail from different backgrounds and majors, they are able to come together with their shared love of music.
“I’m looking forward to getting to watch and support the other Belmont groups,” The Belles music director Raegan Willbanks said. “I’m excited to cheer them on, learn from them and embrace the whole process.”
If students would like to go to the ICCA quarterfinals, they can get tickets to the competition on varsityvocals.com.
This article was written by Zoe Spangler