Updated: Jul 27
The Prismatics dazzled judges at the 26th annual International Championship of Collegiate A Capella, and are moving forward to showcase their sound at the finals in New York City.
ICCA’s annual competition attracts a capella groups from across the country, with the 2022 competition featuring almost 6,000 competitors from 400 universities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Belmont singers took the top two spots in the south region quarterfinals and semifinals — though only the first-place Prismatics will advance.
The teams took home individual awards at the March 19 semifinals as well, with Vinnie Cesarone of Prismatics winning Outstanding Choreography and Wilson Smith of the Pitchmen awarded Outstanding Arrangement.
ulia Campopiano, a freshman vocalist on Prismatics, took home Outstanding Soloist for the Southern region’s quarterfinal round.
Smith felt his Pitchmen gave an amazing effort and was proud of all of the hard work that brought them to the tournament.
“We knew we gave an awesome performance and you live with the results from that point over because, you know, it’s a subjective competition at the end of the day, and it’s a little frustrating at times, but it also makes it very rewarding,” Smith said.
For the Prismatics’ Cesarone, being recognized was something he’ll never forget, but ultimately he gave all credit to his fellow teammates.
“To have the music be the way we want it to turn out, everyone has to be able to trust each other. And it’s like you’re laying your heart on the line, the group has to be functioning as one for it to sound like one thing,” he said.
The Prismatics, given the history of the Pitchmen and their finals-bound success in the canceled 2020 competition, felt they would be compared to their fellow Belmont group who had won first in the last semi-finals, held in person in 2020.
Coming into the competition this year, the Prismatics decided their primary focus would be to develop a theme for their set.
The group’s theme — unhealthy relationships — was its focal point.
“From the beginning we have our theme in mind so we can build around it and it’s not having our songs and then having a theme. We choose the songs based on our theme,” he said. We had like a month of preparation to get to where we were and like, to get really happy with the turnout of everything.”
Molly Zeytoonian, the business manager for the Prismatics, celebrated the team’s choreographer and pointed out how crucial his choreography was to their performances.
“We have a really strong story and the choreography really reflects that. And before we go on stage, we take a moment to sit in a circle and kind of talk about where we’re at,” she said.
Amber Poziviak, one of the musical directors for Prismatics, recalled a shared moment before a performance.
“Having that conversation right before we go on stage to compete unifies us as a group and I think that is conveyed well to the audience and to the judges. They’ve both been able to see that we love our set, and we are together as we perform,” she said.
Mckenna Hall, the team’s other music director also reflected on this moment and on the feelings of the team after their names were announced.
“We just had this moment of togetherness and Amber and I were just like, ‘We did it! We actually won, maybe we’re doing this OK.’ And then the same thing happened at the semifinals except it was more shock,” she said.
Zeytoonian wants the team to come together to work on their mindset going into finals.
“As we’re going to finals I feel like it’s good that our mindset is not like we need to crush the competition. We need to be perfect. It’s more about preserving this precious art that we’ve created and just getting excited to have this opportunity to showcase it to the world,” she said.
Cesarone hopes that as the Prismatics continue on to finals this year, they remember their mission statement:
“‘To spread love and light through music,’ not to win, and it’s not like through good music, it’s just through music and we all love music, and each other.”
The Prismatics will bring their music to the ICCA Finals which will be held on Manhattan’s Town Hall stage April 23.
PHOTO: Prismatics onstage at the Fisher Center. Nick Jackson
This article was written by Braden Simmons.