Singing in the Rain - Boston Symphony Hall ICCA's

On March 31st, a rainy Sunday afternoon, I went to the 2019 ICCA Northeast Semifinal at Symphony Hall in Boston. This is the international championship of collegiate acapella and a tournament of schools all across the northeast who have moved on from the quarterfinal competition. Schools that were present include Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, New York University, Pace University, Bryant University, University of Connecticut, and Hofstra University. Each of these colleges had at least one acapella team, with some schools having multiple teams.


My personal favorite was the team from Pace University called FREQUENCY. They were very theatrical and all were dressed in their school colors of blue and gold. I was disappointed that this group did not move on to the finals because they were truly amazing. They did get an award for Outstanding Soloist. Jana Jackson, who sang a large solo part of their set in “Make Me Feel/Molasses” won this award and was incredible throughout the entire performance. An interesting fact about this particular group, is that they have only been around for 2 years. FREQUENCY was founded in the fall of 2017 and have already made it to the ICCA Semifinals. Twice.  12 people, people smiling, people standing and beard


Other special awards included Outstanding Vocal Percussion, Outstanding Arrangement, and Outstanding Choreography. Outstanding Vocal Percussion went to Ian Epstein of The CharlieChords for the entire set. The CharlieChords is a male group from Berklee College of Music founded in 2012. This group took the stage in an array of black and red and definitely dominated the stage with their amazing arrangement.

The Outstanding Arrangement Award went to Charles Zheng of The Downbeats for “Your Guardian Angel.” The Downbeats are a co-ed group from Northeastern University that have their own website with updated information about the group. They dropped a single this past fall called “Pray You Catch Me / Believe” that is now available on Spotify.

The last special award for Outstanding Choreography went to Jana Blackstone and Nina Grogan of The Bottom Line for the entire set. This group is from Bryant University and did an amazing set as well. Although this is primarily a business college, The Bottom Line showed us all this Sunday that they are also very strong in the arts.

The top placing group at the event advance to the 2019 International Championship of Collegiate A Capella Finals which will be held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Below is a picture of the first place group who won. This group is from New York University and are called N’Harmonics. Their creative flair was not only shown in their coordinated outfits, but also their dynamic voices on the stage. Some of their alumni have been featured on “GLEE”, performed on Broadway and in national tours of Wicked, Mammia Mia, School of Rock, and many more. 18 people, people smiling, shoes and indoor


The second place winner was Pitch, Please an all-female group from Northeastern University. The third place winner was another all-female group also from Northeastern called Treble on Huntington. Second and third place was separated by one point, so it was a very close competition.

If you have never been to an acapella competition before, I recommend it. Even if you only sing in the shower, listening to these amazing collegiate groups is inspirational. Congratulations to all the competitors and to the N’Harmonics for winning this year’s ICCA’s in Boston.


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