When it comes to the a cappella world, most people don’t even know the half of it.
Remember in the movie “Bring it On”- remind me never to start a sentence like that again – when the cheerleaders said that the real cheering came out at competitions?
The same might be said for the adored a cappella groups at UR – except with singing instead of cheering. Specifically, Vocal Point placed third in the quarterfinal round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella this past weekend in Pittsburgh.
According to the ICCA Web site, the competitions take place from October through March in six regions – New England, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest and West. Each region holds three or more divisionals that showcase six to eight groups.
The top-scoring group in each division is named Divisional Champion and advances directly to the regional finals.
Twelve more divisional competitors advance to the regional semifinals.
The top three scoring groups from the regional semifinals advance to the regional finals, joining the divisional champions. The top group at the regional finals is named Regional Champion and advances to the International Finals, held this year in New York City’s Lincoln Center.
This is the first year that Vocal Point has advanced in the competition since its launch nine years ago, according to Vocal Point director and Take Five scholar Catey Juravich.
“We’re really excited to have finally gotten some recognition for all our hard work. It’s difficult to be an all-female group in the a cappella world, but we’re really proud of how far we’ve come,” Juravich said.
Juravich was also the recipient of the competition’s “Best Soloist” award for her rendition of “Sweet Ones.”
The girls were competing against coed and all-male groups that generally tend to fare better in these competitions that focus not only on vocals and musicality, but also choreography and stage presence, the latter of which has sometimes been pegged as Vocal Point’s downfall.
“We usually get comments about sounding ‘pretty’ or ‘nice,’ never about how we look, because, well, we used to be boring,” Vocal Point Business Manager and junior Katy Nosse said. “But on Saturday night, we got compliments about having style, and the judges loved our movements.”
Vocal Point has the possibility of competing against the Midnight Ramblers during semifinals if the girls are one of the top three groups in the regional semifinals.
The Midnight Ramblers took first place at their divisional in December, which guarantees them a spot at regional finals.
“I think a little friendly competition will make both groups perform that much better,” Juravich said. “Plus, it sort of gives us a chance to prove that we can be as good and entertaining as them even though we’re girls. And while, of course, we’d like to win, we’ll be happy either way if one of our groups advances.”
Both groups head to Cornell University on Feb. 12 for the next round of competition, which promises to be full of heated battles of the a cappella persuasion.
Meanwhile, I’ll begin collecting footage for “Behind the Music.”
Mittelman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.