On Feb. 18 in Strong Auditorium, the Midnight Ramblers, UR’s all-male a cappella group, will host the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Quarterfinal Competition.

There will be six groups competing on Saturday night, including The Brick City Singers from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Cadence from LaFayette College, High Street A Cappella from Ohio State University, Orange Appeal from Syracuse University and Time Check from Marist College.

Also competing is Vocal Point, UR’s all-female a cappella group. The group has participated in the competition several times over the past few years and even advanced to the semifinals last year.

“I think we’re going into this year with a very strong set,” Vocal Point member and sophomore Kristy Doot said. “We’ve worked hard on both our music and our performance and have given everything we got. The thing about ICCAs is it’s so subjective because there are only three judges and each has a very individual taste.”

Hopefully Vocal Point’s distinctive style will earn them points rather than take them away. Doot freely acknowledges that the group differs from other all-female a cappella groups in music choice, which she fears may hurt their chances.

“We’re very atypical in terms of an all female group because we sing songs which tend to deviate from the standard all female set – think “It’s Raining Men” or “Walking On Broken Glass” – and we will do songs by Cake, Marvin Gaye or Save Ferris instead,” Doot said.

The groups are judged in three categories – vocal performance, visual performance and subjective rank.

The two groups with the highest scores will advance to the semifinal competition, which will be held on March 4 at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. From there the highest scoring group will continue on to the finals held in New York City’s Lincoln Center on April 29.

Although the Midnight Ramblers are not competing, their vocal talents will not go unnoticed.

“We will be singing intermittently throughout the show and at the end while the judges are tallying up the scores,” Midnight Rambler and junior Matt Roe said. “We also are responsible for taking care of the groups and making sure a lot of the other details of the show run smoothly.”

This is not the Midnight Ramblers’ first time hosting the ICCA Quarterfinals – they played host to the competition two years ago.

“I guess they liked the way we handled things when we hosted two years ago and they wanted to have us do it again,” Roe said.

The Midnight Ramblers decided not to compete this year because of the time commitment that is required to prepare for the competition.

“We decided that following our success in last year’s competition, we would like to focus on getting some new and exciting music into our repertoire, and tailor our performance more toward our usual audience, rather than the judges,” Roe said.

The competition will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium. Tickets are $7 at the Common Market or at the door.

Woo can be reached at mwoo@campustimes.org.



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