After Hours left its heart on stage at the 2016 ICCA Central Quarterfinal—but didn’t take a trophy home with it.

Hosted in Rochester this past Saturday, the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, perhaps best known from its representation in the film “Pitch Perfect,” featured nine groups from western New York and Canada.

After Hours drew the first performance slot. As expected for the group that won their quarterfinals just one year ago, they set the bar incredibly high, with strong performances from soloists, fluid choreography, and a unique stylistic touch seamlessly holding the parts together. For his impressive arrangement, junior John Queenan III went on to win Outstanding Arrangement for the entire set.

Because the remainder of the first act was comparatively lackluster, at intermission I was convinced After Hours would easily go home with the top honors.

Unfortunately for After Hours, the groups in the second act packed a lot of talent into their twelve-minute sets. The University of Waterloo’s “The Committee” started the act strong and closed its set with a lengthy feature on its star bass and beat-boxer. He was later awarded Outstanding Vocal Percussion for his efforts.

The only other Canadian group competing, “Tunes. Beats. Awesome.” (TBA), traveled from the University of Toronto. Relying on the strength of its soloists, TBA put in a very impressive performance. As most groups tend to do, TBA closed with its strongest soloist—Nicole Dionne—on Ariana Grande’s “Break Free,” earning the award for Outstanding Soloist.

Closing the evening was University at Buffalo’s “The Buffalo Chips,” an all-male group that put on the most entertaining set of the evening. They supplemented it with some flashy choreography—a bit too much for my liking, but the judges rewarded them with Outstanding Choreography (and presumably high marks for visual presentation).

While the judges tallied scores and deliberated special awards, the Midnight Ramblers filled the time with multiple songs, most notable of which was their very own ICCA set. Having placed second at their quarterfinals in Ithaca three weeks earlier, taking home awards for both Outstanding Arrangement and Vocal Percussion, I admit I was just as excited to hear this set as I was to hear the competing groups.

With the scores finalized and the four aforementioned awards handed out, I assumed the top three awards would go to some permutation of After Hours, The Committee, TBA, and The Buffalo Chips. Fueling my interest in seeing After Hours win, I based my prediction on the unique sound they had created, while the other three groups came off as far more formulaic in their approach. Ultimately, however, the podium of TBA, The Committee, and The Buffalo Chips was a worthy one, as each was impressive in their own right.

Tagged: A Cappella


Riseup with Riseman

“I decided to make one for fun — really poor quality — and I put it on my Instagram just to see how people would react," Riseman said.

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.