By now, you have all heard of the multimillion dollar franchise called Pitch Perfect. The movie starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, and many others is one to remember. The collegiate a cappella groups go head to head at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and, of course, the rest is history.
What some of you may not know however, is that the ICCA competition is an official competition and some of your Illinois State University a cappella groups are doing the very same thing on Saturday, February 11.
Although the competition works a little differently than in the movie, it still has the same amount of hype. Thousands of groups send in audition videos. From there the submissions are weeded through and certain groups are selected to compete at competitions based on geographical location. In the quarterfinal round, two groups will move on to the semifinal round. And just like any other competition, there are finals, and so on and so forth.
Three a cappella groups will represent Illinois State University at one of the Great Lake Quarterfinals this year.
This is the Acafellaz third year competing in the ICCA competition. Each year, the members have been blown away by what other groups brought to the competition. “We have learned a lot,” said Michael Muneses, Acafellaz president. “We took what we learned in our first year of the competition and definitely applied it to our second year.”
Last year the group placed third, making Illinois State University history. The point margin was even more impressive, with only four points separating second and third place, and seven points between first and third places. “We were very proud of our large improvement,” Muneses said. “In a competition with such a small point margin and so much subjectivity, we’re just happy we could place how we did. We are excited to show everyone what we have put together this year!”
This is the Clef Hangers second year at the competition. Last year, the Clef Hangers finished in fourth place at its quarterfinal round, better than any Illinois State group had done in its first year.
“ICCA is time for us to show people what we’re made of,” said Kelly Mohler, Clef Hangers president and a senior member. “Placing fourth last year was really unexpected. We went into the competition not knowing what was expected of us. We just wanted to perform and have fun.”
The group is using this accomplishment as motivation for this year’s competition and has a renewed confidence and drive. The group really enjoys how the competition helps the group grow together. “We love doing well in the competition of course, but ICCA itself is mostly for us to grow our bond and have fun together,” Mohler said. The group is ready to compete in hopes of moving on and is excited to see what their fellow ISU groups have put together.
Last but definitely not least, we have Secondary Dominance. These ICCA veterans have been competing since 2008 and have experienced a lot of success. Having advanced to the semifinals in the past, the group is excited and optimistic to do it again in 2017.
“We don’t really think of it as a competition,” junior Janine Cihak said. “It’s really cool to meet new people in other groups from other schools and start building a stronger music and a cappella community across many schools.”
Ashley Arneson, a junior member and group president, said: “We can’t wait to support our friends in the other groups as well. We also love how much support they show us when we’re performing. We have put together a more intense set and can’t wait to show them what we’ve worked on this year!”
The three groups this year are competing against each other in the same quarterfinal round. “We are honestly just happy to share the stage with each other,” Cihak said.
“We all have been working really hard and very diligently,” said Acafellaz member Sean Lohmeyer. “I’m honestly just excited to see how awesome the other groups are!”
“All it is, is just a little friendly competition,” said Carly Piland, a four-year member of the Clef Hangers. “At the end of the day, we are helping grow the community and reputation at ISU as a whole. I’m sure I can speak for others when I say that we will be happy no matter what the result, and we’ll be excited to see everyone’s success.”
Regardless of the result on February 11, every member seemed to share a mutual understanding that competitions like these are meant to be fun. The most important part, in everyone’s eyes, is to be able to represent Illinois State University in the prestigious event. The fact that there are three groups from one school in and of itself is an incredible feat.