The Clef Hangers sang their way to their best showing ever in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) during this year’s competition.  

The Illinois State student group advanced all the way to the semifinals in the Great Lakes Region held March 19 at the Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture in Chicago after finishing in first place in the quarterfinals for the first time in the group’s history. 

“This was our fourth semifinals appearance, but we have never won our quarterfinals before. So it is a pretty big deal for us,” said Michael St. Aubin, junior choral music education major, who arranged the Clef Hangers’ sets for the competition. 

Heading into the ICCA a cappella competition, the group agreed to not place extra pressure on themselves.  

“We went into our quarterfinals saying if we make it to semifinals, it’s just a bonus performance we get to do. We were never trying to come in and win at all, we were just wanting to have fun and show everybody the work we put into this set. And that’s kind of how we’re looking at this performance tomorrow.” said Clef Hangers Vice President Mark Moen, a junior music education major specializing in instrumental orchestra. 

The Clef Hangers, one of four a cappella registered student organizations on campus, are a contemporary group with members from each vocal range: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. The 16 members create large arrangements with songs that feature a wide array of tones and voices.  

“It’s just a good group of people. It’s great when we all come together. We’re all just here to sing and have fun,” said Moen. 

The Clef Hangers’ set for the competition comprised the songs “Love Somebody” by Maroon 5, “Nobody Love” by Tori Kelly, “Y” by Citizen Queen, and “Good Things Fall Apart” by Illenium and Jon Bellion. The overall theme was “Full Circle,” and followed the arc of a love story. 

“The story element of the set really added a new emotional layer that made it really fun to perform, and we hoped that the audience would pick up on it too,” said senior Laney Hepp, psychology major and Clef Hangers’ president. 

After a great competition season, the Clef Hangers continue to perform in the Bloomington-Normal area with pop-up performances and appearances at alumni and faculty luncheons. 

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