ICCA Final Line-Up Confirmed; AtKM Face Stiff Competition

After last night’s ICCA WildCard Semi Final, the final line-up for the year’s biggest international a cappella competition, the ICCAs, was finally confirmed, with the UK’s All the King’s Men leading the line from our side of the pond.

Here are the competitors in full, who will be taking part in the competition at the Town Hall, New York City, on April 28th:

ICCA Mid-Atlantic Champions: The Penn State Pennharmonics
ICCA Midwest Champions: University of Chicago Voices in Your Head
ICCA Northeast Champions: Yale University Out of the Blue
ICCA South Champions: The University of Georgia Accidentals
ICCA West Champions: The UCLA Scattertones
ICCA Wildcard Champions: The University of Southern California SoCal VoCals
Voice Festival UK Champions: King’s College London All the King’s Men

For our readers who may not know much about collegiate a cappella in the US, here’s a brief summary of each of the competing groups:

The Penn State Pennharmonics

Semi Final: 1st Place (391pts)
Quarter Final: 1st Place (425pts)

The Pennharmonics are a mixed-voice group from Penn State University. The self-styled ‘Sexiest A Cappella Group in the Universe’ will be appearing in their first ever ICCA Final – having come closest back in 2006 when they came 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic Semi-Final, having been overshadowed for much of the recent competitions by fellow Penn State group Shades of Blue. They will clearly want to impress in their first ever final, and having qualified relatively comfortably for the final, may well feel confident.

Watch Out For…
‘Uprising/Brick in the Wall’ which won Outstanding Arrangement at both the Quarters and the Semis.

University of Chicago Voices in Your Head

Semi Final: 1st Place (456pts)
Quarter Final: 1st Place (427pts)

Voices in Your Head qualified for both the semi-final and the final scoring over 75 points more than their nearest challengers, and anything over 400 points is considered exceptional in ICCA terms, so to have achieved 456 at the Semi-Final is some achievement. Last year, the mixed-voice group came 3rd in their Quarter-Final, missing out on a Semi-Final place by just 5 points, and so will be delighted to have reached the final this year. The group have had songs featured on previous ‘Voices Only’ and ‘Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella’ albums. One of the favourites?

Watch Out For…
Their choreography, which won Outstanding Choreography at both the Quarter-Finals and the resulting Semis.

Yale University Out of the Blue

Semi Final: 1st Place (371pts)
Quarter Final: 2nd Place (384pts)

Yes, there’s an Out of the Blue in the US as well. And they’re another mixed-voice group. The Yale group don’t have an illustrious history in the competition, with their last real success coming in 2006 when they won their Quarter-Final but failed to place in the Semis. They are one of the few groups to qualify directing for the final having NOT won their Quarter-Final, but this could be indicative of their ability to step it up when under pressure.

Watch Out For…
Their choreography, which claimed the Outstanding Choreography award at the Quarter-Finals.

The University of Georgia Accidentals

Semi-Final: 1st Place (400pts)
Quarter-Final: 1st Place (429pts)

What’s this? Another group with the same name as a British one? Unlike their UK counterparts, these Accidentals are all-male, and have quite a history in the ICCAs, having been to the finals just two years ago and placing third. and having been Semi-Finals runners-up in 2009 and third-placed in the Semis in 2007. They look strong this year too, with two 400+ scores, and although the scores aren’t as impressive as Voices in Your Head, they will definitely challenge for the title.

Watch Out For…
Their beatboxer, Schafer Grey, who has won 5 Vocal Percussion award since 2009, including Outstanding Vocal Percussion in this year’s Semi-Final.

The UCLA Scattertones

Semi-Final: 1st Place (401pts)
Quarter-Final: 2nd Place (357pts)

Another mixed-voice group, The Scattertones, have built upon their success last year, having placed second in the West Semi-Final, by making it one step further into the Final this year. After a vast improvement from the Quarter-Finals to the Semis, can they keep on their improving streak and challenge in the final? With credits on 2009’s ‘Best of Collegiate A Cappella’ album, and three previous ICCA Semi-Finals to their name, they are experience and ready to take on the Final.

Watch Out For…
Their version of ‘No Woman No Cry’, which won Outstanding Arrangement at both the Quarters and the Semis.

The University of Southern California SoCal VoCals

WildCard Round: 1st Place (398pts)
Semi-Final: 2nd Place (385pts)
Quarter-Final: 1st Place (440pts)

SoCal VoCals are another mixed-voice group and are probably the biggest group in the competition this year. With two previous titles, in 2008 and 2010, they are the only group to have won the competition twice before and the only finalists this year to have won it before, which will surely give them an advantage. The group also participated on the inaugural series of The Sing-Off, finishing 4th. They did have to rely on the WildCard round to get them to the final this year after slipping up in their Semi-Final, but experience could be key.

Watch Out For…
Oluwasegun Oluwadele, the soloist on ‘Tightrope’, who claimed Outstanding Soloist in the Quarters and Semis.

So there we have it. The groups competing against All the King’s Men in the ICCAs. How do you rate their chances? Make sure you have your say in the comments below, or in our Forum.

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