The live performing arts are among the hardest hit by the quarantine restrictions, and a cappella is no exception. With groups unable to gather to rehearse (much less perform before a live audience), whether anyone would sign on to form dream teams and participate in our still-fledgling Open tournament was uncertain.
But oh, did you all show up.
Now just in its 4th season, The Open will take place in 2021 in a fully virtual format, and it will feature 350 singers from 37 groups across 16 states and 6 (6!) countries. It seems professional a cappella is up for a challenge, and a full virtual format may even prove an advantage to those for whom travel to or within the US is difficult even under ordinary circumstances.
This season, competitors face the challenge of creating a 4-minute music video in lieu of a traditional competition set, all while maintaining appropriate social distancing measures. The difficulty of learning and performing music, and creating something vocally and visually artistic and appealing — without being able to come together in a traditional way — is considerable. And: all audio and video recording, mixing, and editing must be done by group members and their director — which means many are already working on acquiring these new skills. (A helpful, community-sourced resource guide for audio/video tutorials and trainings may be found here: VV RESOURCE GUIDE.)
We at Varsity Vocals are honored and humbled that so many of you have risen to the challenge this new format presents. Instead of having a lost year of a cappella, we will now get to see so many amazing groups pivoting to new ways of artistic expression. We can’t wait to see what you create, and the ways in which your new skills will advance the art form.
2021 OPEN COMPETITION STRUCTURE
Our Open competitors will compete in 5 regions: In North America, Northeast, Midwest, West, Canada; plus an International region featuring groups from the across the UK, Madrid, Sao Paolo, and Taiwan. The tournament will consist of a semifinal in each of these regions, with the top two groups advancing to The Open Finals.
All “events” — semifinals and finals — will take place virtually, as playlists of the groups’ competition videos. All semifinal playlists will be released March 13; and The Open Finals playlist will drop April 17. (Competitors, your videos are due to us Feb. 15, and you may edit or fully change them between rounds; check your acceptance email for further detail.)
This year, we are thrilled to offer the entire ICCA tournament completely free of charge — there is no fee to participate, and no ticket to purchase to watch the shows.
Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updated details.
COMPETITORS: Please see below for your quarterfinal assignment. If you applied and don’t see your name on the list below or if you have any questions about your placement, please contact us.
Congratulations to our accepted groups, and welcome to the 4th season of The Open!
Please note that all quarterfinal assignments are subject to change at the discretion of headquarters.
2021 International Championship of A Cappella Open Lineup
Black to Gold | New York, NY
Extones | Somerset, NJ
First Inversion | Various, CT
FLEX PITCH | New York, NY
Highlands Alumni Voices | Allendale, NJ
InToneNation Alumni | Douglasville, GA
NOVEM | Fairfax, VA
VICE | New York, NY
Continuum | Lima, OH
Euphonix | Johnson City, TN
From the Roots | Dallas, TX
Inside Voices | Towson, MD
Lark | Denver, CO
LowKey | Salt Lake City, UT
Radius | Chicago, IL
Ultraviolet | Salt Lake City, UT
ADJ | Los Angeles, CA & Tucson, AZ
ALIAS | San Francisco Bay, CA
California Golden Overtones | Berkeley, CA
ELITE | Phoenix, AZ
Pipeline Vocal Project | Anchorage AK
Side Note | Phoenix, AZ
Squad Harmonix | Los Angeles, CA
Under the Sun | Los Angeles, CA
The Open Finals
Featuring the top 2 groups from each semifinal