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The Real Life "Pitch Perfect"… At Monmouth University!

On Saturday March, 3, Monmouth University hosted the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) for the first time in Pollak Theatre. The 2018 ICCA has over 300 A Cappella groups competing all around the world for the chance to compete in the finals in NYC.
If you’ve seen the movie Pitch Perfect you are familiar with the ICCAs. The movie is actually based on a book, of the same title, about the experiences of three collegiate A cappella groups as they prepare for and compete in the ICCA.
Saturday was the final Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal for the 2018 ICCA season. There were 10 A cappella groups from multiple universities that competed. Of the 10 groups, only two moved on to the Semifinal which is being held at the Kimmel Center for the Arts in Philadelphia.
The 10 groups were from Hofstra University, Rider University, Wagner College, The College of New Jersey, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, and Monmouth University.
Each group had a 12-minute limit to perform any songs of their choice. Most groups chose sang popular upbeat songs as well as at least one ballad.
Pollak Theatre was packed and it seemed to be a sold out show; the MC had to ask the crowd to make room for the individuals who were standing.
Even though it was a competition, much of the audience could be seen moving along and cheering on the performers.
Simon Cruz, a senior at Monmouth University, said “this was my first ICCAs and i was enthralled and jamming the entire time. All the performers gave their all in their respective sets and I couldn’t stop my feet from tapping!”

Photo courtesy of Cristina Espinosa.

Each group had their own distinct style on stage in terms of music and fashion. Some groups included more choreography in their set while others focused more on big vocals and harmonies.
After every group performed, awards were given out to the groups. There were special awards for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Arrangement, Outstanding Solo, and Outstanding Vocal Percussion.
Then, the top three groups were announced. Sigma’Cappella from Hofstra University took third place, The Trentones from The College of New Jersey took second place, and The Hofbeats from Hofstra University took first.
Elysia Whritenour, a senior at Monmouth University has never been to an ICCA performance but is not a stranger to A cappella music. She said, “I had a loose idea of how the competition would work. It was really cool to see the uniqueness of all the groups from the different schools. It was a night filled with beautiful singing and fun choreography. It’s really remarkable to see all these groups put these sets together.”
A cappella music in 2018 is different than what people may originally believe. It is not a barbershop quartet but is closer to just songs performed solely with voices.
The professional A cappella group Pentatonix has had a huge impact on the world of A cappella music. The group started out on the competition show strictly for A cappella groups called The Sing Off. They ended up winning the season and gaining a huge following on YouTube. Since then, they have won three Grammy Awards.
The success of Pentatonix as well as the success of the Pitch Perfect franchise has brought more people to enjoy A cappella music as well as the collegiate A cappella scene.