The Summit Street A Cappella group from Eastern Michigan University has been selected to compete in the Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) in 2021. This is the second time that EMU has been represented at the ICCA since the selection of their mixed-vocal Evergreen A Cappella group in 2018.
Summit Street A Cappella is EMU’s “tenor tenor baritone bass” (TTBB) a cappella group, making it the first composed of all male voices. It was founded in late 2018 by students Andrew Richardson, Parker Lazar, and Trevor Miner. The program has now expanded to include 14 members and four tech team members with a passion for music production and performance.
“A Cappella is a very intimate form of music,” said Richardson, a junior at EMU and President of Summit Street for the past two years. “There’s really no other instruments backing you up. It’s just you and the voices next to you.”
The 2021 ICCA takes place from January through April. It’s a bracket system with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Finals are usually held in the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City, but this upcoming season will be completely virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s competition is a music video competition. In addition to the singing, there’s also opportunities for unique elements of creativity and technical expertise that may not always be a factor in a typical ICCA competition.
Two major changes for this years virtual competition include the event being offered free of charge to all interested groups. Additionally, judges for each regional quarterfinal will remain the same throughout the entire region. This will assist in keeping judgment perspective consistent across the board for all regional participants, another first for the a cappella community. The video submissions will go live in mid-March 2021.
“I’m just really grateful and honored,” Richardson said. “Everybody who’s in this group has made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point, and to have that pay off with this amazing opportunity, I don’t think [we] could ask for anything more than that. Now that we’re here, we’re ready to go, we’re ready to represent well.”