MODA Blog

UChicago's Own Pitch Perfect

UChicago's Own Pitch Perfect

Love watching Pitch Perfect or just listening to really good singers sing? UChicago's own Voices in Your Head is hosting the ICCA Great Lakes Quarterfinal in Mandel Hall! The competition features 11 ensembles, 4 of them our own. Come cheer on and support your peers as it'll definitely be a night of wonderful music and talent. The Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) is one of two global tournaments dedicated to a cappella. If you don't know what a cappella is, it is basically singing without any instrumental accompaniment. A cappella was originated actually from Jewish and Christian worship. But this past decade, it's risen to cultural prominence due to shows like The Sing-Off and Glee and movies like Pitch Perfect. However, when you hear these songs, you might think to yourself, why are there drums? It's actually not drums you hear but rather beatboxers whose beats add another level of dimension to the pieces.

Here at UChicago, we have many a cappella groups, but the 4 that are performing at the competition are The Ransom Notes, Run for Cover, Men in Drag, and Rhythm and Jews. Voices will not be in the competition but are hosting and performing that night. Here is a quick run-down of the ensembles:

Voices in Your Head

image via

image via

Voices in Your Head, founded in 1998, is a co-ed a cappella group on campus. They self-arrange all of their music, covering a unique medley of genres spanning from pop to original compositions. They've released several singles and albums as well, also having been featured in all three major a cappella compilations: Voices Only, Sing, and Best of Collegiate A Cappella. . This group was 2nd place nationally at the ICCA's last year, and had the great honor of singing for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama this past winter. Although they're not competing in this competition, they'll definitely be performing so get excited for that!

Listen to them here

The Ransom Notes

 Image via

 Image via

The Ransom Notes are a co-ed a cappella group on campus who has been around for 19 years. They're recorded several CD's and albums, their last one being Black and Blue! They have an annual winter tour around the city, and every other year in the spring, they tour the country for a week. Last year, they took their first international tour to Canada and the East Coast! The group stands by the motto (from one of their alums), "We sing for ourselves." For them, singing in a cappella isn't simply just making good music, but having a good relationship with each other and sharing what they love with their audiences.

Listen to them here

Run for Cover

Image via

Image via

Run for Cover, founded in 2008, is the university's all-male contemporary a cappella group. Their songs have a huge range. Normally they focus on pop, but have also performed songs in other genres like rock and even EDM. Though founded relatively later than some of the other groups, they participated in the ICCA in 2014 and won several awards! They're recorded several albums and plan to release a 5 track EP in the autumn of this year. They're the only all male ensemble from UChicago performing this year, so definitely show them your cheers!

Listen to them here

Rhythm and Jews

 Image via

 Image via

Rhythm and Jews is UChicago's only Jewish a cappella group. However, the group is a mixture of both Jews and non-Jews who simply love to get together and just have fun by singing. Their positive outlook in their singing is reflected in their repertoire choice ranging from Jewish to secular music, from the Pokemon theme song to contemporary Israeli hits like Idan Raichel. They have an annual tour during winter break. Although they participated in Kol HaOlam, the national collegiate Jewish a cappella competition, this is their first time competing in the ICCA so definitely give them your warm support!

Listen to them here

Men in Drag

Image via

Image via

Men in Drag is an all-female a cappella group on campus! Contrary to their name, there are no men, but some occasional drag. These women are working the stage, challenging gender roles, while holding themselves up to a high musical standard. They are no strangers to the ICCA, and in 2013 was Runner-Up for the A Cappella Community Award for Favorite Female A Cappella Group. They've recorded several studio albums, their latest being "Late Nights, Parades." They're the only female ensemble from UChicago that's performing, so definitely keep an eye on them!

Listen to them here

Come support these wonderful groups on January 23 at 7 pm! Buy tickets here

Featured image via

Undiscovered Gem: Serai

Undiscovered Gem: Serai

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions