CWRU a cappella teams prepare for International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals

Case Western Reserve University is home to many talented vocal groups including Case in Point, CWRU’s premier co-ed a cappella group, and Dhamakapella, CWRU’s competitive South Asian fusion a cappella team.

Both teams have a highly anticipated 2024 season after their achievements last year. In fact, Dhamakapella has already been participating in the South Asian a cappella circuit and were named champions at their first two bid competitions for All-American Awaaz (AAA), which they were also champions of for the past two years.

One of the major components of an a cappella group’s performance is their set. Dhamakapella’s current set is arranged by Juniper Duncan, a fourth-year student majoring in cognitive science, who has already been awarded Outstanding Arrangement twice this competition season.

Jennifer Huang, president of Dhamakapella, said that Dhamakapella focused on cohesion when designing their arrangement. “We were a lot more cognizant of making sure everything truly flowed together as best as it could,” she said.

While a cappella groups are mainly known for their vocals, a large part of their performance is also their choreography and creating a visual performance on stage.

Jonathan Morris, president of Case in Point, commented how their group paid more attention to the choreography this year. “There’s a lot more attention to our choreography this year. And while that was an absolutely big component of our set last year, I feel like it was more music heavy. So this year we’re getting more of a balance,” Morris said.

Most recently, the teams have been preparing for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), an annual competition where collegiate teams from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom compete for the coveted spot of ICCA Champion. For the competition, each team curates a set with a maximum time length of 10 minutes and rankings are determined by tabulated scores from three categories: vocal performance, visual performance and subjective rank. The first and second place winners from each quarterfinal will advance to their respective region’s semifinal. From the semifinal, only the first place winner will advance to the ICCA finals.

Last year, CWRU completely swept the quarterfinal competition. Case in Point took first overall, Best Arrangement for their entire set (awarded to CWRU graduate Andy Regli), Best Soloist for “Miss You” (awarded to CWRU graduate Zion Thomas) and Best Choreography for “Miss You” (awarded to Andy Regli, Zion Thomas and current CWRU students Adaeze Izuegbunam and Jake Model). Dhamakapella took second overall and Best Vocal Percussion for “All For Us x Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” (awarded to current CWRU senior Sashvat Iyer). Both groups advanced to the Midwest Semifinals held at Washington University in St. Louis, with Case in Point missing the mark for first by a mere eight points.

This year both teams are excited for the opportunity to compete and perform in the quarterfinals hosted by CWRU at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 2 from 7-10 p.m.

Disclaimer: Gloria Liu is the treasurer of Case in Point.

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