SUNY Potsdam is Proud to Host the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella

The 2017 A Cappella Quarterfinals will be held at The Crane School of Music on Feb. 25

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The Potsdam Pitches a cappella group performs for a crowd gathered in downtown Potsdam during First Saturday, an event for incoming freshman, in September, 2016.

POTSDAM, NY (02/17/2017) (readMedia)-- For the first time in SUNY Potsdam's history, The Crane School of Music will host The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, presented by Varsity Vocals. The renowned a cappella competition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 in Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at 7 p.m.

Nine a cappella groups from the United States and Canada will compete in the quarterfinals at The Crane School of Music for one of two spots in the ICCA semifinals. Now in its 21st season, Varsity Vocals ICCA is a competition loosely affiliated with the feature-length film "Pitch Perfect," where college students perform for a panel of judges and a live audience, to advance to the next round.

The performers include: A Sharp Arrangement (SUNY Potsdam), Harpur Harpeggios (Binghamton University), SUNY Potsdam's Stay Tuned, The Musical InterDudes (University of Waterloo), Potsdam Pitches (SUNY Potsdam), The Potsdam Pointercounts (SUNY Potsdam), The Unaccompanied Minors (University of Waterloo), The Water Boys (University of Waterloo) and the UltraVioleTones (Clarkson University).

SUNY Potsdam alumnus Andy Pacer '15 is the ICCA Central Region Producer for the event. He said that, "In the last four years the competition has quite literally doubled," attributing the success of the event to the assimilation of a cappella into popular music. The Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella has 387 groups competing worldwide with a total of 5,831 singers. On a local level, Crane will host singers from Binghamton University, Clarkson University, the University of Waterloo and SUNY Potsdam.

Pacer was a member of the Potsdam Pointercounts, one of the groups competing in the event, for all four years as an undergraduate student, leading the group as its president his senior year at SUNY Potsdam. He was recognized as the ICCA's Outstanding Vocal Percussionist in 2014 and Outstanding Soloist in 2015.

Current Potsdam Pointercounts President Brian Schuh said that in terms of preparation, this is one of the biggest events of the year. "We've been working on this set since the middle of last semester. We put a lot of arranging time into it, we put a lot of rehearsal time into it, we watch a lot of film, we prepare a lot; it's a very extensive process for just 12 minutes of music." He explains that the work leading up to the event is intensive, "We really want those 12 minutes to be perfect." The Potsdam Pointercounts have had a lot of success in the ICCA in the past, advancing to the semifinals the last three years.

Schuh said it means a lot to have the competition at SUNY Potsdam for the first time. "It's really a special thing, it's an international competition, it's the biggest event for the collegiate a cappella genre in the world. The fact that we have a branch of it happening here on campus is a really big deal, so I think people should bear witness to that, people should come see such a vibrant amazing thing."

Tickets for the event are $15 for students and $18 for the general public and can be purchased at

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, please visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York's only All-Steinway institution.