BYU A Cappella groups to compete in ‘Pitch Perfect’ quarterfinals

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Natalie Stoker
Eric Corpuz and his a cappella group, Beyond Measure, rehearse before the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. They are one of the newer a cappella groups at BYU. (Natalie Stoker)

The Northwest Quarterfinal for Varsity Vocal’s college a cappella tournament, the same tournament portrayed in the popular “Pitch Perfect” movies, takes place at Provo’s Covey Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

Four BYU groups — BYU Noteworthy, Beyond Measure, Duly Noted and Familiar Ring — are set to show off their talents at the quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. They will compete against each other and University of Utah’s Infrared and Oregon State University’s Divine.

Past BYU groups have succeeded in International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella competitions. Noteworthy won the championship in 2007, and Vocal Point placed second overall in 2011. Beyond Measure earned national recognition in 2014 for placing in the semifinal round, a feat never before achieved by a first-year group.

“That year we broke the national record, placing second in the semifinal round right behind UCLA,” Beyond Measure’s Eric Corpuz said. “That was the farthest any group in its first year had gone in that competition.”

Corpuz said Beyond Measure’s recent participation in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella helped persuade Varsity Vocals to bring a quarterfinal round to Provo this year, a convenience that made it possible for four BYU groups to compete.

“It’s exciting because it is home turf,” Corpuz said.

Duly Noted and Familiar Ring haven’t competed in the past. John Colton, a BYU a cappella club adviser and physics professor, said the student-run groups, such as Beyond Measure, Duly Noted and Familiar Ring, cover their own costs so a Provo quarterfinal helped ease the burden and encourage participation.

“At a club level, we’re certainly really excited about it,” Colton said. “This is a pretty unique opportunity to go to this event and support the different BYU groups.”

Beyond Measure, Duly Noted and Familiar Ring are three of the 13 groups that are part of BYU’s a cappella club. BYU Noteworthy is one of the two a cappella groups managed directly by BYU. The other is Vocal Point.

BYU’s Performing Arts Management only recently adopted Noteworthy, well after its 2007 win. Colton said Noteworthy was the “longest-tenured” student-run group when he came to BYU.

“They’ve been a fantastic group, a dynamic group,” Colton said. “They sound amazing, and they’re going to be very professional.”

Familiar Ring is the new oldest student-run group since Noteworthy’s transition. The group is the only all-male BYU group besides Vocal Point. Familiar Ring has contributed to the two CDs released by the a cappella club and consistently performs at the club’s shows, according to Colton.

Duly Noted, like Beyond Measure, is relatively new. Its director, Robert Seely, said the group has only existed for a year and a half. The group has six men and six women, and recently the group had a “little bit of a hiccup” in their preparation for the ICCA quarterfinal when they lost three members at the start of the Winter Semester.

Seely was part of the Vocal Point group that placed second at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella finals in 2011, and he also competed with Vocal Point in the TV show “The Sing-Off.” Duly Noted added him at the beginning of the Fall 2015 Semester. He said the group’s main purpose is to enjoy music together while striving to create a “high quality product.”

“I enjoy seeing how all the parts come together,” Seely said. “Literally every note is important to the whole song.”

Seely said the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella is a great opportunity for high-level groups to perform competitively on a big stage. The competition is also a chance for groups and audiences to “get introduced” to the world of a cappella outside of the university.

The winner and runner-up in the quarterfinal will advance to the Northwest Semifinal in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, March 19. Tickets to the quarterfinal competition are available at coveycenter.org. [vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrKUGEMnE74″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSg2aHIwTC4″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd9Un0Tt3KY”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDvF7xjwR3E”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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