By Olivia Hart
The Sirens, Simmons College’s acapella group, will compete in the 2018 International Competition of Collegiate Acapella (ICCA) Quarterfinals on Feb. 18. Founded in 1996, the ICCA is an opportunity for college acapella groups across the United States and United Kingdom to showcase their work, and compete for the title of International Champion.
The ICCA served as inspiration for the popular movie Pitch Perfect, a comedy about collegiate acapella competitions. Recent ICCA champions from the Boston area include the Nor’easters from Northeastern University, and Pitch Slapped from Berklee College of Music. The ICCA Finals are also documented for the reality TV program Sing It On, which follows college acapella teams as they compete to become the year’s International Champion.
At the Quarterfinals, the Sirens will compete against nine other groups, with the top two advancing to the Northeast Semifinal, on March 4 at Symphony Hall. While preparation for the ICCA can be hectic and stressful, members of the Sirens form a strong bond through their hard work and practice. In recent years, the group has become increasingly competitive, utilizing a rigorous and selective audition process and averaging six hours of rehearsal time every week – often more in the weeks leading up to the event. However, regardless of the competition’s outcome, the group maintains a positive attitude focused on making music, consistently improving, and enjoying singing, rather than winning.
The Sirens formed in 1989, choosing the name “with the mysterious creatures of mythology in mind.” In addition to the ICCA, the Sirens produce about four independent concerts a year, often inviting guest acapella groups such as the Rams from Suffolk University and For Good Measure from Emmanuel College. The Sirens maintain a core membership of about 10-15 singers, holding auditions every semester.
The 2018 ICCA Quarterfinals for the Northeast region will take place in the Kresge Auditorium at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for general admission, and can be purchased through the Varsity Vocals website.