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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Harmonic Notion wins ICCA quarter finals


Competitive college a cappella may seem like a far-fetched concept meant to be left to Pitch Perfect, but Harmonic Notion will have you acca-believing that for some, it’s a reality. For the first time in the group’s history, they took first place at their regional International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) competition in Athens, GA, on Feb. 9, marking the first time the group has ever advanced to the South Semifinal round.

Fellow Vanderbilt group, Vandy Taal, won an award for Vocal Percussion. While they may have been there as competitors, the members agreed that having the Commodore support in the audience made the experience feel closer to home.

Bobby Cohen, a senior member of Harmonic Notion, also won an award for Best Arrangement for “Evergreen” by YEBBA, the second component of their 12 minute set that also included a Rihanna medley and “Sway” by Michael Bublé.

While this group has been consistently strong vocally, adding choreography while not allowing it to detract from their singing proved to be a challenge.

“My freshman and sophomore year, ICCA season was definitely my least favorite part of the entire year,” said Cohen. “It was sort of disheartening to spend that time every single year on something I thought we would never even come close to.”

So what was the magic touch that led to Harmonic Notion’s success? Fun.

Taking third place at last year’s ICCA quarterfinals was a turning point for the group. They found their niche in bringing the genuine enjoyment of performing with friends to the forefront of the stage, an aspect that strongly resonated with audiences.

“The fact that we’re having fun with it— it adds even more to what the set is for us,” Jordan Doromal said.

Last year’s ranking was just the spark the group needed to make a name for themselves in the ICCA world. With a power-packed crew, Harmonic Notion knew they had to get down to business early in the season. They learned the setlist in a shorter timespan so that more emphasis could be placed on polishing the entire routine.

Each hour spent rehearsing together built up their confidence, which played a major role in their success. The set was so thoroughly ingrained in their memory that the group was able to focus on truly performing and entertaining the audience—an element that strongly contributes to their identity as a team.

As exciting as this weekend’s win was for Harmonic Notion, it is just the beginning. The next few weeks will be spent polishing and perfecting their set for next month’s semifinal round in Durham, NC. With a spring concert, a recording project and a tour in Chicago also on the horizon, the group certainly has a lot on their plate.

But the members couldn’t be happier to be where they are.

“Fifteen year-old me is screaming,” freshman member Melissa Goldin said.

With the love and passion within the group extremely evident, it’s hard to not to be screaming with them too.

The ICCA South Semifinal will be on March 2 in Durham, NC. Find out more information and buy tickets here.

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About the Contributor
Isabel Tannenbaum, Former Staff Writer
Isabel Tannenbaum ('21) was a student in Blair majoring in Violin Performance with minors in Viola and Neuroscience. She can be reached at [email protected].
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