This past year, Superfood decided to enter the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella for the first time. Armed with an unwavering spirit and an intricate and unique set list, we set forth to take the competition by storm. However, we had never been a part of this competition, and we knew that the groups who participated were no joke. Each group had immeasurable talent that was both daunting and inspiring. We knew that we would have to put in an extreme amount of work and time if we wanted to be taken seriously.
Coming back from winter break, we were all nervous and excited to start the long process of preparation. Amidst the choreography sessions and vocal rehearsals, we had also decided to hold Spring auditions. Some may have thought that we were crazy for trying to do this during such a chaotic time, but we knew that giving this extra time to the auditionees was extremely necessary to find our new family members and fill out our sound! We were lucky enough to find our two newest babyfoods, Zach Rego and Austin Lee, who were enthusiastic and determined enough to jump right in with our ICCA plans!
We only had about three weeks after getting back from break until our Quarter Final competition date, which meant that we were constantly rehearsing. I am sure that I was with my fellow Superfoodies more than I was with my roommate for these three weeks. It was chaotic, nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and yet this group of people made it exciting and light hearted.
One of our many rehearsals!
I think that it takes a very special group of people to be able to compete in the ICCAs. You have to be determined, hard-working, and cooperative. However, you also have to be easy-going. You need to be able to roll with the punches and laugh at yourself (and sometimes at others). You need to be understanding and realize that everyone in the group has so many things going on in their lives, but they all showed up to rehearsal, just like you. Every member of Superfood cares so much about this group and the performance that we give. It takes a group like that to be able to go on this journey and still love each other so deeply at the end.
Our final dress rehearsal!
Road trip to Philadlephia!
On January 30th, we piled into our rental cars and made our way up to Philadelphia for the Quarter Final competition! We traveled the night before so that we had plenty of time to rest and relax before the show! We also knew that to get into full-competiton mode we had to have a huge movie viewing the night before of Pitch Perfect, complete with delicious food and great company. (A cake may have also made its way into the mix, thank you Abby and Zach.)
The next morning, after a few last run-throughs of our set, we headed into the city, ready to be toursits. We walked around quite a bit and ran up the Rocky steps like pros. (Some of us may have gradually walked.) Overall, we weren't thinking too much about the competition. We were enjoying the awesome time we were having in such an awesome city.
Philadelphia Art Museum (Rocky steps!)
It wasn't until we headed over to Drexel for soundcheck that we started getting into performance mode. We were given ten minutes for our soundcheck, and the set was almost twelve minutes in total, so we had to make sure that we went on stage with an exact plan and the focus to get it done. Our fearless leaders helped us stay focused and able to be as efficient as possible during the soundcheck!
Performing in the show itself just a few hours later was an amazing experience. Up until this process, we had never done a performance that was so intricate in terms of both song and dance, and we were a bit nervous. However, when we hit that stage, a lot of the nerves melted away and we had a blast, performing a great set. We were even able to sit in the back of the auditorium and watch the other groups in the competition! Witnessing the sheer amount of talent in that room was amazing. Each group had a different energy and style, and it was inspiring to watch.
At the end of the show, they pulled everyone up onto the stage to announce the sweeps and special awards! Being newbies to the ICCA circuit, we really had no idea what to expect. I think that excitement and fresh perspective made it that much more special and exciting when our very own Shom Mazumder '15 won the award for Vocal Percussion and Allie Canal '16 won Best Soloist! The happiness didn't end there, because moments later they announced that we had been awarded second place, allowing us to move forward to the Semifinal competiton!
It was a pretty euphoric feeling after that. We had entered the competition as newcomers and advanced to the next phase because of all the work and passion we had put into that set. Check out our set in these videos!
The Semifinal competition was to be held about two months later at Drexel. We polished, re-choreographed, and even replaced one of our songs. We added "La La La" (Naught Boy ft. Sam Smith) to the set to mix it up a bit. We followed the same routine that weekend and drove up to Philly! Although this time we made a last minute appearance at the birthday party of possibly our biggest fans, my cousins. We had a blast and performed a couple of fun songs for everyone there! Our big accomplishment of the night, however, was testing how many people we could fit into a photo booth. I think we did a prettyy good job.
The morning of Semifinals was extremely exciting, mostly because we grabbed sushi burritos for lunch (AMAZING). All joking aside, we were so honored and excited to be there that we knew we had to simply enjoy each moment. We watched each group with awe, we laughed with each other, we performed our hearts out, and we were filled with pride for each other. Even though we did not advance to the Finals in NYC, we were so extremely proud to have been a part of the ICCAs and to have had this great experience. Check out our Semifinals performances below!