Last week, my a cappella group, the USC Troy Tones, competed in the quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). Every year, USC hosts the ICCA quarterfinals in Bovard Auditorium, and for the first time in three years Troy Tones competed. A number of schools from around the southern California area came to compete. We had been rehearsing nine or more hours per week since the beginning of the semester to prepare for the event, running choreography and perfecting our sound. We performed three songs: Peace of Mind by Boston, Gavin’s Song by Marc Broussard, and The Circle of Life from The Lion King. Though none of these songs were new to the group’s repertoire, I was abroad last semester and had to catch up on everything I missed.

The event itself was very exciting and professionally run. We arrived at Bovard for a sound check. We had a strict ten minute time period to test microphone levels and space out our formations on stage. After that we had a long wait. We performed third from last after intermission so we had a good three hours before we had to go on stage. We spent most of the time practicing, going over choreography, and getting psyched to sing!

When we finally got on stage, it was over before I knew it. Once we started singing, it was a blur and then all of a sudden we were walking off stage. We sat waiting backstage to go on and hear the results. It turns out our hard work paid off! We got second place and moved on to the semifinal round, which will be held March 24th in Bovard. It’s going to be a lot of work between now and then. We’re performing two new songs and learning all new choreography. But we’re all so happy to be moving on and excited to see what happens next!

Check out pictures from the event below!