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SoCal VoCals sing their way to national trophy in a cappella championship

Winning? All the cool kids are doing it

2015 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella
Members of the SoCal Vocals celebrate their International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella win. (Photo/Joe Martinez Photography)

USC’s SoCal VoCals are back to their winning ways: The Trojan singing group took the national crown at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in New York on Sunday.

Yes, again. But they’re nowhere near tired of the trophies.

Founded in 1996, the SoCal VoCals — USC’s oldest a cappella group — has won the collegiate championship four times in the last seven years. It has also released full-length albums and its members have gone on to musical success, including membership in groups like Pentatonix.

2015 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella

SoCal Vocals harmonize during their national championship performance. (Photo/Joe Martinez Photography)

Riding a pop culture wave (think Glee and Pitch Perfect), a cappella groups now have a national stage where they can perform and an eager audience to cheer them on. “I don’t know what changed, but in the past three or four years, suddenly it became this really cool thing to do, when sort of the stereotype for a cappella is nerdy music kids,” SoCal VoCals president Myles Nuzzi told CBS News.

The group used an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to finance its trip to the finals. After a series of qualifying rounds earlier this year, the SoCal VoCals bested these teams in New York on April 20:

  • All the King’s Men, King’s College London
  • Voices in Your Head, University of Chicago
  • The G-Men, University of Michigan
  • Baylor VirtuOSO, Baylor University
  • Vassar Devils, Vassar College
  • Faux Paz, University of Maryland
  • Northeastern University Nor’easters

How did they get their win? Here’s their musical lineup:

  • A mash-up of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and Natalie by Bruno Mars (heard in this NPR story)
  • A mash-up of “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith and Paper Hearts by Tori Kelley
  • “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

 

Oh, and they recorded a video going into this school year. Check it out.

(And a bonus track, for the a cappella fans out there.)

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SoCal VoCals sing their way to national trophy in a cappella championship

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