UBCO Beats lives out their pitch perfect dreams, taking part in ICCA.

UBCO Beats - Photo by Andrew Memije
UBCO Beats - Photo by Andrew Memije

On February 16, the UBCO Beats took part in the International Competition of Collegiate Acapella (ICCA) competition held in the Rialto Theater at Tacoma, Washington. Musical director of one of the teams, Cole Blakely, described the competition as being the exact same competition that features in the Pitch Perfect movies.

Last year, the club gained great recognition, placing 3rd and winning Best Choreography. This year, the club sent in two teams, the Trebled Acaholics and the Trill Seekers, to represent UBCO at first quarterfinals event. Daniella Vermeulen, musical director of the Trebled Acaholics, explained that the reason they decided to send out two groups was to offer more students the opportunity to express themselves and experience this competition.

The Trill Seekers
The Trill Seekers

As this is an internationally renowned event, the members feel anxious since it is only their second time taking part in the competition. Blakely said, “we're in such a unique position because we're literally cutting the path. We're the trail blazers for all future musical directors in this club. For a school that doesn't have an official music program, we really are the underdogs and we have the chance to really live that underdog story and that's exciting.”

However, the teams were still excited. Vermeulen also expressed, “I’m really honoured to be representing UBCO … so being able to go out as ambassadors into an international playing field. It makes you feel really proud to be Canadian and proud to be from UBCO.”

While the club has only been active since 2015, it has grown beyond acapella. Blakely added,

“I always use the word "Ohana" from Lilo and Stitch because that's what it feels like. It's just a family by the end of the year.”

Unfortunately, both teams did not make it into the semi-finals but the members all had an unforgettable time supporting other teams.

Despite already being the biggest music group on campus, the club is still gradually expanding and is looking forward to sending more teams to compete in the ICCAs in the future. If students are interested in joining the Beats, they could email ubcobeats@gmail.com or message them on their Instagram.