A capella group moves up in international championship
The Cocktails, USC’s female a cappella group, took first place in the South Region Quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella competition Saturday, Jan. 29 at Clemson University.
The Cocktails were one of seven collegiate groups competing, which included teams from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, William & Mary and Clemson.
“It definitely meant a lot to us to win,” Nadia Shutkufski, the Cocktails president, said. “We’ve worked really hard. We’ve competed in these events before, and we’ve never won one before. It’s really so exciting to be able to say we won first place.”
In competition, each group is given 12 minutes to perform. For the quarterfinals, the Cocktails chose “Seven Bridges Road” by the Eagles, “Russian Roulette” by Rihanna and “Replay” by Iyaz. Shutkufski said they tried to pick a group of songs that were well-rounded and included a little bit of something for everyone in the audience.
Allie Siville, a second-year finance and human resources risk management student and the Cocktails’ treasurer, said the girls were very emotional when they won.
“[We were] internally screaming because we had to be respectful to the other groups,” Siville said. “After we found out, we went backstage and pretty much all of us started crying.”
The next round, the South Semifinal competition, will be held at USC on March 19 . The semifinal competition will showcase the eight best groups in the Southern U.S.. Siville said she is excited to compete against top groups from all over the South with the Cocktails’ fans supporting them.
“It’s an amazing opportunity that we get to have,” Siville said.
In ICCA, the contestants perform the same songs at each level, so the Cocktails will perform the same songs three songs they did at quarterfinals.
“I think we’ll just try to really fine-tune the set,” Shutkufski, a fourth-year international studies student, said. “We’ll take the notes the judges gave at quarterfinals and apply those.”
Siville said that the group has put a lot of work into practicing the songs.
“Before this competition, [we had] probably done the three songs that we’re doing for this competition at least 100 times,” Siville said. “Sometimes it just gets really frustrating and really old. We do the same parts over and over and over again.”
But Siville added that winning quarterfinals made the hard work and practice much better.
Currently the Cocktails have postponed their practice for the competition, instead preparing for their Valentine’s Day concert “I Love A Capella” this Sunday in the Russell House Ballroom from 7 to 8 p.m.