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Nor’easters crowned international a cappella champions

The Nor'easters rehearse before their International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella final. The group took first place in the competition. Photo by Lauren Scornavacca, courtesy of the Nor'easters

On Saturday, the Nor’easters won first prize in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Their first-place finish brings them to the top of a highly competitive field of international competitors and marked the second time in four years that the group has placed first.

In addition to the Nor’easters’ overall first-place prize, soloist Anthony Rodriguez, S’19, took home the Outstanding Soloist award for his rendition of the Sam Smith song “Writing’s on the Wall.”

Soprano Sofia Berg, SSH/AMD’19, said the experience filled her with “immense pride.”

“We had so much fun hearing other groups’ repertoires and watching really technical choreography, and just being included in the event made us feel like we had won,” Berg said. “Being involved in such a momentous, competitive, and rigorous event fills you with immense pride, and I think that every person who competed on that stage was just honored to have the opportunity.”

The group performed “Cheyenne” by Jason Derulo, “715-CREEKS” by Bon Iver, “Who’s That Girl” by Rosie Lowe, and “Intro” by Ellie Goulding, in addition to the Smith original. The Nor’easters also showcased original arrangements by current member Elliott Von Wendt and alumnus Shams Ahmed.

“Something that the group really enjoys is the strength of our alumni network,” Berg said. “We have such an impeccable support system, and it meant the world to us to have so many Nor’easters who won the ICCA in 2013 cheer us on from the audience. That iteration of our group really set a standard by winning in 2013, and we are so proud to follow in their footsteps years later.”

Although fresh off the win, the group is already looking forward.

“Next year feels like it’s right around the corner,” Berg said. “We’re all very hopeful that this win will provide us with more performance, recording, and other unique opportunities in the coming year. I personally cannot wait to share those opportunities with the new Nor’easters we will welcome after our fall auditions. This group is a family first and a competitor second, and it has been incredibly fulfilling to experience both so successfully in a single year. I’m excited for whatever we pursue next, because I’m sure our whole heart will be in it.”

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