Fri. May 17th, 2024

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On Saturday, March 25 at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware, Under A Rest placed second for the first time in history at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Semifinals. 

Christina Samar and Nile Gay, who arranged their set, won the Best Arrangement Special Award for their arrangement of the groups first song, “Snakeskin.”

After receiving the Outstanding Arrangement award, Nile Gay, a member of the Music Committee, expressed, It feels great to have received a special award for the first time at a Semifinal competition. I’m especially proud of our achievements this season, knowing how much continuous hard work and creativity we’ve poured into our work.”

A total of ten groups competed in the Semifinal and the group who earned first place has moved directly to the ICCA Finals in New York City.

The second and third place groups are moving on to the Wildcard Video Submission round. This means Under A Rest now needs to submit a video of themselves performing in order to be considered moving forward. Universities from all over the United States and some groups from other countries, including Canada, who managed to receive second or third place from this Semifinal are competing to see who will make it next. 

If the group has the opportunity to place first in the Wildcard Round, they will then move on to the ICCA Finals and compete with the top nine other groups in NYC.

“Having competed against such talented groups, I honestly had no idea how the placing would go,” suggested student Zachary Zajkowski, president of the organization. “After every group, my expectations kept getting higher and every group somehow managed to exceed them every time.” 

Zajkowski even added, “I remembered walking off of the stage feeling proud of our group regardless of the outcome, and the fact that we even placed in the top three made my heart soar…Since I joined Under A Rest in 2019, I have seen immeasurable growth in terms of both music and character. Each year, I feel as though our group has created a more cohesive sound. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our group’s morale faltered slightly, but we have since found our feet and have come back stronger than ever.” 

“It has been so crazy,” started Steven Kendikian, vice president and Music Committee of the group. “As a fifth-year student, I’ve been in the group now for more than half of its existence. It’s been a cool full-circle moment for me. My first year in the group was our first time ever placing first at our quarterfinal round, and this year was the first time UAR ever placed at semis. That means, in both my first and last year in the group, Under a Rest has performed its best to date.”

Their benefit concert, “YoVo” (short for “Your Voice”) on Friday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. will take place in the Asplundh Concert Hall, regardless if they advance to finals or not. To make the event even more interesting, the group invited guests from other colleges including Meludees from the University of Delaware and the Owlcappella from Temple University.

Sean Wattman is a second-year psychology major with a minor in journalism.

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