Continued from page 23 them apart from the group they were six years ago. Some notable performances include, but are not limited to, singing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in 2014, singing for NBC’s “Today Show” in 2015, and singing at a Hillary Clinton rally in 2016. Since the formation of the Kent Clarks, three other groups have been created: Flash Harmony, a co-ed group which is now in its third year; Vocal Intensity, a co-ed group which is over a year old; and Momentum, an all-male group that is just starting its first semester. The Kent Clarks’ mission is to perform and compete with a cappella music. They sing at events across campus and all around the Kent area and they hold one large concert at the end of the semester. To prepare for the numerous events, the Clarks rehearse three nights a week. While these performances are fun for the group, the thought on the members’ mind every year is the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs). The ICCA, founded in 1996 by award-winning musician Deke Sharon, is a competitive a cappella tournament that hundreds of groups across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom compete in. The tournament consists of a regional quarterfinal, a regional semifinal, an online wildcard round, and a final round that
volume 13 | 2017 • www.aroundkent.net
takes place in New York City. Each round consists of about ten groups, and only the highest scoring groups advance. The Clarks have competed in ICCAs for the past three years. They placed third in 2015 and 2016, and they won a special award for outstanding choreography in 2016. In order to advance to semifinals, though, groups at quarterfinals must place in the top two. This has motivated the Clarks for the past year. E ven though the competition takes place in the spring semester, every thought in both fall and spring semester relates to ICCAs, in one way or another. Each song they prepare for their concert is a potential song to place in their twelve minute set, each choreography move and musical arrangement is gauged for audience responses, and every video from the concert is studied in post. Though the Clarks take their rehearsals, performances, and competitions very seriously, they have fun with this group of friends in the
process. They help each other with homework, film videos for their YouTube channel, hang out in their free time, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere that the group creates. In February of 2017, after months of hard work, the Clarks competed for the fifth time in its history. After long nights, and intense pressure, the Clarks, unfortunately, did not make the top two. Though the feeling of defeat still leaves a bitter taste in their mouth, no hard work goes unrewarded. The Clarks are improving every year. They are becoming closer and identifying themselves more and more individually and collectively. So, when you step on the stage with the Clarks, the noise you hear around you is not just synchronized breaths; it is not just your team; it is your family. ore information on the Kent Clarks can be M found on their Facebook page at facebook. com/KentClarks, on their YouTube channel at youtube.com/KentClarksAcappella, and on their Twitter at @Kent_Clarks.