University of Colorado Denver’s elite singing group is putting the final touches on preparations for a national a cappella competition. UCD 6 is nationally recognized and performs a wide array of music ranging from contemporary pop and rock to world music.

The group is heading to Berkeley, Calif. for the quarter-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). They are competing against groups from University of California Los Angeles, University of California Berkeley and Stanford University the quarterfinal takes place Saturday, Feb. 18.

ICCA is an international forum for collegiate singers to demonstrate their skills and compete against universities in the United State and abroad.

Erin Hackel, assistant professor in CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media, is UCD 6’s director. She said the competition is exciting for the students and they are taking preparations seriously.

“UCD 6 is working hard to get ready and putting in countless hours of rehearsal. Once the songs for the competition become second-nature,” said Hackel, “and the routines are polished, they will start having fun and savoring this process. It’s not something every a cappella group can experience.”

Last year, UCD 6 advanced to the semifinals at ICCA. This year, they hope to make it even further so they enlisted the assistance of a choreographer from Cherry Creek Dance in Denver.

Stephanie Prosenjak, artistic director at Cherry Creek Dance, attended two rehearsals to choreograph the set for the competition in Berkeley. She said the group has the basics and will make the routines their own as they continue to rehearse.

“It’s a fun challenge for them to do one thing with their body while they sing. It’s a really difficult thing to do, but these are really talented young people,” said Prosenjack.

CU Denver students Kaia Nutting, Michelle Ghun, Emma Wallingford, Luis Sandoval, Gabe Kitzman and Daniel Bailey make up UCD 6. The set list for the ICCA quarter-finals competition includes songs by the Andrews Sisters, Sara Bareilles and Nicki Minaj.

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