February 2, 2024
Following a triumphant performance at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Quarterfinals, Pearl River Community College’s acapella sensation, The Voices, is now poised to take the stage in the highly anticipated semifinals. In addition to the group’s victory in the quarterfinals, Devin Jones received the Overall Choreography Award.
Their 10-minute set included: “Ain’t My Fault”, featuring Noah Hartfield, Jonathan Freeman, Jack Moeller, and Garret Rester; “Crazy on You” featuring Madison Mims; “Open Arms” featuring Lila Reed. During the fall semester, the group honed their set with sneak peek performances of the pieces at ACA-Fest and the annual PRCC Fine Arts Day in November.
Madison Mims of Carriere shared how exciting and nerve-wracking the competition was for her and the group. They are bringing that buzz into preparations for the semifinals.
“Finally seeing the competition we’d been working towards was pretty intimidating,” said Mims. “Before we performed, though, we breathed together, talked it out, and went onto the stage knowing that no matter the outcome, we know who we are and what we’re capable of.
“We’ve all worked so hard to show everyone that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how little you might seem to others, you can do it. We all support each other, we’re there for each other in hard times, and we all just love being in this group together. This was definitely an experience that I will always treasure.”
Garret Rester of Carriere echoed the feelings of excitement and nervousness when competing as well as the elation of hearing the announcement that The Voices had won.
“There were a lot of amazing groups there that have been doing this a lot longer than we have, and being the only community college there was a little intimidating,” said Rester. “We are very confident in what we do, but I do not think anyone else there expected the little community college group from Poplarville to pull through. That made for a very magical moment when our names got called for first place.
“We have worked extremely hard to get to where we are, and reaping the rewards from that was just an incredible, emotional experience that I will absolutely never forget.”
This year’s ICCA tournament included 450 groups across nine regions: Central, Great Lakes, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, South, Southwest, West, and the United Kingdom. The South Region has five Quarterfinal competitions with eight to eleven groups each. First and second place groups advance to the semifinals for their region.
For the second year, The Voices were the only community college competing in the South Region. Held at the Morton Theatre in Athens, Georgia on January 27, 2024, Quarterfinal #1 included groups from Florida State University, Emory University, The University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University.
Dr. LaDona Tyson, Director of Choral Groups for PRCC, is exceptionally proud of this group and their accomplishments both on the stage and in their everyday lives.
“They work hard every single rehearsal (and many times outside of rehearsal) to pursue excellence,” said Tyson. “More importantly, they are kind, respectful, and superior examples of the Wildcat Way.
“People probably don’t know that they spent the day before the contest volunteering and singing at a homeless shelter in Alabama. They were the same people at the homeless shelter that they were on the stage, and nothing could ever make me prouder. That being said – we want to finish well and bring our best to North Carolina!”
The Semifinals for the South Region will be held on March 16th, 2024, at The Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina. The Voices will be competing against All-Night Yahtzee from Florida State University, Demon Divas from Wake Forest University, Chordination from North Carolina State University, and an additional six groups to be determined by the three remaining quarterfinal competitions. Winners of the semifinals will compete in the National Championship at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City.
About The Voices
The Voices is an elite performing group at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, MS. They serve as representatives of PRCC, singing at campus, community, and recruiting events throughout the year. All members participate in PRCC Singers.
In recent years the group has performed at the Louisiana ACDA Conference, the Briarcrest Invitational, and the 2022 ACDA Southern Division Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Voices placed third at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Miami Quarterfinal in 2023 and their debut EP was nominated for a Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARA) Award for best EP.
The Voices perform an average of 25 concerts each year and each member of The Voices receives a ¾ tuition service award. The mission of The Voices is to demonstrate the Wildcat Way — Pride, Respect, Class, and Character — through meaningful performance and student leadership.
Upcoming Concerts at PRCC
The following events will have performances by The Voices.
Spring Variety Show (with a Singers Reunion!) — February 29 at 7 p.m
Spring Pops — April 23 at 7 p.m.
Several members of The Voices will be performing in the musical “Grease” to be held April 11 & 12 at 7 p.m. as well as April 13 at 2 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at prcc.edu/brownstone/upcoming-events.
Article by Laura O’Neill. Group photo of The Voices by Jacob Cochran. Photos from the event supplied by members of The Voices.