UA’s ‘pitch-perfect’ vocal groups competing to outsing the other


Rhythm and Roos

The members of Rhythm and Roos, one of the a cappella groups at UA.

Two of The University of Akron’s very own vocal groups will showcase their talents in the Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals on Feb. 20 in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

Nuance, an all-male group, and Rhythm & Roos, a chorus of men and women, are two of the 450 a cappella groups within nine regions across the United States selected to raise their voices in song, without musical accompaniment, for the competition. To be selected, groups applied by submitting a 10-minute set of three a cappella performances to Varsity Vocals.

Because UA is part of the Midwest Region, members of Nuance and Rhythm & Roos will compete directly against each other.

Milestone moment

“I'm really excited that both of our groups decided to take this milestone step at the same time,” says Justin Brown, president of Nuance. “I personally see us not competing against R&R, but alongside them.”

“We are also very excited for Nuance to be attending the ICCAs as well, and we hope to represent The University of Akron as best as we certainly can,” says Riley McMahon, president of Rhythm & Roos.

Among the other schools competing on Feb. 20 will Bowling Green State University, with its Ten40, and Kent State University, represented by “The Kent Clarks.” 

“Our big goal for this first competition season is to advance to the semifinals,” explains Brown, who is majoring in nursing/premed. “Our new directors and choreographer have us looking and sounding better than ever, and we are feeling really optimistic.”

“Win or lose, we are thankful for the opportunity and we send luck to our friends in Nuance as well,” adds McMahon, who is majoring in public relations and mass media communications.

Should Nuance and Rhythm & Roos take the top two spots in the upcoming quarterfinals, both groups will then compete in the semifinal round in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 2.

Visit online to learn more about Nuance and Rhythm & Roos, as well as the Varsity Vocals competitions

 Story by Lauren Collins

Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or


Nuance, one of the a capella groups at UA, has recorded an album.