The Belmont Beltones, a student a capella group, was mentioned this week on NPR in the national outlet’s coverage of the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA).
The Beltones won the Wildcard Division in the International Collegiate Competition of A Capella semi-finals, which allowed them to participate in the final round competition at the Town Hall in New York City on April 20. This was the second year the group participated in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella since they were formed in 2009. It is the group’s first finals appearance.
Though the group placed second in the semifinal round, narrowly losing to Florida State University, they were able to submit their performance video to the national wildcard round. All second and third place semifinalists are eligible for the wildcard round. “It has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least—the turnaround between finding out and actually going to New York is so quick that once our initial excitement wore off, we started to freak out over the logistics of it all,” said Robert O’Brien, senior religion and the arts major and president of the Beltones.
The group’s semi-final winning performance consisted of “Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae, “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars, traditional American hymn “Down to the River to Pray” and “Cry Me a River” as performed by Joe Cocker. Sophomore Greg Breal was recognized during the semifinals as the outstanding soloist for “Cry Me a River.”
“As a group, I think we’re most excited for the chance to perform on such a prestigious stage with the top a cappella groups from around the [world],” said O’Brien. “It’s such an incredible opportunity, and we’re all really excited to be blessed by it.”