A capella group BisCaydence qualifies for international competition

Frost acapella group BisCaydence performs at Choralcopia, a Frost event featuring vocal ensembles, at the Gusman Concert Hall on Oct. 6, 2023. photo courtesy of Biscaydence

Frost a capella group BisCaydence is headed to the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella finals after placing first in the semifinal round.

The award-winning a cappella group beat 450 other groups in the semifinal round to advance to the international competition. Due to the generous support of the University of Miami community, SAFAC and Frost School of Music, BisCaydence will perform in NYC on April 27. With this win, BisCaydence becomes one of the top 10 groups in the entire world advancing to finals.

“It’s almost been a full week at this point, but it still hasn’t fully set in,” said Logan Sandefur, a Modern Artist Development and Entrepreneurship major in the Frost School of Music. Sandefur has been the Music Director for BisCaydence since last May.

After being accepted into the ICCA, BisCaydence placed at quarterfinals and won two special awards. Members Josh Mims and Amanda Bencomo received the “Outstanding Soloist” for their duet of “Apologize” by OneRepublic, and Logan Sandefur won “Outstanding VP” for the whole set.

The ICCA is an international competition run by Varsity Vocals dedicated to showing the art of student a cappella and providing feedback through highly qualified judges. From its beginning to now, it has grown to include 450 groups in nine different regions of the world, including the U.S. and Europe. Groups must participate in quarterfinals and semifinals to get the chance to go to finals.

At the South Semifinals on March 16, where the group took first place, several BisCaydence members also received awards for their performances. Angelina Corbin received the South’s Best Soloist award for “Snow Angel” by Reneé Rapp, and Logan Sandefur, Julia Barrist and Jason Fieler shared the award for Best Arrangement for their set, which they named “Frostbite.”

This is the second time the team has made it to the finals, the first time being in 2019 when the group placed second.

“BisCaydence took its first trip to finals back in 2019, but the group is completely different now,” Sandefur said.

Sandefur joined BisCaydence as a freshman in the fall of 2021.

“That year’s seniors were the last remaining members of the 2019 Finals group, and they gave us a lot of insight into what it takes to do well in ICCAs,” Sandefur said.

BisCaydence, which focuses on co-ed pop music, is one of the three acapella groups on campus. It is joined by Tufaan, which focuses on Hindi-American fusion, and Phoenyx, the most recent acapella group that sings a variety of genres.

Phoenyx and BisCaydence both competed in the ICCA quarterfinals in Orlando on Feb. 17. Though both groups excelled, BisCaydence took home second place and advanced to semifinals.

The group is excited to represent UM at the international level.

“The fact that we get to represent ourselves and the U on the highest stage is absolutely insane to me,” Sandefur said. “It also has been such an incredible opportunity for us to network with some of the country’s top a cappella writers, producers, and choreographers.”