ICCA – February 11, 2017

I.E. the day we made history.

“OH MY GOSH!  YOU GUYS!  WE MADE IT!”  The amount of times we said those 8 words Saturday was unreal.  In fact, the whole concept of us actually competing still feels unreal to most of us, even though it was perhaps the most real thing we’ve done together as a group.  We are all at a loss for words when it comes to Saturday.  However, we are going to try to articulate for the sake of this post and for those who were unable to make it to the competition!

Early Saturday morning, we arrived at Wentz Concert Hall at NCC to rehearse/run soundcheck/get the jitters out before grabbing lunch together.  (Shoutout to Halstead St. Deli for putting up with the very large, very hungry group of college students who invaded your store for 20 minutes!)  We also had a powwow where we talked about how proud of each other we all were and how, no matter what happened at the competition later today, we were already winning with this crazy experience and the people we got to experience it with.  There was NO shortage of love wherever we were that night.  At noon, it was TIME TO GO!!!



When we finally arrived, we were ecstatic albeit a little intimidated.  We walked into the auditorium which was beautiful, and set our stuff down.  For half an hour, we socialized with the other a cappella groups who were slowly arriving.  It was fun to see people we went to high school with and we even had a family rivalry at the Quarterfinal.  Brad’s older brother Will is a member of the NIU Huskie Hunks and it was SO FUN to see them together!  Kirby genes run strong, that’s for sure.

img_2242     Will –> Brad (also note the TEAMWORK poster above their heads!)

After we had the initial meeting and met with Emily Flanders, the producer of our Quarterfinal (and one of the loveliest people we have gotten the privilege to meet), we were assigned to a classroom and drew 5th in the order of the competition, which was smack in the middle of the whole thing!  Not a bad draw for our first year (thanks, Jimmy!).  The next four-ish hours were some of the longest and simultaneously the shortest hours of our lives!  We were a collective bundle of nerves and excitement, exhaustion and energy, fear and joy.  Ultimately, we couldn’t wait.  We spent these hours checking our sound, solidifying our choreography, warming up, and becoming one with each other.  After our dinner break, we had a little while to get ready, warm up, powwow to get the nervous energy out, and set ourselves in a good headspace for our performance.

FINALLY, it was time for us to line up backstage as we were “on deck”.  This was the LONGEST 10 minutes of the whole competition because we were so excited to take the stage and do what we do best.  While we were chatting with each other and solidifying our support for one another, Emily came to talk with us and as she spoke, we began to really see each other on the same page.  She said some of the kindest words to us, encouraged us to go on stage and do what we loved, and then it was time.

Honestly, walking onto the stage and into the lights, hearing the whole auditorium roar for the small school a cappella rookies is a feeling that all fifteen of us felt differently, but we will remember forever.  Truly just amazing, and we are all at a loss for words.  Those twelve minutes were simultaneously the shortest and longest of our lives and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

img_2233      shoutout to Tony Benda for the rad photo!

The rush of pride and love we felt for one another when we took our bow and ran offstage was so overwhelming that there were tears in our eyes.  As a group, we performed better together than we ever had before and we exceeded the goals we had set for ourselves tenfold!

We’d like to extend a congratulations to the other nine groups who we competed against on Saturday.  Every group was overwhelmingly talented and made for an incredible night!  Special congrats to the NIU Harmelodics and UW-Madison’s Fundamentally Sound for placing and advancing to the Semifinal level.  We are ecstatic to watch you continue your journeys!  We didn’t advance in the competition but are more than proud of the performance we gave.  Each and every one of us gave our best performances and we truly left it all out there.  We can’t WAIT for next year!!!!!!!!!!

We’d like to extend our thanks to every fan who drove to DeKalb to cheer us on this weekend, and to our friends and family who came to our open rehearsal on Thursday night.  Without you, we would be nowhere.

We can’t wait to start rehearsing for our spring concert!!!!  Keep an eye out for more info as the date gets closer, but mark MAY 26 down on your calendars as we would LOVE to see everyone’s beautiful faces seated in Wentz Concert Hall.

Much love,

Sonata Problem

img_2266group selfie post-performance!  we were SO giddy.img_2267funny explanation: we were in the middle of doing a “fierce face” selfie but Jimmy couldn’t find the button on the selfie stick so Rachel laughed at him and everyone was so joyous that we couldn’t maintain the serious face.  Thus, the candid laughing photo was born 🙂

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