By Emily Hanhart For The Miami Student

Miami University’s male a cappella groups, the Cheezies and the Remnants will be competing in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICAA) in the next few weeks. This is the first time that either a cappella group has competed in ICCA.

Founded in 1996, the competition is known for engaging some of the most talented a cappella groups from all over the country and Europe. The competition kicks off next week with the first round of quarterfinals and ends in April with the finals at the Town Hall in New York City.

Last year, both groups sent in videos of three songs that showcased their range in musical talent. They both qualified for one of several dozen quarterfinal events around the nation, with the Cheezies competing Jan. 26 at Michigan State University and the Remnants competing Feb. 2 at Carnegie Mellon University. Working on promoting themselves around campus, both groups are aiming high after recording their first CDs on iTunes last year.

Senior Jeremy Myeroff, business manager for the Cheezies, said the group is eager to see how it will match up to the competition.

“We want to prove something to ourselves that goes beyond the Oxford community,” Myeroff said.

Both groups have been practicing around the clock to polish their performances before the competition. Rehearsing several times a week, they are working harder than they ever have before to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.

“We think we are pretty prepared and confident that we can make it past the first round,” sophomore Dee Isaac, a first-year member of the Cheezies, said. “We’re just excited to get the experience to share music with people who haven’t heard us.”

Even with extensive preparation, the groups have experienced minor bumps in the road to ICCA. Song choice and sound quality aren’t the only element of the performance. In order to leave a lasting impression on the judges, it is crucial to incorporate choreography that doesn’t up-stage their vocal performance.

“All of us joined the group because of our singing ability, not our dancing ability,” Myeroff said jokingly. “One of our biggest challenges was getting the choreography down and looking uniform.”

Nonetheless, the Cheezies are ready and eager to compete next Saturday. Check out the ICCA Facebook page for more information and updates on the qualifying groups as the competition progresses.