Voices in Your Head

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Voices in Your Head
Origin University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres A Cappella
Years active 1998 – present
Labels A Cappella Records
Website http://voicesinyourhead.org/

Voices in Your Head is a student-run, co-ed a cappella group from the University of Chicago. Founded in 1998, the group consists of both undergraduate and graduate students whose studies range from Economics to Music to MD/PhD programs. Voices arranges all of its own music, spanning several genres. Its unique repertoire includes original pieces, as well as an eclectic mix of pop, R&B, rock, and alternative music. Voices competes annually in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), and travels nationally for a cappella festivals and tours.


Voices in Your Head was formed in the fall of 1998 . They released their first live album, Sesquipedalia, in 2000, their first studio album, On Point, in 2002, and their second studio album, ‘’Songs for Padded Rooms,’’ in 2005.

‘'Note To Self'," released on May 23, 2008, received a strong Recorded A Cappella Review Board review[1] and contained a track (“Magic”) selected for the 2008 edition of the international a cappella compilation, Voices Only.[2] Noted author Nick Hornby also included "Magic" from Note To Self in his 2008 playlist for the New York Times.[3]

On February 17, 2009, Ben Folds announced that "Magic" would appear on his 2009 album Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!, calling it "a hell of a cool place to live for three and a half minutes".[4] NBC Washington[5] commented on the group's contribution, "Magic," saying "the arrangement is so different from the original that the song is a completely unique artifact–which should be the goal of any group, a cappella or otherwise, when attempting a cover." Entertainment Weekly[6] interviewed Ben Folds about the project, commenting, "There’s a group from the University of Chicago called Voices in Your Head that sings 'Magic' on the record, and to me they’re in a different league from the rest of the groups." As part of the tour to support the album release, Voices in Your Head performed live with Ben Folds on March 19, 2009 in Milwaukee, WI at the Eagles Ballroom.

That year, Voices In Your Head competed for the first time in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella,[7] a competition featuring groups from all over the country and overseas. In 2011, Voices finished third at their Midwest Quarterfinal; in 2012, they came in first at both the quarterfinal and the semifinal, progressing to ICCA finals in New York City, where they finished fourth overall. In addition, they competed in the inaugural Boston Sings collegiate competition, where they came in first.[8]

The group's newest album, I Used to Live Alone, was released on May 21, 2011, and marked Voices' emergence into the national a cappella scene. Several tracks met critical acclaim in the a cappella community up to a year before its release: the tracks "I'd Like To," "Boomerang" and "Sharp" were all selected for national a cappella compilation albums.[9][10][11][12] "Boomerang" was also the winner of the 2011 CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award) in the category of Best Scholastic Original. After its release, the album received positive reviews from the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), and was selected as one of RARB's picks of the year. In 2012, "I Used To Live Alone" was nominated for five CARA awards, winning Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement (Chris Rishel, for "I'd Like To") and runner up places for Best Mixed Collegiate Album, Song, and Solo.

They are currently working on a new album of covers and originals, set to be released in Spring 2013.


  • Amanda Grossman, Musical Director
  • Jennifer Berktold
  • Sean Slayback
  • Loren Shevitz, Director of Shircago


Year Presenter Award Result
2013 CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards of CASA)[13]
Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement Winner, Chris Rishel for "We Found Love"
Best Mixed Collegiate Song Winner, "We Found Love"
Best Scholastic Original Song Nominated, Chris Rishel and Brianne Holland for "Life of the Mind"
2012 Sing[14] Sing 9: Supernovem "We Found Love"
Voices Only Voices Only 2012[15] "Titanium"
Boston Sings (BOSS) Collegiate Competition [16] Overall 1st Place
ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) Midwest Semifinal [17] Overall 1st Place
Outstanding Arrangement Winner, Chris Rishel
Outstanding Choreography Winner, Alex Gilewicz and Ryan Bober
CARAs [18] Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement Winner, Chris Rishel, "I'd Like To"
Best Mixed Collegiate Album Runner-Up, I Used to Live Alone
Best Mixed Collegiate Song Runner-Up, "I'd Like To" (opb Corinne Bailey Rae)
Best Mixed Collegiate Solo Runner-Up, Elspeth Michaels, "I'd Like To"
Best Scholastic Original Nominated, Chris Rishel & Zachary Madden, "Sharp" (opb Voices in Your Head)
ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal [17] Overall 1st Place
Outstanding Arrangement Winner, Chris Rishel, "We Found Love" (opb Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris) & "Titanium" (opb David Guetta feat. Sia)
Outstanding Choreography Winner, Alex Gilewicz and Ryan Bober
2011 RARB (Recorded A Cappella Review Board) Picks of the Year [19] Album of the Year I Used to Live Alone
Song of the Year "Boomerang"
Song of the Year "I'd Like To"
Sing[20] Sing 8: Too Cubed "Sharp"
ACAs (A Cappella Community Awards of CASA)[21] Favorite Mixed Collegiate Group Nominated
Favorite Female Vocalist Nominated, Elspeth Michaels
Favorite Original A Cappella Song Nominated, "Boomerang" (opb Voices in Your Head)
BOCA (Best of Collegiate A Cappella)[22] BOCA 2011 "I'd Like To"
CARAs[23] Best Scholastic Original Winner, Chris Rishel & Elspeth Michaels, "Boomerang"
ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal[24] Overall 2nd Runner-Up
Outstanding Arrangement Winner, Chris Rishel, "Break Your Heart" (opb Taio Cruz)
2010 Sing Sing 7: Lucky[25] "Boomerang"
Voices Only Voices Only 2010[26] "I'd Like To"
2009 Ben Folds Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella[4] "Magic"
Voices Only Voices Only 2009[27] "Supermassive Black Hole" (opb Muse)
2008 Voices Only Voices Only 2008[28] "Magic" (opb Ben Folds Five)


  1. ^ [1] RARB review of Note To Self
  2. ^ [2] Voices Only 2008 Official Website
  3. ^ [3] Nick Hornby's 2008 Playlist
  4. ^ a b [4] Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!
  5. ^ [5] NBC Washington review
  6. ^ [6] Entertainment Weekly interview
  7. ^ [7] ICCA 2010 Midwest lineup
  8. ^ [8] BOSS 2012 Competition results
  9. ^ [9] Voices Only Official Website
  10. ^ [10] Sing 7 track list announcement
  11. ^ [11] Sing Compilation official website
  12. ^ [12] Sing 8 track list announcement
  13. ^ [13] 2013 CARA nominees
  14. ^ [14] Sing 9: Supernovem Tracklist Announcement
  15. ^ [15] Voices Only 2012
  16. ^ [16] Boston Sings
  17. ^ a b [17] ICCA 2012 Results
  18. ^ [18] 2012 CARA nominees
  19. ^ [19] RARB Picks of '11
  20. ^ [20] Sing 8: Too Cubed Tracklist Announcement
  21. ^ [21] 2011 A Cappella Community Awards Nominees
  22. ^ [22] Best of Collegiate A Cappella
  23. ^ [23] 2011 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Winners
  24. ^ [24] 2011 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Results
  25. ^ [25] Sing 7: Lucky Tracklist
  26. ^ [26] Voices Only 2010
  27. ^ [27] Voices Only 2009
  28. ^ [28] Voices Only 2008

External links[edit]