University of Minnesota students rehearsed for the 2016 Battle of the Vox event. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune)

The Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry will take a sharper tone this week — one with crisp diction and incisive rhythms.    

A cappella groups from the University of Minnesota will host a competitive concert called “Battle for the Vox,” a nod to the annual late-season "Battle for the Axe" Gophers vs. Badgers football game.

“It’s a big way to showcase all the talent at those universities,” explained U of M student Steven Vogel, who helped organize the event. “A lot of times it gets missed.”

This year’s battle will is set for Saturday at Northrop auditorium and features nine competing groups — five from the University of Minnesota, three from UW-Madison and one from University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. More than 130 collegiate singers will participate.

This marks the second-ever Battle for the Vox (which is Latin for "voice"). University of Minnesota hosted the inaugural event in 2016, with plans to alternate between campuses. However, Wisconsin a cappella groups failed to make good on the 2017 installment. "It didn't work out on their end," said Vogel, "which is unfortunate."

The rivaling singers maintain good relations, though, and insist upon a fully collaborative affair. A cappella groups will engage in a little friendly competition in several categories, including pop hits and ballads. Concertgoers will get to vote on their favorites, with the winning state taking home a trophy.

Tickets are $12 for students, $18 for everybody else. Call 612-624-2345 or visit northrop.umn.edu.

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