Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 21st season! After two incredible decades of presenting the best student groups – on stage and in the studio – our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever.

Our tournament has grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase it is today, featuring nearly 500 groups and 8,000 singers at 81 events across the US and UK.

Our tournament has inspired the hit movie Pitch Perfect, based on the non-fiction book documenting the true story of rival groups competing against each other in our very own ICCA. Already the highest-grossing musical series of all time, the franchise will release its third film at the end of this year.

The stories of our real ICCA competitors are also the subject on the TV docu-series Sing It On, which follows competing groups on their journey to ICCA Finals. Sing It On aired in 80 million homes on POP TV and is now available on Netflix.

Despite the incredible growth and mainstream popularity we’ve enjoyed, our focus remains sharply on the promotion and development of the talent that crosses our stage. We believe competition fosters growth, as groups work together toward a specific goal and cultivate lifelong friendships.

We provide top-notch feedback from our highly qualified judges – but more importantly, our singers get to connect with a larger audience from across the country, learning from their peers and finding inspiration in other groups.

With those same goals in mind, we are thrilled to launch the International Championship of A Cappella Open this year. “The Open” (#acaopen) is an all-access a cappella tournament that will bring together singers of all ages, regardless of student status, to compete on an international stage.

The 2017 Open Finals will take place in Carnegie Hall on Saturday, September 23, and the winner will receive a cash prize of $25,000 to launch their professional career. The winners of the 2017 ICCA and ICHSA tournaments are automatically entered in The Open Finals.

We hope The Open will encourage the growth of professional a cappella, much in the way the ICCA helped catapult competitive a cappella into the mainstream in Pitch Perfect and Sing It On, or how the development of the ICHSA contributed to the rapid growth of high school a cappella programs across the country.

This is the biggest program extension in our long history, and we think it’s a natural one. After all, our founding goal was “to inspire young people to sing their entire lives.” If we want people to keep singing past the age of 22, well, they’re going to need a stage.

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 21 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2017 season takes us. Committed to promoting our singers and energized by the great music they create, we look forward to another memorable season. Thank you for joining us!


Amanda Newman
Executive Director



New York Society for Ethical Culture Saturday, February 18, 2017



We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!




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Since 1996, we have encouraged students worldwide to sing a cappella throughout their lives. Our programs include the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA). We also produce the annual Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA) compilation albums.

Our a cappella competitions give top-notch a cappella groups the opportunity to showcase their talents for an international audience and to take home valuable feedback from our qualified judges. This year, competing groups will appear in venues all around the world, offering their energetic musical performances for your enjoyment.

The college tournament takes place from January through April in nine regions across the country and around the world. Each region holds anywhere from 2 to 5 quarterfinals, and the top groups from each quarterfinal advance to the semifinal. The winning group at each semifinal is named Regional Champion and advances to the ICCA Finals at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City.

The high school tournament is now in its 12th year and continues to grow fast. We are now holding quarterfinal rounds in most regions, so that we can feature even more high school groups. The winners of each of 8 semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City.

For a full tournament schedule, visit us at



The performance order was determined by random draw this afternoon and will be announced from stage.        

Tonight’s performers will be evaluated on elements of their vocal and visual performance, which carry numerical weight. The highest and lowest score from the individual judges will be dropped for each group. Our judges may recognize exceptional performances with special awards as they see fit.

There will be a 15-minute intermission. After the final group has performed, a guest performer will entertain you while the scores are tabulated.

After the results are announced, the winners will perform and encore. Please show the winners the same courtesy and respect you’d want your favorite group to be shown and remain in the venue until they have finished their performance.    

Because each group only has 12 minutes to perform, we ask you to keep your applause to an enthusiastic minimum between songs. Please feel welcome to applaud as much as you want after each group has finished its set.

Videotaping and non-flash photography for personal use is permitted during the concert, so long as you do not disrupt our performers or other patrons. Due to licensing regulations, we do not provide a video or audio recording of this performance.



The N'Harmonics is just as unique as its city: constantly evolving and impossible to define. They use music as their paint and their audiences as canvasses, fusing all kinds of styles to create radical versions that give their listeners new reasons to cheer. Housed in Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, these artists are committed to innovative processes that redefine a cappella.

Founded in 1976, The Chorallaries of MIT is MIT's oldest co-ed a cappella group and performs in the Boston/Cambridge area. When not in lab or in rehearsal, the group loves to hang out with their choralfam. They're excited to bring the music to New York and are pumped to perform at ICCA this year!

The F#s is a motley crew of 17 from Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus, located in the heart of Manhattan. They are so quirky, that they are often referred to as the Zooey Deschanel of a cappella groups. They are very excited to be back at the ICCA!

The Hot Notes is Fordham University’s smoothest, jazziest, and best-dressed a cappella group. Founded as a vocal jazz ensemble in the Bronx in 2011, The Hot Notes provide a unique musical perspective to the a cappella scene. They are known for their unique, innovative arrangements that put vintage twists on current hits. Last year, they were runners-up at their ICCA Quarterfinal and were recognized with an award for Outstanding Arrangement. Recent highlights include performing at the Kimmel Center for ICCA Semifinals and at the New York City Jazz Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The Mixtapes is NYU's fiercest and friendliest a cappella group! They perform a wide variety of genres, including but not limited to pop, R&B, throwbacks, and jazz. The Mixtapes have performed all over New York City, from the Kimmel Center to Washington Square Park and Central Park. They recently competed in the 2016 ICCA competition season and placed 1st in their Quarterfinal, advancing them to Semifinals in Philadelphia.

The Vocaholics is NYU's finest TTBB a cappella group. Whether they’re in their signature cardigans singing for the President or in plainclothes crooning in the park, The Vocs are never far from a good time or a good tune. Besides singing all over New York, they’ve toured across the world from up in central Massachusetts, all the way down south to sunny Washington, D.C. This year, The Vocs took a common-sense step and ungendered its group. They provide a safe and fun space for all who wish to create soaring music in the lower registers. They can't wait to share our sound, humor, and good looks with you!

Tizmoret is in its 21st year as Queens College Hillel’s Jewish a cappella group. Tizmoret draws singers from colleges throughout the New York City area and has taken Jewish collegiate a cappella to the next level, performing classic Jewish melodies, American pop music, and contemporary Israeli tunes. They have produced seven albums, as well as two EPs. Tizmoret has performed for college campuses, countless b’nei-mitzvot, and synagogues, and various music festivals across the Eastern United States. They recently toured the east coast, performed at the annual White House Hanukkah party in 2014, and won Kol HaOlam (the National Jewish Collegiate A Cappella Competition) in 2011, 2012, and 2015!

Established in 2014, Tonal Recall, Pace University's only a cappella group, is a student-run group composed of 12 students from all different majors and years. They have put out many videos of their arrangements on YouTube, and have performed at multiple events around New York City and the Tri-State area. Within their first few years, they have been lucky enough to connect with other groups in the area and receive attention around their university. Tonal Recall is eager to mature as a group and begin showcasing their talents in a competitive setting.

The Macaulay Triplets is the premier a cappella group of the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. Established in 2012, The Triplets is composed of students from CUNY campuses all over New York. Don't be surprised that there are more than three members; The Triplets' name comes from a triplet note's striking resemblance to the letter 'M'! The ensemble has performed at locations all over New York including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as multiple venues across the Northeast. The Triplets are thrilled to compete in their fifth consecutive ICCA, and cannot wait to share their music with the a cappella community!

Vocollision is a co-ed acappella group at New York University. The group was founded in 2012 and is one of the youngest groups at NYU. It started with just a couple of students who loved to sing and loved music from all over the world; the group today takes pride in specializing music in different languages. With their intensive repertoire of music including American pop, J-pop, K-pop and Bollywood music, they promise to deliver the importance of cultural diversity through the power of music. They are a new competitor for ICCA and super excited to participate!



Sean Patrick Riley has worked for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) on the social media and talent teams for ACappellaFest, SoJam, LAAF, and BOSS, and has served in CASA's ambassador program for the past seven years. He holds a bachelor's degree in both music and communication, as well as a master’s degree in nursing from Saint Louis University. At SLU, Sean served as music director and business manager of recent ICCA Finalists, The Bare Naked Statues, and was featured on the Voices Only and BOCA compilations. Sean coaches a cappella groups across the country, and is the camp nurse and counselor for the L.A.-based summer camp, A Cappella Academy. He currently lives in New York and works in the surgical ICU at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Ryan Foley is a music producer, director, composer, and singer. Atlantic Records has called Ryan an “up-and-coming” producer, and the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) nominated him for Arrangement of the Year. Ryan has been hired to compose and sing for over 100 diverse musical ensembles, including Opera America, Yale University, and Choral Chameleon. Ryan received a B.A. in music, summa cum laude, from Connecticut College. Ryan currently resides in New York City, where he holds masterclasses and clinics on composition and performance, directs local semi-professional a cappella group, BLACKOUT, sings with other local ensembles, and arranges for a cappella groups across the country. Read more at

Jake Odmark attended James Madison University, where he was the musical director of the critically acclaimed Exit 245. He then founded and directed Apollo Link, a New York-based  a cappella trio b. He has arranged over 500 songs for groups and ensembles of all kinds across the country, and had multiple arrangements featured on BOCA, Voices Only, and other compilations. He has performed and taught at SingStrong (D.C.), and has spent extensive time on Broadway, most recently as Harry in “Kinky Boots” and Flash Thompson in “Spider-Man:Turn Off the Dark.”

Singing since day one, Caitlin Nelson made music her passion when she was enrolled in piano lessons, voice lessons, and an after-school theatre program at a very young age; her love for a cappella stems from high-school and beyond. She is a former member and award-winning choreographer of FSU's All-Night Yahtzee. Completing her Bachelor of Music at Florida State, she moved to Boston in 2008 and became music director of The 508s, a co-ed group made up of college a cappella alumni from all over the United States. Deciding she needed more adventure, she took a five-month road trip across the country and settled in Seattle, immersing herself in the a cappella scene of the Pacific Northwest. She currently sings with, arranges for, and co-directs Shot in the Dark, a six-person group that was most recently featured as a finalist in Lady Antebellum's A Cappella Cover Contest, and is so thankful and excited to continually have a cappella in her life.

David Rowen is an actor, musician, and producer,  based in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Music in voice and piano from James Madison University, where he music directed the premier co-ed a cappella group, The Overtones. He has had arrangements featured on the BOCA and Voices Only compilation albums. David has performed Off-Broadway and at numerous regional theatres, and has spent time working as a music teacher, music director, and private piano instructor. He regularly arranges music, and covers a variety of songs and musical genres through his new music YouTube channel, davidrowen/creative.



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the New York Society for Ethical Culture venue staff, Backtrack, Christopher Hoffman, Devin McNulty, and Andrew Nietes; our judges, hosts, competitors, volunteers, partners, and producers; and you, the audience, for supporting Varsity Vocals programming.


Amanda Newman
Executive Director

Dave Rabizadeh
ICCA Director

Andrea Poole
ICHSA Director

Lucy Jackson
The Open Director
ICCA Southwest Producer

ICCA Northwest Producer

Andrew Poole
Director of Digital Media

Emily Sucher
Director of Publications

Erica Tackett
Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Virginia DeMoss
Album Production Coordinator

Mark Chen
Adjudication Co-Director

Emily Flanders
Adjudication Co-Director
ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Sara Yood
ICCA & ICHSA Finals Producer
ICHSA Northeast Producer


Holly Hayes
ICCA Northeast Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Andy Pacer
ICCA Central Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
ICCA Midwest Producer

Matt Shirer
ICHSA West Producer

Henry Harrod
ICCA UK Producer

Elise Hackl
ICHSA Midwest Producer
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
ICHSA South Producer
ICHSA Southwest Co-Producer

Pearce Illmer
ICHSA Southwest Co-Producer

Courtney Jensen
ICHSA Northwest Producer



We have an amazing team of people who work tirelessly to make our programs so valuable for our singers and audiences alike — and they all do it while holding down full-time day jobs, too! 


The top two placing groups advance to the ICCA Northeast Semifinal.



The International Championship
of A Cappella Open


Carnegie Hall
Saturday, September 23, 2017



Find your favorite groups on Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA), available for purchase on iTunes and Loudr!




Just in time for the start of the 2017 ICCA and ICHSA season, the official Varsity Vocals store is open for business! Did your favorite group make it on BOCA or BOHSA this year? Are you competing in the 2017 ICCA or ICHSA? Is your favorite group competing and you want to be properly attired at the show? Represent with your very own official Varsity Vocals swag!