Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 22nd 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 tournaments have grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase they are today, featuring more than 600 groups and 8,500 singers at 85 events across North America and the United Kingdom.

Our original tournament inspired the hit movie Pitch Perfect, based on the nonfiction book documenting the true story of rival groups competing against each other in our very own ICCA. The franchise released its third film this past December and remains the highest-grossing musical series of all time.

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 were thrilled to launch the International Championship of A Cappella Open last summer. “The Open” (#AcaOpen) is an all-access a cappella tournament that brings together singers of all ages, regardless of student status, to compete on an international stage for a chance at $25,000. In its very first season, The Open featured 70 groups from around the world and culminated in a sold-out Finals at New York City's Carnegie Hall -- and we expect even bigger things this summer, as our second season kicks off.

We hope that over the years, 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, right? 

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 22 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2018 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



Carnegie Mellon University 
Saturday, March 3, 2018



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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), the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and the International Championship of A Cappella Open (The Open). 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 3 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 13th 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.

The Open tournament took place for the first time in summer 2017 and featured 70 groups competing in six US  semifinals, an international semifinal, and a wild card round. The winners of those events advanced to The Open Finals at Carnegie Hall, where they competed against our reigning ICCA and ICHSA champions for $25,000. The second season of The Open will take place starting this summer and will culminate at Carnegie Hall on September 22.

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.

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.



Founded in 2010, the University of Pittsburgh’s C Flat Run has historically been made up of non-music majors who dedicate themselves to music, even if it has nothing to do with their future careers. They are an extremely diverse and loving group that has a blast competing at ICCA each year. In addition, they typically put on three concerts per year, including a benefit concert for a new cause each year. They love sharing a cappella with others and are thrilled to do so at ICCA again this year!

The C# Singers is a co-ed a cappella group that is a part of C#, a larger musical organization that develops programs that contribute to the growth of a supportive musical community. C# Singers is a close-knit group of friends with an appetite for all kinds of music, from the nerdiest video game tunes to Billboard chart-toppers. Always seeking to improve their musicality and performance skills, they are eager for every opportunity to share their music with the CMU community and beyond.

Counterpoint was established nearly two decades ago as the first all-female a cappella group at Carnegie Mellon. Since then, they have proven to be talented, artistic, charitable, and gosh-darn good looking. Counterpoint members have been busy in the past few years, winning the hearts of CMU students across campus. They founded A CaPittsburgh benefit concert, the first a cappella event on campus. They hope you enjoy their performances, as they continue to redefine what it means to “sing like a girl.”

Pitches & Tones started out in 1987 in Atlanta, Ga. as a breakdancing group. They turned to crime in the early 90s, made a small fortune, got in too deep, and were left with no choice but to disguise themselves as an a cappella group. They still break though!

The Pitt Pendulums began as an amusing idea at a Halloween party at the University of Pittsburgh back in 1993. Starting with only five members, this group spreads the joy of a cappella pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop and more all over campus. This co-ed music group has grown both in size and excitement ever since its official founding in 1996, singing for audiences all over the U.S. and participating in competitions like ICCA multiple times. They're currently the oldest a cappella group out of the seven groups at University of Pittsburgh, and they are proud to have kept the founders’ traditions alive for so long. The group currently consists of 19 undergraduate student whose majors range from electrical engineering, film, neuroscience, and more. They sing covers of all different types of music, from Chance the Rapper to Adele, and every genre in between (though if they’re being honest, it’s a lot of alternative and pop).

Pittch Please originated from a men's alumni a cappella group composed of Pitt graduates. After what was thought to be the group's last concert, a push from student fans and current members led the group to seek registration as a bonafide student organization. Pittch Please now provides fraternal solidarity for its members, sentimental commemorations for its alumni, and musical excellence for the Pittsburgh community.

The Songburghs is a co-ed a cappella group at The University of Pittsburgh. This is their third year as an established group on campus, they’re excited for their third ICCA. This fun, quirky, energetic bunch truly loves singing and performing together, as well as making bird puns and jokes (#burghlove #tweettweet #flyestgrouponcampus). They perform at many campus functions and host their own fall and spring concerts each year. Their music ranges many different genres, but they always make sure to play to their strengths and most of all, have fun. Last year, they won Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arrangement at ICCA Quarterfinals, and they hope to bring that winning energy and passion to the stage tonight! 

Sounds Like Treble is the University of Pittsburgh’s only all-female a cappella group.  Founded in 1997, they sing music from a variety of genres, all arranged by members of their group. They are a tightly-knit group of girls who love to sing and love the girls that they sing with. They believe having fun in performance is just as important as the music itself!

The Treblemakers at Carnegie Mellon University is a group held together by a shared love of singing and performing. Their seek to grow musically, both as individuals and a cohesive unit, and to use their unique style to push the boundaries of collegiate a cappella.


CMU Jiya Carnegie Mellon’s premier all-girls Bollywood fusion team, combining a variety of different dance styles from hip-hop to classical. These dancers aim to exhibit their passion for dance and showcase Indian culture throughout Pittsburgh and beyond!



Bryan Guffey has been singing longer than they can remember (seriously, ask their parents). Since forming their first group, 50/50, in high school in 1997, Bryan has been a passionate believer in the power of vocal music to change lives for the better. Since graduating with their B.F.A. in musical theatre from Kent State in 2006, Bryan has worked with Grammy-nominated composer Frank Wildhorn on a remount of the Broadway musical, "The Civil War" in Gettysburg, Pa. This led them to audition for Full Sail, an a cappella group on the six-star cruise line, Crystal Cruises, where they had the opportunity to work with and learn from the likes of Home Free’s Tim Foust. After returning to the U.S., Bryan helped launch A Cappella Records and became more involved in the a cappella community. When Bryan isn't solving technical issues for nonprofits, they spend much of their time coaching a cappella groups in the Great Lakes region, volunteering with organizations such as the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), the Vocal Foundation, the Women’s A Cappella Association (WACA), and SingStrong, and serving as president of the Delta Lambda Phi Alumni Association. Additionally, Bryan works closely with Centerville High School’s Forte A Cappella, having co-produced the group’s most recent all-original album, Uncharted Heart, and their upcoming album, Save My Soul. @musicjunkieg

Corey Thur holds a degree in film production from Kent State University. There, he was a member of The Kent Clarks for four years and served as assistant music director, vice president, and a group arranger. He has also arranged for other a cappella groups, such as Rhythms & Roos from the University of Akron. With The Kent Clarks, Corey competed in the ICCA three times, performed live on “The Today Show,” and performed at The White House for a special event, including an individual performance for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. He recently returned to Ohio from an internship with The Walt Disney Company and is currently employed as a talent agent at The Talent Group in Cleveland. 

Eric Neuenschwander currently serves as a choral director at Eastmoor Academy, a High School in Columbus City Schools. A proud 2011 graduate of The Ohio State University, Eric co-founded and music directed the group Majors & minors and created an organization to help other a cappella groups form, four of which have qualified for ICCA thus far. Since graduating, Eric stays connected with Ohio State a cappella by helping the various groups prepare for competition season. He is continually amazed at how far these groups have come since 2009 and cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in the years ahead. In college, Eric performed with The Ohio State Men's Glee Club, The Statesman, The Ohio State Chorale, and OSU Athletic Band, all while pursuing his Bachelor of Music Education. His time with a student-led group, Off The Lake Productions, instilled a passion for musical theatre that has shaped him as a performer. Eric continues to perform onstage and in the pit for various community theatre productions in Central Ohio, and has spent the last five years as a regular performer at The Black Box Improv in Dayton, performing improvisational comedy and musicals.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Penn., Amanda Cornaglia started her a cappella career as musical director of Special K at Hamilton College. After graduation, she moved to rural Japan for four years, where she founded, trained, and performed with the award-winning international a cappella group, The Amigos. Upon moving to the D.C. area in 2005, Amanda founded and continues to perform with the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) group, Euphonism, and Snowday, a group that provides a cappella educational programs all over the world. She is the managing partner of Clear Harmonies Productions, president of CAL, and she served on the CASA Board of Directors from 2010-2015.

Born in Oregon and raised in Rochester, N.Y., music has been with Mickey Hamilton for as long as he can remember. He found a cappella at Mansfield University as a singer, arranger, and music director for The Ellison Collection, and fill-in for the former Ithaca-based group, The Sons of Pitches. Mickey has since graduated with a degree in voice performance, and earned subsequent degrees in recording technology and entertainment business from Full Sail University. In the midst of his schooling, he has participated in various Rochester-based groups including Innerloop, The Smoking Hot Pipes, and Cut-Off, and even had the opportunity to learn from Bill Hare and Deke Sharon through the Soup 2 Nuts program. Now, Mickey is happy to be working for Cut Off Studios as an engineer, arranger, and producer. In addition to his a cappella background, Mickey runs live sound for local bands in the Rochester area, sings with Nik and the Nice Guys, and DJs for private and public events.



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, CMU Inter-A Cappella, CMU Jiya, Aly Collins, Angela Terrano, Hunter King, A Cappella Productions, Joey Cassata, and Bobby Fera ; 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 Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Sara Yood
 ICCA & ICHSA Finals Producer
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Courtney Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West Producer

Henry Harrod
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Elise Hackl
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Riley McMahon
 ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
 ICHSA South & Southwest Producer

Mark Chen
ICHSA Southwest Co-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 ICCA Central Semifinals.



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!





The International Championship
of A Cappella Open


Carnegie Hall
 Saturday, September 22, 2018