Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 23rd season! Our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever after almost a quarter century of presenting the best student groups on stage and in the studio.

Our tournaments have grown from a handful of events to the massive showcase they are today, featuring more than 650 groups and 9,800 singers at 87 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 Pitch Perfect franchise 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 enjoyed a long stay 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 two years ago. “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. Its third season will kick off this summer.

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 23 years ago, and we can’t wait to see where our 2019 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



Missouri State University
Saturday, February 9, 2019



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), the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and the International Championship of A Cappella Open (The Open). We also annually produce The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The 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 three to five 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 in New York City.

The high school tournament is now in its 14th year and continues to grow fast. We are now holding Quarterfinal rounds in all of our regions, and the 2019 season will feature the largest high school tournament field in our history. The winners of each of seven Semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City.

The Open Tournament took place for the second time ever in summer 2018 and featured six semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2018 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 groups competed at Carnegie Hall in New York City this past September.

 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.



Since forming on the Missouri State University campus in 2012, The Hibernotes have earned a reputation for their high-energy and captivating performances. Regardless of what song they sing, they're sure to leave their mark onstage, performing with power and confidence in their vocals and choreography. 

Based out of Springfield, Mo., The Beartones is Missouri State University's all-male a cappella group. Founded in 2000, The Beartones have always been focused on musical excellence, brotherhood, and having a good time. The group is renowned for their “polished” and “memorable” sets while racking up numerous notable performances all across the country, in cities such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and New York City! 

Based out of Springfield, Mo., A Cub Bella is the premier all-female a cappella group of Missouri State University. Since its establishment in 2002, A Cub Bella has been an outlet for self-expression through vocal music and performance. A Cub Bella represents Missouri State University by providing musical entertainment locally and in competitions. The group frequently tours cities across the Midwest, including Kansas City, St. Louis, and Fayetteville, bringing musical entertainment to schools and businesses.  There are currently 12 members in A Cub Bella. They are continuously growing in making musical excellence and lasting friendships, earned through their hard work and dedication. 

Minor Detail is an all-female a cappella group founded in 2002 that loves being together almost as much as performing. The fiercest group at Truman State University, these singers come from all different majors and backgrounds, but unite through a shared love of a cappella music and the power of Beyoncé. They love memes, vines, long walks on the beach, recording fun videos that show their personalities, and sharing #minormoments with their friends, family, and superfans. Their favorite food is spaghetti and their fundraiser of choice is selling grilled cheese and root beer floats. Their favorite date is April 25th because it's not too hot, not too cold, and all you need is a light jacket. In all seriousness, these singers are extremely dedicated to music and to one another. They rehearse for at least six hours a week, focusing on pitch, tone, blend, and dynamics. They perform at various events and continue to expand their range of performances and experiences each year. They even released a new album entitled All in the Details. Their name may be MINOR Detail, but no one should underestimate this group of powerful young women because they have MAJOR talent.   

Sweet Nothings is Truman State University's co-ed a cappella group. Formed in 2005, this ensemble has performed in the Kirksville community and across the state and has released two albums. They specialize in making sad versions of happy songs (i.e. "All the Small Things," and "What is Love"), creating weird guitar sounds with their mouths, and their Disney Villain Medley. They express a wide range of emotion (and fun!) when theyperform. They are also just beginning to specialize in songs from the hit Academy Award nominated motion picture, "Shrek." Currently, the group consists of nine female and nine male voices. They usually practice around seven hours a week, with even more time spent outside of rehearsal learning parts. They are a very close group of people from all different backgrounds, but share a love for singing a cappella music! And Shrek. 

True Men is the all-male a cappella group from Truman State University and one of three groups on campus. Founded in 1997, they have been making music ever since. They perform a wide variety of songs in order to have something for every audience. They arrange all of their own music and always strive to be the best they can be. 

The University of Central Missouri RainbowTones was founded in 2012 and is now UCM's one and only official a cappella group. Now under the direction of Lucas Raymond, the group is based on principles of love and acceptance of people and music from all walks of life. Grounded in the belief of equality for all, they spread these ideals to their university and community. "UCM RainbowTones, music in every color." 

The Naturelles is Mizzou's premier women's a cappella singing group. Based in Columbia, Mo., The
Naturelles is the only all-female a cappella group on the MU campus. The group is composed of 17 strong women from various majors, with only one music major among them. The group has developed a natural bond through their shared passion for music and laughter. They love to sing songs by women are empowered by strong female singers! You can find them singing around campus and at events, and they host two concerts every year. The group’s talent and good looks turn heads wherever they go. They love to sing in stairwells or outside whenever they can, and always find time to eat brunch together. They usually sing pop and R&B music, and some of their favorite artists include Sia, Adele, and Little Mix. The Naturelles is a powerful group of gals whose sweet songs and harmonious melodies will blow you away! 

Mizzou Forte is an entirely vocal singing ensemble that began in 2005. Since then, they have built up a strong reputation with many organizations on campus and all over Missouri. The current group has 19 members, nine men and 10 women, and they can really make some good music together. Over the years, they have sung for many different groups, including students and alumni. Their repertoire consists of a wide variety of popular songs. Their music is mostly modern, but the group’s dynamic, talent, arrangements, and charisma have made them a hit with every audience.   

The Amateurs hail from Washington University in St. Louis and have been sharing their love of music with audiences since 1991. They get their name from the Latin word amator, which means lover, devoted friend, or someone who is in avid pursuit of an an objective. In the original sense, an amateur is someone who does something for the love of it and because they have a passion for it. When all is said and done, The Amateurs are simply a group of friends bound by their love of music. The Amateurs have received major national awards, toured in cities across the country, and have appeared on international a cappella compilations like Voices Only and Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella. Check them out on Apple Music, Youtube, Spotify, Facebook, or



Nicole Loudis studied vocal music education at Missouri State University and went on to be the elementary general music, middle school choir, high school choir, theatre, and assistant band director at Hartville R-2 Schools. During Nicole’s tenure, the bands and choirs won many 1st place wins at contests. She currently teaches elementary music at Hickory Hills and Bowerman Elementary Schools in Springfield, Mo. Niki also performs in a '50s and '60s "rock 'n' soul" cover band called The Detectives. 

Maurice Roper is currently pursuing his passion for music under his artist name, DeMaur (Da-More). DeMaur is an R&B/Soul/Pop artist from Kansas City, Mo. He began singing at age five when he joined his kindergarten choir and has enjoyed being an entertainer ever since. He performed with St. Louis University’s all-male a cappella group, The Bare Naked Statues, from 2009-2013. Today, DeMaur is working towards his debut EP (set for release in spring 2019) and performing throughout the Kansas City area with his band, The Movement. You can check out his latest single. "I Don't Care," wherever you listen to music! 

Zachary Stelzer is one of the two vocal music directors at Reed Academy and is in his second year of teaching. Upon moving to Springfield after graduating William Jewell College in 2017, he joined the Springfield Chamber Chorus and became a section leader at University Heights Baptist Church. Zachary is also one of the assistant directors of The Show-Me Statesmen, Springfield’s chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. 



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank tonight's special guest performer Menea Kefalov, Danielle Sutherland, Luke Thomas, Annie Mcnutt, Amanda Etter, Missouri State University, and Plaster Student Union Staff; 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 Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Helena Benthall
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Courtney Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Holly Hayes
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Elise Hackl
 ICHSA Midwest & Southwest


Matt Shirer
 ICHSA West Producer

Riley McMahon
 ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Evan Powers
 ICHSA South Producer

Nicole Kohlweiss
 ICHSA Northeast 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 finishing groups advance to the ICCA Midwest Semifinal!



Find your favorite groups on The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) and The Best of High School A Cappella (BOHSA), available for purchase on Apple Music and Amazon Music!





The International Championship
of A Cappella Open


Carnegie Hall
 Saturday, October 5, 2019