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



New York Society for Ethical Culture
Saturday, March 2, 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.



SHARP prides itself on producing outstanding and diverse musical experiences for audiences by writing and creating original arrangements in genres ranging from R&B, soul, top 40 hits, and everything in between. The current and former men of SHARP are singers who come from all types of performance backgrounds, ranging from none at all to classical pianists to professional theatre performers to major label recording artists. The group is currently one of the most popular a cappella groups on the Columbia University campus, and their commitment has yielded two professional music videos over the past two years. SHARP began as a team effort and that effort is still going strong today. These guys have come together to build a community grounded in hard work, mutual respect, creativity, and musical spirit. 

The F Sharps from Fordham University is a fun, quirky, gorgeous group of singers from all class standings. In addition to being unbelievably beautiful, they are also minor celebrities after having once been retweeted by Josh Peck. 

The Macaulay Triplets was founded in 2012 as the premier a cappella group for CUNY Macaulay Honors College. The ensemble is made up of a diverse group of students from across the City University of New York. They have performed in venues across New York City, including Lincoln Center, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and Baruch Performing Arts Center. The singers perform a variety of music from merengue to indie rock. 

The NYU N’Harmonics was founded in 1997 at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. The group is a collective of artists, coming together to create a refreshing vocal sound. In 2016, The N’Harmz placed 3rd in the ICCA Wild Card round and won Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Choreography in their Quarterfinal. The group has performed at Beacon Theater, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, and Joe’s Pub. 

The Mixtapes is a high-energy, friendly, cuddly co-ed a cappella group at New York University! As their name suggests, they perform a variety of songs you might put on a mixtape for your friends, including pop, rock (nostalgic and modern), and R&B! They take pride in intricately arranging all of their own music, and their collective love for performing, their songs, and one another comes through every time they take the stage. If you'd like to learn more about The Mixtapes, are interested in booking the group for a performance, or want to see them live in action, check out their Facebook, tweet them @MixtapesNYU, or email them at

The Cleftomaniacs is NYU’s premier all-female a cappella group. The group is made up of fierce, talented, and chill women from all over the world. They have a wide range of academic interests, from neuroscience and engineering to musical theatre and film. Some of their favorite songs to perform are “River” (Bishop Briggs), “Wannabe” (The Spice Girls), “Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson) and more! They are currently recording their fourth album which will be released this spring. Everyone in the group truly loves being a part of The Cleftomaniacs. There is as much smiling and laughing at rehearsals as there is singing. In addition to being an a cappella group, they are a family. 

The Procrastinotes from NYU is made up of seven friends that like to make a cappella music in their dorm rooms. They are big fans of Pentatonix and have a tendency to do things at the last minute. They have always been looking for the opportunity to compete in an a cappella competition and are excited to perform their set for you tonight. They create their own arrangements, which you can hear in their renditions of "Jenga" and "The Greatest." They also added their version of the Pentatonix “Daft Punk Medley,” to pay homage to their inspiration. The Procrastinotes value singing a diverse repertoire and bring their a cappella style to songs that normally don't get the treatment. They hope you enjoy their performance, having submitted to ICCA in a very Procrastinotes-style! 

The Satin Dolls is the only all female a cappella group at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.! The Dolls, as they like to be called, were formed 17 years ago in 2001. Composed of students from all four school years, this group is completely student-run with arrangements carefully crafted by their wonderful music directors. They are not a genre-specific group, although they tend to gravitate towards current popular music, as well as some memorable oldies. The Satin Dolls perform in one concert each semester, in addition to various events on and off campus. They have not competed in the ICCA since 2014, where they made it to Quarterfinals! The Dolls are very excited to be back and are ready to sing, in their signature black, of course. 

Founded in 2014, Tonal Recall is Pace's only sponsored a cappella ensemble on the New York City Campus. The competitive group spends the year arranging music, and then perform their pieces at various events and competitions in New York City and beyond.   

Frequency is the fresh new face of collegiate a cappella at Pace University in New York City. In the fall of 2017, Frequency was founded by a few Pace students as a creative outlet to help them develop their musical gifts. Frequency values diversity and strives to be a place where students from all different cultures and backgrounds can come and express their love for music. The group includes majors ranging from musical theatre to chemistry. Frequency also works to be diverse in sound. They pride themselves in being a cappella risk-takers, performing songs such as a mash-up of "Bills, Bills, Bills” and “No Scrubs," as well as "Runnin" by Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce. They arrange and perform songs across all genres in order to access all of their audiences. In the spring of 2018, Frequency placed 2nd at ICCA Quarterfinals, and advanced to Semifinals in Boston. On top of that, Frequency was awarded Outstanding Soloist (Jana Jackson) and Outstanding Choreography (Justin Lowrey).



Dubbed “the next generation of a cappella specialist” by “Pitch Perfect” and “The Sing-Off” vocal producer, Deke Sharon, Kari Francis is an avid vocalist, composer, and educator. Based in New York, Kari has shared the stage with Taylor Swift at the American Country Music Awards, collaborated with Imogen Heap in her “Earth” project concert series, and competed on Season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” with Kinfolk 9. Kari studied composition with Lei Liang and Chinary Ung at UC San Diego and conducting with Mark Scatterday and Brad Lubman at the Eastman School of Music. She taught musicianship classes through the Eastman Community Music School, and was assistant conductor to the Eastman Women's Chorus and the Amadeus Children’s Choir Chorale. Following her time at Eastman, Kari was a Conducting Fellow at the Young People's Chorus of New York City. She directs "The Art of A Cappella" at CUNY Hunter College, an ensemble-class dedicated to exploring, arranging, and performing contemporary a cappella music. In addition to her vocal projects, Kari has been an active lecturer and clinician since 2009. She routinely gives workshops on musicianship, arranging, and vocal percussion at music festivals and vocal camps across the U.S. Kari graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UC San Diego and holds an M.A. in music education from the Eastman School. Find her online at

Andrew John Kim is an a cappella producer, recording engineer, and arranger from New York City. He received his Bachelor of Music in music composition from Northwestern University and his Master of Music in film scoring from New York University. At Northwestern, Andrew was a founding member and music director of his collegiate a cappella group, Extreme Measures. He also founded, music-directed, and arranged for the professional a cappella group, Backtrack. With Backtrack, Andrew had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the UN, during the Broadway show, "Kinky Boots," and on "The Steve Harvey Show." Andrew currently manages vocal groups through his management company, AJK Artist Management, and sings with Iris, 2018 winner of The Open.

Thomas Paster is the director of vocal music at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J. He is the director of Highlands Voices, which is currently being featured on Lifetime’s “Pitch Slapped.” The group has been crowned National A Cappella Convention (NACC) Champion, ICHSA National Champion in 2014, and won the ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Semifinals for five years running. Thomas has been an adjunct professor of music at Kean University and William Paterson University, and received his B.M. from Ithaca College and M.S. from the University of Scranton. Thomas is an active composer/arranger and writes arrangements for numerous a cappella groups. He is proud to be the N.J. rep for the A Cappella Education Association. 

Dave Klodowski is a singer, pianist and music director based in New York City. He graduated from Ithaca College, where he sang with the a cappella group, Ithacappella, and has gone on to sing with professional a cappella groups, such as Backtrack and The Cat’s Pajamas. Dave is a theatre music director and pianist, having worked on the international tour of "Kinky Boots," national tours of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "Elf," and regional productions of "Godspell" and "School of Rock!"

Peter Yang is a veteran a cappella producer and singer. His work as a senior producer with The Vocal Company has garnered him over 100 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nominations, working with both scholastic and professional groups. As a singer, he has performed internationally with Vocal Over Drive, toured the U.S. with The Cat's Pajamas vocal band, and has now established his residency in New York City, where he continues to make music with professional recording group, zephyr vocal band. Follow Peter on Instagram @pyang302. 



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank 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 Northeast 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