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



The Morton Theatre
Saturday, February 9, 2019



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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.



Aural Pleasure is Emory’s oldest co-ed a cappella group. Founded in 1994, Aural Pleasure is not your mother’s glee club. The group tends to steer away from customary “doo-wop” arrangements and instead prides itself on performing with a passionate energy and modern style. Aural Pleasure strives to foster a musically innovative environment and encourages its members to toy with unconventional sounds, pushing the boundaries of traditional a cappella. The group’s dedication for performance and musical excellence has pushed them to perform at a variety of venues across the southeastern United States. In addition to regular on-campus performances, the group has performed in North Carolina, Nashville, and even the Bahamas. In 2015, the group won their ICCA Quarterfinal here in Athens, Ga. The group was most recently seen performing in the Super Bowl Halftime Show alongside Maroon 5! 

Dooley Noted is Emory University's co-ed service-oriented a cappella group. Founded in the fall of 2006, Dooley Noted arranges and performs a wide variety of songs spanning several decades and genres. Some of Dooley Noted's memorable performances include opening for former-president Jimmy Carter, singing for Men Stopping Violence, caroling, and performing at the Egleston Children's Hospital. Dooley Noted also competes bi-annually in the ICCA competition and has recorded music videos with Liquid Fifth Studios and Five Spice Records. Be on the lookout for DN at performances like First Friday, Barenaked Voices, and semesterly concerts! 

Harmonic Notion is a competitive co-ed a cappella group from Vanderbilt University, founded in 2013. Harmonic Notion is made of 14 undergraduates who love to sing and perform and the group is known for bringing passion and energy to every performance. In their music, they seek to create a culture of music, fun, and collaboration.

Infinite Harmony is an eclectic family of diverse Georgia Tech students that share a love for music. Not your typical a cappella group, iH maximizes their different backgrounds to approach music both systematically and abstractly. Engineers and science majors collaborate with liberal arts and business majors to create the perfect balance of structure and spontaneity. With arrangements ranging from jazz to rock to electronic, their multifaceted set lists showcase each individual's unique interpretation of music and what it means to perform.

The Accidentals is the University of Georgia's only all-male a cappella group. A 45-year tradition of the South's University of Georgia, The Accidentals is a motivated and talented group of male vocalists and students. From performing at locations such as Snowshoe Mountain, W. Va. and New York City, as well as more local areas such as Atlanta and North Carolina, The Accidentals is an experienced and professional group. The group brings an energy and personality to the stage that makes them unique in the collegiate a cappella realm.

Founded in 2013, The Finer Niners is UNC Charlotte's only a cappella group! This co-ed performance organization sings contemporary hits from the last 10+ years for their campus and the local Charlotte community. They are a diverse group of musicians who come from a variety of vocal backgrounds, ranging from competition choirs to church groups. The one thing they all share? A love of music! 

The UGA Ecotones is an a cappella group that loves both music and the environment! The term ‘ecotone’ refers to the region of transition between two biological communities and they hope to embody this idea by combining both music and ecology. The Ecotones began in 2012 by ecology grad students who loved three things: ecology, music, and friendship. Since then, they transitioned into an undergraduate group for students who share the same ideologies. They participate in community service events and perform across Athens to spread awareness about growing issues such as carbon emissions and plastic pollution. One of their favorite activities is volunteering for the Upper Oconee Watershed Network (UOWN), which is the local authority for maintaining the health of their streams. Through UOWN, they help collect water samples, monitor erosion levels, and measure the local invertebrate populations so scientists can keep the rivers clean. They are excited to take the next step as a group and compete in the ICCA. They hope to continue growing their audience and growing closer as friends.

Founded in 1988 in Athens, Ga., Noteworthy is still the University of Georgia's only all-female a cappella ensemble. Each member is passionate about achieving vocal excellence and riveting performances, and this shared drive contributes to the group’s student leadership and unity. 

Vandy Taal is Vanderbilt's premier South Asian fusion a cappella group! They mash up Hindi (Bollywood) music and western English pop songs to create a dramatic and melodious array of fun and impressive melodies to share with everyone! They believe their music is very unique and they can't wait to share it with all of you!



Gina Deaton has a background in vocal performance and has been singing as long as she can remember, but her love for a cappella came after college when she co-founded the semi-professional group, Breakdown. The group performed primarily in the Atlanta area, with Gina writing original songs, arranging, and acting as co-director. Most recently, she recorded an album of a cappella originals with members from that group which was nominated for multiple Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs). She began volunteering as a judge with Varsity Vocals in 2010 and has served as a coach for a cappella performance and recording in the region. Gina currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) as the Director of Human Resources.

Brad Maffett is the assistant conductor of the Athens Symphony. He previously performed with the Athens Symphony Chorus and continues to serve as a rehearsal assistant. Brad presently conducts band and choir at Franklin County Middle School and has previously conducted for “Musica Fraterna” of the Atlanta Children’s Choir, Local Vocals, and B Natural. Brad has been involved in all aspects of music, from serving as a singing waiter to playing tuba in a polka band. When he isn’t making music, he can be found cooking barbecue in competitions throughout the Southeast. 

Kate Pientka began playing piano at age three and learned to sing from her parents as a way to pass long car rides. It wasn't until she turned 16 that she began to use her voice as a solo instrument and put her musical theory and training to work. Luckily, she quickly found a cappella and went on to become a serious fan. While studying English at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., Kate founded The Dischords in 2001, served as the group's first musical director, and arranged many of the songs the group still sings today. She has also sung for semi-professional groups and founded the vocal band, Best to Burn, which performs regularly in the Atlanta area.



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 South 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