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



560 Music Center
Friday, February 1, 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.



Inspired by the Bellas that came before them (Barden Bellas, A Cub Bella, etc.) The Hawkabellas are excited to be competing in their very first ICHSA competition and to represent Hillsboro High School. After all, you can't hide that Hawk Pride! 

Hawkappella does just about everything that is possible to vocally do. They are the swing choir, show choir, jazz choir, chamber choir, and (most importantly) contemporary a cappella group at Hillsboro High School. Spend a few moments on their campus and you'll quickly see that they are proud of who they are and where they are from. You can't hide that Hawk Pride! 

KC A Cappella is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to providing a unique educational and musical experience for high school students around the Kansas City Metropolitan area. This organization houses the nationally ranked contemporary vocal a cappella group, SoundProof, which introduces the ensemble to the world of contemporary vocal a cappella and provides them the opportunity to grow as performers, vocalists and musicians. 

The Cat's Meow is a mixed a cappella group from Licking, Mo., home of the Wildcats. Now in its third year at Licking High School, this clowder of cats were drawn together by their love of music. They represent a wide range of students, everything from smart cats, sporty cats, cheer cats to, of course, jazzy cats. Growing up in a small, rural community with a funny name, these tomcats and kittens are proving every day that they aren't your average alley cats. They are The Cat's Meow! 

The Ladudes was formed in the fall of 2017 at Ladue Horton Watkins High School by Charlie Yeldham. Charlie attended Acappellooza, an a cappella summer camp run by the renowned Jim Henry of The Ambassadors of Harmony, and decided that he wanted to create an all-male a cappella group at Ladue, aptly naming it The Ladudes. The group is composed of one freshman, two sophomores, two juniors, and four seniors. They have no coach or manager, and believe instead in the power of student leadership and direction. Although the boys vary in age and musical background, The Ladudes work hard to blend harmoniously, like individual pieces of a puzzle coming together to form a beautiful picture. Though The Ladudes have only existed for a little over a year, they have performed songs from a diverse array of artists, ranging from Journey to Snow Patrol to Drake, and at different venues, including a cabaret concert, a nursing home, and a talent contest. The Ladudes hope to continue spreading the gift of music and creating a space at Ladue for boys to express themselves and be part of a community. 

Tonal Uproar was the inaugural a cappella group at Jefferson City High School. Now in its third year as a group, they are excited to be back at the ICHSA. They love to perform for their community and student body and are grateful to tonight’s audience! 

The Do-Re-Migos, from St. Louis, Mo, hail thousands of miles from their homeland, yet through contemporary a cappella, they carry on one of the non-lethal traditions of The Parkway North Vikings and their Norse ancestors. 

Viva Voce is an all-female a cappella group at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 2016, Viva Voce is a musically talented, highly dedicated group of high school girls who come together to share their love of music with their peers and community. Currently, Viva Voce is a group of 17 girls with a variety of different interests, from field hockey to computer science to debate, united through their love for a cappella and vocal music. Outside of rehearsals, you can find Viva Voce sharing their music at community events and concerts, and they are always looking for new opportunities to perform! Contact them at or visit their website at to find more information about events. 

This is Vocal Anarchy's first year as a group at Jefferson City High School. They are so excited to be a part of the a cappella community and the ICHSA. They love performing for their community and student body and can’t wait to share their set with you tonight!



Braden Foreman holds a bachelor's degree in music - vocal performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree in student affairs administration with a concentration in teaching and learning from Michigan State University. At UNL, Braden competed in numerous ICCA competitions with The Bathtub Dogs and has advanced to Semifinals and won awards numerous times with the group. He also served as The Bathtub Dogs' president, business manager, and secretary during his tenure with the group. Braden has performed in musicals and operas, won regional awards in opera competitions, and was student director for the UNL show choir, Big Red Singers. Currently, Braden works at the University of Kansas as a Residence Life Complex Director where he oversees the creative arts and inclusion community, which uses artistic means to teach creativity, presentation, discussion, and reflection. Braden is also in charge of the residential curriculum, which promotes learning for self-efficacy as part of the residential experience. 

Kristine Gage received her B.A. in music from Saint Louis University and her B.M.E. in choral music education from Webster University. Her love affair with a cappella began in 2009 when she joined Beyond All Reason, an all-female group at SLU that she eventually directed. Not long after, Kristine co-founded the co-ed group, Decadence, and also served as its music director. At Webster, she sang and toured with The Chamber Singers, a group featured at state and national conferences and in an instructional DVD produced by GIA Publications. After graduating, she spent a year singing with the all-female, semi-professional a cappella quintet, Jaded. She now teaches elementary music to students in grades pre-K through six at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy. Kristine currently represents the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) as the ambassador to all high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate a cappella groups in the state of Missouri, and teaches musical theatre classes at COCA. 

Jamie Perkins received a B.A. in music from Washington University in St. Louis, where he sang for four years as a member of The Amateurs, as well as Wash U's concert and chamber choirs. Jamie served as The Amateurs' music director for his final two years with the group before graduating in the spring of 2013. After graduating from Wash U, Jamie spent two years at Webster University, and earned a master's degree in choral conducting. At Webster, he sang with the Webster University Chamber Singers and worked as the assistant conductor for Webster's choirs. Jamie currently works for the Washington University Department of Music, and he is happy to back in the a cappella community as an ICCA judge.



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 ICHSA Great Lakes 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