Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 26th season! Our enthusiasm for the art of a cappella is greater than ever after more than 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, this year featuring more than 578 groups and 8,772 singers at 77 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.

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 skills and relationships.

We provide insightful 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.

Two years ago, our 2020 tournament was sidelined mid-season by the pandemic, and we were unable to crown champions for the first time. In 2021, as a cappella groups were unable to gather to rehearse or perform, we adapted our program by challenging groups to create 4-minute music videos, recorded and edited remotely. The astonishing artistry and skill in these videos is a testament to the adaptability, ingenuity, and determination of our competitors, and we couldn’t be prouder.

This season, we are again challenged by the pandemic, as we attempt to present live events across thousands of miles in an ever-changing COVID landscape. Although some of our events have been postponed or converted to virtual, we are determined to see the season through. Many groups haven’t been able to compete live since 2019 – some students for their entire high school or college career. We are humbled more than ever by the importance of our role in setting the stage for the creation of so much magic.

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 26 years ago, and we can’t wait to see how our 2022 competitors push the envelope. Committed to promoting our singers and energized by the incredible music they create, we look forward to another memorable season. Thank you for joining us!


Amanda Newman
Executive Director



Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture
Sunday, February 27, 2022



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 four 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 at The Town Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 23rd.

The high school tournament is now in its 17th year. The winners of each of seven Semifinal rounds will advance to the ICHSA Finals at The Town Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 22nd.

The Open Tournament celebrated its third year in summer 2019 and featured six Semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2019 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 groups competed in October 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

 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 ten 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.



Counterpoint Acapella is Loyola University Chicago’s only co-ed competitive a cappella group. They specialize in all types of music and encourage every group member to arrange music and be in charge. There is no separation of underclassmen and upperclassmen, since everyone in the group is equally important. They may be small, but this powerful group’s unique sounds and fun personalities come together to create one of the most amazing groups around! 

The 18 members of Fundamentally Sound make up the only competitive lower-voiced a cappella group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Known for their lively personalities, genre-bending arrangements, and engaging performances, Fundamentally Sound performs throughout the UW-Madison campus, the state of Wisconsin, and the greater Midwest. These fine young gentlemen come from several different backgrounds, but all come together to accomplish the same goal of making beautiful music and having fun while doing it. They compete in ICCA every year and even received 3rd place at Finals this past year. They are incredibly excited to perform and hope you all enjoy their set! 

Sonata Problem is North Central College's premier, all-gender a cappella group, established in 2012. In the past, they have performed for high schools, local businesses, in the Wisconsin Dells, and on a live TV Milwaukee news show. They are also featured vocalists in two “Sleeping At Last” songs! In 2018, they released their first album, Exposition, on Spotify and Apple Music and are currently working on releasing their second album next year. 

The Harmelodics is Northern Illinois University’s student-run all-treble a cappella group. They strive to change the a cappella world with their innovative arrangements, powerful sound, and strong dedication. They have competed in past seasons of ICCA and have also traveled to attend and perform in VoiceJam A Cappella Festival. Throughout the year, they rehearse for festivals, competitions and their own concerts that they host at least once a semester around campus. They are always eager to find gigs and performances to showcase the tremendous talent in their group. They are very excited by the thought of a normal(ish) ICCA year and are thrilled to perform in front of an audience again and watch other groups showcase their talent. They can’t wait to see what this competition season has in store. 

Formed in the desolate cornfields of DeKalb, Ill. in the fall of 2011, The NIU Huskie Hunks developed into a nationally recognized group when they took the ICCA competition by storm for the sixth time in spring 2019. The group members range from freshmen to super seniors and represent a variety of different majors, but have one goal in common: to rock their audiences’ pants off with electric harmonies and robotically precise choreography. In their free time, these hunky gentlemen love to spot each others’ deadlifts, eat way too much Vinny’s pizza, and have totally-not-weird sleepovers. 

The Ransom Notes is an all-gender a cappella group from the University of Chicago that can be found performing on campus, at local venues in Hyde Park, and all around the city of Chicago. They have an annual winter tour of Chicago and bi-annually visit colleges and cities around the country during their spring tour. They have been a vocal presence at UChicago for the past 24 years and recently released their album, Built to Last (which had the honor of being featured on Voices Only), and a Christmas single "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," both of which are available on iTunes and Spotify. There is more to come, including their 2020 ICCA set, which will be released as an EP later this season. They primarily perform pop songs, but have experimented with rock, jazz, and country styles, among others. They’re a fun-loving group of musicians who love one another as much as they love to sing. The group members most enjoy performing in informal arch sings, teaching music workshops to high school students around the South Side during their annual Chicago-focused winter tour, and singing carols at invited holiday markets. 

Founded in 1989, Unaccompanied Women is the oldest a cappella group at the University of Chicago. They are an extremely close-knit group of students who study everything from theatre to molecular engineering and are brought together by a shared love of singing. They pride themselves on telling stories through their music and spreading UDub love every chance they get. Though their name suggests otherwise, identifying as a woman is not necessary to sing with them. 

Voices in Your Head, founded in 1998, is an all-gender student-run a cappella group from the University of Chicago, consisting of undergraduate and graduate students whose areas of study span as far as their musical tastes. Their repertoire includes original compositions, as well as an eclectic mix of pop, R&B, rock, and alternative music and is available on all streaming platforms. Voices regularly competes in the ICCA and strives to perform around their campus and community.



Destinee Feliciano began her a cappella journey in DeKalb High School's mixed a cappella group Enharmonic Fusion, with whom she had the privilege of competing in ICHSA all four years, advancing to Finals in 2015, 2016, and 2017. After high school, she joined UIUC's No Comment and served as co-music director, arranging 12 songs for the group. Her music was included in their appearances at ICCA, taking the group to 1st place finishes and Semifinal appearances each time they competed. Destinee has a degree in music education from the University of Illinois and now is a music educator at Garden Hills Academy in Central Illinois. 

Erin Forrest has been a choral music educator and voice teacher for 10 years, working with students in kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. Erin currently teaches general music and chorus at Glen Grove School in Glenview, Ill. She earned her master’s degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music and her bachelor’s degree in choral music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the University of Illinois, Erin was a member and music director of the group No Comment A Cappella. She has many years of experience directing and arranging for high school a cappella ensembles and continues to arrange music for groups at both the high school and collegiate levels. 

Anthony Pulido is an arranger and director for Uproar, a Boston-based, professional a cappella group. He attended Northeastern University, where he directed and arranged for The Unisons. He also records and workshops groups and artists in the greater Northeast region, notably at festivals such as BOSS, NE Voices, and Haunted Harmonies. You can also find him as the third member of the “Head/Voice” podcast team. Check out the podcast to hear Anthony discuss a cappella with other members of the community.

Mariama Torruella is a Chicago-based singer, arranger, and songwriter with a very easy name, once you call her Mari (rhymes with body). An award-winning performer and writer, Mari's voice, songs, and arrangements have been heard with Rolling Stones, Patti Austin, My Morning Jacket, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Children’s Chorus, Cantate, Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Philharmonic, Tower Brass, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago Symphony, and at venues like Harmony Sweepstakes, Lollapalooza, Chicago Blackhawks, and PBS Great Performances. Mari made her movie premiere in 2021 in “Christmas with Felicity.” A cappella music is Mari’s lifelong love and she has been proud to sing with her jazz group Stripped, The George Washington University Troubadours, and Troub Alums. She was also a Varsity Vocals judge at ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals in Season 1 of “Sing It On!” 



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

Elise Hackl-Blumstein
ICHSA Director
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer
PA/MA Program Coordinator

Andrea Poole
 ICHSA Co-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

Patty Floyd

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Emily Benjamin
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Jake McVey
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Donald Paradis
 ICHSA South Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Courtney Jenson
 Associate Producer


Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Katherine Mosher
 ICHSA South Day-Of Producer

Bri Decerio
 ICHSA West Day-Of Producer

Jake Yoakum
 ICHSA West Day-Of 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 will advance to the 2022 ICCA 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!