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



Southwest Christian High School
Saturday, February 12, 2022



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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.



Out of the Blue is a 15-member a cappella group from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School.  With the popularity of a cappella, this group formed at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school to provide more opportunities for students to perform outside of the curricular choirs. They are scheduled to perform at least seven different times throughout the school year, including their fourth appearance at the ICHSA. They are excited to be back competing! 

Lakeville South Encore is the premier contemporary a cappella group at Lakeville South High School in Lakeville, Minn. Encore recently received a 2nd place award at Sing Strong New York in 2020 and 3rd place at their ICHSA Quarterfinal in 2020. The group performs regularly at local concerts and events and will be touring France and Italy with LSHS Choirs later this year. 

Harmonix is a female-identifying ensemble from Jordan High School in Jordan, Minn. They aim to empower young women through their song choices and stage performances. They are excited for the opportunity to be here at the ICHSA and hope you enjoy their performance. 

Red Knotes hails from Benilde St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, Minn., where the school mascot is the Red Knight. What happens when you combine Red Knights with crazy students with musical talent and impressive vocals? You get Red KNOTES - yes, that is Knotes with a K. ToKnight they will igKnight the stage with so many Knotes, they hope you take Knotice. Without further ado, here are the Knights who say NI (Monty Python) - or rather, the Knights who sing Knotes. Let's hear it for The Red Knotes! 

The Accidentals is an invitation-only vocal performance ensemble at Southwest Christian High School. This four-year-old group specializes in a cappella pop and jazz music. All of the group members are highly motivated and creative students who love making beautiful music together. 

The AHS Accidentals is an a cappella group consisting of 18 students from a small high school in Arcadia, Wis. These students are involved in various other clubs and sports, but come together to harmonize. They call themselves The Accidentals because they always look sharp, their personalities are never flat, and they have natural talent. 

Tonal Recall is a 16-member mixed a cappella group from Shell Lake, Wis. Founded in 2015, Tonal Recall is entering its fourth ICHSA competition this year. 

Vocal Point is a 14-member, auditioned a cappella group from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School in Galesville, Wis. In 2015, they were invited to take part in the first-ever a cappella festival at Carnegie Hall hosted by “Pitch Perfect” music producer Deke Sharon. Vocal Point has performed all over the Midwest, opening for nationally touring groups such as Six Appeal, Street Corner Symphony, Revoiced, Cantus, Vocalosity, DCappella, and The Exchange. They have graced some of the biggest stages in the country, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, and more. Vocal Point has participated in the ICHSA for eight years, finishing in the top 20 groups and winning awards for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Vocal Percussion each time. In 2017, they won the ICHSA Wildcard round and advanced to Finals in New York, ultimately placing 3rd and winning Outstanding Vocal Percussion (Ethan Giles). They returned to ICHSA Finals in 2018 and placed 4th. In 2019, Vocal Point took a break from competing to focus on workshops with other high school a cappella programs and perform at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis, Tenn. Vocal Point performs for functions such as weddings, dinners, festivals, and school concerts.



Drew Baker has been a singer their whole life. They got their start in a cappella while attending University of Minnesota with Basses Wild Men’s A Cappella. In their time with Basses Wild, Drew became the music director, choreographer, and principal arranger of the group, leading them to ICCA Semifinals and winning awards for both Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Arrangement. Drew has continued a cappella arranging and teleconsulting on a freelance basis since graduating. They are thrilled to be back with Varsity Vocals as a judge this year! 

Barry Bakunowicz has been an active member of the a cappella community throughout his musical career, performing with groups including The UW MadHatters and UW-Eau Claire's Fifth Element. In addition to singing and arranging for his a cappella groups, he studied music in college and has been involved in a variety of musical opportunities. He was a singer/dancer in the touring troupe, Kids From Wisconsin, and a cast member in many musical and operatic productions. Currently, Barry is a member of Minneapolis-based a cappella group, Due North, winners of the 2018 Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes. 

Michael Brookens has a degree in music education and has toured as a professional a cappella performer for the past 12 years. He founded Six Appeal Vocal Band in 2006 and serves as music director, primary arranger, and educational clinician. Six Appeal performs on stages all over the world, and is the only two-time winner of the world’s largest a cappella competition in Moscow, Russia. Six Appeal appears annually at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in Los Angeles. Check out their YouTube channel or Instagram to see their latest projects! 

Katie Hagaman is originally from DeKalb, Ill. She competed at ICHSA with her high school a cappella group, Enharmonic Fusion, progressing all the way to Finals three times and earning 2nd place in 2017. After graduating high school, she went to further her education at St. Olaf College. There, she took a break from the a cappella scene but performed with the St. Olaf Choir for three years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in vocal music education and then went directly on to teaching. She currently teaches elementary music at World Learner School in Chaska, Minn. and is loving her chosen career path. She is excited to return to the a cappella world and see these amazing groups perform! 

Aaron Kohrs has been singing a cappella since high school, where he performed, co-directed, and arranged for Ow! at Glenbrook North High School. He attended St. Olaf College, where he majored in music education. There, he also music-directed for The Krossmen, arranging over 40 charts for his group and others. He currently is a choral director and music educator at Minnetonka High School.



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Southwest Christian High School staff, especially Jason Wipf, our student hosts for their time and energy, our incredible sound engineers at Audio Max, and our event staff Jordan Smart; 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 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!