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



Northern Highlands Regional High School
Saturday, March 26, 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.



The Ram Jams is the auditioned a cappella ensemble within the Ramsey High School Choral program. The Ram Jams frequently perform at events throughout the North Jersey area and within the Ramsey community. This past year, The Ram Jams performed at the Empty Sky memorial ceremony alongside the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus and the National Chorale. In their most recent competitive season, The Ram Jams were named Mid-Atlantic Champion and advanced all the way to ICHSA Finals. 

The Bee's Knees from Bayonne High School was founded in 2018 under the direction of Samantha Hitchell and Theodore Cherney. Both directors competed in the ICCA from 2013-2016 with Vocal Point from the University of Delaware. The Bee's Knees is composed of current Bayonne High School students in grades 9 through 12, many of whom are involved in various music and theatre programs at the school, including the award-winning Bayonne High School Marching Band. The Bee's Knees perform at community events, clinics, a cappella invitationals, and concerts. 

The Nocktaves is a mixed-gender a cappella group that formed in 2018 after attending an ICHSA event. They perform in school concerts and other events. In 2021, they were awarded 3rd place at the Mid-Atlantic Semifinals. They were recently honored to perform the national anthem at a Yankees game (via video). 

Scarlet Sound is Neptune High School's premier vocal ensemble. They have been accepted as a competitor in the ICHSA for five years in a row and earned a spot in the Semifinals for the past two years. Additionally, the group has been nominated to the N.J. State Teen Arts Festival four times, each time garnering a "Distinguished" rating. Scarlet Sound has been a featured performer at the NATO Parade of Nations and performed twice in Disney World. The Scarlet Sound's mission is to challenge the young students of NHS to achieve the highest level of musicianship that they can and make a few amazing memories along the way. 

The Maroon Men is a competitive all-male a cappella group from Ridgewood High School. The group was established in the fall of 2010 mainly to get more guys involved and interested in joining the choir program and has since become an RHS staple. They are proud to compete in the ICHSA every year alongside their sister group, The AcaBellas. All members, past and present, have always proudly carried their tradition of singing that good ole harmony, soul to soul and brother to brother. Catch them singing at various events and concerts for the rest of the season and beyond, and as always, "that a cappella sounds good to me"! 

Highlands Voices is from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J. The Voices, as they’re often called, have made ICHSA Finals as Mid-Atlantic Champions seven out of the past 10 years. You can see them in the movie “Marry Me” starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson (in theaters Valentine’s Day 2022) and on the Lifetime TV show “Pitch Slapped.” They have performed workshops for NAfME, NJMEA, AEA, ACDA, Bergen Teen Arts, and host the annual Highlands A Cappella Festival. which attracts some of the biggest a cappella coaches in the world as instructors. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @highlandsvoices.

The Acatonics is the co-ed a cappella group from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Md. This co-ed ensemble sings both current songs and classics and puts their own twist on every genre. The Acatonics have well-rounded members involved in all aspects of high school, including different clubs, varsity athletics, and theatre productions. The Acatonics’ diverse membership, along with their shared love of music, has created a mixture of unique talent and contagious energy. They have competed and won the SingStrong New York Competition in 2020 and have performed throughout the greater Washington D.C. area, both at school events and at community performances. They are excited to represent their school and their community. 

Evolve is the most selective vocal group at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, Md. Founded in 2015, Evolve quickly burst into the a cappella scene, advancing to the ICHSA Finals in 2019 and the Mid-Atlantic Semifinals in 2021. In 2020, Evolve was featured on the BOHSA album, singing “Just Like Me” by Betty Who. You can find Evolve's EPs on your favorite streaming services, and see their performances at Chesapeake High School and throughout Anne Arundel County and the state of Maryland. 

The Spartones from St. Charles High School in Waldorf, Md. are so excited to be back on the stage. Founded in 2015, all of the current members are new to the group and have created an amazing bond. Having fun is the cornerstone of the Spartone philosophy and they love pumping each other up. Through their hard work and pure love of music, they bring joy to the entire Southern Maryland community. Known for their high-energy performances, they take their audiences on a journey through song. The group follows a legacy of award-winning excellence and specializes in pop R&B sounds. The Spartones have performed with notable a cappella artists such as Blue Jupiter, Ball in the House, Resound, Pitches Be Crazy, and Matt Sallee from Pentatonix. Competing in ICHSA and SingStrong DC, this group has a history of winning. They have won awards for their arrangements, vocal percussion, male and female soloists, and have placed in the top three multiple times. Their theme for this year’s set is love, heartbreak, and acceptance. The power of love is the strongest of all and they hope to uplift and inspire their audiences through song. 

Varsity Vocals is the premier a cappella group at Carteret High School. Varsity Vocals has performed locally, regionally, and statewide in venues such as Carteret Borough Town Hall, Charity Events, Robert Wood Johnson, New York City- Bryant Park, on the field for the Trenton Thunder, and more. This will be Varsity Vocals’ fourth year competing in the ICHSA. Previous accolades include the title of 2020 ICHSA Quarterfinal Champion, as well as Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Vocal Percussion. They are thrilled to finally be returning to the stage alongside their peers and to see all of their music programs revitalized. 


Highlands Belles is a treble-powered group hailing from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J. The Belles are proud to follow in the footsteps of the musicians who came before them and share in their legacy. Over the years, Highlands Belles has competed at SingStrong Chicago, the National A Cappella Convention (NACC), Boston Sings (BOSS), and (of course) ICHSA. After a year of virtual rehearsals, they are so grateful to be back to in-person singing and nurturing their unique ensemble bond. The Belles are also thankful for the kind custodian who brings leftover muffins from the Board of Education meetings! They can't wait to take the stage in front of a live audience and share their love and light! 

Highlands Harmonics is a mixed a cappella group from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ. They have advanced to the ICHSA Semifinals twice and placed 3rd at the SingStrong New York competition twice. They have performed at the NACC in Memphis, Tenn., the Highlands A Cappella Festival, and have been the guest group at ICHSA competitions several times. Highlands Harmonics is excited to participate in this year's ICHSA and to make new friends who share their love of a cappella singing. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!



Neil Aaronson is a professor of physics and acoustics at Stockton College. A founding member of The TCNJ Trentones, Neil continued working with a cappella ensembles in graduate school at Michigan State University. Since 2008, he has helped the a cappella community grow from one ensemble with 10 members to three ensembles with over 45 singers, all working together to foster musical growth at their campus. He is the executive director of the ASTA/NJ Chamber Music Institute, assistant conductor of the Stockton Oratorio Society, and vice president of the Board of Directors for the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey. 

Warren Bloom has been a regular ICCA and ICHSA judge since 2002 (including both 2006 Finals). He’s been musical director, bass, and/or vocal percussionist for numerous vocal groups, including professional summer group, The Hyannis Sound, New York rock/R&B septet, Invisible Men (numerous New York City and Boston Harmony Sweepstakes awards), New York pop/jazz quintet, Doo*Wa*Zoo (1998 MAC and 2000 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award CARA) nominees), University of Miami’s Jazz Vocal 2 (1997 DownBeat Award winner), and Brandeis University’s Spur of the Moment. Warren was music director, co-arranger, and sound tech for Minimum Wage's "Blue Code Ringo" at the New York Fringe Festival (Best Musical Comedy Act, 2002 Time Out New York awards) and subsequent off-Broadway productions. He has also run live sound for numerous vocal groups including Naturally 7, Ball in the House, Six13, and Unsung Heroes. He was a composer/lyricist in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, before getting his music education degree from Hunter College and spending three years as band and orchestra director at Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. He has been teaching general music and band at P.S. 8 (Brooklyn) since 2011, and has been a musical director in the theatre department at the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts since 1998. Warren was one of the Contemporary A Cappella Society's (CASA) official bloggers for NBC’s "The Sing-Off.” 

Alex Green is a recording engineer, producer, and arranger from New York City. He is a graduate of Tufts University with a dual degree in music and archeology. There, he was a member of The Tufts Amalgamates, with whom he sang, directed, and recorded 2011′s CARA-winning Hands Off The Mannequin. He is a co-owner and producer at Plaid Productions, a full-service a cappella production company with dual home bases in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Somerville, Mass. Alex shares two RIAA-certified Platinum and Billboard-charting albums with Ed Boyer and Ben Bram for his work with Pentatonix, while other clients of Plaid Productions have had songs featured on SING, BOCA, and Voices Only, garnering over 100 CARA nominations. Since graduating in 2010, he has regularly served as a masterclass leader and instructor at a cappella festivals nationwide, sung with Overboard (Boston), and written for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB). 

Melissa Jordano is a singer, songwriter, performer, and co-managing member of the professional NYC-based a cappella group, Backtrack Vocals. Her passion for a cappella began in the choral program at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, N.J., and was further developed in college at Johns Hopkins University where she sang with the school's co-ed competitive a cappella group, Octopodes. While in school, she wrote two original songs for the group’s all-original album. Kill the Lights was a CARA runner-up for Best Original by a Scholastic Group and was selected to be featured on CASA's compilation, Sing 11: One Louder. In 2015, Melissa joined Backtrack and has been instrumental in helping the group evolve from a YouTube-only entity into a full-time performance group. Today, Backtrack takes the stage around the nation at performing arts centers, universities, festivals, and private and corporate events. The group also has a huge love for arts education and they have conducted assemblies, workshops, and clinics at over 100 schools nationwide. Backtrack continues to create digital content, and their YouTube channel has 100K+ subscribers. With the onset of the pandemic delaying Backtrack’s tour dates, Melissa used the extra time to write and release six singles, as well as her debut EP, Lullabye

Kyle Yampiro holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from James Madison University, and has served on faculty at University of Memphis and Eastern Mennonite University, teaching musical theatre voice and music history, respectively. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he is a nomadic actor who has performed with numerous opera and musical theatre companies across the country, most recently with the Springer Opera House in Columbus, Ga., and The Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith, N.H. He music-directed University of Delaware’s Vocal Point as an undergraduate, and JMU's Exit 245 while earning his master's degree. With Exit 245, he contributed to the CARA-winning album, Boyfriend Material, from which his solo track, "Cinema," was featured on the compilation albums BOCA 2013, Voices Only 2013, and SING 10. He also spent a year singing with Memphis-based Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) group, DeltaCappella, and currently serves as a reviewer for RARB and as a judge for the CARAs and A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). 



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 Jensen
 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 placing group will advance to 2022 ICHSA Finals.



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!