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



Skyline High School
Friday, February 11, 2022



We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!




Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and join the conversation using #ICCA and #ICHSA.



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.



Maximum Forte, the premier choral outreach group from Charleston High School in Charleston, Ill., is an auditioned co-curricular ensemble. They are devoted to performing an eclectic repertory of vocal and choral literature, ranging in genre from madrigals to musical theatre to contemporary pop/jazz arrangements. Under the direction of Juliane Sharp, the group has been invited to sing at the Kettering National A Cappella Festival in Ohio, the East Central Illinois Youth in Harmony Festival, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The group was also invited to perform as the opening act for M-Pact in 2019. In November 2021, Maximum Forte’s members were featured in a performance of Music Theatre International’s “All Together Now: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre” at Eastern Illinois University. In addition to their outreach performance schedule in Central Illinois, this competitive ensemble has placed 3rd and 1st place at ICHSA Quarterfinals, taking awards for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Choreography and advancing on to Semifinals in Milwaukee, Wis. (2019) and in Centerville, Ohio (2020). After a one-year hiatus, Maximum Forte is excited to return to the ICHSA stage! 

Skyline Blues from Ann Arbor Skyline High School was founded in 2008 and is under the direction of Lindsay CieChanski and Hayla Alawi. The group meets after school twice a week, participates in many performances and competitions each year, and is a consistent force at the ICHSA. In 2019, Blues placed 1st at Quarterfinals, 1st at Semifinals, and 2nd at Finals, which took place at The Town Hall in New York City. Skyline Blues has won awards for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Vocal Percussion, Outstanding Soloist, and Outstanding Arrangement. Skyline Blues has been featured on BOHSA and Voices Only  compilations, and has released several EPs, a single, and most recently, an album titled Light at the End. In the spring of 2017, Skyline Blues was featured at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis and was a guest lecturer at the MSVMA Summer Workshop in August. In 2018, they represented Vocal Music at the State Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day, and were invited to sing at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids. Skyline Blues is excited to participate in ICHSA once again and is very thankful for the opportunity to sing together! 

Major VI is a group of friends who love making music together. Thanks to incredible administrative support, this group is able to meet as a class daily and loves performing around their school and community. They come from all corners of the school but come together for the common purpose of having fun making music together. They are so excited to be back competing in ICHSA and thrilled to be back with their a cappella community. 

Prime A Cappella is an after-school a cappella program for students at Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio. This is Prime A Cappella's first year at the ICHSA and they are crazy pumped to take a shot at competition! Half of Prime's 16 singers are juvenile delinquents and the other half are parole officers. If you can guess who is who, you are likely very gullible. Generally, the members of Prime spend their time reenacting civil war battles, carving grand Jell-O statues in the high school choir room, and writing letters to Kanye West begging him to be an honorary member of the group (So far, no response. Come on, Kanye!). Prime is also very proud to have a real-life firefighter in their midst! Let's gooo Julian! Thanks to everyone at Varsity Vocals and to all 7.5 of their fans and parents! This is for you!

Touch of Class is Port Clinton High School's competitive a cappella group. Every year, Touch of Class performs for dozens of local organizations and events across the Lake Erie coast and has competed in ICHSA every year since 2015. Each of the students boasts a large background in music, sports, clubs, and leadership roles! They are excited to share their music with you today! 

Knightlife Acappella (KLA) is in its fourth year of existence and is competing in ICHSA for the very first time! Hailing from Van Buren, Ohio, each member is also involved in their school’s show choir (The Association), and the varsity choir. In addition, they are also all involved in year-round athletics and/or competition marching band.



Melanie Aue is a 2005 graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned a degree in vocal performance and education. There, she was proud to perform with Capital Green, which at the time was MSU's only co-ed a cappella group. While living in Baltimore, Melanie co-founded and directed the co-ed group Boh Re Mi. After moving back to Michigan, she helped found Avenue A Cappella, and continues to direct and sing with that group. Melanie also finds time to be the vocal director and act in various shows with the Downriver Actors Guild. Highlights include vocal directing “The Full Monty,” “Chicago,” and “Heathers” and performing in “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Sister Act,” and “Heathers.” 

Dan Dade, a music professional from Lansing, Mich., strives to be a multifaceted asset for any organization with which he is involved. Dan is currently an educator with Grand Ledge Public Schools, serving as one of the high school and middle school choir directors, as well as percussion director at Walled Lake Northern High School. He also works as a freelance composer and arranger, receiving commissions and performances from all over the United States, for ensembles such as the University of Georgia Symphonic Band, the Oakland University Chorale, and military bands like the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band. Dan has produced and published his own a cappella music on all streaming platforms and currently sings and beatboxes for TBD A Cappella. Dan worked as an arranger for Voices Only and has been a clinician for many high school and collegiate a cappella groups. He is committed to musical excellence and versatility and hopes to help others grow in these areas as well. As a former member of The Michigan State University Accafellas, Dan has a love for Varsity Vocals competitions and is honored to be one of the judges for this event. Best of luck to everyone competing tonight!

Sarah Maskill fell in love with a cappella two weeks after joining her college group at her first big performance: the ICCA Great Lakes Quarterfinal! She is a former bass and business manager of Michigan State University's Ladies First. During her time with Ladies First she produced two EPs, was nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA), and was fortunate enough to advance to ICCA Great Lakes Semifinals three times. She has since workshopped with many groups in the Midwest region, performed at The Open with her group Revel, and currently runs the Artist in Residence program at A Cappella University. You may have also seen her behind a camera at Varsity Vocals events and Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) festivals. 

Jake Przybyla began his life in music with piano lessons at the age of six. He joined the school choir in 3rd grade and continued singing in choirs and musicals through high school. Jake attended Michigan State University where he joined The MSU Accafellas in the fall of his freshman year. Becoming one of the "Fellas" was a pivotal experience for Jake and he went on to lead them as president and music director during his junior and senior years. At the group's 2012 ICCA Quarterfinal, Jake shared the award for Outstanding Arrangement and the group placed 3rd overall. After his first four years of college, Jake took a year off his studies in order to pursue professional music opportunities. He and a few of his fellow Accafellas formed an a cappella quartet and landed a six-month contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines singing on the Celebrity Summit. Since coming home and finishing his degrees, Jake works as a chemistry supervisor by day, but carries his passion for music with him by continuing to arrange music for a cappella groups and participating in musical theatre in the Lansing area. 

Megan Smania is an accomplished ensemble singer with extensive and varied experience with classical, contemporary, and pop vocal ensembles. She attended the University of Michigan from 2013-2017 studying vocal performance and music education and spent those four years in the a cappella group Amazin’ Blue. During her time as music director, she arranged their set and led the group to become 2017 ICCA Wildcard Champions and ultimately place 4th at ICCA Finals in New York City. Since then, she has attained a Master of Music at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a member of the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge. While living in the U.K., she judged various ICCA Quarterfinal and Semifinal competitions. Megan is delighted to be judging today and can’t wait to hear her first live ICCA performance since 2020. 



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Lyn CieChanski and Skyline High School; 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 three placing groups will advance to the 2022 ICHSA Midwest 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!