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



William Henry Harrison High School
Saturday, March 19, 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.



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 ensemble members to the world of contemporary vocal a cappella. The singers of SoundProof are grateful for the opportunity to grow as performers, vocalists, and musicians. 

Viva Voce is an all-treble voice 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 a cappella music with their peers and community.  Currently, Viva Voce includes 16 students with a variety of interests, such as field hockey, soccer, theatre, cross country, computer science, and debate, but they are united through a common love for a cappella and vocal music.  Outside of rehearsals, you can find Viva Voce sharing their music at community events and concerts. Viva Voce was formed under the guidance and leadership of Leah Alrutz, the choral music and theater director at Ladue Middle School. Follow them @vivavoceLHS for updates! 

A Cappella music came to Parkway North in the early 2000s beginning with a male group named Men's Room. A bit later, the female group, Powder Room, was born, adding to the thriving a cappella community  at Parkway North. Both groups consistently competed at ICHSA competitions with some groups winning Finals in their division. After many years of competing separately, Parkway North moved in the direction of a mixed a cappella group and after several name changes, Valholla came to life. They are excited to finally be back onstage and competing this year.   

Dynamix is Harrison's co-ed group consisting of students in grades 9-12. They have competed in six ICHSA Quarterfinals and three Semifinals. All of their group members are huge fans of their director's cover of "Creep" by Radiohead and listen to it on a weekly basis. Lastly, they would love to dedicate this performance to their fallen a cappella mascot, Mani Queeb. This is for you, may you rest easy! 

Ars Nova is a contemporary pop a cappella group from the Miami Valley School. Ars Nova finds joy in sharing their talents with their community and laughing through early-morning rehearsals. The group has been featured on Voices Only 2021 and is excited to share their love for performance on stage this year. 

Polarity is an extracurricular pop a cappella group from Waverly High School in Waverly, Ohio, a small rural town in the southern part of the state. Since forming in 2017, Polarity has achieved many accomplishments. They were awarded 1st place at the 2019 Harmony Sweepstakes Regional Tournament in Chicago and brought home 3rd place and the Audience Favorite award in the National Tournament. Polarity also took 1st place in the 2020 ICHSA Quarterfinals and 3rd place in the 2021 ICHSA Semifinals. 

Take Note is an all-female a cappella group consisting of students in grades 9-12. They meet every morning at 7 a.m. to rehearse. Most of the group members own more than 20 Squishmallows and love to show them off. They are in love with their director's dogs, Luna and Georgie, and dedicate every performance to them. 

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! 

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!



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.” 

Holly Gyenes is a classical, musical theatre, and pop vocalist from Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Dayton and earned a Bachelor of Arts in music studies. Holly has been involved in the contemporary a cappella community since she was a member of Kettering Fairmont High School’s award-winning group, Eleventh Hour. With Eleventh Hour, she appeared on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and won a gold medal at the 2012 World Choir Games. In 2015, Holly was selected for the A Cappella Academy Retreat in Los Angeles, founded by Grammy winners Ben Bram, Avi Kaplan, and Rob Dietz. She was also part of a background choir on Pentatonix’s self-titled album, which reached number one on the Billboard Top 40. From 2014-2018, Holly served as a counselor, social media coordinator, and customer service specialist for Camp A Cappella, founded by Brody McDonald and Deke Sharon. For three years, Holly performed across the U.S. as a member of professional a cappella group Vocalight, with whom she collaborated on two tracks and music videos with YouTube sensation Peter Hollens, opened for Grammy-winning artist Daya, and performed at Carnegie Hall. Her years of competitive a cappella experience include many appearances at Varsity Vocals’ ICCA and the Open. Holly reached Open Finals in both 2017 and 2018, earning 3rd place each year, as well as Outstanding Soloist at her 2017 Semifinal. In 2018, Holly was signed with Disney Music Group as an original cast member of Disney’s critically-acclaimed D Cappella and sang on their debut album. In 2020, Holly was featured in the virtual a cappella choir of Kelly Clarkson’s “I Dare You” music video. Before moving to Cincinnati with her husband, Holly performed throughout the Dayton area, singing with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. 

Kenny Kabak is a native of St. Louis. He graduated summa cum laude from Missouri State University, where he earned both a Master of Music with an emphasis in choral conducting (summa cum laude) and a Bachelor of Music Education. Kenny works as an artistic advisor to Perform International, a concert event planning company and also serves as the children’s choir director at Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, Mo. He is a founding director of the Springfield Street Choir, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) choir that serves members of the Springfield community who are currently or formerly unhoused or experiencing extreme deprivation. Kenny also served as the conductor of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where the choir ranked as one of the top three children’s choirs in the world (World Choir Games, 2018). As the student representative for the Missouri Choral Directors Association, he helped found the Student and New Teacher Academy. He has toured extensively with both the Drakensberg Boys Choir and the Missouri State Chorale on various trips around the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Pi Kappa Lambda Honors Society, National Collegiate Choral Organization, Choristers Guild, Chorus America, and the Missouri Music Educators Association. 

With a Master of Music in Choral Conducting (Kent State University) and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Performance (Ashland University), Brandy Kay Riha is an a cappella educator and arranger with a special focus on treble repertoire. Her arrangements have been performed by middle school, high school, and collegiate singers around the globe. Brandy Kay teaches voice, theory, and a cappella at Tiffin University. She has founded and directed numerous a cappella groups, in both scholastic and semi-professional contexts, and she has led workshops on arranging, aca-directing, music theory, and vocal percussion. Brandy Kay is the founder, director, producer, and arranger for Zero to Sixty, a yearly auditioned summer a cappella group centered between Cleveland and Akron. 

Jeremy Witt is an educator, conductor, and performer born in Hilliard, Ohio. He graduated with a music education degree from Cedarville University and a Master of Music Education from Kent State University. He is the founder of Cedarville’s first contemporary a cappella group, The Inversions, and served as the group's music director and president for four years. He currently serves as the Director of Choirs at Hilliard Bradley High School and the Tenor/Bass Choral Director at Hilliard Memorial Middle School. Jeremy and Kelsey Burkett oversee the Jaguar A Cappella program which includes four contemporary a cappella groups from 7th through 12th grades. He and Kelsey also co-direct the award-winning a cappella group Shades of Blue. Jeremy has also judged for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs), and many years in ICHSA and ICCA.



Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Joey Bogdajewicz, Rob Taylor, Anna Adams and William Henry Harrison High School, and The University of Cincinnati Vocaholics; 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!