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



John Burroughs High School
Friday, February 25, 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.



Critical Mass is Orem High School's one and only contemporary a cappella group! Established in 2007, they have performed and competed all over the country, winning Best Show Choir in Disneyland in 2017. They love singing all types of music, including pop, country, ballads, and more. They are currently directed by BYU Noteworthy alum Amy Geis. 

Downbeat, The Harker School’s show choir, performs a cappella and accompanied arrangements of pop, jazz, and musical theatre songs. Mostly juniors and seniors, these singers are chosen through audition for their vocal, musicianship, and dance skills. Downbeat performs for various community events each year, including school galas and concerts, fashion shows, and holiday events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The members of Downbeat maintain rigorous academic schedules while pursuing their passion for performing. They are highly involved in school plays, musicals, and jazz ensembles, and also take on leadership roles at school and throughout the larger San Jose community as club leaders, stage directors for the Student Directed Showcase, members of Student Council, and as student activists. 

Gold Dust Avenue is a student-led a cappella group at Chaparral High School. They sing different genres of music, ranging from pop to ballads, and arrange all of their own pieces. They love to get together for potluck dinners, bonding activities, and sleepovers. Auditions are open to anyone at Chaparral, whether or not they are part of the choir program. They perform the national anthem at all school assemblies and sporting events. The group includes different kinds of people with diverse interests, all of whom share a passion for music!

Close-knit and ambitious, Relentless is an a cappella group from Woodbridge High School. They equally rely on the skill and camaraderie of the group to make music. Diverse in background and unified in effort, the singers of Relentless represent the individuality of each performer while blending their voices together in harmony. 

hOWLers are characterized by their proclivity for making musical noise with their mouths. They can be found humming, whistling, beatboxing, and singing at almost any given moment and particularly when they are together in their natural habitat. Freestyle rap and mellow acoustic guitar-vocalist duos are frequent as well. When they're not making noise, the hOWLers are often observed eating in creative ways, doodling on manila folders, and writing acrostics. For example: h- haggardly high schoolers, O- Ornate octaves, W- Whimsical wild wanderers, L- Lethargic lyric lovers, e- eccentric edelweiss enthusiasts, r- rippin ragged reggae rap rhymes, s- splendiferous subharmonic-singing students!

Wolf PACappella is Pacifica Christian High School's premier co-ed a cappella group! In the three short years since Wolf PACappella was founded, this group has created a safe environment for aspiring young singers and arrangers to thrive, all while developing lifelong friendships, deepening their relationships with God, and, of course, further nurturing their love of music. As much as they love to sing, their mission, first and foremost, is to have fun! 

Neo Collective is a group from JBHS competing for the first time! These vocalists come from competitive show choir, but are ready to take on contemporary a cappella. Neo Collective strives to innovate, impact, and impress. 

Beginning in 2011, OC Voices has represented Oaks Christian High School in the community and abroad.  OC Voices has competed in ICHSA, advancing to the Semifinals in their first year competing. In 2021, OC Voices was featured as one of three Finalists in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF). They have sung for dignitaries and former President Bush and the First Lady. This group of young singers is composed of students grades 9-12 in the Los Angeles area.



Lauren Menendez-Barreiro has a degree in music from Florida State University, where she began her a cappella career singing with The FSU AcaBelles, eventually becoming music director from 200910. After leaving FSU, Lo pursued a professional career in a cappella as a sought-after adjudicator, arranger, and clinician, working with The Vocal Company, the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and Varsity Vocals. She founded the professional group Musae and sang with them until 2013. Currently residing in Tampa with her husband, Lo is happy to be returning to the a cappella community. 

Stacy Burcham entered USC on a trumpet scholarship and then became one of the founding members of The SoCal VoCals. She served as musical director and producer on several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-nominated VoCal albums and received the ICCA Outstanding Arrangement award six times. Stacy’s arrangement of the national anthem has been featured at games for the Clippers, Lakers, and Kings, and at the Democratic National Debate. As a vocalist, she has performed at the Hollywood Bowl and The Greek Theater with Roger Daltry, Lea Michele, and Kristin Chenoweth. Stacy has been a featured instrumentalist with various artists including Molly Bryant, James Snyder, and Gabriel Mann. She is a proud member of ASCAP, SAG-AFTRA, and AFM! 

Evan Linsey is a producer and engineer based in Los Angeles. He co-hosted the “Head/Voice” podcast, interviewing over 150 vocal musicians from around the world. His work with neo-vocal pop band Birdland Avenue (@birdlandavenue) helped the group to four CARAs and an Independent Music Award for Best Debut Album for Come Around. He’s currently songwriting and producing for upcoming artists, editing podcasts for Whetstone Radio Collective, and telling everybody to watch “How To with John Wilson.”  Learn more and get in touch at 

Jim Raycroft holds a master’s degree in voice from the California Institute of the Arts and has performed all over North America and in Europe. He is a 33-year member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and sang with the Los Angeles Opera for 12 years. He has soundtrack credits for movies including “Home Alone,” “Jurassic Park,” “A.I.,” “Lady in the Water,” “Godzilla,”and more. He appeared as a singing pirate in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” in numerous television shows, and has performed at the Grammys, for the President of the United States, and the Queen of England. He founded and sings with the vocal jazz group, Pacific Swingline, the barbershop quartet, The Nickelodeon, and The Singers Elite Vocal Big Band. He is a published arranger and orchestrator, choral director for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, music director at First United Methodist Church of Redondo Beach, and has prepared choruses for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra. His singer referral service, Singers Elite, has entertained Southern California audiences for more than 30 years, and in 2002, he founded the annual “Choral Taste of Los Angeles,” a reading session of choral music by area composers. 

Hailing from San Diego, Calif., Mai Thurston has been a die-hard a cappella enthusiast ever since she joined UCLA's Resonance in 2014. She quickly rose to become a leading member in Resonance and helped guide the group through their first ICCA season in 2017 in which they earned 2nd place at Quarterfinals and 3rd place at Semifinals. With a growing passion for competitive a cappella, Mai continued to mentor Resonance as an alumna through their subsequent competitions. In her post-collegiate musical career, Mai has competed at Carnegie Hall as a two-time Varsity Vocals Open Finalist with COLLAB in 2018 and Seconds Apart in 2019. She currently helps manage Seconds Apart’s activities and is excited for the group’s future beyond the competitive world of a cappella. 



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 three finishing groups will advance to the 2022 ICHSA West 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!