Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 27th 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 610 groups and over 9,100 singers at 85 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 cinematic 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.  

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 27 years ago, and we can’t wait to see how our 2023 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



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Saturday, February 18th, 2023


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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 29th.

The high school tournament is now in its 18th 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 28th.

 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.


Encore A Cappella is Rochester Institute of Technology’s original SSAA group. This energetic and fun-loving group has entertained RIT audiences at campus events and independent shows since 1996. In 2003, they were finally weaned away from piano accompaniment, setting them on the path to becoming the current teal-clad form you see today. This year, they added nine new members, outnumbering the previous existing members there. Defying the odds, this group has developed into a wonderfully matched up group that grows closer with every hangout and practice. Encore practices 6-8 hours a week and loves creating beautiful harmonies, blends, and performing in front of an audience. Encore loves to practice outside so they can entertain students as they walk to and from class. Outside of rehearsal, the group enjoys laughing together, playing the board game “Encore” (very fitting), and hanging with other a cappella groups on campus. Over the years, Encore has performed many times at Fringe Fest, RIT Commencement, RIT hockey games, joint-concerts with other a cappella groups, private events, RIT Brick City Weekend, and ICCA. Recently, Encore released an EP, After the Applause, to all streaming platforms. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Based out of Ontario, Canada, Noteworthy is one of two co-ed a cappella groups at Wilfrid Laurier University. This group is in their fifth year of operations and pride themselves on their energetic, enthusiastic, and devoted members. From exquisite blended harmonies to spontaneous jam sessions, this group is passionate about music and movement making! At heart, they’re a dynamic group of musicians from a huge range of backgrounds and programs. They love to sing songs from genres such as pop, jazz, alternative, indie, and rock. In only their second year of operations, they qualified to compete in the 2020 ICCA Quarterfinals and again in 2022. This was an extraordinary opportunity to showcase their self-arranged music, carefully coordinated choreography, and custom-made Noteworthy jackets! Most importantly, they were able to enrich the bond among their members, gain further performing experience, and make meaningful connections with other a cappella groups within the province. This year, they hope to spread their love of music all around campus, so follow their Instagram, @noteworthywlu! 

Partial Credit is a co-ed a cappella group from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.Formed in 2003, they specialize in almost any genre, from indie, to rock, to pop, and even a little jazz. Whether it's a heartfelt song or a rocking ballad, Partial Credit takes pride in entertaining others while having fun performing! 

Pitch Please is UAlbany’s premier co-ed a cappella group. Founded in 2013, Pitch Please strives to deliver talented vocals, incredible arrangements, and award-winning performances. Pitch Please loves to sing those pop tunes you hear on today's radio! After a long day of classes, the Pitches love to get together and sing their hearts out to songs that get their feet tapping. As they prepare for the stage, they love to learn from one another and grow together as a family. They are so excited to put on the greatest show for this year's ICCA! 

The Midnight Ramblers is a TTBB a cappella group founded at the University of Rochester in 1998. They are known for their high-energy performances, innovative arrangements, and baseball-style uniforms. They try to push musical boundaries and put on shows that anyone can enjoy! 

The Musical InterDudes is a 7-13 member mixed-voice a cappella group with a focus on musical comedy. This close-knit family from the University of Waterloo enjoys creating tight harmonies and performing in every sort of venue. They stay busy with "boring" music practice, "terrible" socializing, and "fun" admin talk. They emphasize member input and strive to find ways to incorporate members' ideas into the tear-producing, kneeslap-inducing, rolling-on-the-floor-laughing sets they create for UWACC's end-of-term concert, gigs, and anything else you can imagine. They've performed arrangements from the likes of Ylvis, Tom Lehrer, Bo Burnham, and other comedic icons. When they don't find comedic songs, they carefully construct their own parodies of pop songs or Broadway showtunes out of their dull school inspirations. They love playing with quirky choreography and bring it to the next level by introducing props or bringing energy that makes the audience view their performance in new and funky ways. 

The Rusty Pipes is a co-ed a cappella group from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Founded in 1997, they are RPI's second-oldest a cappella group and perform original arrangements of songs from various genres of music. 

Established in 1996, Soundbytes is Carnegie Mellon University's first co-ed secular a cappella group. They strive to bring the smooth and sultry to every performance, whether with friends or on the big stage. They perform at fundraisers for fellow a cappella groups, as guest performers at neighboring campuses, andhost Almost Midnight A Cappella, which takes place on the night before the first reading day of finals week. Over the years, Soundbytes has developed a large repertoire that varies based on current group membership but tends to favor R&B. They also love to revisit older arrangements by our past members (whom they dearly refer to as "oldbytes"). Some songs that they currently love to perform include “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West and “Get You” by Daniel Ceasar. At the end of the day, Soundbytes is a group of close friends who are greatly invested in their music and team of singers. They’re so excited for another opportunity to perform at ICCA and partake in the ever-flourishing a cappella community! 


Darrell Belch has been involved in a cappella since his high school days. In college at SUNY Buffalo, he was music director for three years of the award-winning Buffalo Chips. Darrell was named Best Soloist in the 1998 NCCA (now ICCA) Mid-Atlantic Semifinals. He founded and sang tenor with the a cappella group Groove, which won the 2002 Boston region of the National Harmony Sweepstakes. In addition, he is a four-summer veteran of the Hyannis Sound, a semi-professional, seasonal group based on Cape Cod, Mass. Darrell currently resides in his hometown of Saratoga Springs and sings with the Albany-based septet, Dorothy Mantooth and the Saints. 

Don Ferlazzo was a member of Ithacappella, Ithaca College's all-male a cappella group, from 2002 to 2005. During that time, he served as a soloist, arranger, skit-writer and vice president of the group. Since his college days, Don has performed in several Upstate New York a cappella groups including Jazzhands, Dorothy Mantooth and The Saints, and currently the Noise of Summer (a Capital region-based co-ed group that performs during the summer months). Don was inducted into the Ithacappella Hall of Fame in 2022 and has led workshops for the Tune Up A Cappella festival in South Glens Falls. In addition to a cappella music, Don co-wrote an original musical produced locally in 2002 and produced an original pop/rock album in 2017. His debut solo album was followed by several singles, the latest of which earned him a spot as a Finalist for the 2022 Capital Region Music Video of the Year award. Don lives in Halfmoon with his wife, two young sons, and the family dog Butters. 

A graduate of the Crane School of Music, Holden Maiorana music-directed the Potsdam Pitches for two years, leading them to ICCA Finals. An award-winning arranger, Holden actively arranges for college and high school groups around the Northeast. He is currently the high school choir director at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he created the school's first ever a cappella group. 

Taryn Miller is an alumna of the University of Massachusetts' only all-female a cappella group, S#arp Attitude, where she performed as a bass from 2013-2016 and served as music director from 2015-2016. During her time with the group, she performed in three ICCA tournaments, arranged music for and was featured on S#arp Attitude's debut album Deja Vu, performed at various showcases and competitions within the Northeast, and was featured on season 2 of "Sing It On" by PopTV network, a docu-reality series following groups competing in the ICCA. Prior to UMass, Taryn studied vocal studies while attending Marietta College and performing with the vocal jazz and a cappella ensemble, Flood Stage. 

Joey Van Ullen is an Albany, N.Y. native who has participated in various forms of vocal and instrumental music. A SUNY Potsdam graduate, Joey earned his B.M. in music performance, concentrating in clarinet, and was a member of the award-winning Potsdam Pitches, notably during the group’s first ICCA Quarterfinal win. Following his time at SUNY Potsdam, he spent several years as the vocal percussionist and music director of the NYC-based Please Refrain. Now back in Albany, Joey is a freelance instrumentalist and vocalist and maintains a private studio.


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Nicole Kohlweiss, Shane Killen, Kim Strosahl, John Cook, Dorothy Davila, Geoff Abbas, and the rest of the team from EMPAC; and you, the audience, for supporting Varsity Vocals programming.

Amanda Newman
 Executive Director

Dave Rabizadeh
 ICCA Director

Elise Hackl-Blumstein
ICHSA Director

PA/MA Program Coordinator

Lucy Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing

& Social Strategy

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central 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

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Jake McVey
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Luke Thomas
 ICHSA South Producer

Adam McNeil
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Nicole Kholweiss
 ICCA Central Day-Of Producer

Courtney Jenson
 Associate Producer

Emcee Extraordinaire


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 placing groups at this event will advance to the 2023 ICCA Central 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!