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



University of Michigan
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.


Amazin' Blue (AB) is an experimental, collaborative a cappella group committed to producing music that pushes the boundaries of contemporary a cappella. Since its founding in 1987 at the University of Michigan, Amazin' Blue has produced 17 studio albums and performed at venues throughout the nation. They are proud to share their music with the Michigan community, alongside 14 other member groups of the Michigan A Cappella Council. AB recently celebrated its 35th anniversary and accepted its 200th member, representing their long history of love, friendship, and innovation. 

The DJs is a fun-loving, goofy, and diverse group of University of Michigan students. While their members come from different sides of campus, they share the same intense passion for making excellent music! Known for experimenting with all types of genres and sounds, this incredibly close musical family thrives on pushing boundaries and trying new things. While “DJ” doesn’t stand for anything in particular, the group does stand for fostering a fun and inclusive environment for all of their members and audiences. They are also known for having the hypest game nights and trying to put “DJ” in front of every word. They hope everyone is just as D-Jazzed as they are to hear some amazing a cappella tonight. For the past three years, they’ve won 2nd and 1st place titles at the Great Lakes Quarterfinals and are thrilled to be competing again! 

Emerald Harmony is a group of Meijer enthusiasts, bakers, crocheters, music nerds, horror podcast listeners, teachers, crafters, and cat lovers. They also sing in their free time and are proud to be the premier treble group on Eastern’s campus! 

The Expressions from Macomb Community College is a long-established elite ensemble on campus, originally designed to perform a variety of jazz music, either accompanied or a cappella. In 2017, the group transitioned to contemporary a cappella music. Members are selected through auditions and are students of the community college’s music program. The ensemble performs at the college Extravaganza Shows, as pre-show entertainment in the lobby of the college PAC, and throughout the community. 

Gimble A Cappella is an all-gender group whose goal is to provide a cappella music from a diverse range of genres to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s campus. They are known for their walls of sound and for living by the mentality of "work hard, play hard." The musicians of Gimble pride themselves on doing all of their own arrangements. At the end of 2022, the group released two songs onto all streaming platforms and ask you to support the group by streaming them! Gimble is very excited to be returning to the ICCA stage after a few years and hope you enjoy the show! 

Maize Mirchi is the University of Michigan’s premier fusion a cappella group. Performing on and off campus and competing in Dallas, Chicago, New York, and all across the nation, this group operates by the motto "South Asian-inspired, but never required." They use elements of South Asian and Western music to create a unique a cappella sound. They aspire to build a beautiful, musically inclined family full of love and mutual respect. 

Composed of students from a wide range of disciplines, Summit Street A Cappella is Eastern Michigan University's premier TTBB a cappella organization. Created in 2018, Summit Street began as an idea shared among three friends who wanted to expand what was available to vocalists on campus, as well as those who were interested in music production. From there, the organization has had many amazing opportunities, including performing in the official EMU Holiday video and competing in the 2021 ICCA. 

The Compulsive Lyres is University of Michigan’s premier ensemble when it comes to pathological dishonesty, and a cappella music of course! They are a chaotic family of upbeat, creative, motivated musicians known for their unique arrangements from a variety of different genres. The Lyres bond over their love of music, their losing IM sports record, and their inability to play the instrument that they’re named after. Head to their instagram @thecompulsivelyres for more information and check out their newest single on all music streaming platforms! This inseparable group loves making music, making memories, and making endless “Lyre” puns. Just don't believe anything they say and lyre up! 

The Harmonettes is the University of Michigan’s first a cappella group of women and gender non-conforming individuals. The Harmas have been contributing to the University of Michigan’s ever-growing a cappella community since 1979. Founded originally as an a cappella subset of the UM Women’s Glee Club, the group has since evolved beyond choral music and into its own signature ensemble. Their style ranges from upbeat pop to soulful ballads, all the way to funky classics. They are perpetually developing their sound and never afraid to push musical boundaries. As they produce innovative music with complex rhythms and intricate harmonies, they are also proud to be an inclusive group with tight-knit friendships. Outside of their rehearsals in the Burton Bell Tower, they can be found studying late at the Union and bonding over their love for Skyler Astin (they’ve watched “Pitch Perfect” a few too many times). They value connecting with other a cappella groups to build a supportive and collaborative community. Group members are involved in other student activities and organizations, expanding their network of connections and opportunities. The Harmonettes are beyond excited to compete in ICCA this year and proud to continue the legacy of the members before them. 

The Sopranos is an all-treble ensemble at the University of Michigan dedicated to musical excellence in the a cappella tradition. They are a group of enthusiastic singers who pursue musical harmony in hopes of fostering lasting memories and friendships.



The G-Men, or Gentlemen for long, is a group of friends who love making music together at the University of Michigan. They change, they get older, they come, they go, but their ideals have endured. Since its founding in 1995, The G-Men have become known across the land for their confident  performance style. Despite being dedicated students, natural empaths, and a soccer team recognized at a nearly county-wide level, The G-Men have struggled to accept that existence is ultimately defined by perception. For instance, though history books insist that The G-Men’s mark on collegiate a cappella began only 27 years ago, Prometheus was but a swaddling babe when the first plans for G-Men’s “Mr. Brightside” arrangement began to materialize. Mesopotamian hunter-gatherers hummed the tunes that would eventually become their 2015 album, Abcdefh. Michelangelo dared not paint the Sistine Chapel in shades of blue and white, for fear that a Gentlemanly power might smite him where he stood. The G-Men are committed to an elevated style of performance art, which deconstructs music and spectacle, while entertaining audiences. The Gs definitely weren’t partaking in Super Smash Bros. money matches on a portable Switch backstage five minutes ago.


Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah is an alumna of Ladies First A Cappella at Michigan State University and served as the group's music director for three semesters. While Ewurama was in Ladies First, the group advanced to ICCA Great Lakes Semifinals in 2016 and 2017, the latter during her tenure as music director. Ewurama also served as a board member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, of which she is an alumna, and sang in numerous other choirs. She is currently a member of the University of Michigan Law School Chamber Choir. 

Jordan Rashaun Bilbrew began his music career in his early childhood, studying classical music since age nine. After seven years of attending performing arts schools, he brought his talents to Florida State University as a leader, arranger, and focal soloist for the award-winning group, All-Night Yahtzee. There, he competed in many ICCA and Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) competitions, including an appearance in the 2016 ICCA Finals. Upon graduation, Jordan began as the lead tenor for New York City’s award-winning professional a cappella group, Backtrack Vocals. He has toured, competed, filmed numerous YouTube videos, and was even invited to headline Sing Strong A Cappella Festival. He is on a break from performing professionally to pursue a career in medicine, but is still very passionate about a cappella education! 

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, teaching choral music and music production at Grand Ledge High School and Beagle Middle School, as well as the percussion director and arranger at Walled Lake Northern High School. Dan’s connection to music is ingrained with a deep understanding of vocal and instrumental music that venture into composition as well. His music has been performed by concert bands and choirs ranging from universities such as the University of Georgia, Oakland University, and UC Berkeley, to military bands like the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band. Dan is a former member of The Michigan State University Accafellas and the current director of Grand Ledge High School’s Orion’s Belt. He 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. 

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 CASA festivals. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Petra Bora, Brett Arenberg, The Michigan GMen, the University of Michigan, and Jacob Wesolek; 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

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 Great Lakes 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!