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 Wisconsin
Saturday, February 11th, 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.


As the University of Minnesota’s oldest gender-inclusive a cappella group, 7Days A Cappella is proud to have a rich history of strong music quality, performance, and a national presence. Founded in 2003 by Anthony Brown and Brienne Foyt, 7Days began as an opportunity for a diverse group of students to connect over their love of music and performance. The group regularly competes in ICCA and has a history of success, notably winning Outstanding Soloist, Vocal Percussionist, and Arrangement, as well as 1st place at the 2020 Great Lakes Quarterfinals, pre-pandemic. They also recently released an EP, At the Water’s Edge, which is available  on all streaming platforms. In terms of community and values, 7Days A Cappella works hard to spread the joy of music on campus and across the region. The group frequently performs at concerts, professional events, meetings, and high schools around the Twin Cities area. They also travel to other universities to guest perform and collaborate with other top groups in the area and around the country.

Basses Wild A Cappella is the premier tenor/bass group at the University of Minnesota. They love singing the old classics that everyone loves, as well as experimental songs that highlight their solo voices. They perform year-round at the University of Minnesota campus for various events and at their winter and spring concerts. They also finished their first EP, Bass of Spades, this past summer. 

The Gold ‘n Blues, commonly known as GnB, began with nine students and a small keyboard in the basement of McCormick in early 2008. As freshmen, Hilary Braseth and Katie Blazek were disappointed with the lack of singing opportunities on campus, because the only a cappella group was The Naturals, Marquette's all-male group. They decided to gauge interest at an MU Chorus rehearsal and found seven other interested students. The rest is history! Since then, GnB has blossomed into a 17-member group and exploded in recognition on campus and city-wide. From singing at the Best of the Midwest a cappella concert at Northwestern University to the national anthem at a Miami Heat v. Bucks game, GnB has come a long way from open mic nights at the Brew (which they still love). In 2022, GnB competed in their first ICCA and received 3rd place at their Great Lakes Quarterfinal, as well as Outstanding Soloist (Lourdes Galido) and Outstanding Vocal Percussion (Carson Scarnegie). Gold 'n Blues is committed to spreading their love for music around Marquette’s campus and the Milwaukee area. Now in its 14th year, GnB continues to arrange their own music and has recorded four studio albums. 

Parkside Range is the flagship ensemble of the Contemporary Commercial Music - Voice program at UW-Parkside. This contemporary a cappella group performs songs from popular genres of music. Students have opportunities to write original compositions, arrange pieces, and provide group management and artistic leadership. Founded in 2016, the group has appeared at SoJam’s A Cappella Festival in Durham, N.C. and at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis, Tenn. They can also be heard on Acaville Radio. The group has worked with professional clinicians and vocal bands such as Tony Huerta/Sonic Audio, Edge Effect, Six Appeal, Freedom’s Boombox, and Christopher Diaz. They perform on and off campus and provide how-to-a-cappella clinics at festivals such as The Tall Tales Music Festival in Burlington, Wis. They are the host group of A Cappella University, an annual summer camp at UW-Parkside dedicated to teaching middle and high school a cappella singers and music educators alike. 

Established in March of 2022, Public Hearing is UW-Milwaukee's one and only contemporary a cappella group. Many group members have previous ICHSA experience in groups such as GET’s Vocal Point and Port Washington’s Limited Edition. UW-Milwaukee previously lacked a collegiate a cappella scene, so this group’s mission is to set an example for their campus and build a community just as vibrant as UW-Madison. Although primarily composed of freshmen, Public Hearing is a diverse and incredibly inclusive environment. As the name “Public Hearing” suggests, they often tackle music that is anthemic or has undertones of political justice. They also like experimenting with genres and sing anything from pop to country, rock, and even hip-hop. Their vocal style can be described as both passionate and technical and they devote much rehearsal time to discussing the meaning of their music and how to communicate the emotions behind it. They hope to share those emotions and stories with you, as their story is yet to be written. 

The Enchantments is an all-treble-voice group that strives to allow space for various identities at the University of Minnesota to come together and create music. The Enchantments represent students of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and engage with the wider community. They enjoy performing at concerts, community events, fundraisers, and competitive performances, like ICCA and Battle of the Vox, and being a source of entertainment for the community.

Through innovative musical arrangements and choreography, The Meladies, Marquette University’s premier women’s a cappella group, has been captivating audiences with high-energy performances since its foundation in 2012. Together, they are a sisterhood of passionate women who strive to create a space for all voices to be heard. The group has grown into one of Milwaukee's principal vocal ensembles and performs for audiences across the Midwest. In a few short years, The Meladies have taken great strides and do not intend to slow down. With humble beginnings, The Meladies (who affectionately refer to themselves as Mels) began performing on campus and at charity events and held their first concert in a Marquette Hall lecture room. Now, the group has competed in the ICCA, recorded their own music, filled up the Varsity Theater at Marquette, and even performed at Fiserv Forum for a Marquette men’s basketball game. Currently, The Meladies includes 12 talented undergraduate students who love making music together from various genres and eras. This tight-knit group is proud to write their own creative arrangements. The Mels recorded their first solo EP in celebration of their 10-year anniversary this past winter. Keep up with the Mels on social media @mumeladies! 

The Marquette Naturals is the premier all-male a cappella ensemble at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. They have been singing as a group for 20 years, providing energized a cappella performances to surrounding areas and making the most of every moment. At their concerts, they have appeared as greasers, athletes, and cowboys, but above all else, they believe everybody looks better in a bowtie. From having fun at rehearsal to touring the Midwest area with engaging concerts, they have fostered a group dynamic that is nothing short of a brotherhood. They look forward to competing in ICCA again this year as a group of best friends who love to sing together. 

Under A-Rest is a gender-inclusive a cappella group composed of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Under A-Rest, or “UAR,” is UW-Madison’s newest competitive a cappella group who loves entertaining new audiences each year, performing in venues all over the region. Last year was Under A-Rest's first year competing at in-person ICCA Quarterfinals and they are thrilled to be back! Throughout the year, they do gigs, hold concerts, and have a winter tour to high schools around the state. Aside from those events, they dedicate many hours to ICCA and could not be more excited to showcase their hard work. This year, they hope to record and publish their very first album! Keep an eye on their social media for future updates about their members and upcoming fun activities. Under A-Rest is super excited for this year’s ICCA and can't wait to witness many talented groups and perform for an amazing audience! 

As the youngest group on the University of Minnesota campus, Urban Sound has brought new competition to the a cappella community. Urban Sound is a student-run, gender-inclusive a cappella ensemble at the University of Minnesota. The group provides singers an opportunity to combine their love of singing with meaningful outreach. Urban Sound entertains audiences of both the U of M and Twin Cities areas with concerts, events, and benefits. Urban Sound strives to engage with the community through service and awareness of local issues. Each year, the group collectively selects a charity they all strongly support and a portion of the season's showcase proceeds go towards this respected foundation. 



Fundamentally Sound is an inclusive, lower-voiced collegiate a cappella group made up of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their repertoire consists of current hits and older tunes, alongside their personal favorite songs, in order to create a fun, musically diverse, and entertaining atmosphere for their audiences. Fundamentally Sound (or FS) was founded in 2005 and has since enjoyed performing at several varieties of venues including group meetings, company dinners, social gatherings, weddings, university events, ICCA, and more.


Maggie Condon is a music educator currently teaching high school choir in Wauwatosa, Wis. She earned her B.F.A. in music education from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Master of Music Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Maggie has directed, served as a clinician, and arranged for many high school a cappella groups, and notably directed the 2019 Great Lakes Semifinals 3rd place group, Graftonics. Outside of a cappella, Maggie teaches and coaches contemporary voice through musical theatre and private lessons. She is thrilled to be joining the outstanding Varsity Vocals team as an adjudicator and looks forward to hearing all the students perform! 

Laura Kruschke has been involved in a cappella since her college days at UW-Madison, where she sang with Tangled Up in Blue and earned her degree in music education. In 2007, she participated in launching the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) and founded greenTONE A Cappella in fall 2007. gT is 10 members strong today and sings for a variety of local events, including weddings, holiday parties, fundraisers, and flash mobs. In addition to gT, Laura continues to offer her expertise to local high school choirs through workshops and group coaching. In addition to Laura’s aca-involvement, she arranges music for local high school show choir and a cappella groups, sings and plays saxophone in a local band, teaches yoga, and wears many other hats as a mom to three busy school-aged kids. 

Benjamin Lebovitz, a graduate of the University of Arizona, is an experienced arranger, clinician, and educator. As Arizona's ambassador to the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) and with the state's chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), he organizes regional festivals for collegiate and high school ensembles while regularly facilitating at music educator conferences. A National Board Certified Teacher in music, Ben taught at Walden Grove High School for seven years prior to returning to the classroom. Today, he is a Ph.D. student in education and an active musician in Madison, Wis. 

Heather Newkirk 
is a proud alumna of Syracuse University's Main Squeeze, for whom she sang, arranged, choreographed, and did vocal percussion. Since graduating, Heather has remained active in the a cappella world as social media coordinator for Boston Sings (BOSS), Program Manager of Social Media for CASA, associate producer of Voices Only, and an instructor for workshops and masterclasses at a cappella festivals nationwide. She has won ICCA awards for Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Vocal Percussion as a college student and Varsity Vocals has held a special place in her heart ever since. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank The University of Wisconsin Union Theatre, Fundamentally Sound, and cheese; 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!