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



Ball State University
Saturday, March 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.


AcousChicks A Cappella of Bowling Green State University was founded in 2015 in response to campus a cappella scene’s lack of an all-female presence (not because of the release of “Pitch Perfect.” They promise). Since then, they’ve expanded the group to include any non-male singers (no boys allowed!). They appeal to a wide variety of audiences and love to get out into the community, singing for audiences ranging from nursing homes to Rocky Horror shows. In the spring of 2022, they put together a huge event on campus called A Cappella for Equality where they brought together all of the BGSU a cappella groups to raise money for a local nonprofit working to eliminate discrimination for those within the LGBTQIA+ community, Equality Toledo. What can they say? These geese love to sing (long story...)! 

The Audio Pilots is University of Dayton's modern all-male a cappella group! Formed in 2014, this group has loved bringing music to the UD community for the past nine years! The Audio Pilots have competed at the ICCA for over five years. Their typical sets include contemporary pop and indie music and the group members come from various majors, ranging from engineering to geosciences. As a group, The Audio Pilots have always prioritized setting a laid-back environment where members can experience a genuine escape from the difficult world of collegiate academics.

On A Side Note is the sole a cappella group of Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Founded in 2016, this group has been passed down through generations of students. In 2020, they received their first award at ICCA Quarterfinals and they’ve been growing ever since! They sing a variety of genres, with a focus on pop. The group is so excited to return to the ICCA stage this year! 

The Purdue AcaBellas from Purdue University were created to add a diverse repertoire to Purdue University's a cappella scene. The Bellas aim to captivate their audiences through soulful, upbeat melodies, and work to promote leadership and development through community engagement. This amazing group was designed to unite music lovers from all backgrounds and strives not to only be a team, but a family.

Purdue Soundtracks A Cappella is a student-run contemporary co-ed a cappella group from Purdue University. Consisting of 18 members, from freshmen to grad students, they represent a variety of majors and musical backgrounds and come together through a shared passion for music. Formed in 2016, PSA arranges and choreographs sets in-house to promote and facilitate creative engagement from all of their members. As an ensemble, they perform both on and off campus for the thrill of performing, the improvement of their musical skills, and hopefully for their audiences’ enjoynment! If you like them and want to see more, they encourage you to connect with them online!

Ten40 Acappella is the premier tenor-bass a cappella group at Bowling Green State University. They have been performing as an independent group since 2010. Although known for their performances within the pop and rock genres, they also sing in a variety of other styles, such as folk, barbershop, hip-hop, country, and traditional choral music. The group prides itself in brotherhood, musicality, and entertainment. Ten40 regularly performs for service and charity events on campus and in the community, including Dance Marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, and St. Baldrick’s. Each year, Ten40 competes in the ICCA, where it has won several individual and group awards over the past eight years. Ten40 also goes on an annual spring tour, spreading the joy of singing to schools and communities throughout Ohio and the Midwest. 

The Parallels is a soprano/alto a cappella group at Ball State University and has been wearing their signature blue shoes since 2015! The Parallels strive to create a home for musicians of different backgrounds to come together and spread joy to everyone they meet through their music. 

The Ransom Notes is Kenyon's premier a cappella group. The Notes was born out of a deep desire to perform outside of the limits of Gambier, Ohio and broke off from their original group to form Kenyon's one and only competitive a cappella group. They sing all genres, from pop to rock to country to jazz and even parody! 

Tonal Eclipse A Cappella is a student-led, mixed a cappella group  and student organization on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. They strive for great musicianship and teamwork in order to make amazing music. They are a family first and always will be. 

Voices of Gold is a brand-new group at Mount St. Joseph University! Directed by Kelsey DeMange, this group of ICHSA alumni, hosts, and aca-nerds is thrilled to join the ICCA world. They love to arrange and create their own music together! Their sets come together organically and they hope this one “sets your heart on fire”! They would like to give a shoutout to Celine Dion, their inspiration and mentor. Here’s to climbing higher!  


Cory Ellis got his a cappella start at Northern Illinois University, where he was a founding member of the all-tenor/bass a cappella group, The NIU Huskie Hunks. Cory received his bachelor's degrees in music from Northern Illinois University and Western Illinois University, where he studied instrumental music education. Cory currently serves as the director of choral music at Rochelle Township High School, where he leads two curricular choirs and Midnight Voices, the school's vocal jazz ensemble. He is also a member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band. Cory has been judging with Varsity Vocals for seven years. 

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 Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) festivals. 

Tiffin University professor BK Riha is an a cappella arranger, producer, vocalist, vocal percussionist, and live looper. Her innovative yet accessible arrangements have been performed by vocal groups in over 30 countries. BK currently teaches commercial voice, music theory, and a cappella at Tiffin University's Creative Arts Institute, where she also assists with recruitment. BK is also the director, producer, arranger, and vocal percussionist for Zero to Sixty, northeast Ohio's summer a cappella group. BK received a Master of Music in choral conducting at Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in music theory and voice performance from Ashland University. She has also taken coursework in music education and jazz arranging. 

Katie Schuman has been performing onstage since age six and is still in love with live performance. She holds a Bachelor of Music in musical theatre from Florida State University, where she was a member of All-Night Yahtzee from 2002-2006. With ANY, she won multiple Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arrangement awards at the Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds of ICCA. She also served as ANY's music director from 2004-2006, during which time the group first advanced to ICCA Finals in New York. She co-founded the semi-professional a cappella group, Threadbare, an experiment in long-distance a cappella collaboration. Katie continues to perform and teach in the Indianapolis area, where she lives with her husband and daughter. To all of tonight’s competitors: break a leg! 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Ella Rastatter, Ball State University, ACA at Ball State, and tonight's guest performers Alayna Whitis and Zachariah Jones; 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 Midwest 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!