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



Washington University in St. Louis
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.


After Dark is a non-themed, all-gender a cappella group from Washington University in St. Louis. They have released five studio albums and are currently recording their sixth. Since their founding in 2001, After Dark has been a group of close-knit students from all kinds of different musical backgrounds. After Dark sings everything from pop to R&B to indie, with songs from artists like Giveon, Florence and the Machine, The Beatles, and Billie Eilish. Whatever the song is, they love singing together and will take any opportunity to do so. They have performed all over the country and put on their own concerts every semester; most notably, their two-night annual spring concert, “A Light From the Darkness” and a joint concert in the fall. Some members of After Dark have been singing since the day they were born, while others have just started. Outside of the group, some members are involved with choir, opera, jazz bands, rock bands, and musical theatre. They all contribute to every performance, through original arrangements, choreography, design, and leadership. Even with all their interests, they share a common love of music. 

Bare Naked Statues is Saint Louis University's all-male a cappella group. Founded in the fall of 2000, they have gained a strong reputation among the SLU community for innovative style, musical talent, and creative performances. Performing everything from Beyonce and Ariana Grande to the classics like Frank Sinatra and Little Feat, their variety of musical selections and unique stylistic arrangements sets BNS apart from other collegiate a cappella groups. BNS aims to bring a cappella music to the St. Louis community. In 2014, The Statues advanced to ICCA Finals, allowing them the opportunity to perform in New York City's Town Hall. Their newest studio extended play, Stripped, is currently available on iTunes and Spotify. 

Beyond All Reason is Saint Louis University's first and only female-identifying a cappella group. Currently made up of 17 members, they are extremely excited to be celebrating their 20th anniversary this year! They perform at various events throughout the year and sing songs from many different artists and genres of music. They are especially passionate about their group's camaraderie and they put on a number of fun events such as Aca-prom and BAR-bonding throughout the school year. 

Decadence A Cappella is a co-ed group from Saint Louis University founded in 2010. For over a decade, they have made music on SLU’s campus from various genres like pop, rock, and R&B. Outside of the music, they love spending time together and celebrating their deca-family. They often plan group outings and maintain a long tradition of decadates to get to know every member better. Above all else, they emphasize their passion for music through their commitment to a fun and welcoming environment! 

The Iowa Hawkapellas is a non-academic, woman-identifying student organization on the campus of the University of Iowa, established in 2001. The mission of the Iowa Hawkapellas is to come together as one voice in a cappella to entertain the University of Iowa campus and greater Iowa City community through song. The group consists of 18 women, singing SSAA arrangements. They specialize in a wide variety of music, ranging from pop to jazz to rock

Mosaic Whispers is the oldest all-gender a cappella group at Washington University in St. Louis. Whispers compete nationally, most recently winning ICCA Quarterfinals in 2020 where they also won Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arrangement. Whispers were honored to be the only WashU group invited to the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in 2019 and to perform at ICCA Finals in 2016. You can check out their award-winning albums on all streaming platforms or by visiting their website: 

The Sensasians is an opportunity for Washington University students to bridge Western and Asian culture through contemporary a cappella. They love exploring Asian music, striving for musical excellence, and developing a richer understanding of their identities. The Sensasians was originally founded in 2009 by Phoebe Tran and Lisa Ma as an Asian choir, intended to bridge the differences between Asians and non-Asians in the community. In the spring of 2014, the group applied to join the A Cappella Advisory Council (ACAC) and officially became a part of ACAC during the following fall. In 2015, they began competing in the ICCA and first reached the Semifinal round in spring 2016! In 2017, the group voted to make “Story of My Life” their alumni song. This arrangement is a mashup of original songs by One Direction and Jay Chou. The song is now preserved on their debut EP, The New Kids on the Wok ( check it out on Spotify!). They also released a second mini-album called 21st Sentury during the spring of 2018. The Sensasians has become more and more diverse over the years, ntentionally bridging the musical and cultural gaps between Asian and non-Asian students.

Six Eight is a co-ed, Christian/spiritual a cappella group committed to performing music from a wide variety of genres, grounded in the Christian perspective, for the greater glory of God and the service of the SLU community. They aim to be a strong Christian witness among the performance groups and in the SLU community. Their threefold mission, ministry, worship, and entertainment, guides their selection of repertoire and spirit of performance. As an inclusive Christian community, they seek to maintain an atmosphere of respect, creativity, and collaboration. 

The Washington University Amateurs was founded in 1991 by a group of friends who shared a love of music. Today, the group is an award-winning, all-gender collegiate a cappella group. In 2020, The Amateurs opened for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular in New York’s Radio City Music Hall. A regular presence in ICCA, The Amateurs won both Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Arrangement at the 2019 ICCA Midwest Semifinals and won 1st place in the 2017 ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals. The Amateurs travel across the country to perform and compete in national a cappella festivals, including Voice Jam, America’s Got Talent, and the docuseries, “Sing it On!” The Amateurs have released nine studio albums to date, and recently released a new single, “Hypotheticals.” Their annual concert, Goin’ Pro, is a highly anticipated campus event where they proudly showcase their hard work and welcome back alumni. No matter what they do, The Amateurs stay true to their motto: “Do it because you love it.” They sing for the sake of singing and see each other as a home away from home.


Viva Voce is a treble-voice a cappella group at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 2016, Viva Voce is an extracurricular group of highly dedicated students who come together to share their love of a cappella music with their peers and community. 


Carter Datz is a music educator, composer, arranger, and performer. While attending Truman State University to attain his B.A. in music composition, M.A. in choral conducting, and M.A. in music education, Carter directed and arranged for the male a cappella group, True Men. Carter has written over 40 arrangements and original compositions for various a cappella groups, choirs, and other instuments. Carter currently serves as the choir director at Liberty High School in Wentzville, Mo. 

Taylor Hawkins is a lifelong vocalist and has worked with a cappella groups in academic settings across Missouri. He was a part of The True Men at Truman State University, where he received both a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in education. He is currently in One Too Many A Cappella here in St Louis. He is an elementary music teacher at Parkway South, where he leads multiple choirs. 

Drew Mizell is a professional vocalist and educator born and raised in St Louis, Mo., where he grew up surrounded by music. Drew first fell in love with a cappella in high school when he joined his first competitive singing group and won Outstanding Arrangement at his first ICHSA competition. Since then, music has been a cornerstone of his life. After graduating with a B.F.A. in musical theatre from AMDA in Los Angeles, he began working as a professional vocalist locally in Los Angeles and eventually internationally onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines Limited. Now he has settled back in St Louis where he teaches musical theatre voice at Gateway Center for Performing Arts and performs locally. 

Alex Smith graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in music. During his undergrad, Alex performed and toured nationally and internationally with the Missouri State University Chorale. He also sang in the men's chorus, choral union, and multicultural ensemble. Alex was a member of The Missouri State University Hibernotes from 2017-2020. He performed in four ICCA seasons throughout those years, winning a Midwest Quarterfinal in 2018. Alex currently works at Missouri State University as an administrative assistant in the music department. Along with this position, Alex works with Cut Off Studios as the Director of Client Retention and is a clinician and arranger for the studio. He currently sings with the Queen City Chorale, Springfield Chamber Chorus, and is a choral scholar at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Mo. 

Aiyana Williams is a graduate of Missouri State University with a Bachelors of Music in vocal performance. Studying under lyric soprano Dr. Carol Chapman, Aiyana competed and placed in many vocal competitions, including 2nd place in the national round of NATS in 2018. Aiyana was a member of Missouri State University's all-treble a cappella group, A Cub Bella. She was the music director for two years, as well as their vocal percussionist during that time. After college, she moved to Southeast Missouri and sang as a worship leader for two years in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Aiyana currently lives outside of Nashville and is pursuing a career in studio music.


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Washington University 560 Staff, Viva Voce, Ovya Diwakaran, Rory Lustberg, and Danielle Sutherland; 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!