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



Wellesley High School
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.


Alden Street A Cappella is an all-gender group of Springfield College students with a shared passion for singing who come together to make music. As the only a cappella group on their athletically driven campus, they strive to perform a variety of genres for all audiences to enjoy. Some of their favorites to perform are pop, indie folk, folk-pop, and pop R&B, bringing a vibrant energy to any song they take on. Coming from a small, private institution, the group strives to create a holistic singing experience. Each group member truly lives by the Springfield College philosophy of humanics every day. Humanics is defined as educating students in spirit, mind, and body with leadership and service to others. They are honored to perform at ICCA again and show what it means to be a Springfield College student and a member of Alden Street A Cappella. 

The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones is an award-winning, all-gender, contemporary a cappella group at Harvard College, founded in 1985 by a co-ed group of students including Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino. The Veritones have toured around the world and have competed since 2015, winning recognition for their soloists, choreography, and vocal percussion. They also have a new album, with “Leave The Door Open” as the lead single, currently out on all music streaming platforms. 

Hawkward is the Roger Williams University auditioned co-ed a cappella group. Consisting of 18 fulltime students and passionate singers, this group is made up of unique individuals who lead diverse lives but come together to share their love of music and performing. They pride themselves on being a close-knit family who supports one another onstage, in rehearsals, around campus, and even after graduation. They aim to create the best sound possible through their blend, arrangements, dynamics, and personality. Coming from a school that does very little to support the arts, they have become a self-sufficient team for 11 years and still going strong. Hawkward has booked a consistent lineup of gigs across campus and beyond Roger Williams. From annual events, concerts, services, and sports games, to celebrations, invitationals, and private events, they happily take advantage of any opportunity to perform and share their love for a cappella. After attending their first ICCA in 2020 and progressing to Semifinals, they are thrilled for the opportunity to compete again. Leave it to Hawkward to light up a room with their group's love for music. 

The Potsdam Pointercounts is SUNY Potsdam's premier all-basso a cappella group. They sing music arranged for voices tenor to bass, regardless of gender. The group was founded in 1993 as a barbershop quintet called The Ripchords, and has since grown into a contemporary a cappella group. They often sing pop music from the past 50 years but also dabble in barbershop arrangements, Disney showtunes, and theme songs. The group's mission is to bring education and love of music to future generations by touring schools for workshops and performances to get students in grades K-12 interested and excited about singing. 

Stay Tuned is one of SUNY Potsdam's official co-ed, gender-neutral a cappella groups. They are a close-knit family of music lovers, bringing their take on a cappella music to the public. The group was formed in October of 2012 by SUNY Potsdam students who sought to bring together musicians to create a totally new group on campus. Since then, Stay Tuned’s goal has been to redefine a cappella music through their original arrangements, broad repertoire (including many genres that aren't largely represented), and the members’ individuality, creating a unique a cappella experience. 

The Harvard Callbacks is one of Harvard University’s premier all-gender a cappella groups! Founded in the fall of 1986 as an independent, student-run group, The Callbacks create enriching musical experiences through their original arrangements and live performances. The group seeks to foster a vibrant musical atmosphere at Harvard by offering stellar performances on and off campus and engaging with the school’s performing arts community. Over the years, The Callbacks' musicality, reputation, and community has grown and continues to diversify the a cappella scene at Harvard and beyond. They have received national recognition for their unique and challenging arrangements, impressive soloists, and quality recordings from ICCA, the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), BOCA, and Voices Only. The Callbacks also tour annually, both domestically and abroad, perform at functions in and around the Boston area, and hold a concert in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theater each semester. Most importantly, The Callbacks are proud to foster a familial environment and shared love of music among its members. The Callbacks prepared an incredible performance for  this year’s ICCA and hope to showcase their passion for music, friendship, and fun. 

The Hawkettes is an a cappella group singing SSAA arrangements, formed at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the spring of 2014. As a tight-knit group of fun-loving and hard-working women from several different majors and class years, each member adds their own personality and voice to the ensemble. The group's focus is sharing their love of and passion for music with the community and creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all members, including those who are LGBTQ+. Every year, The Hawkettes put on an annual women's empowerment event to share their mission with all of the UMass Lowell community. The Hawkettes perform at a variety of events throughout the year, both on and off campus. They are one of the most recorded groups on campus, with an EP, Lavandula, and a hit single "Here." Their newest single, "Who Do You Love," was released in fall 2019. Their entirely student-created arrangements provide a fresh take on popular songs. In February 2020, The Hawkettes had their ICCA debut! 

The Potsdam Pitches was founded in the fall of 2007 when a group of four students, Bryan Elsesser, Jordan Bell, Justin Stockslager, and Pamela Jacovina, joined to start the first successful mixed a cappella group on the SUNY Potsdam Campus. Within a month, the team of four became a group of 10 students who named themselves The Potsdam Pitches. The group ultimately became an organization built on a love of singing and had their debut performance at the Vaudevillian Invitational in Potsdam, N.Y., in November 2007. In the winter of 2008, the group expanded their power and size to 12. On April 18, 2008, The Potsdam Pitches hosted their first annual spring invitational in collaboration with Potsdam’s A Sharp Arrangement and McGill University’s Soulstice. In the fall of 2008, they became a group of 19, the largest a cappella group on the SUNY Potsdam campus. They now exhibit a blend and harmony that introduces “A Cappella on a Whole Different Pitch.” 

Vocality is Umass Lowell's only gender-inclusive a cappella group. They foster a welcoming environment of creative people with a common goal to express themselves through thoughtfully arranged music provided by past and present group members. They put a new spin on each and every song that they perform, delivering captivating and ear-catching performances.


Nina Pelligra is best known for her a cappella looper covers and solo a cappella recordings. Having a background in vocal jazz and theatre, her vocals are dynamic and bright. Her arrangements have the complexity of her jazz and theatre roots and the power and structure of her favorite alternative rock hits. Her songwriting style is inspired by great poets with a similar vocal style, such as Sarah Bareilles, John Mayer, and Ingrid Michaelson. Follow her on Instagram and TikTok @ninapelligra and Facebook under Nina Pelligra A Cappella.


Jessica Chen is the Senior Director of Development and External Relations at the Community Music Center of Boston. Prior to her current role, she received her M.A. in child study and human development from Tufts University and worked in various roles at Tufts, ZUMIX, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. In the contemporary a cappella community, Jessica serves as the Executive Producer for the NE Voices Festival and as the Director of Awards for the CASA. Other interests include video games, Boston sports, and all dogs ever. 

Mackenzie Cohn has been part of the a cappella community since she began college, where she sang with the all-female group, The Girls Next Door, at The College of Saint Rose, winning both an ICCA Outstanding Soloist award and a Contemprary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nomination for Best Solo. After four years of performing, competing, and recording a CARA-nominated album with GND, she went on to join Cape Harmony, Cape Cod's premier professional all-female a cappella group. She spent three amazing summers as Cape Harmony's social media manager and reliable lady-bass, and remains involved in the professional a cappella world as Director of Outreach for Cut Off Studios. In her rare moments of free time outside of a cappella commitments, Mackenzie enjoys traveling, re-reading the “Harry Potter” series, and baking as many confectionery treats as her kitchen will allow. 

David Ko holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in music therapy from Florida State University. In his undergraduate years, he was an active member of FSU's Reverb, serving as the group's music director from 2011 to 2013. During his two years as music director, Reverb went on to win multiple Outstanding Arrangement awards, two ICCA South Quarterfinals, and one South Semifinal, plus 4th place overall at ICCA Finals. David currently works in eastern Connecticut, where he is the assistant director of Progressions Music Therapy services. He works on commissions for choral and a cappella arrangements for high school, collegiate, and professional groups in his spare time. 

Anthony Pulido is an arranger and director for Uproar, a Boston-based, professional a cappella group. He attended Northeastern University, where he directed and arranged for The Unisons. He also records and workshops groups and artists in the greater Northeast region, notably at festivals such as Boston Sings (BOSS), NE Voices, and Haunted Harmonies. You can also find him as the third member of the “Head/Voice” podcast team. Check out the podcast to hear Anthony discuss a cappella with other members of the community. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Wellesley High School and Kevin McDonald; 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 Northeast 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!