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



The Carolina Theatre
Saturday, February 4th, 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.


Acappology is the premier all-gender a cappella group from North Carolina State University. Founded in 1994, they are a group of singers from different disciplines and backgrounds with a shared goal to promote a cappella appreciation in their communities. Acappology strives to create music from all genres, reflecting the diversity of its membership. They aim to tell stories that connect people from all walks of life, bringing them together through music and visual performance. Their repertoire, whether arranged collaboratively or by individual group members, is crafted with the group’s intricate aesthetic in mind. Their  music is always evolving and each performance explores new possibilities of musical styles and imaginative blends. They encourage music appreciation for their audiences as well as their own group members, expanding their musical palettes by learning from one another. Acappology is a tight-knit family and they strive to showcase that bond in their performances. They keep in performance shape through gigs and opportunities around their community, on campus, and across the state of North Carolina. 

Chordination A Cappella came together in 2020 in hopes of building a community where students can develop and share their talents. In a few short years, the mixed-voice group has competed at ICCA, earned 1st place at their 2021 South Quarterfinal, represented NC State music at conferences such as LENS, and performed in gigs to promote music throughout their community. Most recently, Chordination released their first album, Growing Pains, featuring five songs that they worked hard to craft and perfect as a group. 

Established in 2013, Extreme Measures (EM) is Christopher Newport University's competitive co-ed a cappella group. EM has traveled all over Virginia, participating in the ICCA, Richmond Rhythm, hosted by The Virginia Commonwealth University Ramifications, and L.E.N.S. hosted by Cut Off Studios. On campus, EM holds a place in the welcoming CNU a cappella community, notably performing in the annual Glow in the Darcappella and hosting their Blue Tie Affair invitational. EM is full of dedicated and talented musicians and the group doubles as a second family to its members. With a mission to spread their passion for singing, EM works diligently inside and outside of the rehearsal hall to provide the world with music curated from all of their hearts. 

The Grains of Time is North Carolina’s oldest all-men’s collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1968 at North Carolina State University, they have a legacy of spreading joy to their school and around North Carolina. In 1966, the NCSU Men’s Quartet was created as a subset of the Varsity Men’s Glee Club. By 1968, director Milton Bliss saw a need for a smaller group to supplement Glee Club shows and incorporated the inaugural eight members into what eventually became Grains of Time. The group has since broadened their repertoire from choral music and oldies to country, hip-hop, pop, and a whole lot of Ariana Grande. Grains has also become a 100% student-led organization. While embracing change, the group continues to uphold their history of camaraderie. Today, The Grains entertain by holding concerts, singing for student events at NC State, joining with a cappella groups at other universities, and taking gigs around North Carolina. From fire department holiday parties to high school basketball referee conferences, no gig is off limits. They record, compete, and have toured Europe and competed in Japan. Most recently, they partnered with Kidznotes to hold a benefit concert for students who need support accessing music education. 

The Ladies in Red is NC State’s treble-voiced gender-inclusive student-led a cappella group, based in the beautiful capital city of Raleigh, N.C. Founded in 1993, they remain NC State's only all-treble group. The group includes women and nonbinary students from all different backgrounds, musical experiences, and fields of study. They showcase many different styles of music, including pop, R&B, oldies, country, alternative, indie, and more! They take great pride in the opportunities they have to perform at university events like the NC State commencement ceremonies, alumni events, pep rallies, fundraisers, concerts, festivals, and others. They also perform at events around Raleigh, throughout the triangle area, and beyond, for charity events, athletic events, corporate celebrations, and weddings! 

No Ceiling is a competitive all-gender a cappella group from William & Mary based in Williamsburg, Va. Although the group was only founded in 2015, there has been no ceiling or limit to their sound. They pride themselves on their unique arrangements that showcase every one of their voices. For the first time this year, No Ceiling will be performing arrangements by members of the group in a competition setting. Group members have been part of the collaborative arrangement process before, but they are excited to put those skills on full display. The group highlights members' musical skills in the arrangements, as well as their strong choreography. Most No Ceiling members are also involved in other a cappella groups on campus! This allows them to build foundational skills such as blending, dynamics, and arranging in their own groups, and then come together as No Ceiling for competitions. No Ceiling has been fortunate enough to qualify for ICCA Semifinals in every year of in-person competition since their founding. Additionally, they placed 2nd in 2018 Semifinals and 4th in 2022. They are so excited for the opportunity to compete again in this year’s ICCA. 

Ramifications is the premier, award winning a cappella group on VCU's Monroe Park Campus. Founded in 2009, the group started out as the Compass Singers, but officially changed their name to The Ramifications by the Summer of 2010. Nine years later, The Ramifications have only grown in talent and notoriety and have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on VCU's campus. The Ramifications host Richmond Rhythm, Virginia's very own annual collegiate a cappella invitational, and have competed and performed all around Virginia. In 2018, they were the first group from Virginia Commonwealth University to advance to the ICCA and placed 1st at their 2022 ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal, securing themselves a spot in Semifinals. 

The Notochords is VCU's oldest award-winning gender-inclusive a cappella ensemble that embodies family, harmony, and originality. The group was founded on the MCV campus in 1992 and is now based on the Monroe Park campus. The Notochords participate in competitions and perform all around the state of Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic area. In 2021, they won 1st place in their ICCA Quarterfinal, in addition to the awards for Outstanding Arrangement, Soloist, Choreography, Videography, and progressed on to Semifinals. The following year, they received 3rd place for their second time competing. They have released two singles, which are now accessible across all streaming platforms. The Notochords are excited to take on new challenges, share their music with audiences, and continue to create a welcoming and energetic environment for the VCU Community. 

Founded in 2011, Vital Signs began as a small school club at Elon University in Elon, N.C. Over the last decade, they’ve grown into a unique and electric a cappella group! Welcoming all identities, Vital Signs A Cappella is made up of unique individuals with a passion for making great music and forming a strong community. They recently competed in ICCA, receiving 2nd place in their 2022 South Quarterfinal. Last spring, they had the opportunity to sing at Carowinds to celebrate World Wish Day with the Make-A-Wish foundation. Their latest release, V.S.X (Live), can be streamed on all music platforms. 

Wolfgang is an all-gender a cappella group at NC State University created to build exceptional musical experiences. They e sing a variety of pieces that aim to foster creativity, while building a unified sound and a close-knit dynamic. Their music has been described as powerful, inspiring, and meaningful. They strive to promote personal growth, incite originality, and foster a diverse group of individuals with a common love for music. 


Jessica Efird was a member of Duke University's Sapphire for five years and missed the collaborative nature of a cappella after graduation. After a year in a community a cappella group called The Raleigh Jaychords, she co-founded Second Shift A Cappella in 2007. Second Shift has now been performing in the triangle region of North Carolina for 16 years, during which time Jessica has served multiple terms as the group’s business director and musical co-director. 

Lauren France has been a multifaceted fixture in the a cappella community for the past 12 years, serving as a performer, arranger, choreographer, master class clinician, and taking on various leadership roles. She is passionate about giving back, especially by working with and supporting students and other newcomers to the a cappella world. As a student at Elon University, Lauren sang with Sweet Signatures, went on to sing with the Contemporary A Cappella League’s (CAL) Empire A Cappella in New York City for four years, and currently sings with the semi-professional group VXN. Over the years, Lauren has been exposed to a wide range of a cappella groups, styles, and competitive formats, by attending and assisting with more festivals and competitions that she can count. She believes that these opportunities not only reinforce the realms of what's possible in a cappella, but also helps a cappella experts and super-fans appreciate the dual challenge of creating an innovative set while executing a clean and polished performance. She is excited for tonight’s competitors to rise to this challenge and is thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to the ICCA! 

Amitha Koski is a "sopraltenor" and instrumentalist with over 20 years of musical performance experience. She has sung a cappella for the past 10 years with Saint Louis University's Beyond All Reason, Duke University's Something Borrowed Something Blue, and currently with the North Carolina triangle area's Second Shift. She competed in the 2014 ICCA Midwest Quarterfinals and has served as music director, choreographer, and arranger in each of her a cappella groups. When not rehearsing, she enjoys playing any instrument she can get her hands on and harmonizing to the radio. 

According to legend (i.e. her parents), Amy Pruitt was singing before she could speak. She discovered her love of a cappella at the ripe old age of nine at a cast party (she was playing one of the Cratchit children in a high school production of “Scrooge”). The summer before Amy's freshman year of high school, she began an unbroken streak of continuously singing in a cappella groups that would go on for the next 20 years. Highlights include busking with her high school group, The Blue Belles, on the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Fringe Festival, and singing to a crowd of over 20,000 at UNC's Keenan Stadium for their 4th of July celebration. In between, she proudly arranged, performed, and competed in ICCA tournaments with her college group, Amazin' Blue. She attended both New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the University of Michigan and performed in the professional groups Transit Vocal Band and Avante Vocal Jazz. Speaking of incredible a cappella singers who graduated from the University of Michigan, Amy's participation tonight is in honor of her dear friend, Jim Diego. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Forecast and The Carolina Theatre staff; 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 South 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!