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



Carolina Theatre
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.


Juxtaposition is Virginia Tech’s premier all-male a cappella group. Since its establishment in 1994, Juxtaposition has produced 14 studio albums, including their most recent, Thrill of the Chase. Juxtaposition loves to travel to colleges all along the East Coast, performing their wide repertoire of hits. However, their favorite gigs are always when they perform in Blacksburg for their fellow Hokies! 

Cockappella is the oldest co-ed a cappella group at the University of South Carolina. Although the group is made up of an eclectic group of students, they are bound by a common passion for music. They perform on and off campus at events and showcases and they strive to grow and improve every year. 

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. 

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. 

Vanderbilt University's Spectrum A Cappella is a competitive fusion a cappella team that promotes diverse cultures by blending pop music from around the globe. Spectrum competed at the national A3 championships in San Antonio, Texas in 2022. Spectrum competes in both the A3 and ICCA circuits and has traveled across the nation to compete in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Austin. The team also collaborates with other organizations to showcase its annual spring and fall concerts to perform and involve students across campus. 

Mixed Mode is an all-gender group at the University of Central Florida. Mixed Mode was founded back in 2015 by members of other UCF groups who felt they were in search of something more. Through the years, Mixed Mode continued that mentality of always looking for something more in the a cappella community. Mixed Mode strives to find new musical and visual ways to create innovative a cappella. With that mindset, Mixed Mode has been able to succeed in both the competition and recording worlds and they are excited to continue that path with their newest generation of artists. 

The Pitchmen is Belmont University's male-identifying a cappella group from Nashville, Tenn. From ICCA Finals in 2020 to their debut album, Ultraviolet, The Pitchmen have quickly become a group to watch. In less than a decade, the student-run group has set themselves apart with their dedication to their craft and to one another. Encompassing the modern Nashville sound, they pride themselves on singing a broad range of music that offers something different for every audience to enjoy. Beyond their musicianship, The Pitchmen are adored for their authenticity. The group members represent diverse backgrounds and bring an array of unique talents and perspectives. The Pitchmen recognize the importance of each member of their team and are empowered by their differences. In November, they traveled all the way to Ohio to perform at the University of Cincinnati's Acafest for the third time. Whether they're performing at a house show, festival, or sold-out theater, The Pitchmen love to take every opportunity to interact with and expand their community. The group is excited to be returning to ICCA this year and they cannot wait for you to experience The Pitchmen charm. 

Ascension is a mixed ensemble in their fourth year from East Tennessee State University. Founded in 2019, Ascension loves to perform music from across all different decades for everyone to enjoy. 

Accent (formerly known as No Southern Accent) is the University of Florida's all-gender premier a cappella group, established in 2001. Accent is excited for this opportunity to compete at the ICCA and are proud to say that their entire set was created by current group members, including arrangements and choreography. Knowing how specific and unique this piece is to them has enhanced their personal connection to this performance. Last year, they released two singles that can be found on all streaming platforms along with their previous albums, competed at ICCA Semifinals in Durham, and attended the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Orlando. Recently, Accent went through a substantial shift in image and identity. In addition to changing their name, they are continuing to reroute their group's mission to be more inclusive and supportive of all people and identities, adding to their high standards for themselves as artists and as members of the UF community. They strive to create a second home for everyone involved and are grateful to create a space for performers to foster their creative potential. 

BisCaydence is University of Miami's oldest a cappella group. The name "BisCaydence" was inspired by the beautiful Miami landmark, Biscayne Bay, and the musical term “cadence.” Established in 2011, the group features some of the University of Miami's top vocal talent. BisCaydence is known for their harmonic cohesiveness and the classic visual of BisCaydence blue. The group is proud of their hard work and hopes to share their passion for music with the world.


Alexander “Alex” Alberti currently teaches at Longleaf School of the Arts in Raleigh, N.C. As Director of Instrumental Music and Psychology, he teaches concert band, wind ensemble, orchestra, jazz, A.P. Music Theory, A.P. Psychology, music history, and a contemporary a cappella course. He also works with the Middle Creek High School Marching Band, teaching front ensemble and percussion. Alex previously taught at Southern Lee High School, and directed band, orchestra, chorus, and their first a cappella group, The Cavalyrics. Alex has conducted for musical theatre productions at UNC Chapel Hill and was the 2015 conductor and clinician for the Lee County Middle School Honor Band. Also a composer, Alex has premiered original pieces with the North Carolina Governor's School East and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. He holds a degree in music education and a minor in psychology from Appalachian State University. There, he participated in the ASU Men's Glee Club, wind ensemble, concert band, symphonic band, orchestra, and was a music theory tutor. Alex is a researcher in the fields of music education, contemporary music, and music theory pedagogy, and has presented his findings at NAfME, the College Music Society, and NCUR. In his spare time, Alex composes both choral and instrumental works, judges for the ICCA and A Cappella Education Association, and participates in the semi-professional a cappella group, Spectrum Vocals. 

Dr. Kevin Badanes is founder and artistic director of the professional vocal jazz octet, Avante. He has been leading a cappella and jazz groups in a three-decade career at the collegiate and professional levels. An active composer and clinician in small-ensemble singing, he is the co-creator of the nationally touring production, “STEM: the Musical.” 

Rachel Chalhoub has been an a cappella performer since 2002. Whether with Florida State's Acabelles and All-Night Yahtzee, or as a professional performer with Florida's Third Row Center, New York's Element, Long Island's original electro-vocal band, The Executive Board, or North Carolina’s Jaded, she has been beatboxing and singing in harmony for almost 15 years. You may recognize her face from 2013’s "Inside A Cappella," a weekly YouTube channel dedicated to news, trends, and tips for contemporary a cappella, or from Season 4 of "The Sing-Off.” Today, Rachel lives and works in Durham, N.C. as a training developer and spends her free time editing a cappella videos for groups around the world and educating at a cappella festivals. She also works summers at Camp A Cappella as its resident videographer. Rachel wishes “break a leg” to all of the contestants and hopes they enjoy every moment on stage. 

Kristin LoBiondo is no stranger to the a cappella community. She has worked as the assistant director of events for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and performed with professional groups, Snowday, Vox Pop, and Jaded. She earned her B.A. in vocal music at Elon University, and has judged the ICCA in North Carolina and Maryland. Kristin is super excited to be judging again, and can't wait to see how the aca-bop has transformed over the years. 

A triangle area native, Freddy Perkins’ love for music emerged at a young age. He began his musical career as a saxophonist, and attended Appalachian State University to study classical saxophone and music therapy. There, Freddy co-founded Enharmonix, a co-ed a cappella group , where he served as the group's president and arranger for three years. In addition to his a cappella background, Freddy has performed in jazz vocal ensembles, musical theatre productions, community choirs, and voice recitals. Since graduating, Freddy has stayed involved in a cappella, recently co-founding Spectrum Vocals, a semi-professional a cappella group, based in the triangle. Freddy is a board-certified music therapist, and uses music to improve socialization, emotional expression, and speech/language with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 


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 placing group at this event will advance to the 2023 ICCA Final.


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!