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



Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Saturday, February 25th, 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.


Amplified is a mixed voice, student-led a cappella group from the University of Arizona, who can be recognized by the Ampli-colors, black and La Fonda turquoise (yes, it is that specific shade!). The group was founded in 2012 as a fun, close-knit community of people who love to sing, create, and perform. Amplified aims to tell stories that reach beyond their songs to create meaningful experiences. Amplified has continued to grow within the world of a cappella in the past few years. In 2019, the group released their first professionally recorded EP, Welcome Home, and has since released their first full length album, In Between, which received four Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nominations, a feature on BOCA 2022, and won a 2022 CARA for Best Original Song by a Scholastic Group. Amplified has had continued success in ICCA and loves performing! The core of their group revolves around forging friendships and expanding the Ampli-family. Between balancing jobs, academics, and life beyond the university, they come together to share their talent, skill, and creativity. Together, they and their sound are Amplified. 

Hello from Grand Canyon University's club a cappella team, The Canyon Crescendos! Composed of 22 members with 18 on their competition team, their numbers are finally rebuilding since the drop-off due to Covid. Performing and collaborating together is their biggest way to express creativity and they’re so excited to be back! Apart from Jackie Paul, their student head coach, and co-coach Savannah Robinson, The Canyon Crescendos is composed of all new members this year. Jackie and Savannah worked extremely hard to rebuild the a cappella team and create a safe and welcoming environment. The group is composed of people from all backgrounds, with only one music major. They sing almost every genre of music, hoping that every group member and audience feels seen by covering their favorite style. They rehearse together twice a week for an hour and a half. Their head coach records parts for their members to practice outside of rehearsal so that they can walk in the door prepared. They sing the national anthem at many of GCU’s club sports games and have four showcases on GCU’s campus in the books. They are excited to share their music with you and hope you enjoy their set! 

The Devil Clefs is an inclusive, co-ed a cappella group at Arizona State University. They are currently a group of 17 diverse singers who share a passion and love for a cappella. In 2019, their performance of a mash-up, “I Don't Wanna Be You When the Party's Over,” went viral and they’ve been lucky to cultivate a great online presence since then. They work hard to share music with their audience, notably recording an EP, Always Forever, which is available on all music streaming platforms. They hope to continue to make fun memories and create new experiences together. 

Elevation is the premier mixed a cappella group from Northern Arizona University. Nestled at the base of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Ariz., the group's name comes from two different parts of their identity. First, Flagstaff is at 7,000-foot elevation, and second, they are constantly attempting to elevate their level of a cappella skill, performance, and distinction. They believe a cappella is art and their voices are the medium. They specialize in pop, indie and soul, but are open to singing anything! They love sharing their passion for music with their audiences and pride themselves on acceptance, excellence, and having a great time. The group is proudly composed of music majors and non-music majors who love coming together on Monday and Thursday nights to let go of their worries and sing. Founded in 2008 as the university’s first a cappella group, the group has evolved over the years but remains a close-knit group of friends dedicated to one another and to making excellent music. 

Enharmonics A Cappella is an all-treble, gender-inclusive a cappella group at the University of Arizona. All-treble groups are typically all-female, but they recently changed their requirements to include anyone who can sing in the treble clef! Formed in 2014, they are the newest addition to UA A Cappella. They perform mostly pop, indie, and jazz pieces and love to explore new genres and sounds. They perform at various events around the Tucson area and annually participate in the ICCA! They also often get together with other groups in the community to perform and socialize as one big a cappella family. Last year, Enharmonics participated in the online ICCA competition and placed 2nd in the Virtual Quarterfinal, along with the Outstanding Soloist award for music director Melanie Moreno. This year, their wonderful music team consists of co-music directors Melanie Moreno and Abbie Jin and co-choreographers Abigail Simon and Jay Domadia. They are also led by group president Sam McCarthy and vice president Jenna Frannea, both of whom work hard to ensure everything moves smoothly. 

Meow or Never (previously CatCall) is the University of Arizona's premier a cappella group. The group is all lower-voiced and performs songs that excite audiences and make for great performances.

is a group of 17 dedicated, unique individuals who share a passion for singing and making music. Founded in 2009, Noteriety is University of Arizona’s original all-gender a cappella group and 1st place winner of their 2019 ICCA Quarterfinal. You can check out their latest EP, Recovery, on all platforms, along with their other music! 

Established in 1992, The Pitchforks was the first group established in the state of Arizona and is proud to be celebrating their 30th year. This group stands for female empowerment and diversity and includes singers from all majors and walks of life. The Pitchforks are involved in various activities such as recording EPs, performing at gigs around the valley, and even philanthropic events. As an all-women group, The Pitchforks span all voice parts, ranging from soprano to lady-bass. This allows members to explore and expand their ranges as they grow and flourish in the group. Rehearsals are held bi-weekly and The Pitchforks are proud to showcase arrangements by their very own members. The ASU Pitchforks stand for more than just making music. They are dedicated to creating a welcoming environment, forming lifelong friendships, and encouraging one another to grow, both musically and in life. 

Priority Male is an all-male a cappella group based out of Tempe, Ariz. This group of Arizona State University students specializes in the pop, hip hop and rock genres. They come from all backgrounds and cultures but share a passion for music through this organization. They perform throughout the valley and have competed in ICCA for the past 10-12 years. Priority Male looks forward to performing again this year! 

The Tempetations is the premier co-ed a cappella ensemble from Arizona State University. The group consists of students from different years and majors who share a passion for creativity and performance. Their music arrangements are inspired by songs they love and their arrangers seek to push the boundaries of a cappella by incorporating different styles and genres, while infusing their emotional connection to each piece. Passion is their drive and friendship is their driving force. Sounds pretty tempting right? Come check them out on social media @asutempetations! 

The Northern Arizona University Axecidentals is an all-treble a cappella group. Established in 2013, they’ve been rocking that signature black and gold for nine years now! This year, The Axees is composed of 15 talented singers from various backgrounds, majors, and gender identities! Since its founding, they have sung music by artists ranging from Radiohead to Little Mix to Billie Eilish. A completely student-led club, every piece of music that they perform is arranged by a current or former member of the group. An Axecidental tradition, this allows the arranger and every member to feel a sense of pride and ownership over their work! Once you go Axee, you NEVER go baxee!


Side Note A Cappella was founded by NAU graduates in 2017 and has been performing and creating in the Phoenix area ever since. Side Note's members, some of whom founded groups performing tonight, have been closely connected to and influential in the Arizona a cappella scene since the late 2000s. Tonight, they're here to entertain you while the judges deliberate the results of the competition. Side Note includes Chloe Santos (soprano), Leslie Fields (mezzo), Celine Durney (alto), Zach Gray (tenor), Adam Kent (baritone), Bryant Mitchell (bass), and Max Foster (VP). Follow @acasidenote on Instagram for their latest EP and weird memes.


Lisa Estevez-Celi is no stranger to vocal music as a singer, arranger, and group leader. While attending undergrad at Saint Louis University, she was a member of Beyond All Reason, a treble a cappella group. There, she began studying music theory in her free time, using her knowledge to help arrange a variety of music, ranging from Jordin Sparks to Misterwives. Lisa and the rest of the group leadership helped take the group from Quarterfinal participants to Quarterfinal Champions, competing in ICCA all four years. Now in medical school, Lisa continues to pursue her a cappella interests as time allows with her school a cappella group, The MEDleys. Lisa also has an extensive base of musical knowledge from her eight years in the St. Louis Children's Choirs where she built a strong foundation in sight singing, harmony, music performance, and theory. 

Sague Molina is a singer, teacher, and arranger born and raised in Arizona. Sague graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in music education with a choral emphasis, where he had the privilege of music-directing and singing with the tenor-bass a cappella group, The Highlanders, while also producing and arranging their first studio EP. Sague has sung with the Shrine of the Ages choir under Dr. Edith Copley, High Altitude Vocal Jazz ensemble, Chamber Singers, Men’s Chorale, and student-conducted the University Singers at NAU. Onstage, he has performed in a handful of operas and oratorios, in roles such as the bass soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” and Carrisimi’s “Jephte.” Currently, Sague is a first-year teacher and director of choirs at Camelback High School, as well as a singer in the Canto Vivo Chorale. 

Nason Werth has been known to travel the country for a good a cappella show, and currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz. Originally from the great state of Michigan, Nason studied vocal performance at Michigan State University, where he served as music director and bass with MSU’s first co-ed a cappella group and ICCA fixture, Capital Green. He gained broad ensemble experience as a student with the university chorale, chamber choir, jazz octet, and section leader in the Okemos Presbyterian Church. Nason relocated to the Mid-Atlantic after college and has performed with the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Bach in Baltimore ensembles. He currently serves as a nominator and judge for the CARAs and A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs) and is looking forward to a great show! 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank 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 Southwest 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!