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



Oak Creek High School
Saturday, February 18th, 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 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.

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.

 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.


Colla Voce is a student-led a cappella group competing in their third ICHSA. This group of 14 meets twice a week, once in school and once out of school. They are a great group of friends and enjoy hanging out together outside of rehearsals as well. They arrange all of their music, mostly by individual members. There are three audition-only a cappella groups at their school, but they are the only co-ed and competitive group. Outside of competitions, they perform at their school’s choir concerts and any other opportunities they can get. In the past, they have opened for UW Madison's choir concerts. Although they haven’t yet progressed past ICHSA Quarterfinals, Colla Voce did win Outstanding Arrangement in 2020 and Outstanding Soloist in 2022. Even though they love having fun, Colla Voce always puts their best effort forward into their music and love what they do! 

Genesis is the all-female, student-led a cappella group at Brookfield East High School. Genesis competed in ICHSA for the first time in 2020 and they’re excited to be back and better than ever! Founded in January 2019, they aim to highlight the female voice and create strong bonds between girls who love to sing. Their colors are millennium pink and white and they wear it with pride every chance they get. Their tight friendships and familial bond forms the core of the group. They are always motivated to perform their best, whether caroling at their local mall during the holiday season or singing on a grand stage for ICHSA. Their dedicated members wake up extra early to make it to 7a.m. rehearsals in the choir room at school, starting every day off on the right foot. They never miss an opportunity to have fun and have been to nearly every restaurant in Brookfield after rehearsals. They find that group bonding makes for a well-rounded and inclusive group that represents every member. Their collective passion for singing makes the group chemistry and dynamic especially fulfilling. They love every chance to arrange, bond, rehearse, and perform a cappella music together! 

Good Old A Cappella is one of three a cappella groups at Beaver Dam High School. The group is full of rich traditions, including performing the a cappella standard from which their name derives. This is their third time competing at the ICHSA and their first time performing a set of music arranged entirely by students in the group. 

Graftonics is an extracurricular, competitive a cappella group from Grafton High School in Grafton, Wis. This 16-voice auditioned group is excited to once again be competing in the ICHSA! They look forward to the excitement of competing and all of the experiences they will have together along the way. Good luck everyone! 

Ladies Knight is Oak Creek High School's premier all-treble a cappella group. They are an energetic and loving group that likes to prepare for ICHSA by having a pancake breakfast and watching “Pitch Perfect.” Ladies Knight loves working together to create fun, empowering music and giving their audiences fun and powerful experiences. Ladies Knight has been competing in ICHSA since 2015 and was honored to qualify for ICHSA Semifinals in 2019 and 2020. You can listen to Ladies Knight on all streaming platforms, including their track on BOHSA 2021, “Grown.” 

Limited Edition is a talented mixed group from the Port Washington/Saukville School District in Wisconsin. Founded by director Dennis Gephart, the ensemble began as an extracurricular a cappella group for advanced music students in the district. Their name represents the group’s most unique characteristic, that each roster of Limited Edition only lasts one school year, at which point an entirely new group is formed. The members of Limited Edition choose and arrange music, plan performances, organize their annual Acapocalypse A cappella festival, make music videos, and are in charge of web design. They have performed at events such as the American Choral Directors Association Divisional Convention in 2015, the State Superintendents Convention, and as a featured performing group at the 2019 National A Cappella Education Association Convention in Memphis, Tenn. In 2010, Limited Edition was named ICHSA Midwest Champions and went on to win ICHSA Finals, held in New York City. They’ve also won ICHSA Midwest Semifinals in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, and as recently as 2022. They were also featured on the BOHSA 2010, 2012, and 2015-2019 albums. In 2019, they were named Best High School Group by the A Cappella Music Awards Association. 

Off The Record is a passionate group of student musicians who strive to entertain audiences with technically sound and emotionally compelling performances. Based at Lockport Township High School, OTR performs widely throughout the Midwest and beyond. 

Beloit Turner Overdrive (BTO) is in its sixth year of existence as a competitive group. They are an extracurricular group that meets on Monday nights and Thursday mornings outside of the school day. The group is composed of freshmen through seniors who are heavily involved in other sports and activities. After rehearsals, they enjoy their weekly pilgrimages to their unofficial sponsor, Culvers, where they beg for leftover cheese curds and custard. They ask that you avoid looking at their feet, as they still haven't decided on shoes! 

SolTown A Cappella hails from Germantown High School in the great state of Wisconsin, a hotbed of a cappella activity. They are pleased to be competing for the third time in the ICHSA. SolTown is a cocurricular group that meets weekly throughout the school year. 

True Blue A Cappella is a student-run high school a cappella group. Established in 2020, the members of True Blue A Cappella are passionate about music and improving themselves as a group. 


John Bragle is a former member and coach of The Michigan State University Accafellas. He provided a cappella arrangements for MSU’s Capital Green and The Friars, as well as SUNY Buffalo’s Royal Pitches. He found his college a cappella singing experience very influential in training to be a musician and is happy to have the opportunity to give back. He joined the Interlochen Arts Academy faculty as Director of Choir and Instructor of Voice in 2008. Previously, he was Director of Choirs for the Williamston Community Schools in Williamston, Mich. John has been on the Interlochen Arts Camp faculty as an Instructor of Choral Arts since 2005. In the past, he has been a visiting professor at Northwestern Michigan College, assistant director of the Michigan State University Men's Glee Club, and Director of Choirs at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in East Lansing.

Cory Ellis got his a cappella start at Northern Illinois University, where he was a founding member of the all-tenor/bass a cappella group, The NIU Huskie Hunks. Cory received his bachelor's degrees in music from Northern Illinois University and Western Illinois University, where he studied instrumental music education. Cory currently serves as the director of choral music at Rochelle Township High School, where he leads two curricular choirs and Midnight Voices, the school's vocal jazz ensemble. He is also a member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band. Cory has been judging with Varsity Vocals for seven years. 

Laura Kruschke has been involved in a cappella since her college days at UW-Madison, where she sang with Tangled Up in Blue and earned her degree in music education. In 2007, she participated in launching the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) and founded greenTONE A Cappella in fall 2007. gT is 10 members strong today and sings for a variety of local events, including weddings, holiday parties, fundraisers, and flash mobs. In addition to gT, Laura continues to offer her expertise to local high school choirs through workshops and group coaching. In addition to Laura’s aca-involvement, she arranges music for local high school show choir and a cappella groups, sings and plays saxophone in a local band, teaches yoga, and wears many other hats as a mom to three busy school-aged kids. 

Heather Newkirk is a proud alumna of Syracuse University's Main Squeeze, for whom she sang, arranged, choreographed, and did vocal percussion. Since graduating, Heather has remained active in the a cappella world as social media coordinator for Boston Sings (BOSS), Program Manager of Social Media for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), associate producer of Voices Only, and an instructor for workshops and masterclasses at a cappella festivals nationwide. She has won ICCA awards for Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Vocal Percussion as a college student and Varsity Vocals has held a special place in her heart ever since. 

Borna Riazi
is an alumnus of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning Fundamentally Sound from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With FS, Borna sang tenor and served as an arranger, manager, choreographer, and videographer for the group, winning Outstanding Videography at both the Quarterfinal and Semifinal levels of ICCA in 2021. He also performed at ICCA Semifinals all four years with the group, taking 3rd place at ICCA Finals in 2021. He continues to arrange for FS and other groups today and most recently served as a judge for CASA's A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). 


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 ICHSA Great Lakes 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!