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



Hilliard Bradley High School
Saturday, March 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 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.


16th Street Soul is the honors advanced choir at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. The group is composed of nine advanced singers in 11th and 12th grade. Last year was their debut season and they made a huge impact on the Indianapolis Eastside. They competed in the ISSMA Vocal Jazz festival and earned a gold rating. They also collaborated with RADIUS, a rising professional a cappella group. This year, they were featured artists at the Indiana U.S. Attorneys Law Enforcement Conference and the Kettering National A Cappella Festival. In just their second year, they are making huge strides in becoming one of the best high school a cappella groups in the country. Under the direction of Mr. Brian Long, this is 16th Street Soul!

Above the Noise is just that: Above...the Noise. They make music that you have to hear! An 18-member mixed-voice a cappella group, they are run like a "tour band," with students in charge of every aspect of their operations. Their director, Mrs. Cherie Brooks, drives the metaphorical tour bus, helping them along the way and making sure they remember why they are on this journey: They love to sing. 

ECHO, from Hilliard Bradley High School is in its sixth year of existence as a contemporary a cappella group. ECHO is one of four a cappella groups that make up the Jaguar A Cappella program from Hilliard Bradley High School. ECHO is so excited to be competing in their very first ICHSA and hopes you enjoy the result of their passion and hard work! 

Free Verse is a student-run a cappella group from the schools of Central Catholic High School and Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. Free Verse is named after the type of poetry without rhyme or regular meter, producing an authentic style of speech (or song), along with a meaningful message. This is the group's seventh year of existence and sixth ICHSA season. Free Verse competed virtually in the 2020-2021 season and did not compete last year, so this is the current group’s first live ICHSA. They are super excited for the opportunity to perform and share their music! 

Knight Life is an extracurricular pop a cappella group from Van Buren High School in Van Buren Ohio. Since forming in 2018, they have enjoyed performing throughout their community and even got to compete at their first ICHSA event in 2022. The current group is made up of 15-18 involved and dedicated young singers and dancers and is under the direction of Ms. Christina Csernyik. They are excited to take the stage once again and wow the audience with their performance. 

Polarity, Waverly High School's premier a cappella ensemble, is excited to return to ICHSA! Polarity meets after school twice a week to provide quality a cappella experiences to Waverly High School's students. This highly competitive group performs in the community, at school events, private parties, and local competitions. Polarity has won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes Regional Competition in both 2019 and 2022. The group includes varsity athletes, theatre enthusiasts, honors students, marching band members, and active community members. Though pop a cappella has not gained popularity in southern Ohio, these students demonstrate their love and commitment to the art of making music! Hey, they’re just a bunch of small-town kids that like to sing! 

Shades of Blue, from Hilliard Bradley High School is an award-winning a cappella group. They have competed in the ICHSA three times and advanced to the Midwest Semifinals in each showing. In 2022, they were chosen as one of 10 high school a cappella groups to perform at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Orlando, Fla. Shades of Blue's studio recordings have been chosen for Voices Only 2021, BOHSA  2022, and nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA). 

Touch of Class is Port Clinton High School's competitive a cappella group. They take great pride in their diversity as a group and as individual musicians. The group members are involved in a multitude of sports, extracurriculars, and programs. As a group, they love to showcase lesser known artists, original songs, and the music of minority composers. It is an honor to compete at ICHSA every year and they look forward to sharing their music with everyone! 

WAVE, from Hilliard Bradley High School is in its fourth year of existence as a contemporary a cappella group. WAVE is one of four a cappella groups that make up the Jaguar A Cappella program from Hilliard Bradley High School. WAVE is so excited to be competing in their very first ICHSA and hopes you enjoy the result of their passion and hard work!


The Ohio State of Mind is an entirely student-run co-ed a cappella group at The Ohio State University, consisting of students majoring in a variety of studies, from psychology to music education and everything in between. The Ohio State of Mind was named the 2022 ICCA Midwest Semifinal Champion and proceeded to compete in the 2022 ICCA Finals in New York City. The group also performs at other competitions and events on and around the Ohio State campus and Columbus, singing a wide variety of music genres. The Ohio State of Mind would like to thank family, friends, and all of its supporters for helping the group become what it is today! 


Charlie Arthur began performing at a very young age, participating in as many musical ensembles, theatrical productions, short films, and middle school dance battles as he could seek out. He discovered his love for contemporary vocal music when he joined Forte, the award-winning a cappella group at Centerville High School. In Forte, Charlie received national recognition as a vocal percussionist and he began arranging, recording, producing, and teaching vocal music full-time. Over the last eight years, these experiences have taken him across the U.S., Canada, Russia, and the Caribbean, working and performing with vocal groups such as m-pact, The Cat’s Pajamas, and Vocalight. Charlie currently lives in Eugene, Ore., where he works full time as an engineer and production assistant for Peter Hollens. 

Kath Meyer has been a part of the a cappella community for 10 years. She began her a cappella journey as a member of Forte at Centerville High School and continued on in college as the president of The Miami Misfitz at Miami University. She has competed in both ICHSA and ICCA and has arranged and choreographed for a cappella and community musical productions. Currently, Kath is back at her alma mater and co-directing the extracurricular high school group Novae.

Ryan Hutcherson is a believer that the power of music gives students a voice, passion, and a creative outlet for finding both. Contemporary a cappella has certainly driven his musical career through performance, directing, arranging, teaching, and wearing many other hats. Ryan graduated from Otterbein University with a bachelor's degree in music education. There, he co-founded and co-directed Ottertuned, Otterbein's first mixed a cappella group. Ottertuned continues to compete in ICCA, was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall with Deke Sharon for DCINY, and has a single available on popular music platforms. During his time at Maysville High School, he established Panther Tones, which placed 1st in their 2021 ICHSA Midwest Quarterfinal, and has a single on popular music platforms. He is currently the Wilmington High School Choir Director in Wilmington, Ohio, has arranged for groups around the globe, and resides as the Ohio Choral Director Association’s Contemporary A Cappella Resources and Repertoire Chair. Ryan looks forward to seeing tonight's passionate performers showcasing their hard work, and would like to say "break a leg (but no more than one) and make memories that will last a lifetime." 

Trey Jackson first started his a cappella journey 10 years ago at Camp A Cappella. Trey was a member of Forte a Cappella out of Centerville High School from 2013-2015, competing regularly and performing with the 2015 ICHSA Finals runner-up! He currently directs Novae, an extracurricular group out of Centerville, and is excited to see the groups give it their all this evening. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Chloe Leonard, Jeremy Witt, and Hilliard Bradley High School; 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 Midwest 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!