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



Liberty High School
Sunday, February 5th, 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.


Glendale High School's Flockappella is unbelievably excited to compete for the first time since its founding in the spring 2019. After singing together in an a cappella group in college, the two sponsors knew they had to form a club once reunited as teachers at GHS. In the years since, this group has secured its spot as the best a cappella group in town! They meet once a week after school for two hours and make the most of it. They like to keep busy performing gigs, recording music videos, going on school tours, raking in the dough with their singing candy-grams Valentine's Day fundraiser, and hosting the region's largest non-competitive a cappella concert, Flockafest. They loved performing during the judges’ deliberation at 2020 ICCA Quarterfinals at MSU (where their beatboxer won the percussion-off against the college crews!). They have had a total of 39 members in the group’s history and the current roster of 15 includes fiive seniors. They hope to make their ICHSA debut a memorable one! 

JayBlues is a mixed-voice a cappella group at Liberty High School in Liberty, Mo. The founding members of this ensemble began singing together before and after school and soon realized they wanted to take it to the next level. Together, they collaborate on programming and technical aspects of the group, all contributing to their inspired performances. JayBlues is composed of talented, dedicated students, all of whom share a deep love of making music. 

Maximum Forte, the premier choral outreach group from Charleston High School in Charleston, Ill., is an auditioned cocurricular ensemble. They are devoted to performing an eclectic repertory of vocal and choral literature. Under the direction of Juliane Sharp, the group has been invited to sing at the Kettering National A Cappella Festival in Ohio, the East Central Illinois Youth in Harmony Festival, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. They were also invited to perform as the opening act for m-pact in fall 2019. Last fall, Maximum Forte’s members were featured performers for Music Theatre International’s “All Together Now- A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre” at Eastern Illinois University. In addition to their active outreach performance schedule in Central Illinois, Maximum Forte has an impressive ICHSA history, competing at the Quarterfinal and Semifinal levels and winning awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Soloist. 

Nixapella is a new contemporary a cappella ensemble from Nixa High School. The group consists of 18 auditioned singers from the award-winning Nixa Choir program. The ensemble has commissioned new arrangements and has been featured at various local events. Recently, Nixapella performed with the Ozark Lyric Opera, performing in their "Opera Rocks" concert. They regularly perform for regional gatherings and sporting events in the Springfield area. 

SoundProof was created by the non-profit organization Kansas City A Cappella and is composed of high school students from all over the Kansas City area. Within the group, students are introduced to the world of contemporary vocal a cappella and given the opportunity to grow as performers, vocalists and musicians. In 2021, SoundProof represented the Midwest region at ICHSA Finals and returned the following year, when they were named the 2022 ICHSA Champions. The group is excited to be back again this year and hope you enjoy their performance! 

The Cat's Meow is a mixed a cappella group from Licking, Mo., home of the Wildcats. Currently in their seventh year at Licking High School, this clowder of cats was drawn together by a sharedlove of music. They represent a wide range of students, from smart cats, sporty cats, and cheer cats to, of course, jazzy cats. Growing up in a small, rural community with a funny name, these tom cats and kittens prove that they aren't your average alley cats. They are the Cat's Meow! 

Founded in April of 2020, The Ozarks A Cappella is an organization dedicated to providing a unique educational and musical experience for high school students in southwest Missouri. Members of this ensemble are introduced to the world of contemporary a cappella and given the opportunity to grow as singers, musicians, and performers. The Ozarks A Cappella’s core foundation is a strong belief in a safe and inclusive environment that welcomes everyone. 

A Cappella music has been thriving at Parkway North since the early 2000s. What began as separate male and female groups evolved into the mixed group Valholla. Valholla is made up of freshmen through seniors and meets outside of school to rehearse and perform. The group shares a tight-knit bond and loves any opportunity to sing contemporary a cappella music together. They hope you enjoy the energy and excitement of Valholla. 

Viva Voce is a treble-voice a cappella group at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 2016, Viva Voce is an extracurricular group of highly dedicated students who come together to share their love of a cappella music with their peers and community.


Tim Arnold is the director of Wild Scats at Hazelwood West High School. He is a former member of the award-winning gospel quartet Closer, a founding member of Flawless Intuition, and was the director of Voices of Harmony at Hazelwood Central High School for eight years. Tim is a frequent clinician for a cappella groups and traditional choirs, but he hopes to leave that all behind when he becomes a reality-show millionaire. 

After singing in choirs since elementary school, Alli Jakubek entered the world of a cappella in her freshman year at the University of Mary Washington. She joined the co-ed a cappella group, The One Note Stand, in which she sang alto and was a frequent soloist for her four years there. When Alli began with the group, they had never performed at the ICCA, and she led the group’s effort to compete in 2017 and 2018, helping them reach 3rd place at their Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Alli became affiliated with Cut Off Studios, where she coordinates and teaches at educational events. She has worked as a clinician for two years and specializes in helping groups find their identity, both musically and literally. 

Kenny Kabak is a native of St. Louis, Mo. He graduated with his master’s degree in music in choral conducting from Missouri State University. Kenny works as an artistic advisor to Perform International and also serves as Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, Mo. He spent four years as associate director of the Springfield Street Choir. Kenny serves as founder/artistic director of the Queen City Chorale, a newly-launched choral ensemble in Springfield, Mo. Previous engagements include serving as the conductor of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He served as the Student Representative for the Missouri Choral Directors Association, through which he helped found the Student and New Teacher Academy. He is also a recipient of the MCDA Prelude Award. Upon completion of his master’s degree, he received the STAR Award for MSU Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year. Kenny has traveled extensively as a choral musician, including trips around the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, Pi Kappa Lambda Honors Society, National Collegiate Choral Organization, International Federation for Choral Music, Choristers Guild, Chorus America, and the Missouri Music Educators Association. 

Alex Smith graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in music. During his undergrad, Alex performed and toured nationally and internationally with the Missouri State University Chorale. He also sang in the men's chorus, choral union, and multicultural ensemble. Alex was a member of The Missouri State University Hibernotes from 2017-2020. He performed in four ICCA seasons throughout those years, winning a Midwest Quarterfinal in 2018. Alex currently works at Missouri State University as an administrative assistant in the music department. Along with this position, Alex works with Cut Off Studios as the Director of Client Retention and is a clinician and arranger for the studio. He currently sings with the Queen City Chorale, Springfield Chamber Chorus, and is a choral scholar at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Mo.


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Liberty School District, Danaya Roller, and The Liberty Singer & Songwriters Club; 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!