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


William Henry Harrison High School
Saturday, March 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.


Skyline Blues, from Ann Arbor Skyline High School, was founded in 2008 and is under the direction of Lindsay CieChanski and Hayla Alawi. The group meets after school twice a week and participates in performances and competitions throughout the year. They are a consistent force at the ICHSA, often advancing to Semifinals and to Finals in 2019. They have also won awards for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Vocal Percussion, Outstanding Soloist, and Outstanding Arrangement. Skyline Blues has been featured on BOHSA and Voices Only compilations and released several EPs, a single, and most recently, an EP, titled To Feel Again. In the spring of 2017, Skyline Blues was featured at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis and was a guest lecturer at the MSVMA Summer Workshop in August. In 2018, they represented Vocal Music at the State Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day, and were invited to sing at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids. Skyline Blues is excited to participate in ICHSA once again and is very thankful for the opportunity to sing together! 

Orion's Belt is an all new a cappella group at Grand Ledge High School. This group prides itself on being able to show off their personalities. both individually and as a group, while performing onstage. Composed of 16 members, these singers will guide you through the stars with their voices. 

SoundProof was created by the nonprofit 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, ultimately winning the title of 2022 ICHSA Champion. The group is excited to be back again this year and hope you enjoy their performance! 

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. 

Ars Nova is a gender-inclusive a cappella group from the Miami Valley School. The group strives to grow their musicianship, create a familial environment, and share music with their community. The group bonds through early morning rehearsals, playing jackbox, and filling their director's room with small slime plushies. As last year's Quarterfinal Champions and 3rd place Semifinalists, Ars Nova hopes you enjoy their 2023 set! 

Dynamix is a mixed-voice a cappella group that lives right here in Harrison, Ohio! They love making music together and they rehearse every morning at 7a.m. There are 17 members in Dynamix, not including their loyal mascot, the good vibes crab (enter crab). 

Shades of Blue, from Hilliard Bradley High School, is an award-winning a cappella group. They have competed in three ICHSA seasons 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 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). 

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!

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. 

Take Note is Harrison High School's all-treble a cappella group and they meet every morning at 7a.m. to rehearse. This is Take Note's fifth year as a group and they currently have 15 amazing members. This past year, Take Note was an ICHSA Midwest Semifinalist. They are so excited to perform for you tonight!


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 fulltime as an engineer and production assistant for Peter Hollens. 

John DeFerraro is the Director of Choral Activities at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Ky. Under his direction, multiple choir programs across Kentucky have earned State Distinguished Ratings with Sweepstakes honors and have collaborated with internationally recognized artists, such as the African Children’s Choir, Point of Grace, and Cincinnati's Fillmore Wind Band. In 2018, he was selected by Rollo Dilworth, Henry Leck, and Joseph Flummerfelt as one of the nation's premier choral conductors by Music for All. John has dedicated his life to increasing the quality of vocal arts programs within his home state and across the nation. An active clinician, arranger, adjudicator, and conductor, John is regularly engaged to help create and enhance music performances of all varieties (including a cappella ensembles, opera companies, choirs, orchestras, bands, and drum corps) on regional and national stages throughout the United States. John is a member of ACDA, NAfME, KMEA, the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA), and AEA, and currently serves as a producer for the NACC.

Holly Gyenes is a classical, musical theatre, and pop vocalist from Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Dayton and earned a Bachelor of Arts in music studies. Holly has been involved in the contemporary a cappella community since she was a member of Kettering Fairmont High School’s award-winning group, Eleventh Hour. With Eleventh Hour, she appeared on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and won a gold medal at the 2012 World Choir Games. In 2015, Holly was selected for the A Cappella Academy Retreat in Los Angeles, founded by Grammy winners Ben Bram, Avi Kaplan, and Rob Dietz. She was also part of a background choir on Pentatonix’s self-titled album, which reached number one on the Billboard Top 40. From 2014-2018, Holly served as a counselor, social media coordinator, and customer service specialist for Camp A Cappella, founded by Brody McDonald and Deke Sharon. For three years, Holly performed across the U.S. as a member of professional a cappella group Vocalight, with whom she collaborated on two tracks and music videos with YouTube sensation Peter Hollens, opened for Grammy-winning artist Daya, and performed at Carnegie Hall. Her years of competitive a cappella experience include many appearances at Varsity Vocals’ ICCA and the Open. Holly reached Open Finals in both 2017 and 2018, earning 3rd place each year, as well as Outstanding Soloist at her 2017 Semifinal. In 2018, Holly was signed with Disney Music Group as an original cast member of Disney’s critically-acclaimed D Cappella and sang on their debut album. In 2020, Holly was featured in the virtual a cappella choir of Kelly Clarkson’s “I Dare You” music video. Before moving to Cincinnati with her husband, Holly performed throughout the Dayton area, singing with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. 

BK Riha is a music professor, producer, vocalist, live looper and arranger with a special interest in building pop a cappella repertoire for treble ensembles. BK has published over 200 arrangements that have been performed in over 27 countries, with notable appearances including the 2018 World Choir Games in South Africa, the 2021 World Choir Games in Belgium and the NACC. They also regularly judge for the CARAs and have led workshops at festivals like SoJam and the Nordonia A Cappella Festival. BK currently teaches commercial voice and musicianship at Tiffin University, one of the only schools in the country to offer scholarships for a cappella, beatboxing and live looping. BK is also the founder, director, and producer of Zero to Sixty, Ohio's summer a cappella group. BK holds a Master of Music in choral conducting and a Bachelor of Arts in music theory and continues to study the link between psychology, cognition, and vocal music. Best of luck to all the competing groups!

Matthew Swope is a doctoral student in choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and director of the UC Cabaret Singers. For 14 years, he served as the director of choral activities and performing arts chair at Winter Park High School in Florida, where he directed two a cappella groups, Take 7 and Naughty Scotty and the Octapella. Matthew has served as a board member of the A Cappella Education Association, staff member at Camp A Cappella, May Festival Conducting Fellow, and assistant director of the Knox Choir. He holds an M.M. in voice performance and pedagogy, as well as bachelor’s degrees in music and classics from Penn State University. Ensembles under his direction have competed at ICHSA Finals (2012, 2015) and the NACC (2018) and performed for conferences of the American Choral Directors Association Southern Region (2020), Florida American Choral Directors Association (2011, 2015) and the Florida Music Education Association (2016). His groups have won CARAs and appeared on albums including BOHSA, Voices Only, and the Women's A Cappella Association's compilation, WACA


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank emcee Dylan, our guest group UC Vocaholics, Emma, Kara, Miguel, and Noah; volunteers from Harrison High School, especially our host, Anna Adams; 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 ICHSA 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!