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



Center for the Arts in Chico
Friday, February 17th, 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.

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.


Coop and the Treble Rebels is the premier contemporary a cappella group from Chico Calif. Their mission is to spread positivity and kindness through music and to bring back the love for vocal music after the pandemic hiatus. This is their ICHSA performance debut and they are excited to spread their love and positive energy onstage! 

Established in 2015, Pinewood Take Note is an up-and-coming high school contemporary a cappella group, under the direction of Katie Linza. From Pinewood School in sunny Los Altos Hills, Calif., Take Note consists of a mix of students, ranging from freshmen through seniors, who study hard, play hard, and sing hard. Take Note performs a wide variety of musical styles but especially enjoys adding crunchy chords and tasty jazz reharmonization to their takes on pop music. 

The hOWLers is a fun group of Owls from The Athenian School who love to laugh and sing together. 

Treble With Angels is the premier, all-female a cappella group at Aragon High School in San Mateo, Calif. Founded in 2013, they sing music across a wide variety of genres, including pop, contemporary, jazz, and indie. Composed of singers from different walks of life, they strongly believe in the unifying power of a cappella music. Treble with Angels is a group of passionate singers from all different backgrounds. They strive to be inclusive and believe that music is a universal language with the power to bring them together in harmony. They like to put their own little twists on songs and add pieces of individuality to make every song their own. After all, they are here to bring a little treble creativity! Through their music, they hope to share a portion of the passion, love, and laughter of the Trebles family with the wider community. They are excited to perform again at ICHSA in person. 

Wolf PACappella is Pacifica Christian High School's premier all-gender a cappella group! Founded in 2019, Wolf PACappella is entering its fourth year of singing service. In this time, they have created a safe environment for aspiring young singers, songwriters, and arrangers to thrive while developing lifelong friendships, deepening their relationships with God, and, of course, developing their love of music. This is Wolf PACappella's first year performing as a treble group and they couldn't be more excited to experiment with different sounds and styles this year. As much as they love to sing, their primary mission is to have fun! 


Melinda Ellis is a dedicated music educator, conductor, and freelance multi-instrumentalist. She currently teaches middle and high school orchestra in Vacaville, Calif. Melinda co-founded the a cappella group S#arp Attitude at UMass Amherst and was featured with the group on season 2 of the a cappella reality show “Sing it On!” As an educator, Melinda has taught dozens of workshops on vocal percussion and has given masterclasses at a cappella festivals and music education conferences nationwide. Melinda is passionate about a cappella music and loves the connection that it brings people. 

Dr. Daniel Fister (he/him) began singing a cappella at age 15 and has been enthusiastically involved ever since. He is a proud original member of Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out and alumnus of Chapman University’s SoundCheck. In both groups, he sang bass, arranged, served as music director, and competed regularly in Varsity Vocals events, including the 2010 ICHSA Finals and 2011 and 2013 ICCA West Semifinals. Daniel remains actively involved in a cappella as a judge for Varsity Vocals and other competitions, a reviewer for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), and a masterclass leader at events such as Boston Sings (BOSS). His time singing and judging a cappella inspired him to pursue a doctoral degree in musicology and his dissertation explored community formation and race in contemporary scholastic a cappella. After graduating, Daniel returned to the West Coast where he is an adjunct professor at various Bay Area colleges. He is thrilled to judge for his ninth year with Varsity Vocals and wishes the best to all the competing groups! 

Duncan Krummel is composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator residing in Chico, Calif. He holds a B.M. in composition (vocal emphasis) from Ithaca College, and an M.A. in composition from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has performed across the country, from Lincoln Center to The Hallowed Halls in Portland, across the pond, touring London and Ireland with the HRVHS Chamber Singers, and in recitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh. His music has been performed throughout the U.S., U.K., and parts of the EU. As an educator and director, he has worked with all ages and backgrounds in both private and nonprofit sectors. Around Chico, Duncan has been seen performing with the Paradise Symphony Orchestra and the California Regional Theater, where he has also music-directed. 


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 three placing groups at this event will advance to the 2023 ICHSA West 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!