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



John Burroughs High School
Friday, March 10th, 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.


Abbe Road A Cappella is the premier choir at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley, Calif. Abbe Road has earned Superior ratings at numerous national and local festivals and performed for events such as Nancy Reagan’s funeral, the Disneyland Candlelight Processional, and the 2018 ICHSA. They travel both nationally and internationally, allowing the students to perform in amazing locations and learn about different regions and cultures. The SSHS choir program’s community involvement also involves performing at the Reagan Library at least once per year and attending solo-vocal events in Simi Valley. Working with expert accompanists, vocal coaches, choreographers, and costumers, the students in this group acquire professional experience. They also collaborate throughout the year with theatre, film and stagecraft students, as well as industry professionals, exposing these singers to many options within the music profession. Most importantly, students get to participate in three vocal music concerts per year, each with its own theme, which helps choir students develop their performance skills in front of a live audience. 

Downbeat is The Harker School’s Show Choir that performs a cappella and accompanied arrangements of pop, jazz, world music, and musical theatre pieces. The group performs for various community events each year, including school galas, concerts, fashion shows, and holiday events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to being passionate performers, members of Downbeat balance rigorous academic schedules while taking on leadership roles at school and throughout the greater Silicon Valley community as volunteers, club organizers, stage directors, members of Student Council, and as student activists. 

MYST (pronounced like "Mist") calls MST Music Academy home and is composed of musical theatre nerds who wanted to branch out and expand their horizons! Everyone in MYST started out doing shows together in Solano County at Missouri Street Youth Theatre, and when they aren't busy learning choreography, harmonies, and all of their lines for the multiple shows they all participate in a year, they have decided to put even more on their plates with a cappella! MST Music Academy is in its first year as a school and this is their first year together as a group! They are thrilled to represent the music school and Solano County. MYST cannot wait to compete and show the world of a cappella what they got! 

Neo Chromatics is a select group of singers from John Burroughs High School and is directed by JBHS alum Julian Jensen. They rehearse after school once a week and proudly represent their school at performances throughout Southern California. The choral program at John Burroughs High School, under the direction of Brendan Jennings, is nationally recognized for show choir excellence and has won numerous local and national championships. The students of Neo Chromatics are all members of Powerhouse, the school’s top choir. Formerly known as Vocal Ensemble, they have a group history going back over 30 years. As they continue to grow, members of Neo Chromatics are excited to get more involved in the a cappella community. Follow them on Instagram @neochromatics or check out their website for tickets to their shows:

When students love music and love one another, groups like OC Voices are born. Singing everything from pop to classic rock, this group of singers has represented their school in their community and abroad since 2011. OC Voices has competed in ICHSA, advancing to Semifinals in their first season of competition. In 2021, OC Voices was featured as one of three finalists in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF). OC Voices is part of the Oaks Christian School Institute of Arts and Innovation and features many vocal performance track students as soloists. 

Titanium is a co-ed contemporary a cappella ensemble from the Grammy-winning choral program at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. This extracurricular ensemble is composed of 18 students selected from Tesoro’s choral program and they rehearse twice a week outside of the normal school day. Titanium is led by Tesoro alumna Erin Theodorakis and Tesoro's choral Director Keith Hancock. Erin is the former music director of Chapman University’s a cappella group Soundcheck and led the group to ICCA Finals in 2016. Mr. Hancock received the 2017 Music Educator of the Year award at the Grammys for his work at Tesoro. In the four years since its official founding, Titanium has competed twice at ICHSA, made two music videos, released several singles and an EP, and performed at the Grammy museum for film director Quentin Tarantino. In 2021, Titanium was awarded 2nd place at the ICHSA West Semifinals. When they're not rehearsing, Titanium enjoys post-rehearsal ice-cream runs and group pizookie nights. 

The singers of Wannatonix bring various talents and musical backgrounds to the group. Although a newly formed group, they blend incredibly well, enjoy making music together, and have learned amazing techniques from director Jason Harney. Many of the students are also members of the Madrigals, their school’s top choir, and a quartet of them began singing some choral pieces together and realized they sounded pretty good in a small group. Founded by Chanel Simpson and Brendan Isais, Wannatonix honors their choral music roots, but also enjoys learning pop and gospel pieces. They are constantly working to improve their sound, in formal rehearsals and just by improvising harmonies when someone starts a song. These kids dedicate everything they have to their music and in return, the magical feeling of creating together enriches their souls. Wannatonix is so excited to display what they’ve got and hopes you enjoy their performance!


Reverse Osmosis, or RO, is one of USC’s premier co-ed a cappella groups. Since the group's founding in 2001, they have been committed to equally emphasizing technique and community, a balance that beautifully reflects in their work. RO expertly combines the group's unique collection of skillsets and a diverse repertoire to form “the purest sound on campus.” 


Rachel Bearer is a singer, songwriter, vocal arranger, and producer based out of Los Angeles. Operatically trained, she switched her focus to pop/rock in her final years at the University of Southern California and has never looked back. Her vocal group, ARORA, formerly known as SONOS, signed to Verve records and spent the next three years touring the U.S. and the U.K. Rachel has worked on eight Barbie films for Mattel, countless Lalaloopsy commercials, Disney U.K. and Disney U.S., Buzzfeed, and Nickelodeon's hit show, “School of Rock.” Rachel has had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with incredible artists such as Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles, The Pet Shop Boys, and Tom Odell. Follow on Instagram @rachelbearer. 

Christopher Given Harrison is a Los Angeles-based producer of music and sound. He has served as whisper-bass and grand marshal of sound manipulation for ARORA (formerly SONOS) since its inception. Recent and ongoing musical endeavors include full production for four out of five songs on the Avriel and the Sequoias EP (Avi Kaplan’s debut solo music), all of ARORA’s recordings, and more recently, co-writing and producing music by Somebody’s Favorite (Rachel and Christopher’s duo moniker). He writes, arranges, records, mixes, edits, and renders a variety of projects, and is very approachable. Hit him up at and follow on Instagram @christophonemusic. 

Amanda Tran is a Seattle native and L.A.-based artist, creative director, and producer. Amanda writes, performs, and produces her rock band, In the Mourning. With A-Tran Projects, her creative direction and production clients include Acapop! KIDS, Citizen Queen, Warner Records, Travis Atreo, Matt Bloyd, and Jordin Sparks. Her a cappella background stems from the University of Washington’s Furmata and professional quintet SeaNote. She is excited to be contributing to Varsity Vocals!  

Alana Weiss is a voice and performance coach in the Los Angeles area and has been an active member of the a cappella community for over 20 years. Alana is the co-founder and director of Calabasas High School’s award-winning a cappella groups, Unstrumental and Bare Rhythm. Under her direction, the groups were featured performers at Carnegie Hall (Total Vocal with Deke Sharon) and Unstrumental holds three Champion titles at the LAAF Scholastic Competition, boasting wins for Outstanding Soloist all seven times they competed and numerous awards for Outstanding Staging and Visual Performance. Alana was also a founding member of UCSB's premier a cappella ensemble, Naked Voices, and received the ICCA Outstanding Soloist award twice during her time with them. Learn more at and

Perrin York, former music director of the Claremont Colleges’ The After School Specials, has loved the stage for as long as she can remember. Raised in Denver, she was the lead singer of the Quincy Avenue Rhythm Band throughout high school and toured Italy and Switzerland music festivals in 2014. Music is her passion, whether she is singing, writing, or performing. A cappella has held a special place in her heart since she joined the After School Specials in college and became the group’s music director, choreographer, and soloist. She helped lead the group to the 2018 ICCA Finals, where she ultimately won the award for Outstanding Soloist. Perrin now has a music theory degree and is gigging full time across Los Angeles, Orange County, and beyond at Mastros Steakhouse and various other venues. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank John Burroughs High School,  Mr. Jennings, and all of our parent and student volunteers; all the group directors for their hard work; 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!