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



Sherwood High School
Friday, January 27th, 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.


Amplify is a mixed-voice, advanced ensemble for young people ages 12 (7th grade) to 18 (senior year of high school). They sing a diverse repertoire of contemporary and pop songs and perform at professional, community, and private events throughout the season. The group also produces several music videos each year that stream on the Rise Up Children’s Choir YouTube channel and across other media platforms. Amplify performs and records with other renowned artists and presenters for live events, music videos and professional recordings. Amplify is directed by Bronwyn Jensen. 

Free to Breathe loves to sing, harmonize, eat tacos, skate and just try to be decent human beings. Always remember: when you don't know what else to do, you are free to breathe. 

The Sherwood High School Mixolydians is a group of fun-loving musicians from Sherwood, Ore. They love spending time together just as much as they love singing and creating crowd-pleasing choreography. The Mixolydians have participated in the Rose City Sing Off and ICHSA for the past 10 years, winning numerous awards for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Vocal Percussion, and Outstanding Arrangement. They most recently worked with Deke Sharon at the Bend A Cappella Festival. The Mixolyidans are excited to be performing again tonight! 

Scots-Appella is the contemporary a cappella group at McKay High School in Salem, Ore. They enjoy making music and performing for their school and throughout the community. The group has competed in ICHSA and the Rose City Sing-Off in the past and they enjoy taking their music and stories to the competitive stage. 

West Salem High School’s Soundscape was founded in 2004. They perform all around the Salem community and have toured locally and nationally. 

Synergy is the treble a cappella ensemble from the Oregon Children’s Choir, made up of treble singers from high schools in the Eugene and Springfield, Ore. areas. Founded in the fall of 2012, Synergy was originally created by Evynne Hollens, co-founder of the University of Oregon's Divisi. Synergy has established a reputation as a tight musical group with a bold sound and musical stories of strength and empowerment. 

Vivace is Lincoln High School's student-led a cappella group! Their arrangements feature a solid mix of indie, pop, and R&B. As a student-led group, they lead from a foundation of community and teamwork. Their student leaders organize and run rehearsals, but the group shares collective responsibility for musical excellence and creating a supportive environment. They work to maintain a loving and creative atmosphere for each member to thrive musically and as people! Vivace loves spending time together as a group, all while working to improve their musicality and expand their repertoire.


Dr. Kerry Burtis has taught choral music and voice at the high school and collegiate level for more than 30 years. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from Augustana College in South Dakota and master's and doctorate degrees in music from the University of Southern California. Besides teaching, conducting, and serving as an adjudicator and clinician, he has served on several professional choral boards. Sought after as a clinician and adjudicator, Kerry has conducted orchestras and musicals and been a music critic, professional singer/arranger, and timpanist. 

David Fowler is a music producer and creator from the Pacific Northwest who specializes in vocals and contemporary a cappella. A believer in “harmony through harmony," he aspires to make group singing more accessible to everyone. He has collaborated professionally with many accomplished singers and brands including Home Free, Malukah, Peter Hollens, David Archuleta, Sam Tsui, Chester See, and Taylor Davis. David is also a member of Verdant, an award-winning collective of singers native to Eugene, Ore., who seek to make the Pacific Northwest a home for vocal music. 

Lily McKean is an a cappella alumnae with deep roots in composition, arranging, and songwriting. She earned her degree from the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance, where she studied vocal performance, popular music, and audio production. Combining her two loves of choir and popular music, Lily joined Divisi, UO’s premier woman-identifying a cappella group. She served as Divisi’s music director, leading the group in various showcases and competitions throughout the country, including ICCA. Lily has recorded on various tracks for the Women’s A Cappella Association (WACA), an organization which empowers treble voices that often get overlooked. Lily currently performs music around Portland, Ore., including original songs, and eventually hopes to start a scholarship foundation for students involved in collegiate a cappella. 

Harmonie Nyounai-Herrera is a singer, songwriter, and dancer from Portland, Ore. His work as a contemporary a cappella music director, choreographer, and vocalist has been awarded internationally. Harmonie earned a Bachelor of Arts with a music performance minor from Portland State University. With over 20 years of experience, Harmonie is a passionate leader in community engagement among a cappella enthusiasts. Serving as a judge and clinician for Portland Rose Festival's Rose City Sing-Off, he is dedicated to securing a safe space and lifelong love of performing arts. 

Raymund Ocampo is a conductor with experience leading choirs of different age levels and talents, including symphonic choruses, and high-level ensembles. Raymund serves as Music Program Chair and Director of Choral Studies at Linn-Benton Community College. There, he conducts the highly acclaimed chamber choir and concert choir and teaches courses in music appreciation, theory, world music, and music fundamentals. Previously, Raymund served as the Bonita L. Bass Memorial Assistant Conductor for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and has prepared choruses for symphonic conductors Michael Francis, Evan Rogister, Earl Rivers, Joshua Weilerstein, Jeff Tyzik, Stuart Malina, and Danail Rachav. His other leadership roles in the music world range from serving as Director of Music at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, to leading public school choral programs in Ohio and Indiana. In addition, Raymund founded and served as artistic director of 'ascend,' a professional eight-member vocal ensemble dedicated to performing new works in unique ways. Raymund holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of South Florida, where he studied under the guidance of Dr. James Bass, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where he studied with Dr. René Clausen and Dr. Paul Nesheim. 


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!