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


El Segundo High School 
Saturday, March 25th, 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.


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. 

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! 

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!

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. 

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. 

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.



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


Michael Alfera is a conductor, composer, pianist, and vocalist who in 2014 founded the L.A. Choral Lab, a performing arts nonprofit organization. He established and conducted the L.A. Choral Lab's core ensemble, an SATB chamber choir, producing over a dozen concerts and premiering many new works at unique venues in the Los Angeles area. He is a 2009 graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music and a proud alum of USC Reverse Osmosis, having served as business manager and music director. Michael is the staff accompanist at Temple Israel of Hollywood and he previously served as principal accompanist for the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, conductor of the Ebell Chorale, and teaching artist for the L.A. Master Chorale's Voices Within educational outreach program. Michael is a licensed attorney, a 2018 Southwestern Law School graduate, and a judicial law clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

Felicia François (she/they) fell in love with a cappella when she became a member of The UNCG Sapphires. After serving as director of that group, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and choral music education. They worked as a chorus teacher and private voice teacher for four years and then went on to receive a master's degree in speech-language pathology from Boston University. Felicia is now working as a speech-language pathologist with a specialty in voice rehabilitation and gender-affirming voice at the USC Voice Center. She is thrilled to be an ICCA judge once again and wishes the best to all those competing! 

Kayla Pichichero is a music producer and songwriter from Long Island, N.Y., currently living in Los Angeles. Kayla has extensive experience in the a cappella world, teaching at various festivals across the country, writing and recording music with her band Birdland Avenue, and interviewing over 100 guests on her podcast “Head/Voice.” Kayla regularly writes and produces indie pop, alternative, and singer-songwriter music with and for artists across the country. 

Holding a master’s degree in voice from the California Institute of the Arts, Jim Raycroft has performed all over North America and in Europe. He is a current, 39-year member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and sang with the Los Angeles Opera for 12 years. He keeps busy in the studios and has appeared in the soundtracks for numerous movies, including “Home Alone,” “Hook,” “Jurassic Park,” “A.I.,” “Mars Attacks,” “Waterworld,” “XXX,” “Lady In The Water,” “Godzilla,” Willow,” and “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker,” and appeared as a singing pirate in the opening scene of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” He has  appeared on the Grammys, in numerous TV shows including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and has sung for the President of the United States and the Queen of England. He founded and sings with the vocal jazz group Pacific Swingline and the barbershop quartet The Nickelodeon. He founded The Singers Elite Vocal Big Band, sang for five years with Disneyland’s barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans, spent Christmas of 1983 with Disneyland’s Dickens Carolers, has recorded with the Roger Wagner Chorale, and participated in a Grammy-winning recording in 2021. He is a published arranger and orchestrator, and is the choral director for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and has prepared choruses for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. His singer referral service, Singers Elite, has provided vocal entertainment of all kinds to Southern California audiences for more than 30 years and in 2002, he founded and produces the annual “Choral Taste of Los Angeles,” a reading session of choral music by L.A. composers. 

Originally from Austin, Texas, Rene Ruiz was a featured performer and show director for the Walt Disney World Co. for over 15 years. He conceived, directed, and performed in “TOXIC AUDIO,” an a cappella concept show that played Off-Broadway and won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. The show has toured internationally, including stops in Japan and Barcelona. He executive produced their album, Chemistry, which won the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) for Album of the Year in 2000. He’s also directed a cappella shows for Six Flags New England, Hershey Park, and Kennywood Theme Parks. He can be heard as the bass/beatboxer in the Progressive Insurance a cappella commercials and in recorded park announcements all over Walt Disney World.


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 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!