Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 28th 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 650 groups and over 10,000 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 28 years ago and we can’t wait to see how our 2024 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



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Saturday, February 24th, 2024


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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 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 27th.

The high school tournament is now in its 19th 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 26th.

 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.


A Sharp Arrangement is SUNY Potsdam's only student-run all-treble a cappella group. Their mission is to spread the joy of music-making through performances and workshops, while exploring treble a cappella music through various musical styles. The group fully supports music education in schools and aims to more actively engage students in music. A Sharp Arrangement is also committed to learning healthy, supported, and energized singing for all audiences’ enjoyment. They are an award-winning a cappella group, placing 3rd in the 2011 and 2014 ICCA Quarterfinals and receiving Outstanding Soloist in 2014. They also placed 2nd in the 2019 and 2020 ICCA Quarterfinals, advancing to Semifinals two years in a row and winning Outstanding Soloist again in 2020. Most recently, they competed in the 2021 and 2022 ICCA, winning Outstanding Vocal Percussion in 2021 and Outstanding Choreography in 2022. 

The Potsdam Pointercounts is SUNY Potsdam's premier all-basso a cappella group, with voices ranging from tenor to bass! They dedicate themselves to educating students of all ages about a cappella music and bringing their love of the arts into schools. The Pointercounts perform a variety of musical styles to engage the creative minds and spirits of students and adults through educational workshops and performances. A cappella music holds historical and cultural significance and The Pointercounts strive to share one of the oldest forms of choral singing with students. It is The Potsdam Pointercounts’ mission to create an atmosphere that is conducive to students’ ability to create and enjoy all music! 

The Potsdam Pitches is SUNY Potsdam’s oldest mixed voice a cappella group. The Pitches was founded in 2007 by just four students as the first mixed-voice a cappella group on campus and has had over 100 Pitches be part of the group in the years since! As they became more involved in the a cappella world, The Potsdam Pitches began competing in the ICCA in 2009. The group flourished over the years, and advanced all the way to ICCA Finals in New York City at the Beacon Theatre for the first time ever in 2018. The Pitches were beyond honored to participate in this event and meet groups from all over the world. The Pitches also love to spread their love of a cappella through touring schools and other venues around New York! They love performing for diverse groups of people from all over the state and giving masterclasses to students of all ages, teaching everything from Disney classics to current pop songs! 

With members of every flavor and major, Groovestand is Syracuse University’s SATB group to beat, featuring the freshest musical talent on campus. Based in Syracuse, N.Y., audiences have turned to Groovestand to quench their thirst for fresh beats, juicy melodies, and delicious harmonies for over 20 years. All arrangements are 100% homegrown and guarantee complete satisfaction! Founded in 2000 at Syracuse University, Groovestand A Cappella has garnered widespread acclaim for their award-winning music. In 2009, 2011, and 2021 they were crowned ICCA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal Champions, receiving honors such as Outstanding Arrangement, Outstanding Vocal Production, and Outstanding Soloist. Groovestand specializes in feel-good music, from top 40s hits that get you out of your seat, to 70s classics with a comforting wave of nostalgia, or  refreshing bops that’ll soon be added to your playlist. They love sharing their musical prowess with audiences and creating a cozy atmosphere where everyone has a great time. Not only collaborative, talented musicians, Groovestand is also a group of warm friends at heart. They foster an energy of boldness and passion in each performance, creating an experience that you won’t forget. 

Otto Tunes is Syracuse University’s premier orange-pants-wearing a cappella group! A tenor-bass group, they burst onto the scene in 2011 and have been singing ever since. Otto Tunes is known for their engaging arrangements and choreography that span numerous genres, along with plenty of energy to create a show you won’t forget! Their repertoire consists of pop and rock hits, with jazz and funk influences (and a dash of country!) Additionally, they host Cockappella, their annual Testicular Cancer Benefit Concert that fundraises for the Testicular Cancer Foundation. Each year, they strive to support the TCF in a bigger way through their music. They can be found singing all over campus, from sporting events to University ceremonies. Otto Tunes also enjoys performing in the local community and embarking on a tour each winter! Otto Tunes has competed in ICCA twice before, as well as regional contests, such as the Rome Free Academy Collegiate A Cappella Invitational. Otto Tunes is extremely excited to sing for you and hopes you enjoy the show! 

IC Tone Cold is Ithaca College's newest, silliest, and pinkest all-gender a cappella group, back at the ICCA for their second year. Formed in 2020 as a virtual group at the height of the pandemic, Tone Cold has grown into a tight-knit family of theatre kids known for their themed concerts, their collaborative ethos, their singing valentines, and their propensity for Hozier. When they’re not rehearsing, they’re usually re-watching "Cocaine Bear." 

Pitch Please A Cappella is a co-ed group of 16 members from the University at Albany. Thet have performed at several ICCA competitions and look forward to this season. Each semester, their E-Board strategically puts together group members for an ideal fit. They are an extremely collaborative group and take pride in their dedication to the arts and celebration of all musical genres. They incorporate movement and beatboxing into their performances to create immersive, unique experiences. Pitch Please likes to display each of its members’ talents individually as well as collectively. They emphasize their commitment to building community-based outreach, as well as providing a safe, inclusive, and fun environment! This year, Pitch Please is implementing many new events and workshops, including an appearance at the Schenectady Holiday Parade and an event to display how music promotes unity across cultures! The group consists of extremely hard-working and talented individuals and they are so excited to showcase what makes Pitch Please special! 

Call4Backup is Nazareth University's soprano-alto a cappella group and has been singing around Rochester since the 90s. Fully student-led, arranged, and organized, C4B rehearses weekly, performs a concert at the end of every semester, and attends invitationals hosted by other a cappella groups in the area. The group mainly performs pop and a little bit of jazz. It has been four years since C4B has competed in the ICCA and they are thrilled to be back! 

Stay Tuned is SUNY Potsdam's second all-gender a cappella group! Their primary focus is to redefine a cappella, continuing to test new genres, styles, and diving deep into their music's deeper meanings.


Kevin Doherty is a musician and educator who found a lifelong love of collegiate a cappella during his first month of college in 1998, when saw Binghamton’s Rhythm Method perform in a dorm lounge. He went on to become the group's music director, and produced and engineered an album before graduation. One of his greatest joys was being a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the primary chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, with whom he performed in venues around the world for over 12 years. Kevin currently spends his days directing five choruses, giving voice lessons, and teaching music at the Middle and High Schools in Waverly, N.Y. He is also in his sixth year as musical director for the Valley Chorus, a community chorus based in the twin tier, and performs with the Southern Tier Singers’ Collective, a semi-professional choral ensemble in the Binghamton area. He is also an active tenor soloist, bass player, and drummer. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in music education from the Boston Conservatory. He loves having the opportunity to aid the development of young singers and watching the a cappella art form evolve by judging for Varsity Vocals. Kevin lives in Sayre, Pa. with his beautiful wife, their three children, a dog, a cat, and a ferret. 

An instrumentalist for most of his early life, Chris Hoffman found his calling in vocal music as a member and eventual president of Hofstra University’s Sigma’cappella. After bringing the group to ICCA Semifinals twice in its first three years of competition and earning individual awards for Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Vocal Percussion on the way, Chris went on to coach and arrange for various college and high school groups in the area. He's also performed with groups like Satellite Lane, competing in tournaments such as the Aca Open and the Harmony Sweepstakes. Chris enjoys helping students reach their potential and find their voice, both as the ICHSA Northeast producer and as an admissions counselor for the University of Minnesota.

Melissa Rashford is a proud alumna of The Mandarins, Syracuse University’s oldest all-female a cappella group. Under her direction, The Mandarins competed and performed throughout the eastern United States, earning multiple awards and national recognition by advancing to the ICCA Finals. Melissa is in her 12th season working with Varsity Vocals. Melissa teaches musical theatre at Rome Free Academy in Rome, N.Y., performs with the Syracuse University Oratorio Society, and is a former adjudicator for the Syracuse High School Theatre Awards. She holds degrees in music industry and business administration from SU and works in the university's Division of Marketing. 

Kevin Trapasso has spent the last 15 years involved in Varsity Vocals programs. While majoring in choral music education at Arizona State University, he helped found the school’s first all-male a cappella group, created an annual statewide a cappella festival, and eventually led this group to a Quarterfinal win in his senior year. Since then, he earned a master’s degree in choral conducting and has taught secondary, collegiate, and professional vocal ensembles around Florida and New York. He is so pleased to judge the very competition that helped him grow tremendously as a musician and educator and looks forward to a great night of music! 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Bryce Mckracken, Chelsea Perticone, Chris Hoffman, and the team at EMPAC; our judges, hosts, competitors, volunteers, partners, and producers; and you, the audience, for supporting Varsity Vocals programming.

Amanda Newman
 Executive Director

Elise Hackl-Blumstein
ICHSA Director

PA/MA Program Coordinator

Dave Rabizadeh
 ICCA Director

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Lucy Jacobs
 ICCA West Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Emily Benjamin
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Adam McNeil
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Jody Hagler
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Bryce McCracken
 Associate Producer

Bri Decerio
 Associate Producer

Courtney Jensen
 Associate Producer

Emcee Extraordinaire

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Charlotte Taylor
& Social Strategy

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 Senior Producer

Christopher Hoffman
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Luke Thomas
 ICHSA South Producer

Alaina Wegner
 Associate Producer

Jake Yoakum
 Associate Producer

Rebecca Williamson
 Associate Producer

Andrea Poole

ICHSA Director Emeritus


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 two placing groups at this event will advance to the 2024 ICCA Central 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!