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



University of Buffalo
Saturday, March 9th, 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.


On That Note is Toronto Metropolitan University's award-winning a cappella group for women and queer performers! Founded in 2020, On That Note boasts a unique sound, an outside-the-box artistic vision, and a repertoire of songs originally performed by women and queer artists. This vibrant group bonds over a shared love for singing and one another, as well as a passion for creating unique sets that deliver a powerful message. Thrust into the pandemic just a few months after its founding, On That Note adapted to the creative challenges of making music remotely while providing a safe space for women and queer performers. During the group’s in-person ICCA debut in 2023, On That Note earned the title of ICCA Central Champion and advanced to Finals with a powerful, narrative-driven set that explored the complexities of generational trauma and the unwavering spirit of resilience. They hope to carry on their legacy of dedication and heart into the 2024 ICCA season! 

The Water Boys is the University of Waterloo A Cappella Club's lower-voiced a cappella group, founded in 2008. With a repertoire ranging from ballads and classics to pop hits, The Water Boys have competed in ICCA for over 13 years. They were ICCA Finalists in 2017 and most recently placed 3rd in their 2023 ICCA Quarterfinal at the University of Waterloo. 

The Songburghs is a premier all-gender a cappella group at the University of Pittsburgh focused on pushing themselves musically while building close and long-lasting friendships. Established in 2015, they perform styles ranging from pop, R&B, indie, rock, and alternative. ICCA veterans since 2016, The Songburghs have won Outstanding Choreography in 2018, 2020, and 2023, Outstanding Vocal Percussion in 2019, 1st place at 2020 Quarterfinals, 2nd place at the 2019 and 2023 Quarterfinals, and 3rd place at 2019 Semifinals in Buffalo. ICCA remains their most important event of the year and The Songburghs have deepened their musical knowledge and insight through their ICCA experience. Outside of competition, they love to sing for the Pittsburgh community and frequently perform for other student organizations on campus, ranging from Pitt men's basketball games to Pitt Dance Marathon! They bond as a group during their Fall Retreats where they reveal their ICCA set to new members! They recently released an EP on Spotify called Feel Alive, showcasing last year’s award-winning ICCA set. Outside of rehearsal, The Songburghs can be found performing the latest TikTok dances, studying together in Hillman Library, or getting entirely too competitive playing card games. 

Counterpoint is CMU's oldest women and nonbinary inclusive a cappella group. Founded in 2000, CP aims to redefine the limits of an all-treble group's potential. Their dedication and friendships infuse their music with warmth and unity. In 2008, they founded the AcaPittsburgh benefit concert and have been holding concerts to benefit local causes and nonprofits every year since. They annually compete in the ICCA, notably placing 2nd at 2020 ICCA Central Quarterfinals and qualifying for Semifinals, which was sadly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were happy to return to the competitive stage at the 2023 ICCA Central Quarterfinals and are overwhelmingly excited to be back this year! 

Ithacappella is Ithaca College’s male-identifying a cappella group. This group of 16 guys spans all four years and different courses of study. They all bring something different to the group, but share the same passion for singing and telling stories through music. They perform all genres including pop, rock, and choral! In this year’s set, they track the stages of a relationship’s end and a journey to self-acceptance. They hope the audience sees how these boys support one another through each stage of the set, reflecting the same support they share offstage as a group. Ithacappella has had a blast with Varsity Vocals these past few years and hope to bring what they’ve learned to this year’s set! 

Premium Blend is Ithaca College's first and only all-female a cappella group! They’re serving up the perfect blend of fresh energy, smooth sound, and style that’s always Premium. Founded in 1998 as a larger ensemble, the group comprises 14 femme-aligned members dedicated to learning, performing, and sharing the beauty and fun of a cappella music with various audiences. The group enjoys exploring many different styles, incorporating rock, folk, choral, and alternative music into their sets, as well as current pop hits off the radio. In addition to putting on two full-length concerts each year, Premium Blend performs extensively around the Ithaca College campus and community. Each year, they tour to a new location on the East Coast to work with high school, middle school, and other college a cappella groups. Competing in the ICCA tournament is an integral part of the group, but they took a two-year hiatus after the 2020 Central ICCA Quarterfinals, where they won 2nd place and Outstanding Choreography. They are ready to be back and show everyone what they can do! 

Vocal Point is a historically female, now gender-inclusive treble a cappella group from the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. Originally founded in 1969 as the women's chorus, the group has evolved into a more contemporary group that sings all kinds of music, including pop, rock, jazz, and songs in other languages. Vocal Point loves performing on the UofR campus, throughout the Rochester community, and around the country to share their music with other communities. You can listen to their music on all streaming platforms @urvocalpoint, including their most recent album which just came out last winter. Vocal Point has performed in several previous ICCA tournaments., notably earning 1st place at their 2019 Quarterfinal. They are very excited to be performing again this year! 

Founded in 1995, The Buffalo Chips is UB's first a cappella group, with a long and exciting legacy of fun, community, and singing memorable tunes from across time and genres. They pride themselves on maintaining a long-lasting bond of brotherhood. As repeat ICCA Finalists, they aspire to bring jaw-dropping performances and to always reach greater heights. They love to bring the joy of music to their local Western New York community and around New York State. On top of hosting three huge concerts a year composed entirely of self-arranged music, The Buffalo Chips also love to give back to their community by singing at high schools, weddings, retirement homes, and other public events! 

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! 

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!


Euphoria is an all-voice a cappella group composed of aca-alumni from all over the country, spanning from North Carolina to Wisconsin to New Hampshire. The group was established in the late summer of 2021, a time when it felt like many people of this artform had lost their voices. Euphoria aims to provide a space for those lost voices to be heard, whether virtually or in-person. Tonight, their purpose continues by sharing some of their music live for the first time ever. This is Euphoria!


James Harrington has worn many hats in almost 25 years in the collegiate and professional a cappella worlds. A former ICCA producer in the now defunct New England and Northeast/Central Canada regions, he has also competed (The Berklee Method) and has been a judge for over 20 years in the Northeast, South, Midwest, and Central regions. James was a four-year member of Hyannis Sound, and a member of 2002 Harmony Sweeps Finalist Groove, and “The Sing-Off” Season 1 alternate Mutual X, in addition to subbing for professional outfits Ball in the House and Home Free. As an operatic bass, he has performed with the major companies in Santa Fe, Portland, Nashville, and Boston, among others. He is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, Florida State University, and the University of Wisconsin, and is the director of Buffalo Rock Voices, a community choir focused on rock and pop repertoire. 

Philip Jarosz has appeared on various stages throughout Western New York, including Studio Arena, Artpark, and Lancaster Opera House. He has also performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and in Opera Sacra productions. Philip is a founding member of the The Lake Effect all-male a cappella ensemble, Vocalis, and the Harmonia Chamber Singers. Philip teaches in the Kenmore-Tonawanda school district where he has directed productions of "The Laramie Project," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Sweeney Todd," "Les Miserables," and "The Drowsy Chaperone," to name a few. In 2018, Philip was named Buffalo Theatre Person of the Year. 

Jeff Magee is a vocal music education graduate from the University of Toronto, and currently teaches high school vocal and instrumental music. He has been an active part of Toronto's a cappella community for 12 years as a beatboxer, singer, director, arranger, and vocal coach. Jeff has experience in a variety of a cappella choirs, ranging from jazz and classical to pop music. He has directed collegiate a cappella choirs for eight years, incorporating award-winning choreography, soloists, and arrangements. Jeff is passionate about bringing the fun and excitement of a cappella music to new audiences. 

Austin Matson is the Director of Choir in the Attica Central School District. He holds a B.A. in music education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a M.M. in music education from Buffalo State College. While at SUNY Potsdam, Austin was the arranger, music director, and choreographer of The Potsdam Pitches, the college's premier co-ed a cappella group, which has made recent appearances in ICCA Semifinals and Finals. He currently sings in the Vocális Chamber Choir in Buffalo, N.Y. and consults on theatre and artistic productions all around Western New York. 

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 11th 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. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Bryce Mckracken, Chelsea Perticone, Mike Jankowski, Joey Cassata, Acaproducers, and the staff and crew from the University at Buffalo- Center for the Arts; 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 placing group at this event will advance to the 2024 ICCA Finals.


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!