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



New York Society for Ethical Culture 
Saturday, March 2nd, 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.


Presenting the eminent a cappella phenomenon from the esteemed halls of Columbia University in the City of New York, The Clefhangers! Established in 1988, The Clefhangers, affectionately known as The Clefs, proudly hold their position as one of Columbia’s staple co-ed a cappella groups. Their repertoire seamlessly weaves together pop, rock, and shades of jazz and R&B, a composition meticulously crafted by this assembly of both undergraduate and graduate virtuosos. Beyond musical prowess, The Clefs embody inclusivity and passion, representing the diverse musical landscape of Columbia, as well as a rich tapestry of cultures from around the globe. Their impact extends far beyond the boundaries of campus, gracing stages across the nation. From the grandeur of the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony to the pulsating energy of the NYC marathon, The Clefs consistently deliver transcendent performances. The Clefhangers notably placed 2nd at the 2008 ICCA Quarterfinals, accompanied by accolades for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Vocal Percussion. This triumph signifies yet another chapter in their illustrious ICCA journey, encompassing six Quarterfinal and Semifinal top placements and nine special awards since 1996. After a hiatus from the competitive a cappella arena, The Clefs are back, reinvigorated, and poised to captivate anew! 

The Cleftomaniacs is New York University’s premier all-female a cappella group! Founded in 1997, The Cleftomaniacs is built on a strong love for music and an irreplaceable chosen family. This diverse group includes members spanning from pre-med students to drama majors. Their repertoire ranges from contemporary pop and R&B to classics everyone knows and loves, all with a signature flair that makes it completely their own! Last year, they competed at the 2023 ICCA Northeast Quarterfinals, winning a special award for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2020, they placed 3rd overall. Also in 2020, they were nominated for multiple awards by the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) for their album, Bittersweet. The Cleftomaniacs are ecstatic to compete in their fifth ICCA competition this year! Make sure to follow them  on Instagram @nyucleftos to stay up to date on shows, auditions, and a new EP coming soon! 

The F Sharps is a mixed a cappella group of 16 members coming from various musical backgrounds. They are the only a cappella group at Fordham Lincoln Center, their Manhattan campus, and they sing all types of music. The F Sharps perform eight new songs each semester and create every arrangement themselves. Their songs and soloists are determined through a democratic process. In this way, The F Sharps align with the “power to the people” mantra, although their E-board and music directors provide a strong foundation for success. Outside of rehearsal, they pride themselves in forging meaningful connections between group members. For example, they love to go on outings, such as karaoke at Dave and Buster’s in Times Square. Part of their group philosophy, especially considering their busy schedules and hefty workloads, is that friendship is the key to success. To them, the rehearsal space is not just for making music, but also for having fun and meeting one another where they are. The F are excited to share their songs with you and hope you enjoy them! 

Hawkappella is Hunter College's premier and only co-ed a cappella group! Their goal is to provide all students, regardless of major and experience, a space to create a cappella music. At a commuter school like Hunter, it can be difficult to connect with fellow classmates, so Hawkappella has become a valuable musical community. This will be their fourth year competing at the ICCA and they hope to demonstrate their growth. Hawkappella’s reportoire has expanded to include songs that engage the group members, from alternative indie music like boygenius to pop in its purest form like Ariana Grande. Last year, thanks to the help of a generous performing arts grant awarded to Hawkappella by Hunter, they had the resources to seek outside coaching and mentorship to prepare competitive performances and ultimately placed 3rd at ICCA Quarterfinals! This year, they hope to demonstrate their potential beyond their CUNY community and reach greater heights. Get ready to see Hawkappella soar!! 

The N’Harmonics is a distinguished and versatile all-gender a cappella group at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Their eclectic repertoire spans everything from current hits to legacy arrangements dating back to their founding in 1994. The N’Harmonics are excited to be returning to the ICCA after their Championship win at 2019 Finals. They seek to make their competing sets conceptual works with a narrative arc. Coming from various New York creative scenes, The ‘Harmz use multidisciplinary storytelling to make artistic statements with every piece. Group alumni have been seen and heard in  Broadway and (inter)national touring productions of shows including “Wicked,” “Spring Awakening,” “The Great Comet,” “Beetlejuice,” “School of Rock,” and “Sister Act.” Former ‘Harmz can also be spotted in TV shows including “Glee” and “The Other Two.” Many members, both current and past, are active recording artists, songwriters, and producers. They have performed at venues including Radio City Music Hall, Yankee Stadium, Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, The Playstation Theater, The Beacon Theater, Joe's Pub, 54 Below, and many colleges in the Northeast. 

The Mixtapes is a co-ed a cappella group from NYU and they’re thrilled to be returning to the ICCA stage! They sing everything from Yebba to Rihanna, Sam Henshaw to The Beatles, Lorde to Silk Sonic. They’re passionate about performing and won Outstanding Arrangement at the 2018 ICCA Northeast Semifinals. Outside of singing a cappella, The Mixtapes love hosting trivia nights and potlucks, thrifting, and exploring the city. Above all, they just like hanging out together (some of them even got tattoos together!) and are proud to call themselves great friends in and out of the rehearsal room. They recently released a single, “Higher” by Rihanna, as well as an EP entitled Freefall, which features hits like “Favorite Crime” by Olivia Rodrigo, “Smokin’ Out the Window” by Silk Sonic, “Show No Regret” by Daniel Caesar, and “Ribs” by Lorde. You can find them on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube @The Mixtapes and @themixtapesnyu on Instagram. They send lots of love to their fellow NYU a cappella groups and want to say a huge thank you to everybody who helped put this event together. They really hope you enjoy their set! 

The mission statement of Tonal Recall transcends music. It focuses on the reliance of others in order to create a masterpiece, allowing people from different fields and backgrounds to work together in order to serve the Pace community. With various performances and competitions, they hope to build on Pace’s strong musical background and positively engage the Pace and New York City communities with their music. 

Founded in September 2022, Unjust Intonation is an all-gender, student-run a cappella group at The New School in New York City. Created to build performance opportunities specifically geared towards non-music-performance majors, they welcome students from all of The New School’s colleges to audition, fostering opportunities for collaboration. Indeed, all of the colleges at The New School were represented in the 12 members of the 2022-2023 season (their inaugural year)! In its first year of existence, Unjust Intonation competed in the ICCA Northeast Quarterfinals, portrayed the Greek Chorus in a theatre production of “Iphigenia among the Taurians,” caroled in Central Park, presented a spring concert, performed at commencement; and showed their support for striking faculty at the Student-Faculty Solidarity Concert. Unjust Intonation seeks to diversify its repertoire as the group develops, representing artists and songs from a spectrum of musical styles, including R&B, classical, punk, jazz, and metal, among others! Their ensemble is structured so that everyone, regardless of experience level, can explore any facet of a cappella with support from veteran group members. Within the walls of Arnhold Hall, Unjust Intonation is a supportive ensemble based on the joy of music. 


Gyasi Barber, a New Jersey native, completed his Master of Music in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory. There, Gyasi played Figaro in "Le Nozze di Figaro," Don Pedro De Hinoyosa in Offenbach's "La Perichole," and Ben Benny in "Paul Bunyan." Prior to that, he earned his undergraduate degree in music education from Syracuse University, and played such roles as Pish Tush in "The Mikado," Frank in Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," and Sarastro in "Die Zauberflote." Gyasi has performed as a featured soloist with the Masterworks Chorale in Boston, as the bass soloist for their annual Messiah Sing, and played Collatinus in Opera Brittenica’s production of Britten's "Rape of Lucretia.” Currently based in New York City, Gyasi performs with the Oratorio Society of New York, in addition to other small groups. 

Candice Helfand-Rogers, a longtime Varsity Vocals judge, has been active in the a cappella community for decades. At Rutgers University, she sang with and music-directed Deep Treble, then went on to help found and direct ShockWave, leading the latter group to ICCA Finals in its first year. After graduating, she co-founded semi-professional a cappella group Restated (formerly known as The Red States) and served as its musical director for several years. She garnered multiple awards for her onstage and studio contributions to these groups as a soloist, arranger, and choreographer. In addition, Candice is a session singer whose voice can be heard in Universal Studios' hit a cappella movies, "Pitch Perfect" and "Pitch Perfect 2,” as well as in numerous ad campaigns. Candice now sings with several New York City ensembles, including Broadway Inspirational Voices and Ghostlight Chorus, as well as the choir at First Unitarian in Brooklyn, where she is a section leader. She has also been a featured performer at venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Minskoff and New Victory Theaters. Outside of her musical endeavors, Candice is a journalist and an extremely proud mom. 

Samantha Hitchell-Herskowitz has served as the director of instrumental and choral activities at Bayonne High School for the last seven years. In this role, she directs the award-winning State Champion Bayonne High School Marching Band and their a cappella group, The Bee's Knees. The Bee’s Knees have been competing in the ICHSA circuit for the past three years and have consistently earned a spot in Semifinals, claiming Runner-Up in 2023. Samantha also serves as the director of the concert band, wind ensemble, and concert choir, as wellas the vocal and instrumental music director and conductor for the BHS Drama Society. During her time at the University of Delaware, Samantha pursued a degree in music education with a concentration in clarinet. She served as president of the internationally acclaimed a cappella group, Vocal Point, aiding them in a 3rd place finish in the 2014 ICCA. She is featured as a soloist, vocalist and vocal percussionist on several studio albums, as well as compilation albums like Voices Only and BOCA. She is passionate about sharing her time and talents with the students of Bayonne and also works as a clinician for both instrumental and choral ensembles throughout the state of New Jersey. 

Leon Hua is a vocal percussionist, arranger, performer, and music educator living in New York City. Leon is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was a part of the five-time ICCA Champions, The SoCal VoCals, as a VP, singer, and arranger. Notably, he has performed with a cappella groups like Pentatonix, The Nor’easters, and Pitch Slapped. Leon began his a cappella journey in high school, when he attended A Cappella Academy, a summer camp co-founded by Ben Bram, Rob Dietz, and Avi Kaplan. Since then, Leon's performances and arrangements have appeared on BOCA, BOHSA, Voices Only, the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), and the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). 

Kyle Yampiro is a Doctor of Musical Arts from James Madison University and has served on faculty at University of Memphis and Eastern Mennonite University, teaching musical theatre voice and music history, respectively. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he is a nomadic actor who has performed with numerous opera and musical theatre companies across the country and most recently performed “Hairspray” on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in 2023. He music-directed University of Delaware’s Vocal Point as an undergraduate and JMU's Exit 245 while earning his master's degree. With Exit 245, he contributed to the CARA-winning album, Boyfriend Material, from which his solo track, "Cinema," was featured on the compilation albums BOCA 2013, Voices Only 2013, and SING 10. He spent a year singing with Memphis-based Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL) group, DeltaCappella, has been a clinician at festivals, and currently serves as an editor and reviewer for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) and as the nominations manager for the AVAs.


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank Black to Gold and Kenter Davies; 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 Northeast 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!