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



The Bourbon Theatre
Saturday, February 17th, 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.


Count Me In is a highly sought-after treble a cappella group from Iowa State University.The group was reestablished in the spring of 2021 and has performed multiple times, notably singing  at the national anthem for The Harlem Globetrotters at the Wells Fargo Arena. This is Count Me In's first time competing at the ICCA and they are incredibly excited to perform for you today! They would like to thank their advisor, Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, who has championed their group the past three years by helping them succeed in all of their endeavors. They would also like to give a shoutout to Brad Dell, director of the Iowa State Music and Theatre Department, for being Count Me In's No.1 fan and supporting them on this journey. Enjoy the show!

The Iowa Hawkapellas is the only all female-identifying a cappella group from the University of Iowa. Established in 2001, this is The Hawkapellas’ 22nd year of sharing music with the greater Iowa City community. The group is composed of 18 members who enjoy singing music from all genres. Their goal is to bring together young women at Iowa and connect with their community through the joy of making music. 

Shockappella is a co-ed, competitive a cappella group on campus that competes in the ICCA, recently earning 3rd place at Quarterfinals! They also perform in the Kansas area. The purpose of Shockappella is to share the tradition of competitive collegiate a cappella music with the community and provide an open-minded environment for creativity and expression for students. Students from any major with a love for singing and competing can come audition in the beginning of the fall semester. Once selected, they develop long-lasting relationships with the people in the group. Group alternates may also be selected and granted membership. 

Back in 2002, a couple of University of Nebraska students gathered a group of their most talented buddies to sing together. Since then, the group has developed into a thriving a cappella ensemble known as The Bathtub Dogs. When they’re not in class, The Dogs perform on campus and across the state of Nebraska, most notably as the opening act for the Grammy–winning rock band, OKGo. Last fall, the group released their eighth studio album, Escalator Music, and grew their ensemble to 19 members. Their goal as a performing ensemble is simple: to entertain. 

Boots & Cats, the premier all-treble a cappella group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was founded in 2011 and features 18 undergraduate students. Entirely student-led and directed, the members of Boots & Cats are involved in a variety of majors and activities across campus. B&C enjoys performing in the Lincoln community and recording music. They have released two albums, an EP, and four singles, including their recent version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Boots & Cats is grateful for every opportunity to share their friendship and love of music! 

Pitch Please is the premier all-gender a cappella group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They are in their 11th year on campus and continue to grow their presence within the a cappella community. Just like the array of musical genres that they perform, their members come from a variety of majors, including, but not limited to advertising, business, human development, architecture, and forensic sciences. 

The Red Keys is a co-ed competitive a cappella singing group established in 2017 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln! They love performing and fostering a passion for the arts in the collegiate music community on campus. This diverse group includes students from all majors and different backgrounds. They strive to create music that speaks to their members and develops an inclusive community. Some of their accomplishments include competing at ICCA since 2019 and recording professionally. In March 2021, they received their highest ICCA score ever, placing 3rd at their Midwest Quarterfinal and winning Outstanding Vocal Percussion (Joey Carabello). 

Tonal Eclipse is Oklahoma City University's premier mixed a cappella group. Tonal Eclipse provides an opportunity for students to sing with and for their peers. They encourage student leadership and collaboration, working together to create, workshop, and sing arrangements of all genres. This is their first year competing in the ICCA and they could not be more excited! Tonal is composed of 17 skilled singers from the School of Theatre and the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.


Since 2002, J.R. Gould has taught vocal and instrumental music at Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School in Omaha, Neb., where his compulsory middle school choirs and non-auditioned high school choir regularly earn unanimous Superior ratings at festivals. He founded BT's Pirate Radio in 2014, which has been a trailblazing college-style ensemble in Nebraska high school a cappella and regularly earns unanimous Superior ratings at festivals and high rankings at contests. He was honored to be selected as 2022's Nebraska Music Educator of the Year. J.R. has been arranging, singing, and directing choral music and contemporary a cappella music since high school in the mid 1990s. As a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (before the existence of Rocktavo or The Bathtub Dogs), his a cappella arrangements were performed by UNL's vocal jazz ensemble, Lincoln Northeast High School's Voices N Harmony, and at his own senior voice recital. He has sung the national anthem in various a cappella settings for the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials three times and enjoys singing backup and playing keyboards and trumpet in a rock cover band. 

Jacob Ritter is the director of vocal music at Columbus High School in Columbus, Neb. Since 2015, Jacob has worked tirelessly to reach the highest levels of excellence in a cappella at the high school level and is a passionate advocate for the genre across the state. Columbus High School is home to three competitive a cappella ensembles and regularly features a cappella music at most academic high school concerts. Their professional affiliations have included multiple feature performances on News Channel Nebraska, Total Vocal with Deke Sharon, and two performances for the Barbershop Harmony Society's international conventions. In addition to his efforts at CHS, Jacob has directed two barbershop choruses and regularly supports local community choir opportunities. He has a bachelor's degree in music education from Doane University in Crete, Neb. and a master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Central Missouri. Jacob is also a member of the five-part vocal band called VoiceHouse, which has been singing a cappella since 2016. They regularly perform for community concert series, educator conventions, public events, and private parties. All of the members of the ensemble are vocal music educators from Nebraska. 

Kat Sodawasser is a seasoned musician, educator, and clinician. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in music education and a Master of Education and Leadership from Midland University. After attaining her master’s degree, she was the Assistant Director of Vocal Music at Midland. There, she worked closely with Deke Sharon to develop Midland’s first A Cappella Festival, which welcomed high school ensembles from Nebraska to perform for and learn from Deke himself! Kat also was a member of The Young Americans performing arts organization and taught and performed in Japan, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Canada, Korea, Austria, and all over the United States. Currently, Kat sings and plays drums professionally in Omaha’s No.1 wedding variety band, Pink Kadillac, and teaches privately at Sing Omaha Studios. She will always have a passion for contemporary a cappella and is excited to be here today! 

Meesh Zhang is a mezzo-soprano with over a decade of performing experience in a cappella and choral music. Classically trained in piano and music theory, her a cappella journey started with The Aristocats, a renowned Disney a cappella group at Washington University in St. Louis. Post-college, Meesh continued to contribute to the a cappella scene, becoming a valued member of various amateur groups. She lent her vocal talents to Internote and The Love Notes, both based in the Bay Area, showcasing her versatility and passion for harmonizing. Meesh is also a founding member of the A Cappella Collective, a group that primarily focuses on project-based live recording.


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

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 Southwest 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!