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




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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.


Mind The Gap is a mixed-voice competitive a cappella group from the University of Oregon founded in 2007 to create a gender-inclusive group on campus. Mind The Gap has a long history of competing in ICCA including four 1st place wins at Quarterfinals since 2014 and winning Outstanding Arrangement at their 2023 West Quarterfinal. The group has also been featured on the 2020 BOCA album. Mind The Gap has released three albums, two EPs and one single, including their recently released EP, Refraction, which features their 2023 ICCA set. The group is passionate about spreading their love for music and music education and is a strong advocate for a cappella through education. Mind The Gap has been the host group for the Rose City Sing-Off, a competition for high school groups in Oregon, for the past two years and they look forward to their third this spring. Mind The Gap members dedicate their time and passion to creating music and performing and are thrilled to continue their ICCA tradition. 

The Green Note A Cappella is Portland State University's premier all-gender a cappella group. Established in 2010, the group has competed in many ICCA and have taken home many awards including Outstanding Arrangement, Outstanding Choreography, and Outstanding Soloist. When they're not competing, The Green Note loves to do karaoke and play on their Minecraft Realm. 

Furmata is the University of Washington's premier, all-gender a cappella group. They emphasize excellence, passion, energy, dedication, and inclusivity in all of their endeavors. Furmata was the ICCA 2023 West Quarterfinal Champion and ICCA 2022 West Quarterfinal Runner-Up. They have been honored with awards such as Outstanding Arrangement and Outstanding Soloist over the last several years. 

Eh? Cappella is the University of British Columbia's (UBC Vancouver) oldest competitive a cappella group and competes annually in the ICCA. As the 2018, 2020, and 2022 West Quarterfinal Champions, they have a diverse repertoire of songs spanning across genres and showcasing their group’s diverse musical talents. Eh? Cappella is known for their energetic stage prescence, engaging and complex song arrangements, and powerful soloists. Their songs are out on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music and their previous award-winning ICCA sets can be viewed on Youtube. Fun fact: one of their Eh?lumni beatboxers, Vino Cuenca, is the reigning champion of the Canadian Beatbox Tournament! 

ScatterTones is a student-run, all-gender, premier a cappella group at UCLA! Founded in 2002, the group performs regularly on campus and throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. Performing a unique mix of pop, jazz, R&B, and indie, The ScatterTones love showcasing their original arrangements in both competitive and non-competitive settings. They are seven-time Finalists in the ICCA, most recently winning 3rd place in 2022. In addition, they have been featured on KTLA "Channel 5 Morning News," opened for Pentatonix in concert, sung backup for Taylor Swift, and had the honor of singing in the White House. They also frequently compete in UCLA's prestigious talent competition Spring Sing and in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF). 

Founded in 2012, Resonance started out as a quintet that grew in both size and sound, quickly becoming one of UCLA's premier a cappella groups. Their love of music unites undergraduate and graduate students from various majors and they pride themselves on their next-level content creation and competition. Over the years, Resonance has earned high rankings in numerous events such as the ICCA, notably earning 1st place at Southwest Quarterfinals and Semifinals in 2021 and progressing to Finals, winning Outstanding Arrangement at every stage of the competition season. In subsequent years, they maintained their competitive spirit, securing 3rd place at ICCA West Quarterfinals in both 2022 and 2023. Additional accomplishments include standout performances at the LAAF, where they were awarded with Outstanding Vocal Percussion in 2023, and at Spring Sing, UCLA's largest and most competitive musical showcase. Their first studio album, In This Light, is available on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify. They have also released various singles and plan to release a music video and second studio album later this year. Resonance hopes to share their music with their community and make a lasting impact. 

The After School Specials hails from the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of liberal arts colleges in Southern California. Known for their upbeat attitudes, green attire, and friendly attitudes, they sing their own arrangements that cover an expansive range of music. Their members are as diverse as the music they sing, coming from all corners of the country and world, and spanning majors from all academic disciplines. The group believes in creating a space for passionate individuals to share their love of making music, regardless of their backgrounds. Their goal is to build a community for people to connect on all levels, with music as the catalyst. The After School Specials have been privileged to perform and record at exciting locations, including The Fonda Theatre, Diane Warren's recording studio, and the White House. In 2018, The After School Specials won the 2018 ICCA Wildcard and performed in ICCA Finals at the Beacon Theatre on Broadway. Most recently, “ASS” appeared on “America’s Got Talent” during the 2021 season and returned to compete in the 2022 ICCA. They are honored to showcase their skills in front of as many people as possible and hope to continue making music wherever people want to listen. 

Founded in 1994, Uniting Voices has grown from cultural club choir to the premier all-gender a cappella group at UCI. Inspired by the power of storytelling and diversity, their talent and hard work have taken them far beyond their humble roots. Over the past few years, Uniting Voices has been a three-time Best A Cappella Group winner and recipient of Best Overall Performance in UCI's annual talent show, Soulstice. The group qualified and competed twice in the LAAF. Uniting Voices was the first group to move onto ICCA Semifinals in UCI’s aca-history, successfully joining the Top 10 in the West in 2023, 2021, and 2019. During the 2023 season, the group placed 1st and won Outstanding Arrangement at Quarterfinals and won Outstanding Choreography at both Quarterfinals and Semifinals. As they reach new heights, Uniting Voices continues to captivate audiences with their diverse strengths and shared passion for creating art through a cappella. 

The Lounge Lizards originally began in 1995 with a group of friends living in the Tercero dorms at UC Davis. Magic happened in the dorm lounge and UC Davis's first a cappella group was born. Over 25 years later, The Lizards are still taking the stage and showing off the style and sass that makes them so unique among their UC Davis peers. As the oldest a cappella group at Davis, they are often seen at on-campus and local events, where they love to perform their favorite tunes. The best time to hear them perform is at their annual spring concert, No Instruments Attached, where they assemble groups from across the state for a night of wonderful music. The Lounge Lizards is also a competitive group, notably three-time ICCA Semifinalists and 2021 LAAF Finalists. 

The Spokes is the premier all-female a cappella group at UC Davis! With their iconic pink dot logo noticeable from a mile away, you can catch them singing all over campus, from Olson Hall to the MU Quad. As seen on “Pitch Perfect,” this sparkly, pink, and sassy group competes in the ICCA and has taken home awards in the past, including Outstanding Soloist in 2021. They sing songs by a range of mainly (but not exclusively) female artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Beyoncé, NIKI, and more! They are best known for their annual West Coast premier a cappella showcase, HellaCappella, held at the Mondavi Center every spring and features groups from all over the West Coast! Just as a bicycle wheel relies on the support of all its spokes, all the sp’ladies in this group depend on each member’s dedication to produce the best music and results!


Casey Ellis is a vocal teacher, music director, and professional musical theatre performer in northern California. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied under the renowned tenor, César Ulloa. She has directed several competitive high school a cappella groups who have won special awards and progressed to ICHSA Semifinals. Currently, she is the director of MYST A Cappella from MST Music Academy, where she also serves as the artistic director and lead vocal teacher. She is the resident music director of Missouri Street Theatre, a professional regional musical theatre company, where she also frequently performs. Casey has a deep love for the vocal instrument and has dedicated her life to teaching young performers how to properly find and use their true voices. 

Dr. Daniel Fister (he/him) is thrilled to be in his 10th (!) year judging for Varsity Vocals. He is a proud original member of Wilsonville High School’s Soul’d Out and alumnus of Chapman University SoundCheck. In both groups, he sang bass, arranged, served as music director, and competed in Varsity Vocals events. Daniel remains involved in a cappella as a judge for Varisty Vocals and the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), a reviewer for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB), and a masterclass leader. His time singing and judging a cappella inspired him to pursue a doctoral degree in musicology and his dissertation examined how race impacts ideologies, policies, and sounds in contemporary scholastic a cappella. He is now an adjunct professor at various Bay Area colleges. He also sings with and is the assistant director of The Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, for whom he directs the ensemble’s small group, Desperate Measures. Best wishes to all the competing groups! 

Doug Friedman has a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in music technology from NYU. He has been a vocal performer for over 22 years, with credits as a member of VoiceMale at Brandeis, semi-professional group Overboard, barbershop choir Fog City Singers, semi-professional pop a cappella band Beyond Zebra in the Bay Area. 

Bill Hare is a Grammy-winning recording engineer/producer and is recognized as a pioneer in bringing pop/rock production techniques to recorded contemporary a cappella. Over the past 35 years, Bill has recorded and/or mixed acclaimed albums for some of the best-known contemporary a cappella groups around the globe, from The Swingle Singers to The King’s Singers in the U.K., Basix to Vocal Line in Denmark, Italy's Cluster, The Ghost Files, Alti & Bassi and Maybe6ix, German supergroups Wise Guys, Amarcord, and Maybebop, to name just a few, as well as artists from dozens of other countries, from Australia to Zambia. He also covers the U.S. from his home base in California, working with top American acts including The House Jacks, m-pact, Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Street Corner Symphony, NoTa, +4dB, Duwende, The Backbeats, Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys, as well as NBC’s hit show, “The Sing-Off.” Collegiate a cappella clients include The Tufts Beelzebubs, University of Oregon’s On The Rocks and Divisi, The Stanford Harmonics, and scores of others. Bill’s story was also told in the original book version of “Pitch Perfect,” from which the popular movies were adapted. Bill’s accolades include more than 70 appearances on BOCA, over 100 CARA nominations, nearly 40 albums on RARB’s "Picks of the Year" lists, and 11 "DeeBee" awards since 1987 in the vocal jazz category from Downbeat Magazine. Bill has also had numerous appearances on Billboard, iTunes, and other major charts, Gold and Platinum record certifications around the world, and multiple music awards and nominations. 

Dr. Chris Rishel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and the Director of the Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship at Stanford, and also serves as Chief Technology Officer at WikiAnesthesia, a nonprofit startup for sharing knowledge in anesthesia. He was first introduced to a cappella music when he sang in a barbershop quartet in the eighth grade, and entered the realm of contemporary a cappella as a graduate student in the M.D./Ph.D. program at The University of Chicago. There, he directed Voices in Your Head to multiple appearances at ICCA Finals among other competitive successes. His arrangements and compositions have been individually recognized with three Outstanding Arrangement awards at the ICCA, two CARAs for Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement, as well as CARAs for Best Professional Arrangement for a Scholastic Group and Best Scholastic Original Song. His works have also been frequently featured on the compilation albums BOCA, Sing, Voices Only, and Ben Folds’ a cappella album. As a studio producer, he has helped other groups achieve over 15 CARA nominations and more than 20 compilation album appearances. 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank tonight's sound engineer, Greg St. Germain from RDX Productions; emcee, Jake Yoakum, volunteers, Grace Rowe and Jordan Fabroni, production assistant, Seth Fetro, and all the staff at the Fox Theatre who keep us coming back year after year; 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!



The Fox Theatre
Saturday, March 23, 2024