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



Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School
Saturday, February 3rd, 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 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.

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.

 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.


Lakeville South Encore is from Lakeville, Minn. and was founded in 2005. This SATB a cappella group sings at various community functions and has competed in the ICHSA since 2017. A strong competitor,  Encore placed 3rd in their 2020 Quarterfinal and won Outstanding Choreography in 2023, also besitng their overall score by 35 points in 2023. They compete at Sing Strong New York  every other year and have placed 2nd overall twice. Javier, a tenor soloist, also received the Best Soloist honor last year. Encore is currently composed of 19 singers, including 12 seniors, six  juniors, and one sophomore. They have many different interests, such as theatre (last year’s musical was a Hennipen Theatre Trust Spotlight Winner!) and sports (football, baseball, soccer, tennis, downhill skiing, swimming, and bowling), and all enjoy going out together for a good post-concert breakfast. 

Harmonix is a fierce, competitive, treble a cappella group based out of Jordan, Minn., with so much sass and a whole lot of class. Their mission is to focus on empowerment by embracing their whole selves, being confident, showing respect, and accepting others. They are passionate about singing their stories to inspire others to step out of their comfort levels and become the best version of themselves. Harmonix believes that everyone should live in harmony with one another and within their own hearts. 

Vocal Point is a 14-member, auditioned, a cappella vocal band based out of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School, in Galesville, Wis. They have performed all over the Midwest, opening for nationally touring a cappella groups such as Six Appeal, Street Corner Symphony, Revoiced, Cantus, Vocalosity, DCappella, and The Exchange. They have performed in some of the biggest venues in the country such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Beacon Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, and for a crowd of over 50,000 people when opening for Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammar. Vocal Point has participated in the ICHSA for the past eight years, receiving awards each year for Outstanding Soloist and Vocal Percussion. In 2017, they won the ICHSA Wildcard and advanced to Finals in New York, earning 3rd place and Outstanding Vocal Percussion. They returned to Finals in 2019 and placed 4th. In 2019, Vocal Point took a break from competing in the ICHSA and turned their attention to doing workshops with other high school a cappella programs and performed at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC) in Memphis, Tenn. After that hiatus, Vocal Point was thrilled to represent the Great Lakes region at Finals in 2023. 

Good Old A Cappella is one of three a cappella groups at Beaver Dam High School. They enjoy singing for the community during the winter season with their ugly Christmas sweaters. Over the last couple of years, the group has transitioned to using their own arrangements for a majority of their spring semester music, including this ICHSA set. The group has qualified for WSMA State Solo & Ensemble every year that the Contemporary A Cappella category has existed. Good Old A Cappella looks forward to their fourth ICHSA Quarterfinals performance! 

This is Incognito's ninth year of existence. Their name stems from the first group which rehearsed in secret as a surprise for a pops concert. The group includes students from grades 10-12 and rehearses outside of school hours whenever they can find the time. Their favorite things to sing involve modern pop and rock, infused with some throwback to the 90s. 

Out of the Blue is an a cappella group from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School with 15-17 members. With the popularity of a cappella at their school, this group formed at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year to give more students opportunities to perform outside of the curricular choirs. They are scheduled to perform at least 10 different times throughout the school year. They will be competing in their fifth ICHSA. Out of the Blue is excited to showcase their passion for singing and performing and see where this ICHSA season takes them. 

Red Knotes has been Benilde-St. Margaret's premier a cappella group for many years! They perform throughout their school and community. They sing at recruiting events, homecoming celebrations, galas, and many others. Red Knotes was honored to receive 3rd place in their ICHSA Quarterfinal last year. They are excited to continue growing their skills and making amazing music! 

The Chords was founded in the fall of 2022. With only five students at the time, they wanted to pave the way for future groups and make a name for themselves. The group sings a variety of styles, including pop, doowop, holiday, and country. The Chords plan to show the Midwest what their small school can do and hope that the a cappella community can help them get there! 

Tonal Recall is in their ninth year as a group and seventh year in competition. Tonal Recall prides itself in their ability to blend jazz, pop, R&B, and gospel into their overall sound and approach to every song they perform. Their hometown is Shell Lake, Wis., which has a population of 1,403 and a high school population of 160 in all four grades. What they lack in size, they make up for in dedication, hard work, and heart, making Tonal Recall the biggest little a cappella group in the land!


Barry Bakunowicz has been an active member of the a cappella community throughout his musical career, performing with groups including The UW MadHatters and UW-Eau Claire's Fifth Element. In addition to singing and arranging for his a cappella groups, he studied music in college and has been involved in a variety of musical opportunities. He was a singer/dancer in the touring troupe, Kids From Wisconsin, and a cast member in many musical and operatic productions. Currently, Barry is a member of Minneapolis-based a cappella group, Due North, winners of the 2018 Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes.

Lili Fujiu’s a cappella and arranging journeys began with the choir program and extracurricular groups at Fremd High School. She continued this passion with The Harmelodics at Northern Illinois University. Throughout her five years as music director for the group, The Harmelodics had a successful run with placements at ICCA, a trip to the VoiceJam Festival, an EP, and many other notable showcases, performances, and tours. Lili is also a three-time Outstanding Arrangement award recipient, making her one of the most decorated treble arrangers in ICCA history. She is currently a freelance clinician and runs arranging workshops specializing in treble-voiced groups.

Jacob Henry has been involved in a cappella for almost 10 years. His experience started in high school, competing in the ICHSA and winning several Outstanding Arrangement awards in the process. In college, he helped direct UW River-Falls' Tonal Silence while working on his degree in music education. Outside of these groups, Jacob has presented sessions on arranging and rehearsal techniques at a cappella festivals around the Midwest. He is excited to be here tonight and to hear so many talented singers. 

McKinley Uelmen resides in Greenfield, Wis., right outside of Milwaukee. He's been devoted to a cappella ever since he can remember. McKinley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2023 with a B.S. in music and arts administration. A former ICHSA Finalist and Production Assistant, McKinley holds two awards for Outstanding Choreography. During his time at UW-Eau Claire, McKinley was an integral member of Impromptu A Cappella, where he served as music director and president, as well as a full-time vocal percussionist and award-winning arranger for the group. McKinley now works as Operations Manager for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, which helps nurture, challenge, and inspire more than 900 young musicians. In his free time, McKinley works as a freelance arranger for UW-Eau Claire and other schools throughout Wisconsin. 


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 ICHSA Great Lakes 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!