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



Northern Highlands Regional High School
Saturday, March 23rd, 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.


The Ridgewood High School Acabellas is an all-female a cappella group made up of passionate and independent musicians from the choir, band, and orchestra programs. They were founded in 2011 and annually compete in the ICHSA. They perform at school functions including sporting events, assemblies, and notably Valentine's Day, when they serenade students with singing grams. They enjoy performing songs performed and arranged by women from all eras. You can support them at their school a cappella concerts and check out their live performances on Spotify. 

The Ram Jams is the principal competitive a cappella group from the Ramsey High School Chorus Program. The group represents the top auditioned students from the school and performs music from a wide variety of genres, including contemporary a cappella, classical choral repertoire, and new works. The ensemble was established in 2016 and is a yearly competitor in ICHSA, where they have represented the Mid-Atlantic region at Finals for the last three years. Outside of competition, The Ram Jams have performed for various audiences, including U.S. Senators, Governors, and other elected leaders. Their performances also include collaborations with the U.S. Army Field Band Soldier Chorus, National Chorale, and Berklee Vocal Jazz Ensemble, as well as invitations to perform for ACDA and NJMEA conferences. The Ram Jams released their first EP in the summer of 2023, Home Where I Belong, which is available on all digital platforms. Their next album is set to be released later this year.

Montville Township High School’s Mpulse is thrilled to make their ICHSA debut! Originating from Montville, N.J., Mpulse was founded last year by their music director Ted Cherney. In their free time, the group loves watching old ICCA videos and goofing around in the choir room. They are excited to show everyone all the hard work they’ve put into this set! 

Highland Voices’ legacy includes titles as ICHSA National Champions, seven-time Mid-Atlantic Champions, and National A Cappella Convention (NACC) Champions. They were featured on the Lifetime series “Pitch Slapped” (2016), the movie “Marry Me” (2022) starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, and television’s “American Horror Stories” (S3, E1 “Bestie”) released October 2023. They have performed workshops for NAfME, NJMEA, AEA, ACDA, Bergen Teen Arts, and host the annual Highlands A Cappella Festival, which attracts some of the biggest a cappella coaches in the world as instructors. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @highlandsvoices. 

The Bee's Knees from Bayonne High School was founded in 2018 under the direction of Samantha Herskowitz. The group is composed of current Bayonne High School students in grades 10-12, many of whom are involved in multiple music programs at the school, including the award-winning Bayonne High School Marching Band and Drama Society. Last year, The Bee’s Knees competed in their second ICHSA season, placing 1st at their Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal and 2nd at Semifinals. Last June, The Bee’s Knees performed at the North Jersey Pride Festival in Maplewood, N.J. and were happy to share in the love of the LGBTQ community. The Bee's Knees perform at community events, clinics, and concerts and are so excited to be competing for the third year in the ICHSA. 

Varsity Vocals is the premier a cappella group at Carteret High School. Varsity Vocals was founded in 2015 and has performed at many venues locally, regionally, and statewide. Varsity Vocals has received high praise and positive feedback from adjudicators in recent competitions, notably earning the title of Wildcard Champion in the 2022 ICHSA and winning 1st place at their 2020 Quarterfinal. They are extremely thankful for their supportive faculty, student body, parents, and administrators! CHS Varsity Vocals is proud to represent Carteret Public Schools and return to compete in ICHSA with their fellow artists. 

The Acatonics is the premier all-gender a cappella group from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Md. The group consists of vocalists from a range of backgrounds who all share a common passion for making music. The Acatonics have been fortunate to attend and place at ICHSA Quarterfinals and win the High School Competition at SingStrong New York. Aside from competitions, The Acatonics perform at many events around their school community and the greater Washington D.C. area. In addition to performing together, The Acatonics just love being together and will take any chance to celebrate the community this group provides them at school. 

Evolve hails from Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, Md. The group was founded in 2017 by former CHS Director Michael Brisentine and quickly burst into the a cappella scene, placing 4th at ICHSA Finals in 2019 with an award for Outstanding Choreography. In 2020, Evolve was featured on the BOHSA album, singing “Just Like Me” by Betty Who. In recent years, they placed 2nd at the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Semifinals and were named Quarterfinal Champions in 2022. You can find Evolve's EPs on your favorite streaming services worldwide! 

Since their inception in 2012, Stay Tuned from Cherry Hill East High School, created and directed by Heather Lockart, has experienced wild success, which instantly became widespread. They were selected to be featured on an eight-week Lifetime docuseries, “Pitch Slapped,” which aired during the winter of 2016. During this time, they were coached by music director and arranger of the “Pitch Perfect” movies, Deke Sharon. Since then, Stay Tuned has performed at the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Financial Field, The Town Hall, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall alongside the cast of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. Most recently, Stay Tuned has competed in two ICHSA Finals competitions in New York City with the nation’s top groups. While the group has enjoyed great national success, serving their community by sharing their love and passion for music with local friends and supporters has always been their top priority. The members of Stay Tuned are thankful for every performance opportunity they are given and strive to inspire and bring joy to their audiences. 

Fermata is Cherry Hill High School West’s soprano-alto pop a cappella group. Their goal is to spread positivity and tell meaningful, relatable stories through music both in and out of school.   


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. 

Warren Bloom has been a regular ICCA and ICHSA judge since 2002 (including both 2006 Finals). He’s been a musical director, bass, and vocal percussionist for numerous vocal groups, including professional summer group The Hyannis Sound, New York rock/R&B septet Invisible Men (numerous New York City and Boston Harmony Sweepstakes awards), New York pop/jazz quintet Doo*Wa*Zoo (1998 Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) and 2000 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nominees), University of Miami’s Jazz Vocal 2 (1997 DownBeat Award winner), and Brandeis University’s Spur of the Moment. Warren was music director, co-arranger, and sound tech for Minimum Wage's "Blue Code Ringo" at the New York Fringe Festival (Best Musical Comedy Act, 2002 Time Out New York Awards) and subsequent off-Broadway productions. He has also run live sound for numerous vocal groups including Naturally 7, Ball in the House, Six13, and Unsung Heroes. He was a composer/lyricist in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, before getting his music education degree from Hunter College and spending three years as band and orchestra director at Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. He has been teaching general music and band at P.S. 8 (Brooklyn) since 2011 and has been a musical director in the theatre department at the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts since 1998. Warren was one of the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America's (CASA) official bloggers for NBC’s "The Sing-Off.” 

Sean Patrick Riley has worked for CASA on the social media and talent teams for ACappellaFest, SoJam, the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF), and Boston Sings (BOSS), and has served in the ambassador program for the past seven years. He holds a bachelor's degree in both music and communication, as well as a master’s degree in nursing from Saint Louis University. At SLU, Sean served as music director and business manager of recent ICCA Finalists, The Bare Naked Statues, and was featured on the Voices Only and BOCA compilations. Sean coaches a cappella groups across the country, and is the camp nurse and counselor for the L.A.-based summer camp, A Cappella Academy. He is a nurse practitioner for the Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health Babs Siperstein PROUD Center. 

Sebastian (Sebi) Santiago-Rivas is a music educator and audio engineer born, raised, and based in Philadelphia. Sebi currently teaches choir, music technology, and music theory at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), a music-based academic magnet school in south Philly. He also leads small ensembles and works as a counselor at Camp A Cappella in Dayton, Ohio. He holds a B.M. in music education from the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. At Temple, Sebi sang with and directed OwlCappella, Temple's first mixed-voice a cappella group. In 2018, Sebi led the group through its first ICCA competition, ultimately winning their Semifinal and going on to represent the Mid-Atlantic region at ICCA Finals in New York. Sebi is also an avid barbershop singer and has sung with several competitive ensembles, notably as a founding member of Philadelphia's TTBB barbershop chorus, Rittenhouse Sound. Sebi looks forward to giving back to the Varsity Vocals community by helping the next generation of a cappella performers! 

Meredith Strang has been active in the a cappella community as a singer, arranger, judge, director, and group mentor for nearly 30 years. She is currently the music director for TrebleNYC, which appeared in the movie, “How to Be Single.” During her college years, she directed The University of Delaware Deltones, who went on to be cast on NBC's “The Sing-Off.” Meredith is a member of CASA and was a producer for CASA’s VoCALnation Festival, featuring headliners The Swingle Singers and Duwende. On the choral front, she was a member of the New York Choral Society with performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In addition to her love of a cappella, Meredith is in a jazz band and has done backing vocals for artists such as Phillip Phillips, A Great Big World, and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. 


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 placing group at this event will advance to the 2024 ICHSA 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!