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



Skyline High School
Saturday, February 10th, 2024


We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!



Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and join the conversation using #ICHSA.


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.


Calamity is Howell High School's tenor-bass pop a cappella group. Students run the group, from music selection to rehearsals. They have been a staple of the Howell community for decades, bringing pop a cappella to southeast Michigan throughout the year. The group is made up of tenor and bass voices ranging from ninth through 12th grades. They are high-energy and dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in every performance. 

Chicapella is an all-female student-led a cappella group from Brighton High School. These singers share a passion for musical creativity and hope to tell stories with their takes on music from past and present years. Whether they’re sharing a heartbreaking, invigorating, or universally known message, the music of Chicapella is bound to everyone who listens. 

Classicality is Howell High School’s student-led soprano-alto pop a cappella ensemble. Each year, students choose a captain who leads rehearsals and organizes performance opportunities throughout the year, with the support of fellow seniors. This group has been singing throughout the Livingston County area for decades and has earned praise for their beautiful arrangements. 

Da Capo is Brighton High School's student-led, co-ed a cappella group. They specialize in singing pop music that promotes positivity and good mental health. They have been a group for seven years with constantly changing leaders and members. The current leaders of Da Capo are seniors Maddie Mckeown and Brenden Elliott. Maddie has been in the group for four years and has been leading for two. This is Brenden's second year in the group and first year leading. Da Capo has been competing in ICHSA since they became a group. This year, they hope to tell a love story, taking the judges and the audience on a journey of what it feels like to get a crush, fall for someone, and eventually end up together. Maddie has choreographed the entire set and arranged two of the pieces. Apart from competing in ICHSA, Da Capo can be seen at all the Brighton High School choir concerts, as well as a cappella night, charity shows, karaoke competitions, and community functions. They can't wait to perform and hope everyone takes something special out of their performance. 

Firestorm is the first program of its kind in Michigan for a cappella performing groups for ages 8-17 outside of the public schools. The group offers training for singers and beatboxers at the highest level possible, as well as breakout groups for younger and older singers. In their first year, they performed at Brighton A Cappella Night in a concert with professional group TBD a cappella, and released their first single and music video. 

For five years, From The Top has represented the best of the best musicians at Northview High School! Their late-night rehearsals bring laughter and friendship to their choir room in Grand Rapids, regardless of the tiring sports practices, musical rehearsals, and homework assignments that took place beforehand. Their tradition of hard work and incredible musicianship has led them to an ICHSA Quarterfinal win in 2020, a Runner-Up spot in 2023, a debut EP in 2021, and a trip to Boston for the BOSS a cappella festival in 2023! 

Major VI is a vibrant community of singers from Novi, Mich. Made up of theatre kids, HOSA kids, athletes, and forensics kids, they all come together to make music and have fun. Major VI is an incredibly diverse group of friends who bring their unique cultures together to create beautiful harmony. Major VI is excited to be performing tonight with such talented groups! 

Notetorious is the all-male, student-led, a cappella group from Brighton High School. The group enjoys singing their student-arranged pop and jazz a cappella arrangements. Outside of school, the group participates in various sports, clubs, musicals, and hangouts together! They thank you for coming to support them and hope you enjoy the show! 

Skyline Blues, from Ann Arbor Skyline High School, was founded in 2008 and is under the direction of Lindsay CieChanski and Hayla Alawi. The group meets after school twice a week and participates in many performances and competitions each year. They are a consistent force at the ICHSA, often advancing to Semifinals and in 2019, to Finals. Skyline Blues has won awards for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Vocal Percussion, Outstanding Soloist, and Outstanding Arrangement. Skyline Blues has been featured on BOHSA and Voices Only compilations and has released several EPs, a single, and most recently, an album, titled Flares and Fireworks. Skyline Blues has been featured at the National A Cappella Convention (NACC), the One Voice Invitational, the MSVMA Summer Workshop, and numerous other guest appearances. In 2018, they represented Vocal Music at the State Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day, and were invited to sing at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids (2019 and 2024). Skyline Blues is excited to participate in ICHSA once again and is thankful for every opportunity to make music together! 

New Group is the newest arrival to the Howell High School pop a cappella family. They’re so new, in fact, that they've yet to decide on a name. This group of juniors and seniors is dedicated to making the best a cappella sounds around and striving for excellence in every performance. 


Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah is an alumna of Ladies First A Cappella at Michigan State University and served as the group's music director for three semesters. While Ewurama was in Ladies First, the group advanced to ICCA Great Lakes Semifinals in 2016 and 2017, the latter during her tenure as music director. Ewurama also served as a board member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, of which she is an alumna, and sang with numerous other choirs. She is currently a member of the University of Michigan Law School Chamber Choir. She loves a cappella and is excited to support the students who care about this art form! 

Dr. Joshua S. Duchan, Ph.D., is an ethnomusicologist specializing in American popular music. An ICCA adjudicator for nearly 20 years, he is the author of “Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella” (University of Michigan Press, 2012), the first book-length scholarly study of a cappella’s music and culture, as well as numerous other articles about a cappella. His other research focuses on the music of Billy Joel, including multiple interviews with the iconic singer-songwriter that have resulted in two books, “Billy Joel: America’s Piano Man” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and “‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’: Billy Joel and Popular Music Studies” (Lexington Books, 2020). In college, Joshua sang with The University of Pennsylvania Counterparts. While pursuing his doctorate, he joined and directed Amazin’ Blue, the University of Michigan’s oldest co-ed a cappella group, and two of his arrangements for the group were featured on BOCA compilations. He is now Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Music at Wayne State University (Detroit, Mich.), where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music history, world music, American music, and popular music.

Conductor and bass-baritone Dusty Francis enjoys an active career as a performer, clinician, and educator across both the United States and the United Kingdom. He currently serves as Director of Music Ministries at First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor. Past roles have included musical leadership of the New York City Master Chorale, London's The Fourth Choir, and the Brooklyn-based Park Slope Singers, as well as classroom teaching positions with the American School in London and Collegiate School in New York City. Dusty has directed and arranged for high school, university, and adult ensembles. Dusty holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Xavier University in Cincinnati. 

Sarah Maskill fell in love with a cappella two weeks after joining her college group at her first big performance: the ICCA Great Lakes Quarterfinal! She is a former bass and business manager of Michigan State University's Ladies First. During her time with Ladies First she produced two EPs, was nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA), and was fortunate enough to advance to ICCA Great Lakes Semifinals three times. She has since workshopped with many groups in the Midwest region, performed at The Open with her group Revel, and currently runs the Artist in Residence program at A Cappella University. You may have also seen her behind a camera at Varsity Vocals events and Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) festivals. 


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 Midwest 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!