Elise Hackl



Elise Hackl-Blumstein joined Varsity Vocals in 2014. Elise’s music career began many decades ago, with her interest in a cappella taking off as a member of competitive show choir and Vocal Jazz groups. She began her a cappella career at Illinois State University with Secondary Dominance, serving as president, music director, arranger, choreographer, and section leader across her four years in the group, and she led the group’s effort in hosting an ICCA competition on campus. Elise has since taken on many roles in Varsity Vocals, including serving as the ICHSA producer for the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Southwest, Open Midwest Producer, serving as an associate producer for ICCA, and helping to create and run the Production and Media Assistant training programs.

By day, Elise is a school administrator in the suburbs of Chicago. In 2018, Elise was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education Teacher of the Year program. By night, Elise and her husband run an accessible arts company, providing training, inclusive performances, and services for creating more accessible spaces. In addition to articles and electronic journals, Elise’s work regarding accessible music has been published by Hal Leonard, GIA, and Conway Publications.

Since joining Varsity Vocals, Elise has presented at State and National Music Education conferences on multiple occasions and led music education workshops locally. After earning Bachelors degrees in Special Education and Music Education (’14) and a minor in voice performance (’14), Elise continued to pursue lifelong learning with a Masters in Educational Technology Leadership (’17), a Masters of Music Education (’19), and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership with a Principal Certification (’22).


Travel, Inclusivity, Mental Health, Lifelong Learning, Cycling, Survivor, Food Tours, Puns. She has been known to improvise songs at any given moment.