Elise Hackl



Elise Hackl 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 Buffalo Grove High School’s competitive show choir The Expressions and Vocal Jazz Group By Popular Demand. 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 teaches elementary and secondary music at an alternative school, where she was recognized in the 2018 Teacher of the Year program by the Illinois State Board of Education. By night, Elise runs adaptive musical theater programming, and a peer buddies choir, and has worked with the Metropolis Performing Arts Center conducting the Crescendo chorus. In her free time, Elise works with local school districts to start on the path to creating inclusive and accessible a cappella ensembles.

Since joining Varsity Vocals, Elise has continued on the path to create inclusive educational programming, including presenting at the National Association for Music Education conference on multiple occasions, leading music education workshops locally, and contributing to many articles, journals, and books regarding music education. After earning Bachelors degrees in Special Education and Music Education (’14) and a minor in voice performance (’14), Masters in Educational Technology Leadership (’17), and a Masters of Music Education (’19), Elise is currently working towards her Masters in School Leadership with a Principal Endorsement.


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