Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 26th 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 578 groups and 8,772 singers at 77 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 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.

Two years ago, our 2020 tournament was sidelined mid-season by the pandemic, and we were unable to crown champions for the first time. In 2021, as a cappella groups were unable to gather to rehearse or perform, we adapted our program by challenging groups to create 4-minute music videos, recorded and edited remotely. The astonishing artistry and skill in these videos is a testament to the adaptability, ingenuity, and determination of our competitors, and we couldn’t be prouder.

This season, we are again challenged by the pandemic, as we attempt to present live events across thousands of miles in an ever-changing COVID landscape. Although some of our events have been postponed or converted to virtual, we are determined to see the season through. Many groups haven’t been able to compete live since 2019 – some students for their entire high school or college career. We are humbled more than ever by the importance of our role in setting the stage for the creation of so much magic.

We have seen a cappella make great strides from where it began on our stage 26 years ago, and we can’t wait to see how our 2022 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



Exeter Northcott Theatre
Sunday, February 6th, 2022



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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 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 23rd.

The high school tournament is now in its 17th 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 22nd.

The Open Tournament celebrated its third year in summer 2019 and featured six Semifinals that lead to the Open Finals featuring those six Regional Champions, two Wild Card Champions, and our 2019 ICHSA and ICCA Champions. Those 10 groups competed in October 2019 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

 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.



Aquapella is a 15-piece group from the University of Bath. Established in 2011, they have been lucky to have had some incredible experiences over the years, including competing in the ICCA Finals in New York, embarking on a U.K. tour, and selling out successive runs at the Edinburgh Fringe. Sometimes though, nothing beats busking on a sunny Saturday morning on the gorgeous streets of Bath. The group is very excited to participate again in the ICCA in person and show off their new members. 

AbraCappella is a mixed group of students from Birmingham. They study courses from medicine to ancient history, but all have one thing in common: they love to sing! Over the last eight years, AbraCappella has taken many forms and the current 11 have been singing together since September. Over the last few years, they’ve sung pop, R&B, musical theatre, and choral arrangements. AbraCappella is hard-working and creative, but above all, they are grateful to spend time doing what they love most with their best friends! 

Now in their eighth year of existence, The Bristol Suspensions from the University of Bristol is the reigning U.K. Champion of the ICCA and is back to defend their title in person. Their award-winning cover of "The Heartburn Song" from last years' virtual ICCA features on their recently released album, Red Hot, which can be found on all major streaming platforms! With 18 members this year, the group is the biggest it has ever been. Let's hope they fit on the stage! 

Pitch Fight is a group of 15 female-identifying and nonbinary individuals who thrive on female empowerment performances. They have missed the thrill of performing in person and cannot wait to get back on the stage! After winning Outstanding Choreography for four years running, they hope to uphold their legacy and continue to knock your socks off! After releasing their debut EP during Covid, they have since released their 2021 Semifinal ICCA set on Spotify. They’re so excited to be here tonight and get back to doing what they do best. 

Academy is the multi-award winning all-male a cappella group from the University of Bristol! With five brand new members, they are excited to showcase their talents as they enter their seventh year of their existence. Like many seven-year-olds, Academy is loud, immature, and on the verge of a tantrum at all times! Since they've been away, Academy released their critically acclaimed, international award-winning, debut album, Exhibit A, featuring the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning track, “Bang Bang Bang.” This song also went on to feature on the 2021 Voices Only compilation album! Even during numerous lockdowns, they managed to raise a combined total of over £2,000 for Movember and mental health charity, Mind.

The Bluebelles is an all-female and non-binary-identifying group from the University of Exeter. Like so many, their rehearsals moved online during the Covid-19 pandemic. Still managing to work together, they released their single, a cover of “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine. Now back in person, The Bluebelles created a new group this year after most of their existing members left the university. Since then, they have been busy developing a bit of a new sound whilst preparing for the ICCA, as well as for what they hope to be a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. 

Sweet Nothings is the University of Exeter’s all-female contemporary a cappella group. This is their 16th year as a group at the University and they are so excited to finally be back in person. During the summer, they successfully sold out a run of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and can't wait to go back again this year. They are known for their red and black outfits, fierce attitudes, and banging choreography. Unfortunately, due to COVID, not all of their members could perform today and they have had to put the set together in a week, but they’ve tried their best, put on their red lipstick, and are thrilled to be back on the stage. 

Illuminations is a dynamic, collaborative, mixed contemporary a cappella group from the University of Exeter, as well as  a group of mates who all share a passion for singing! They sing a variety of music, ranging from original work to all-time classics, or pretty much anything someone in the group arranges and brings in! They are so excited to get back up onstage and sing for a live audience and also have a chance to showcase the new voices joining them this year, along with the singers who made it to Semifinals in 2020. This is Illuminations’ 11th year as an a cappella group and they hope to return from lockdown with a BANG because they are “Feeling Good”! 

Semi-Toned is the University of Exeter's all-male a cappella group, having risen to a cappella success after winning BBC's “The Choir.” Since then, they have toured the U.S. and the U.K., released four EPs, and performed five shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. The boys in burgundy managed to make it through to the United Kingdom Semifinals of the virtual ICCA in 2021 and are excited to have the chance this year to replicate that success in person. After their 2021 Edinburgh Fringe run was cut short due to a bout of Coronavirus, Semi-Toned is back with new members, new determination, and most importantly a new shade of burgundy blazer (they’re glad you noticed).



David Green has been performing a cappella for over 16 years, with over 200 performances under his belt. He began first as a singer and arranger for Naked Voices, touring all over the U.K. for eight years. Naked Voices was an early arrival on the U.K. a cappella scene, establishing a cappella music at the Edinburgh Fringe in the 2000s, winning the festival's Sell Out Show award for three visits in a row, and featuring on the BBC's "Best of the Fringe" show. In 2009, David formed Original Sing from former Naked Voices members, who went on to win the 2013 Voice Festival Community Championship and the open category of the Bristol Choir of the Year contest. 

Hailed “the coolest thing to happen to vocal music,” British musician Rachel Walker Mason is a highly regarded a cappella coach and judge. Rachel has judged for NTA-nominated “Sing: Ultimate A Cappella” on Sky One television, the CARAs, the ICCA, the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs), The Voice Festival, the World Choir Games, and many others. Rachel is the recipient of a prestigious British Citizen Award for contribution to the arts, is named “a songwriting expert” by BBC Radio Four’s “Today” Programme, and described as “one of the most talented songwriters in the industry” She is also a multi-award-winning musician, currently writing songs with Grammy winners, Billboard Hot 100 artists, alumni from “The Voice U.K.” and “American Idol,” Emmy winners, and Independent Country Music Association Awards winners. Rachel was honored as a Woman Of The Year 2020, the only British musician to be inducted into the Indie Music Hall Of Fame, and called “an inspiration” by Prince Harry. She is also the only musician to have been crowned Freelancer Of The Year and to be given a Community Champion Award for her work creating the international arts festival, Unlock Your Talent, during Covid, which garnered worldwide acclaim for its support and fundraising for mental health. She is also the youngest person to be made a Fellow of the London College of Music by Professional Achievement. 

Samuel "Sammo" Swinnerton-Woolf grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, competing as a concert pianist. He moved to the south of England in 2008 and is now a professional pop musician and producer. As a performer, Samuel has toured venues all over the world, from stadium performances across Asia to a tiny ice-shelf in Antarctica. In between mini-tours of Europe and playing gigs all over the U.K., he spends what time is left producing and arranging music for all sorts of bands and choirs. With a plethora of a cappella groups under his belt (including Out of the Blue, AfterParty A Cappella, and Meantime Chorus), he has created dozens of arrangements, choreographies, and has almost a decade of experience performing as a bass. Samuel looks forward to seeing the incredible standard of a cappella that the next generation has to offer.



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

Dave Rabizadeh
 ICCA Director

Elise Hackl-Blumstein
ICHSA Co-Director
PA/MA Program Coordinator

Andrea Poole
 ICHSA Co-Director

Lucy Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing & Social Strategy

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Patty Floyd

Virginia DeMoss
 Album Production Coordinator

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Emily Benjamin
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Jake McVey
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Donald Paradis
 ICHSA South Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Courtney Jenson
 Associate Producer/Emcee

Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Katherine Mosher
 ICHSA South Day-Of Producer

Bri Decerio
 ICHSA West Day-Of Producer

Jake Yoakum
 ICHSA West Day-Of Producer



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 will advance to the 2022 ICCA United Kingdom 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!