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



The Hackney Empire
Sunday, March 20, 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.



Northern Lights is Durham University’s top a cappella group, entering its ninth year of existence. Northern Lights is a mixed group of talented, diverse, and passionate performers who seek to entertain all kinds of audiences solely through their voices and unique arrangements. All of their pieces are arranged by someone in the ensemble and they hope to fully bounce back from COVID this year by recording and releasing a new album accompanied by digital music videos! The group enjoys performing a range of styles and performs at balls, external hire gigs, and Durham events across the year. Additionally, Northern Lights performs their own annual show at the 500-seat Gala Theatre in Durham, which is always a highly anticipated performance in their busy calendar and most recently took place this past February in collaboration with the Durham Vocal Festival. Northern Lights has annually attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 2015 and sold out over half of their performances last summer. Feel free to drop them a follow (and peek at their new branding) on the following platforms: @nlacappella Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

Tune Army is Newcastle University’s premier mixed a cappella group, born and bred in the friendliest city in the North. Fresh off the success of their latest album, Better Connected, which was created in collaboration with university a cappella groups from across the U.K, they’re ready to bring the tune to the toon for the 2022 ICCA. When they’re not busking on the streets of Newcastle, they’re performing at gigs around the city and bringing some Geordie joy to all those around them. Having performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, won Masters of Show Choir 2019, and made it to the ICCA Quarterfinals three years in a row, Tune Army is ready for their next battle!

Aca-Pocalypse is from the University of Nottingham! They are a close-knit mixed-voice energetic group ready to take their a cappella singing to a whole new level. This is their fifth ICCA appearance, and you may have also bopped along to their virtual performances at the National Universities Choir Competition and in the Imagine Dragons Cover Contest (this group doesn’t shy away from something a bit different!). They are most at home in front of a live audience (isn’t it good to be back?!), even theming their Nottingham-based summer show, “Only Fools and Harmonies,” on - you guessed - sitcoms! This group aims to captivate audiences by combining creative arrangements with plenty of emotion and good vibes. Their repertoire comes from too many genres to list in a 200-word bio, so they'll just say this group doesn’t fit any moulds. They hope to return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a new show to show off all of this and more. Usually they would say “sit back and enjoy!” but please don’t: dance along in your seat, stand up if you like, because this group is ready to entertain! 

RadioOctave is a mixed a cappella group from the University of Nottingham and they’re so excited to be back at the ICCA in 2022! They hope their ICCA set takes you on a journey through a deep and powerful range of emotions, ultimately leading to the realisation that all you need is to love yourself. In “Terrible beauty,”  Gjello reflects how emotions are simple from the outside but deep and powerful within. This piece leads to “Where are you?,” which expresses the feeling of losing a loved one and yourself along with them. Here, they explore the denial and confusion of heartbreak and unrequited love. “When I’m furthest from myself,” lives in the in-between stages of wanting to move on but struggling to release the past. The set ultimately powers through to craft a narrative of hope and the euphoria of releasing an emotional weight: “I can feel it, do you feel it too, still feel alive?”  “A new dawn, a new day, a new life.” Whether that struggle is losing a lover or oneself, they are now “feeling good.” RadioOctave would like to say thank you to the Nottingham University A Cappella Committee for their continued support! 

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 COVID, Semi-Toned is back with new members, new determination, and most importantly a new shade of burgundy blazer (they’re glad you noticed). 

The Conchords is a jazz a cappella group, bringing together nine friends studying across Guildhall School of music and drama. The group was over the moon to win ICCA U.K. Semifinals in 2020, although unfortunately, they couldn't compete in New York for Finals due to COVID. This year, the group is back with a new lineup and a fun and diverse set, giving some well-known classics their uniquely jazzy and soulful twist. They will be performing arrangements written by their director James Rose, from the acclaimed a cappella group, Accent. 

CU Vox is a mixed-gender a cappella group from Cardiff University! The group is made up of 16 people, ranging in age from 18 to 28. They all have different interests and personalities, but have been brought together into this little aca-family through a mutual passion for a cappella. They can be heard singing high-energy pop songs or emotional ballads, anything with a powerful message behind it. A fun fact about CU Vox is that they’ve also been lucky enough to be featured on seasons 2 and 3 of the Netflix show, “Sex Education,” where they took their a cappella to the screen as the fictional group Asking for Treble. 

Once described by the music director behind Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” as “the real-life Barden Bellas,” The Uptone Girls is an all-female-identifying a cappella group from the University of Birmingham. Praised for their innovative takes on old classics and sassy twists on new hits, the group is excited to bring their empowering, upbeat arrangements to their first year in the ICCA. They are known throughout Birmingham for their energetic performances, ranging from Beyoncé to Peggy Lee, and they love any opportunity to share their music, whether working with Universal Studios for “Pitch Perfect 3” advertisements or in their home pub in Selly Oak where they first began. Having recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary by bringing back members spanning across the years for a remix of their original “No Diggity” mashup, the girls look forward to working with some more collaborators to muster up that rich but eclectic sound that they’re always looking to achieve. The group have previously performed on the BBC’s “Pitch Battle,” The Open, and at the digital National University Choir Competition, coming away with the Outstanding Soloist award. 

Steelworks is back from the University of Sheffield's A Cappella and Beatbox Society! Although Sheffield's a cappella scene is young compared to other cities, the group has risen quickly through the ranks and made a name for themselves across the country. Since the group was forged in 2014, Steelworks has sung on “Sky Sing's Ultimate A Cappella” and this will be their third year competing in the ICCA. Their last competition appearance was in the 2020 ICCA U.K. Semifinal after placing 1st in Quarterfinals for their first time ever. After a year and a half off, Steelworks have returned with plenty of familiar faces as well as a fresh cohort of talent. Watch out for their distinctive black and silver outfits onstage! 



Matt Chinery is an a cappella singer and recording engineer with over a decade of experience in contemporary a cappella. He sang for two years with Oxford University's Out of the Blue, and with them, finished 2nd place at the 2006 ICCA Final in New York. He also directed scratch group, Last Minute, in the 2008 BBC television series, "Last Choir Standing." He currently sings with AfterParty A Cappella, a former Shard Choir of the Year and member of the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL). As a recording engineer, Matt's credits include one Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) and several further nominations, a track on prestigious compilation album Sing 9, a Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) Pick of 2015, and multiple tracks on U.K. compilation, The Voice Collection. In his limited spare time, he is a lawyer. 

Imogen Parry is a freelance singer in London, with experience singing in styles including jazz, a cappella, choral, and musical theatre. She studied voice at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, was a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, The Rodolfus Choir, National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain, and was in the National Youth Music Theatre cast of “The Hired Man” in 2014. While earning her degree at the University of Glasgow, she played lead roles in plays and musicals every year, and studied acting and musical theatre during her year abroad at Boston College in the United States. In 2018, Imogen joined the Grammy-winning vocal group, The Swingles. Touring internationally, The Swingles perform a cappella, classical, and original music in the world’s most prestigious venues. Imogen is also a recording artist and session singer for film soundtracks, television, video games, adverts, and live backing vocals. 

Blessed with fiery red hair and a 6’5″ frame, Jonny Stewart is a bass, producer, live engineer, and arranger. While studying music at King’s College London, he directed three-time ICCA Finalists All the King's Men and performed with them in Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the U.S. His combined experience as a choral singer, jazz saxophonist, and indie-folk keyboard player have influenced his distinctive vocal bass sound. In 2017, Jonny and fellow AtKM alumnus Gus Nicholson launched NoVI, a six-piece group based in London. With original songwriting and innovative vocal arrangements at the heart of their ethos, NoVI seeks to make both great music and great art. First-year highlights include singing to a sold-out audience at the iconic Carnegie Hall, making their London debut at the Bedford, performing as guest artists at Exeter's Northcott Theatre, and releasing their debut music videos. A proud Scotsman, sports nut, and “Star Wars” fan, Jonny's work as a producer and live sound engineer with the Vocal Company has received multiple album placements (SING, BOHSA) and award nominations from the CARAs and A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs). 

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 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. 



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 Director
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer
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 Jensen
 Associate Producer


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 placing group will advance to the 2022 ICCA 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!