Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 27th 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 610 groups and over 9,100 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 27 years ago, and we can’t wait to see how our 2023 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
Saturday, February 4th, 2023


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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 29th.

The high school tournament is now in its 18th 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 28th.

 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.


AbraCappella is a mixed group from the University of Birmingham. They love to sing all kinds of music and enjoy arranging, both individually and through collaborative workshops. AbraCappella loves to arrange songs from unorthodox a cappella genres and they can’t wait to share in competition. They especially love creating and performing mashups, with a repertoire of songs by artists such as Billie Eilish (a fan-favourite), Bruno Mars (which they brought to their 2022 ICCA Quarterfinal), Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, and more! They loved competing in last year’s ICCA and the experience motivated them to keep broadening their musical horizons, improving the depth of their arrangements, and tightening intonation in an effort to keep raising the bar. They are excited to introduce many new members to their roster and ‘Abra’ family, including a songwriter who adds production experience as well as rich vocals. It sounds cliché, but they truly do love spending time together both in and out of rehearsal. AbraCappella loves producing a bit of choreography, even for their smaller gigs. They are an incredibly committed group and everyone has the opportunity to share ideas and perform solos. 

Coming from the University of Nottingham, Aca-Pocalypse is a close-knit mixed-gender group, ready to take their a cappella singing to new places this year. This is their sixth time taking the ICCA stage. They are fresh from their Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, “Diamond in the Riff,” which was described by Mumble Theatre as a “juicy love-ball of smiles” (they laughed too!). They plan to bring all of that energy and more to the ICCA stage before they return to Fringe with a brand-new show later in the year. 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 bio, so let’s just say this group doesn’t fit any moulds. There is a place for everything in an Aca-Pocalypse set as long as it sets the stage on fire (not literally!). Usually this is the point they would say sit back and enjoy, but please don’t: bop along in your seat, because this group is ready to bring the vibes! 

That’s right – there’s another one! NOISE is the University of Nottingham’s newest group, and they slay. This is their debut at the ICCA, so sit back and enjoy! 

Hoping to wow the audience with more than just their bold choice of colour, The Cardiff University Acappellads are taking to the stage once again in their ongoing quest for ICCA victory. Marking the 10th iteration of the group, this year’s lineup of Acappellads is continuing to challenge conventional lad culture one step-ball-change at a time. Having evolved greatly in musical style, performance attire, and choreography over the last decade, Acappellads 10.0 is a tight-knit group of guys with a shared love of performing. With some fantastic new members and four of the lads celebrating their fifth year in the group, the ensemble now reflects a diverse mix of musical backgrounds and personalities. The lads are proud members of the Cardiff University A Cappella Society and they love performing alongside the other Cardiff groups and cheering them on from the wings, almost as much as they love an evening of minigolf or a trip to the pub on “Wing Wednesdays.” With a lineup of showcases, friendly competitions, gigs and the ICCA, the lads will be keeping busy this year with a fresh selection of songs from their new musical director. 

The DeciBelles is an all-female a cappella group hailing from Cardiff University, across the Severn. They take inspiration from strong female artists, from MUNA and Aurora to Billie Eilish and Lizzie McAlpine. As a group, they pride themselves on vocal versatility, going from the most sensitive moments in ballads to bringing power and sass to a feel-good pop song. This year, they are celebrating 10 years of The DeciBelles and in that time, they have reached the ICCA U.K. Semifinals twice and won the inaugural OAC. They also released an EP and performed a set at Edinburgh Fringe! They are really excited for everything to come this year and hope you enjoy their set. 

The Leamingtones is a mixed a cappella group from the University of Warwick. With over half a million subscribers between them, they are the flagship group of the Warwick A Cappella Society (WACA), which is the number one society on campus (alphabetically). Fresh off recording their debut album, they're excited to be competing in their second ICCA. They have performed in the Leamington Spa Open Arts Festival, the Sweet Adelines Region 31 show of champions, and have been seen busking on the streets of Leamington. They are keen to celebrate diversity in music and won't shy away from any genres or languages. When they aren't working out how to stand in a straight line for choreo, they enjoy spending too much time at one another’s houses and screaming “Les Mis” songs at the top of their lungs in the car.

Once described by the music director of Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” as “the real life Barden Bellas,” The Uptone Girls is an all-female-identifying a cappella group formed at 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 second ICCA. Known in Birmingham for their energetic performances, ranging from Beyoncé to Peggy Lee, the group loves any chance to get their voices heard, whether that’s working with Universal Studios for the “Pitch Perfect 3” advertisements or in their home pub in Selly Oak where they first began. They recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary by bringing back alumni for a remix of their original “No Diggity” mashup and the girls are now looking forward to more collaboration opportunities. The group has previously performed on the BBC’s “Pitch Battle,” the A Cappella Open, and came away with Outstanding Soloist at the digital National University Choir Competition. More recently, The Uptone Girls made it to last year’s ICCA U.K. Semifinal, making them all the more keen for new challenges and excited to bring their vocal game to a whole new level. 

Unplugged is a mixed competitive group. They focus on highlighting the fun of a cappella by selecting cheesy bangers and pop hits from various decades. MD for this year is Sunnay (he/him) and GL is Ellie-Mae (she/her). They have a varied lineup this year of pop hits, ranging from slow, emotional ballads to upbeat classics.


Arran Bayliss-Chalmers currently sings tenor with 2019 barbershop quartet gold medalists, Sound Hypothesis, as well as current national champion chorus, Meantime. Having also performed with The Techtonics during their ICCA championship year, he has enjoyed continuing to build on his love of vocal music and will be competing internationally, for the second year running, in July. He maintains a keen eye for intonation, and has a particular love of “unorthodox choreography” (whatever that means). 

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 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs), The ICCA, the A Cappella Video Awards (AVAs), The Voice Festival, the World Choir Games, and many others. Recipient of a prestigious British Citizen Award for contribution to the arts, named “a songwriting expert” by BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme ,and a Recording Academy voting member, Rachel Walker Mason is a multi-award-winning musician currently writing songs with Grammy, Emmy and Ivor Novello award winners, The Voice U.K. and American Idol alumni, Oscar nominees, MOBO and BRIT Award nominees, AMA UK and Independent Country Music Association Awards winners. Rachel is also a mentor for The GRAMMYs, Help Musicians and the Ivor Novello Academy. She is also a featured artist for Columbia University’s Songcraft Anthology and an executive member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Alex Moore is a versatile and accomplished musician with a passion for barbershop and a cappella music. Alex has been a driving force behind the success of Sound Hypothesis, a barbershop quartet that he co-founded in 2016 and helped guide to the U.K. championship title in 2019. In addition to his success with Sound Hypothesis, Alex has a wealth of experience in the a cappella world, having served as the musical director of the champion group, The Techtonics, who won the ICCA in 2016.  When he's not performing or directing, Alex brings his passion for education to his career as a physics teacher, where he combines his interests in both fields to explore the physics of music.

Midé Naike developed an avid interest in a cappella in 2012, and joined Sons of Pitches the following year as its beatboxer. Highlights over his two years with the group include performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, Paderborn (Germany) 2015, and a crazy three weeks in Hong Kong. In the U.K., they've run a number of school workshops, including his own solo beatbox masterclass. In 2015, he and the boys won BBC's The Naked Choir, which was a truly awesome experience! 


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank the Exeter Northcott Theatre staff, our MC, Dan Mailer, and our guest act, Exeter University Jazz Orchestra; 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

PA/MA Program Coordinator

Lucy Jacobs
The Open Director
 ICCA West Producer

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Erica Tackett
 Director of Marketing

& Social Strategy

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central 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

Jillian Kimberlin
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Jake McVey
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Luke Thomas
 ICHSA South Producer

Adam McNeil
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Nicole Kholweiss
 ICCA Central Day-Of Producer

Courtney Jenson
 Associate Producer

Emcee Extraordinaire


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 2023 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!