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



New Wimbledon Theatre
Saturday, March 25th, 2023


We're talking about this event, and all of our events around the world!




Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and join the conversation using #ICCA


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.


Northern Lights is Durham University’s top a cappella group, entering its tenth year of existence. Northern Lights is a mixed group of talented and passionate performers who seek to entertain all kinds of audiences solely through their voices and unique arrangements. They strive for excellence in every aspect of performing and rehearsing that they do, but are a family above all else and pride themselves on the ethos “one entity, one voice.” Having taken on four new members this year, the future is looking bigger and brighter. This ICCA season is especially exciting as Northern Lights enters this commemorative year and works to become Durham’s biggest performing export. 

Tone Up is Edinburgh University’s premier mixed a cappella group! The group was formed in 2016 and is made up of members from across both the University and the globe. Tone Up was the Scottish A Cappella Championship (SACC) Champion in 2020 and 2021, and qualified for the ICCA U.K. Semifinals in 2019, 2020 and 2021, picking up awards for Outstanding Arrangements, Soloists, and Vocal Percussion along the way. The group performs at many events on campus and throughout the wider Edinburgh community, priding themselves on high-level musicality and a strong group bond. After taking a brief hiatus from competition last year, Tone Up is extremely excited to be back onstage with a fresh look and sound. 

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. 

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! 

Aquapella from the University of Bath, U.K. recently celebrated their 10th year as a group filled with team spirit, innovation, and integrity. Music is at the heart of what they do and when they aren’t busy explaining that no, they do not sing underwater, they write all their own arrangements! Known for their eclectic repertoire of pop, rock, and indie, each Aquapella piece aims to deliver something fresh and unique to their sound. They strive to connect to their audiences and love to surprise them with fresh ideas, choreography, and the odd “Pop Punk Medley.” Their performances have taken them from busking on the streets of Bath, selling out their show run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and competing in national competitions all over the southwest. They love being involved in the a cappella community and taking part in events across the country! They have fond memories of competing in ICCA as the 2017 and 2019 United Kingdom Champions and cannot wait to take the stage again! 

Semi-Toned is the University of Exeter's all-male a cappella group which rose to a cappella success after winning vocal competitions, TV shows, and Bobby Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe. Known for their striking velvet blazers, the boys in burgundy always bring the energy to the stage with tight harmonies and even tighter trousers! 

The Rolling Tones, founded in 2007, is an a cappella group from Kings College London. Throughout the years, the group has performed all over the world, including the U.S. and Asia. The two-time United Kingdom Champions have picked up numerous awards over the years for Outstanding Choreography, Arrangements, Vocal Percussion, and Soloist from competitions such as The Open, Voice Festival U.K., as well as the ICCA. They recently performed at Edinburgh Fringe in 2022 with their six-day show, “The B-aca-chelorette,” and released their debut self-titled album on all streaming platforms back in July, so be sure to check it out! 

Celebrating their 15th anniversary, somehow The Techtonics are still here. With a strong legacy of epic croquet, an exceptional lack of decorum, and some harmony that can't be found in Grade 5 theory, these enigmatic individuals from Imperial College London are ready to groundbreak some more British a cappella. 

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 Lizzy 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. 

RadioOctave is a mixed a cappella group from the University of Nottingham. Over the past few years, the group has grown and flourished while competing in numerous competitions, producing music videos, and releasing an album, Blue. The group hopes to build on last year’s momentum and perform again at Nottingham Splendour Fest, on BBC East Midlands, and more before returning to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. They love performing at the ICCA and this year’s set is full of crunchy chords and intensity! They hope you enjoy! 


Aliak Bedirian is a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator based in London. She has been passionate about music from a young age and has extensive experience in various genres, including classical, rock, big band/jazz, and musical theatre. She has a B.A. in music from the University of Bristol, where she began her a cappella career with The Bristol Suspensions in 2014. In 2015, she became the group's co-musical director  and co-founded the all-female group, Pitch Fight. With The Bristol Suspensions, she won Outstanding Arrangement at an ICCA U.K. Quarterfinal earned the Champion title of Voice Festival U.K. in 2016. Since then, she has sung with the group VoCollective, who competed in the 2018 Varsity Vocals Open and performed at events such as the London Jazz Festival. She has also started her own solo projects, become an educator, and composed and arranged music for singing groups, artists, short films, and more. She continues to compose, perform, and teach music around the country. Aliak looks forward to seeing what the ICCA has in store this year. 

Jack Blume is a composer and musical supervisor working across film, television, and theatre. He is the composer, orchestrator, and vocal arranger of Olivier-nominated West End production "The Choir of Man," as well as the globally-touring stage shows "Noise Boys" and "Gobsmacked!" Each of these productions have performed multiple seasons at world-renowned venues, including the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center, and can be seen on board three Norwegian Cruise Lines ships. Film and TV credits include arranging and vocal directing music for BBC1 and Channel 4 primetime TV shows (“Pitch Battle,” “Big Fat Quiz of Everything”), scoring and orchestrating original music for feature films ("Snap Shot," "The Bad Education Movie"), TV and streaming shows ("Pitch Battle," "Emily Time!", "The Dazzle & Fizz Club") and orchestrating music for theme park rides (The Lost World and Rudolph’s Adventure at Paultons Park). Jack is currently developing new musical theatre productions and TV treatments through his production company Big And Brave Ltd. As a record producer, Jack produced and mixed "The Choir of Man's" original cast recording, which has since sold tens of thousands of physical and digital copies around the world. Jack produces artists and theatre albums from his London studio. Follow @jackblume on social media and visit 

Alicia Gayle's love of voices-only music began when she joined The Florida State University Acabelles. She served the group as an arranger, choreographer, and vocal percussionist, picking up skills on the way to be an inspiring and supportive musical director. After moving back to the U.K., Alicia directed The Oxford Belles through an incredible run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and participation in the Voice Festival U.K. competition. She then moved on to pursue her postgraduate studies at Imperial College London, where she sang and arranged for The Imperielles. The biggest highlight of her a cappella career remains competing in the ICCA and making it to ICCA Finals in New York! She is excited to be involved once again and looks forward to enjoying the great performances tonight.

Jonny Stewart is a bass singer, an engineer for studio and live sound, an arranger, and director. To borrow a basketball analogy, the former intern for the Vocal Company is one of a growing band of a cappella triple-threats. However, other people chose to describe Jonny in the following terms: "Nicely bearded boy in lovely jumper" (The Guardian), "Best hugs (multiple sources), "Big ginger lamppost" (school rugby coach). Jonny’s arrangements and mixes have been streamed over 20 million times on Spotify, although it bears mentioning that 14 million of these were for TikTok sea shanty "Wellerman" by the Wellermen. Having competed twice at the ICCA Finals with All the King’s Men and once at the  Open Final with NoVI, he is honoured to be in the Varsity Vocals judging seat. 

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.


Varsity Vocals would like to recognize and thank sound engineer Max Hunter, emcee Dan Mailer, and our guest act, Sound Hypothesis; 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 placing group at this event will advance to the 2023 ICCA Final.


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!