Welcome to Varsity Vocals’ 28th 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 650 groups and over 10,000 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 28 years ago and we can’t wait to see how our 2024 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 Exeter Northcott Theatre
Sunday, February 11th, 2024


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



Follow us @varsityvocals on Facebook and Instagram, 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 27th.

The high school tournament is now in its 19th 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 26th.

 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.


Loved by the masses, heroes to all, Academy is Bristol University's all-male and nonbinary a cappella group. Known for their poppy energetic vibes, they have competed at ICCA many times and perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their sister group Pitch Fight! "Well obviously you do ICCA, I'm not a fool!" you cry. "And all the cool kids are doing Fringe shows these days. What makes you guys so special?" They’re so glad you asked, dear reader. In recent years, Academy has helped raise thousands for charity, including the Better Together mental health fundraiser concert! They also released their international award-winning debut album, Exhibit A, recorded a new EP, Ad Astra, and have another album on the way. If you want to find out more, then check Academy out on any of the major music streaming platforms -- "Hang on, are you just using this program as free ad-space to promote your albums and stuff?"  Yes, they’re absolutely doing that. Part of that sigma grindset, you know?

The Bristol Suspensions is the University of Bristol’s 14-piece, mixed collegiate a cappella group. Having won the 2021 ICCA U.K. Semifinals, the group is known for their stunning vocals, slick choreography, and that signature shade of maroon. The Suspensions have achieved a stunning set of accolades over the past decade, including being named International Champions in the IIAF 2019 and winning the Voice Festival in 2016. Their Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning album, Red Hot, demonstrates the group’s eclectic genre range and classic “spice.” In the 2023 ICCA, The Suspensions qualified for the Wildcard round and earned two special mentions for Outstanding Soloist. They achieved two consecuive sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, most recently performing their “Friends” inspired jukebox comedy musical in 2023, and have performed at venues in London, Wales, and even on an American East Coast tour. With fresh choreography, vocalists, and a brand-new look, you don’t want to miss this new generation of The Suspensions. More than anything, the group is known for bringing passion, excitement, and electricity to every performance. The Suspensions can’t wait to give everything they’ve got to the 2024 ICCA stage. 

This is Cardiff University Vox! Vox means voice in Latin (they are pretty sure their founders must have run out of a cappella puns when naming them)! They have been Cardiff's mixed-voice group since 2014 and recently released their first EP, Summit, on Spotify! Following a year of rest, relaxation, and recruiting some new members, they are so happy to be back and competing once again, performing a varied set ranging from pop bangers to ballads! 

Illuminations is the University of Exeter’s premier competitive mixed a cappella group. Competing for over 10 years in ICCA, they have been privileged to have the opportunity to sing at Finals in 2017, 2020, and 2022, although they’ve never taken the crown thus far. They also perform annually at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, completely selling out their run in 2023. They recorded two EPs and hope to release an album this year! Illuminations Generation 13 consists of 15 members, 14 singers and one vocal percussionist. In their 13th year, Illuminations has embraced the curse with impressive arrangements, scary-good vocals and a “dark and haunted” group image. As always, they pride themselves in developing and nurturing vocal talent in an inclusive, fun, yet hard-working environment, which helps them give back to their community in Exeter. This year, you can expect the group to wow you once again with their vocals, arrangements, and performance skills. They hope you’re excited about the prospect to experience the power of their curse LIVE in full force. 

Legacy A Cappella is a community a cappella group between 15 and 21 years old based in Plymouth and funded by Plymouth Music Education Hub. They were inspired to start singing contemporary a cappella through their collaboration and exchange programme with Plymouth Public Schools in Massachusetts and were lucky enough to travel to the U.S. in October 2022 to sing and learn from their American friends. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength, doing an eight-venue tour and working with 50 schools and introducing nearly 1600 young people to contemporary a cappella. Highlights include singing at the Music For Youth National Festival in Birmingham in July 2023 and they were honoured to be selected as the only South West participants to perform in the Royal Albert Hall in November 2023 at the Music For Youth Prom. Legacy’s very first TikTok went viral with over 3 million views. They’re always keen to learn and push themselves further. This is their first competitive event and some of their members haven't even done their GCSE's yet, so please show them some love . 

Pitch Fight is a group of 14 female and nonbinary individuals from the University of Bristol who thrive on empowering performances. They are super excited to return to the ICCA to show everyone what they have been up to! After putting on a sold-out Fringe show and with an EP just around the corner, they truly have not stopped. They are ready to knock your socks off tonight doing what they do best! 

Sweet Nothings is the University of Exeter’s female and gender nonconforming contemporary a cappella group. This will be their 19th year as a group at the University. In the last three years alone, they won their ICCA Quarterfinal and placed 4th in United Kingdom Semifinals, released an EP, and successfully sold out a run of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! As a contemporary group, the songs in their repertoire include artists such as Taylor Swift and JLS and they’ve even performed original songs from Sweet Nothings members. 

The Cardiff University Acappellads hope to wow the audience with more than just their bold choice of colour. Marking the 11th iteration of the group, this year’s lineup of Acappellads continues 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 11.0 is a tight-knit group of singers with a shared love of performing. Featuring some fantastic new members, the current ensemble reflects a diverse mix of musical backgrounds and personalities. The lads are proud members of the Cardiff University A Cappella Society, and love performing alongside the other Cardiff groups and cheering them on from the wings, almost as much as they love an evening of mini golf or a trip to the pub on Wing Wednesdays. With a lineup of showcases, friendly competitions and gigs, and even the ICCA, the lads are keeping busy this year with a mixture of newer songs and some of their classics! 

The DeciBelles is Cardiff Uni’s female-presenting and nonbinary competitive a cappella group! The Belles have been competing in the ICCA for years and celebrated their 10-year anniversary last year (they can’t believe it’s already been a decade of DeciBelles?!). They reached the 2021 ICCA United Kingdom Semifinals and followed that success up with an EP, Watch Your Back, which can be streamed on Spotify. They reached the U.K. Semifinals once again last year and they hope to keep up the streak and maybe make it even further! The Belles also competed in OAC last year in Warwick. They have taken part in showcases and competitions all over the U.K., performing iconic arrangements of songs by Little Mix, Orla Gartland, Lizzy McAlpine, and Aurora, to name just a few! They are always pushing themselves to create musical masterpieces. This year, The Belles are coming out of their comfort zone and straying from their typical alternative arrangements. Expect more this year from the gals in green!


Will Geraint Drake is currently the musical director of Elision, a professional a cappella group based in London. He competed in the ICCA Finals in New York with Northern Lights, and received four awards for Outstanding Arrangement throughout his years with the group. Will was a member and arranger for the group when they won the Open A Cappella Competition, is a four-time CARA nominee, and can most recently be heard with Northern Lights on the latest editions of the BOCA and Voices Only compilation albums. Graduating from Durham University with an M.A. in music composition, Will is an award-winning composer for musical theatre and has had his work performed at sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and in venues across the U.K. He is so excited to see tonight’s show and cannot wait to see what each competitor brings to the stage! 

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. 

Gabriella Hakes (née Monnington) is one of the cofounders of the University of Bath's award-winning group, Aquapella. From 2012 to 2016, she was co-musical director and arranger for the group, winning awards for outstanding musicality and arrangements at competition, taking two highly acclaimed shows to the Edinburgh Fringe, and releasing the group;s first EP: Lambda. Since graduating, she arranges and performs with VoCollective, a six-piece jazz vocal group. VoCollective were Aca Open 2018 Finalists at Carnegie Hall in New York and performed alongside The Swingles at the London Jazz Festival in 2019. 

Duncan Parker-Payne served as primary arranger and musical director of Semi-Toned, the University of Exeter's all-male a cappella group. During his time in the group, Semi-Toned competed on two television shows on BBC 2 and Sky One, performed in three U.S. tours and five Edinburgh Fringe shows. The group also placed 2nd in the ICCA U.K. Semifinals twice. Post-university, he sang with The Great Western Chorus as tenor section leader, winning Bronze at The British Association of Barbershop Singers convention. He currently serves as the musical director of Rebound, a Bristol-based contemporary a cappella group. 


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

Elise Hackl-Blumstein
ICHSA Director

PA/MA Program Coordinator

Dave Rabizadeh
 ICCA Director

Emily Sucher
 Director of Publications

Lucy Jacobs
 ICCA West Producer

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
 ICCA South Producer

Arvin Zabalerio
ICCA Central Producer

Gemma Davies
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Emily Benjamin
 ICCA Northeast Producer

Danielle Sutherland
 ICHSA Midwest Producer

Adam McNeil
ICHSA Great Lakes Producer

Cameron Clemens
 ICHSA West Producer

Jody Hagler
 ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Bryce McCracken
 Associate Producer

Bri Decerio
 Associate Producer

Courtney Jensen
 Associate Producer

Emcee Extraordinaire

Sara Yood
Senior Producer

Emily Flanders
Director of Adjudication
 ICCA Great Lakes Producer

Andrew Poole
 Director of Digital Media

Charlotte Taylor
& Social Strategy

Holli Kitching
ICCA Mid-Atlantic Producer

Leah Alrutz
 ICCA Midwest Producer

Bronwyn Jensen
 ICCA Southwest Producer

Christopher Witham
 ICCA United Kingdom Producer

Jillian Kimberlin
 Senior Producer

Christopher Hoffman
 ICHSA Northeast Producer

Ben Garza
 ICHSA Southwest Producer

Luke Thomas
 ICHSA South Producer

Alaina Wegner
 Associate Producer

Jake Yoakum
 Associate Producer

Rebecca Williamson
 Associate Producer

Andrea Poole

ICHSA Director Emeritus


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 2024 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!