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



Theatre Royal Stratford East
Saturday, January 27th, 2024


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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 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.


AbraCappella is a mixed-gender group from the University of Birmingham. They love performing at local gigs throughout the year, singing old arrangements and showcasing new ones! They enjoy workshopping new pieces together, especially mashups, showcasing pieces from Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, and more. They have performed at ICCA Quarterfinals, as well as large university-run events such as The Guild Awards and Vale Fest, and use each opportunity to hone their sound and performance skills. They credit the ICCA for helping them improve their arrangements and choreography, encouraging them to broaden their horizons and up their standards. AbraCappella encourages all their members to bring ideas to the table and go for solos, giving everyone an opportunity to shine. Although it sounds cliché, they are a close-knit group of friends who enjoy spending time together both in and outside of rehearsals. They are highly committed to producing the best sound possible and performances they are proud to share. AbraCappella cannot wait to see what the upcoming year has in store for them and hopes that their commitment, talent, creativity, and teamwork all shine through in this performance! 

Kadence is a mixed a cappella group from King's College London. Formed in 2020, the group aims to promote a cappella music and bring together singers from all backgrounds. Kadence is an all-gender group and welcomes singers of all voice types. In addition to regular performances, they maintain an active social media presence on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Kadence records covers of popular artists in a stylish, original way, showcasing the unique qualities of their members. In doing so, the group has garnered significant attention from Grammy winners and other successful recording artists. Composed of only 10 members, they enjoy challenging themselves and pushing the range of their sound, contrasting emotional, intimate ballads with more upbeat, soulful arrangements. Kadence works closely together to create cohesive performances with a focus on blend. The group fosters a strong community through learning and appreciating a cappella music, with a focus on pop and R&B. With this foundation, Kadence strives to provide opportunities for its members to compete in nationally and internationally recognised a cappella competitions. This is their first year in the ICCA! 

Nth Harmonic is a mixed, variety a cappella group from Imperial College London. Composed of members with an eclectic and wide-reaching music taste, it’s no wonder their repertoire is so varied. They’ve performed everything from Latin, jazz, and rock, to pop-punk, classical, and disco at various concerts. You can also catch them busking at Covent Garden if they leave you wanting more tonight. Last year, their one-to-a-part, atmospheric, and hard-hitting set launched them into the aca world and they’re excited to be back for more. Having narrowly missed out on placing, Nth Harmonic returns with a bigger group, richer sound, and a strong vision for their set. They hope to transport you and take you on a journey with their 10 minutes onstage. 

The Rolling Tones are back! From Kings College London, this award-winning group is eager to get back onstage and share just a touch of what they’ve been working on at Tones HQ. They are known for their bold arrangements and powerful sound, taking every stage with innovation, energy, and fun. Over the years, these two-time Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) winners have placed in competitions and earned awards at ICCA, OAC, and Voice Festival U.K. They placed 1st at their 2023 ICCA Quarterfinal and 2nd at U.K. Semifinals, taking home Outstanding Choreography at both events. They were also winners of last year’s Voice Magazine A Cappella competition at Fringe when they were up in Edinburgh performing their show “Aca-sino Royale.” The Tones are also the hosts of LUKAS (London U.K. A cappella Showcase) and hope to see you there. Keep an eye on their socials for news on their upcoming EP! 

The Oxford Gargoyles is Oxford University’s first and only jazz a cappella ensemble, with a rich 25-year history of jazzing up Oxford's music scene with over 200 alumni. After an ICCA hiatus of about 10 years, this will be their second year competing. The group has enjoyed success within Oxford and beyond, featuring regularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 2006, receiving the accolade of Excellent Show from the Official Fringe Review for their 2023 show, and performing internationally with recent tours across North America and Hong Kong. The group's recordings have achieved great commercial success, with critically acclaimed albums and top tracks on Spotify receiving over 20,000 streams. They pride themselves on their rhythmic intensity and tight, complex harmonies, performing anything from traditional jazz standards to funk, pop, and disco. 

The Scopes is Imperial College London’s first mixed a cappella group! They have been singing their hearts out to the world since October 2011 and their family has been growing ever since. The Scopes combine diverse talents and mind-blowing harmonies to create a unique sound, favouring complex contemporary arrangements, ranging from Bruno Mars to Foo Fighters. All of their songs are arranged by current group members or alumni. Since their last ICCA entry, The Scopes have released an EP, went TikTok viral, and performed at epic venues such as The Royal Albert Hall. Amidst all this, their music directors have spent countless hours crafting a repertoire of feel-good songs, as well as cry-a-little beats. This year, they’re excited to bring many new talented singers into their family. If you’re lucky, you might catch them performing in London and busking at Covent Garden on a Saturday afternoon. If you’re interested in knowing more, do check them on their social media platforms @thescopesicu on Instagram and TikTok. 

The Songsmiths is the University of Leeds' competitive a cappella group. They are super excited to showcase their new talent and growth from last year to now. Their team of three musical directors have worked together to create a powerful set of three songs, with which they aim to take you on a journey of highs and lows, a rollercoaster of emotion expressed through music. They placed 3rd at 2018 Quarterfinals in 2018, progressing to Semifinals in 2021, and even placed 3rd at U.K. Semifinals in 2019. They hope to achieve even greater heights this year! This 15-person group pushes itself to the max with their vocal talent and agility, so listen out for their altos singing lower than their tenors, their sopranos singing into the rafters, and their beatboxer making you question if they have a secret drum kit hidden away backstage! 

The Uptone Girls is an all-female-identifying a cappella group from the University of Birmingham. They are a part of the larger Birmingham a cappella society, which houses three more amazing groups! This will only be their third ICCA season, but they’ve already graced the U.K. Semifinal stage with their killer set in 2022 and won two Outstanding Choreography awards! Over the past few years, they performed on BBC1’s “Pitch Battle,” worked with Universal Studios on “Pitch Perfect 3,” won Outstanding Choreography at the Open A Cappella Competition (OAC), and performed an Edinburgh Fringe show, “She Had It Coming.” They’ve loved working with UoB a cappella alumni Sons of Pitches and have gigged at the Birmingham Christmas Market, Pizza Express Live, Jam House, and their favourite home venue, the Indie Lounge! The Uptone repertoire changes with each generation as new members bring new ideas and musical strengths. Pop music has typically defined their setlists, but they love to experiment with rock, musical theatre, indie, country songs, and even an original rap by member Samantha Jasi in their rendition of “All For Us.” Generation 13 is the biggest group they’ve ever had and they’re bringing the heat to the 2024 ICCA!


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 and earned the Champion title at 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. 

Georgia Blessitt is a current member and musical director of the 12-piece group Axiom, based up and down the UK. She competed in ICCA Finals twice with Aquapella and in The Open with NoVI. She is the recipient of two Outstanding Soloist awards at ICCA, a Best Solo Voice Award at Solevoci, and the coveted CARA for Best Mixed Collegiate Solo (Aquapella's "Midnight"). She has also collaborated with numerous U.K. groups and judged the U.K.'s first OAC. 

Sophie-Lee Colchester is a choir leader, teacher, and award-winning musical director. She has been Director of Fitznells Music Centre for more than a decade, where she teaches singing, piano, and percussion, and leads both adult and children’s choirs. She was the musical director for the world premiere of “5, 6, 7, 8: A Steps Musical” at the Camden Fringe Festival in 2017 and more recently for the award-winning 2019 production of “I Love You Because” at Wimbledon Studio Theatre. Also a singer, she has performed in choirs and onstage since childhood, and has sung for Mary King, Bob Chilcott, and Sampha. 

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 getting involved once again and looks forward to enjoying the great performances tonight. 

Samuel "Sammo" Swinnerton-Woolf grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, competing as a concert pianist. He moved to the south in 2008 and is now a professional pop musician and producer. As a performer, Sammo has toured venues all over the world, from stadium performances across Asia to a tiny ice-shelf in Antarctica. In between tours of Europe and playing gigs all over the U.K., he spends the rest of his time producing and arranging music for various bands and choirs. With a plethora of a cappella groups under his belt (including Out of the Blue, AfterParty A Cappella, Rule of Six, Meantime Chorus, and The Magnets), he has created dozens of arrangements, choreographies, and has clocked years of experience performing as a vocal bass. Most recently, Samuel has returned from a tour with The Magnets in Canada and the U.S., and coached the bass section of Meantime Chorus to a record-breaking score for a British Barbershop chorus at the Barbershop Harmony Society International competition. 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 emcee Dan Mailer, our guest act LowKey, our sound engineer Max Hunter, and all the venue staff at the Theatre Royal Stratford East; 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!