List of university a cappella groups in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of university a cappella musical groups in the UK who have achieved some level of notability or recognition.

Contents

University of Aberdeen[edit]

Aberpella[edit]

Aberpella are the University of Aberdeen's premier a cappella ensemble. They were founded in 2011 as the AUSA (Aberdeen University Student Association) A Cappella Society by Nathan Chadwick.

Aberpella first began competing in collegiate a cappella in 2012 and their competitive contributions are as follows:

Voice Festival UK 2012

Voice Festival UK 2013 - Victoria Metcalf awarded Outstanding Soloist

Voice Festival UK 2015 (Semi-Finalists)

Scottish A Cappella Championships 2016

Scottish A Cappella Championships 2017 - Colum Findlay awarded Outstanding Soloist

Voice Festival UK 2017 (Semi-Finalists)

ICCA 2017 (Semi-Finalists)


In 2015 Aberpella and their sister group The Killer Quines recorded their first professional EP - "3000 And Counting". The group recorded two songs on this EP - "I See Fire", and "In The Wee Small Hours"

In 2017 Aberpella recorded their first solo EP - "50 Tones Of Grey" The EP contains the following songs:"Animals", "Demons", "Friction", "Tears" and "Gaga"

The group also performed a week long run of their 2016/17 repertoire at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival under the title "Aberpella Presents: 50 Tones Of Grey"


As of September 2017, the groups has 13 members:

Nadya Albertsson - Soprano

Emma Laing - Soprano

Ronja Alhällen - Soprano

Anya McCrimmon - Alto

Nicola Iannotti - Alto

Lauren McCallum - Alto

Alison Donn - Contralto

Emma Harkins - Contalto

Colum Findlay - Tenor

Greg Morris - Baritone

Oliver George Williams - Baritone

Alexander Murray John - Bass

Max Yeung - Bass/Vocal Percussion

[1][full citation needed]

Chordiac Arrest[edit]

Chordiac Arrest were formed in the summer of 2011 by a group of medical students. Although they have performed at some events in Aberdeen, most recently being joint winners of the open Vocal Group class (V21) in the Aberdeenshire Music Festival, they have never entered the Voice Festival UK,[2][3] they disbanded in the summer of 2012, as final year of medicine spread the group far and wide on rural placements. However a reunion of 6 members formed GCS-3 (the Gangster Coma Scales - 3) who performed at a Christmas Concert in 2012, with the American group Pentatonix as their inspiration.[4]

In addition to this group something of an a cappella revolution occurred at the medical school and two more groups started towards the end of 2012, namely The Ultrasounds and A Patella, under the guidance of Tim Lewis.

A-Patella[edit]

A-Patella is a mixed group of medical students at the University of Aberdeen. They were formed at the start of November 2012 and in their infancy co-hosted an A Cappella Christmas Concert after five weeks of practice, they are led by Sophie Pitts, assisted by Caitlin Hughes and Duncan Samuel.[5]

The Killer Quines[edit]

The Killer Quines are an all-female a cappella group at the University of Aberdeen. Founded in 2013 by Joanna Casson, the group consists of twelve 'Quines' covering songs in a range of musical styles, the name derives from the doric dialect commonly used in Aberdeenshire where 'quine' translates as 'girl'. In 2015, the group performed at a Voice Festival UK showcase in Glasgow and competed in the Scottish A Cappella Championships in St Andrews alongside performances at various venues across Aberdeen including an International Women's Day event, they also recorded two tracks for their debut EP with Aberpella.

University of Bath[edit]

The Alley Barbers[edit]

The longest-running vocal group at Bath University,[6] The Alley Barbers sing a wide range of songs in four part harmony, often in the barbershop style. Current conductor and former student member, Tim Greeves, succeeded the director of student music-making, Robin Jackson, on his retirement in 2005, the founder of Bristol University's TUBBS A Cappella was a member of the Alley Barbers from 2000 to 2001.[7]

Aquapella[edit]

Aquapella are the University of Bath's first contemporary a cappella group. Founded by Civil Engineering student Andrew Hakes in 2011, they competed in the Voice Festival UK for the first time in 2012. Under the musical direction of Gabriella Monnington, who also writes most of their arrangements, they will return to the regional round Voice Festival UK at University of Exeter in 2013.[8]

Bath Spa University[edit]

No Direction[edit]

No Direction are a six-part all-male a cappella vocal ensemble who started in late 2012, and are the university's best acknowledged a cappella/barbershop group, the group formed during rehearsals for the university's production of The Magic Flute by Mozart, and since then have played in several venues around Bath. They have become well known for their comedic style, with several arrangements written by group members, their repertoire has an extensive range, from classic, well-known songs such as 'The Longest Time' by Billy Joel to more modern songs such as 'Tribute' by Tenacious D and others, including some contemporary rap songs.

University of Birmingham[edit]

The Sons of Pitches[edit]

The Sons of Pitches is an all-male a cappella group formed in October 2010[9] by Mark Nathan.[10] In 2011, they took part in the inaugural Birmingham semifinal of the Voice Festival UK; in 2012, they won the Birmingham semifinal of Voice Festival UK, and competed at the final in London. They returned to the London finals again in 2013 where they received more awards than any other group in the competition, being recognised for 'Outstanding Arrangement', 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion', 'Outstanding Choreography/Stagecraft' and 'Outstanding Performance', but ultimately lost overall to Vive from Guildhall. However, just a few weeks later The Sons of Pitches won the 'International Wildcard Round' of the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), and competed in the International Finals at The Town Hall, New York City, on 20 April 2013.

In September and October 2015 The Sons of Pitches were one of the a cappella groups who appeared in the Gareth Malone BBC television series, The Naked Choir,[11] the choir won the competition.

The Uptone Girls[edit]

The Birmingham Songbirds was an all-female a cappella group. In 2012 they reached the Birmingham semifinal of the Voice Festival UK.[12] Later that year, they changed their name to 'The Uptone Girls'.

Score[edit]

Score (formerly Voice Versa) is an a cappella group from the University of Birmingham, with an outside member from Birmingham Conservatoire. They have competed in the Voice Festival for the past 3 years and perform in various charity and local gigs, as well as weddings, society balls and other events.

The J Walkers[edit]

The J Walkers is a new mixed group from the University of Birmingham specialising in Motown, funk and soul whose debut performance will be at the 2014 Voice Festival.

Augmented Seven[edit]

Augmented Seven is a mixed-voice a cappella group from the University of Birmingham formed in 2010 by Tom Johnson and Mark Nathan.[10] They were University of Birmingham's first a cappella group and only mixed group.

In 2011, the group entered the Voice Festival UK at the inaugural Birmingham semifinal, and progressed to the final after winning the 'Outstanding Performance' award.[13] Later that year, the group split up due to artistic differences. Three of its male members went on to join the second incarnation of The Sons of Pitches from 2011 to 2012, this group has since disbanded.

The Lorelites[edit]

The Lorelites is an all-female a cappella group formed in January 2011.[9] In 2011 they took part in the first Birmingham semifinal of the Voice Festival UK. Now defunct.

University of Bristol[edit]

TUBBS A Cappella[edit]

The University of Bristol Barbershop/A Cappella Singers is a society formed in 2007 at the University of Bristol by Iain Hallam, from an earlier quartet, to act as an umbrella group supporting "non-classical" a cappella singing.[14] There are three main unauditioned choruses (for upper, lower and mixed voices) and the auditioned chorus listed below, plus numerous quartets and smaller ensembles. Several member quartets have competed at the national barbershop finals, with Park Street and Patchwork qualifying to represent the UK at international competitions; in 2014, Park Street became the National Barbershop Quartet Champions.[15]

HotTUBBS[edit]

HotTUBBS is an auditioned a cappella group partially-contained within TUBBS A Cappella. Formed in 2008,[16] they have won medals at the Manchester Amateur Choral Competition and Oxford Music Festival. They've also been semi-finalists in Voice Festival UK twice: in 2012[8] and in 2015.[17]

The Bristol Suspensions[edit]

The Bristol Suspensions are an award-winning mixed voice a cappella group formed in October 2014 by Joe Pickin, Eve Robertson, and Rafaella Barratt. In their first year of existence, they performed in the Voice Festival 2015, released a hit music video, sang on BBC Radio, recorded an album, and brought a show to the Edinburgh Fringe, with a sell-out final night. Now in their second year, they placed third in the ICCA semifinals, as well as achieving an award for Outstanding Arrangement in Aliak Bedirian's 'Madness/Magic' and Outstanding Vocal Percussion for Scott Lechleiter, and recently won the Voice Festival UK university competition, their repertoire spans a huge range of genres, but their special love will always be cheesy noughties pop.

Brunel University[edit]

BUBS[edit]

The Brunel University Barbershop Singers (BUBS) are a group of experienced male soloists who sing together as a barbershop group throughout the academic year in both public events and an array of concerts on behalf of Brunel University London.

University of Cambridge[edit]

Cadenza[edit]

Cadenza is a mixed-voice group formed originally in 1997 as a small jazz choir, complete with conductor and band, which was changed in 2002 to its present setup as a smaller close harmony a cappella group.

In March 2011, the group won the Voice Festival UK[13] and travelled to New York to compete in the ICCA final in April 2011, they did not place in the top three.[18]

In January 2012, it was confirmed that Cadenza would not be competing in the Voice Festival UK in 2012, thus becoming the first ever group not to try and retain their title.[19]

Fitz Barbershop[edit]

Fitz Barbershop is an all-male a cappella group that used to accept only members from Fitzwilliam College but now is open to members of all colleges. Having been founded in 1994 by Alex Tester, the then Organ Scholar for Fitzwilliam Chapel Choir, it is the oldest currently-running a cappella group in Cambridge, at Christmas 2009, they went to Berlin to busk at the Christmas markets, and were featured on the German 24-hour news channel.[20]

In 2009, the group entered the inaugural Voice Festival UK competition in the Cambridge semifinal, they won the award for 'Outstanding Musicality' for Wonderful Tonight.[13] In 2010 they entered again, winning the award for 'Outstanding Performance' and the 'Ward Swingle Award for Originality', gifting them a wild card into the London final, they went on to claim the 'Outstanding Performance' award again in the final.[13]

They frequently perform at Cambridge May Balls, and have on occasion hosted one night events at the ADC Theatre;[21] in March 2014 the group put on a 20th anniversary concert alongside the Fitz Sirens at Fitzwilliam college.[22]

The Fitz Sirens[edit]

The Fitz Sirens is an all-female a cappella group affiliated to Fitzwilliam College. It has performed at many presitigous venues, including 10 Downing Street and The House of Lords.[citation needed]

In 2010, the group reached the final of the Voice Festival UK, where they won the award for 'Outstanding Musicality'.[13]

Blue Shakti[edit]

Blue Shakti is a mixed voice Hindi/English fusion a cappella group. It was formed in 2010 and has performed at various events in and around Cambridge, including society balls and Mastana, an annual cultural show organised by students.

The King's Men[edit]

Formerly known as "Collegium Regale", The King’s Men is the close harmony group formed from the Choral Scholars of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, the group has been running for more than 80 years.

The King’s Men functions separately from the main Choir (most famous for the broadcast of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on the radio at Christmas) and is run entirely by the members of the group itself, it performs regularly around Britain, and has performed as far afield as North America, Australia and Hong Kong.

Cardiff University[edit]

Cardiff University A Cappella society was established in 2013 and currently has four groups: Vox, DeciBelles, Acappellads and InterChorus. Cardiff University A Cappella Society performs two showcases a year (Winter and Spring) and gig/busk throughout the year, the society has also been booked for weddings.[23]

Vox[edit]

Vox are a small mixed voice a cappella group from Cardiff University currently consisting of 14 members. Vox perform a range of songs, arranged by members of the group. Current arrangements include "Mad World" (Tears for Fears), "A Thousand Years" (Christina Perri), "Happy Ending" (Mika), "Good Vibrations" (The Beach Boys) etc.[24]

DeciBelles[edit]

DeciBelles are a small all female a cappella group from Cardiff University. DeciBelles perform a range of songs, arranged by members of the group. Current arrangements include; Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen), Shout Out To My Ex (Little Mix) etc.

Acappellads[edit]

Acappellads are a small all male a cappella group from Cardiff University who perform a range of genres.

InterChorus[edit]

InterChorus are a large mixed voice a cappella group from Cardiff University who perform a range of genres

University of Durham[edit]

Northern Lights[edit]

Northern Lights are a mixed voice a cappella group from Durham University who perform a wide range of genres, the group was formed as Palatinotes in 2013 and in their first year they performed at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2015 they released their first single, 'Dancing in the Moonlight', reached the semi finals of the ICCAs and returned to the Edinburgh Fringe with sell-out performances of their show, 'The Northern Lights Display'.

In 2016 they competed again in the ICCAs, in which they came 4th in the UK, after winning both 'Outstanding Soloist' and 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion' in their quarter final heat; in August 2016 they released an EP, 'Bright Lights Small City' and a music video, 'Don't Look Back in Anger', before returning to the Edinburgh Fringe for a third run with their show, 'The Voice Awakens'.

Northern Lights were the winners of the Northern regional final of the 2017 ICCAs, once again taking home 'Outstanding Soloist' and 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion', they are planning to return to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

University of Edinburgh[edit]

Edinburgh University A Cappella[edit]

Edinburgh University A Cappella is Edinburgh University's first a cappella group.[citation needed] Consisting of multiple groups both mixed and single sex, it also includes the award winning competition group, Tone Up.

University of Exeter[edit]

Sweet Nothings[edit]

Sweet Nothings are the premier all-female group from Exeter University, who sing a huge range of diverse songs.

From Beyoncé to Pendulum, their musical scope extends over a much larger domain than most typical girl groups,[25] they were formed in 2006 and as such are the oldest group at the university.[26] In 2009, they competed in the inaugural Voice Festival UK competition[26] and in 2012 they competed again, winning an award for 'Outstanding Performance' in the Bristol regional round.[27]

They have competed twice in the semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and three times at the Voice Festival UK, winning the award for 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion' in 2016.

In May 2015 they recorded their first ever 5 track EP titled 'Unwrapped' with The Vocal Company, they have taken 3 shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, aptly named 'Go Sweet or Go Home' (2014), 'Unwrapped' (2015), 'We Need To Talk' (2016) and are returning for a fourth year to turn the tables and sing songs traditionally sung by men in their 2017 show 'Who Run the World?'.

In August 2015, they released their first charity single titled 'Telephone', a mash up of Beyoncé & Lady GaGa's 'Telephone' and Lady GaGa's 'Just Dance' Through the Summer of 2016, Sweet Nothings was selected to participate in the Gareth Malone's BBC 2 program "The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain" which was aired in November–December 2016, performing for to audiences of 10 million people.

Semi-Toned[edit]

Semi-Toned is an all-male contemporary a Cappella group who sing a variety of modern and classic songs.[25] They were formed in October 2010 by Eddie Henley, Jon Minter and Simon Eaton.

They competed for the first time in The Voice Festival UK in 2012, winning both "Outstanding Arrangement" and "Outstanding Vocal Percussion"; in 2013 the group won the South West regional, advancing to the London final, as well as "Outstanding Stagecraft and Choreography" and, once more, "Outstanding Vocal Percussion". Semi-Toned made their Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2013, their show "The Exe-Men" was reviewed enthusiasticly [28] in a Fringe that was not kind to a Cappella groups.[26]

In 2014, the group once again reached the final of The Voice Festival UK and winning awards for "Outstanding Arrangement" for their mash-up of "Dear Darlin'" by Olly Murs and "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)" by Ylvis, "Outstanding Overall Performance" and "Outstanding Soloist" for Michael Luya in "Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Radiohead.[29] They then continued their Edinburgh Fringe success with 2014's "Toned Up" which saw a second five-star review from Broadway Baby and a prestigious "Bobby" Award, the group becoming the first University ensemble and first a Cappella group to achieve this;[30] in September the group recorded its first self-titled 5 track EP with The Vocal Company, featuring covers of John Newman, Daft Punk, Paolo Nutini, Jay Z and Radiohead.

In January 2015, Semi-Toned competed in the Semi-Finals of the ICCA's in London, finishing in second place overall, whilst winning "Outstanding Choreography".[31] Then in April, Semi-Toned won The Voice Festival UK as well as "Outstanding Overall Performance"[29] thereby fully establishing itself upon the UK a Cappella scene. Soon after they embarked on their first tour of the East Coast of the United States, visiting and performing with groups from Colombia, NYU, Princeton, Yale and North Eastern Colleges.

The Sweet Nothings are one of the University of Exeter's eight A Capella groups.

Harmonics[edit]

Harmonics was formed in October 2012 by Charlotte Sidwell and Zoe Fitzsimmons, they specialize in both classical and modern music, performing services and concerts in Exeter Cathedral and other churches, as well as more casual gigs in Firehouse and other venues around Exeter.[32]

Harmonics released its first CD in December 2014, "Christmas With Harmonics".

The Bluebelles[edit]

The Bluebelles are Exeter University's newest a cappella group.[25] Formed in September 2013 the Bluebelles are an all-female group that mainly sing jazz and female-barbershop, they performed their debut Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in 2015.

Hoi Rhapsodoi[edit]

Hoi Rhapsodoi are a mixed a cappella octet from Exeter University. Formed in 2008 by Erika Borley and Tom Simpson, they sing a huge mix of secular and sacred music.[25]

Madrigals[edit]

The Madrigals are a mixed a cappella group from Exeter University formed in 2008 by Ben Pennington, they specialise in singing madrigals.[25]

Take Note[edit]

Take Note is an unauditioned mixed a cappella group.[25]

Illuminations[edit]

Illuminations are a mixed a cappella group, formed by Emily Botsford and Charlotte Mckeown in October 2011, who sing music ranging from modern pop to 80's classics. In their 2012-2013 season the group performed for BBC's Children in Need and competed in their first Voice Festival UK, receiving a personal commendation for stagecraft, they competed in the ICCA quarter-finals competition 2016 at Exeter University, winning Best Soloist for Izzie Ballentine-Dykes' rendition of Regina Spector's 'The Call'. They regularly perform at local venues such as the Old Firehouse and John Gandy's open mic nights where they also won first prize during early 2016.

University of Glasgow[edit]

Choral Stimulation[edit]

Choral Stimulation is a mixed-voice a cappella group from the University of Glasgow formed in 2008. Since 2010, they have competed in the Voice Festival UK at the St Andrews semifinal; in 2011, they won the award for 'Outstanding Performance'[13] for their arrangement entitled "Night at the Movies", which incorporated theme tunes from several Hollywood blockbusters, including The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean. Became the first group outside of St Andrews to win the VF-UK Regional for Scotland in 2013 to go on to compete in London as well as picking up the award for 'Outstanding Arrangement'.[33]

In September and October 2015 Choral Stimulation were one of eight groups who appeared in the BBC television series, The Naked Choir, after auditions from 400 groups from across the UK.[34]

Imperial College London[edit]

The Techtonics[edit]

The Techtonics is an all-male a cappella group from Imperial College London formed in the summer of 2008 by Christian Carter and Ed Brightman.[35] The group became an immediate success on campus, coming second on Imperial Idol 2009, and appearing alongside Athlete and Noel Fielding at Imperial's Summer Ball that year.[35]

In 2010, they participated in the Cambridge semifinal of the Voice Festival UK, and Carter received the award for 'Outstanding Arrangement' of Robbie Williams' "Come Undone",[13] the following year, they competed in the newly formed London semifinal, and won the award for 'Outstanding Performance'.[13]

The group took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a week in the summer of 2010 and sold out on their final performance,[35] they recorded an album in 2010 and regularly busk on Portobello Road on a Saturday morning.

Between 28 August and 4 September 2011, the group embarked upon a tour of Croatia alongside the Imperial College Chamber Choir, and competed in the Vocal Marathon a cappella competition,[36] they were described as "setting the audience on fire" and bringing a "fresh and positive energy" to the competition.[37]

The group competed in the London Regional Round of the Voice Festival UK 2012, claiming awards for 'Outstanding Performance' and 'Outstanding Soloist'.[13]

The Techtonics won the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2016, becoming the first non-US group to ever hold the title.[38]

Imperielles[edit]

Formed in 2011, Imperielles are Imperial's most established all-female A cappella group, they won the award for Outstanding Soloist at the international semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) in 2015 and competed in Voice Festival UK in March 2012 and 2014.[19]

The Scopes[edit]

The Scopes is a mixed group, formed in 2011. They have since competed in Voice Festival UK in 2013 and 2014, they were ICCA semi-finalists in 2015 and 2016.

Harmaphrodite[edit]

Harmaphrodite were formed in 2006 by Jessica Gillingwater. The group is no longer in existence but performed at Exhibition Road Music Day in 2006 and 2007,[39][40] they competed in the Voice Festival 2011 in the London Regional Round.

Apex Beats[edit]

Apex Beats are a group of medical students formed in 2009. They perform mainly at ICSMSU events and perform a mixture of classic Barbershop, a cappella pop songs and Bollywood classics.

King's College London[edit]

All The King's Men[edit]

All The King's Men is the first and only all-male a cappella group from King's College, London. They were formed by freshers in September 2009,[41] and went on to have a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010.

In 2011, they entered the Voice Festival UK and won their regional round, also claiming the award for 'Outstanding Musicality'; in the final, they won the award for 'Outstanding Performance' with their mashup of Boogie Nights and I Don't Feel Like Dancing.[13] In the summer of that year, they returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[42]

On 11 February 2012 they won the London Regional round of Voice Festival UK for the second year running, they were also awarded the prize for Outstanding Choreography.[13]

In February 2012 the group toured the West Coast of America performing at many prestigious Universities including Claremont, USC, UC Stanford and UC Berkeley.[43]

On 10 March 2012 All the King's Men won the Final of Voice Festival UK, they also won the award for Outstanding Musicality in their arrangement of Hallelujah.[44][full citation needed]

In the Summer of 2012 they will return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for their third time in as many years.[45]

The Rolling Tones[edit]

The Rolling Tones is an all-female a cappella group from King's College London. Formed in 2007 by Alice Whiteley, the group has since been invited to perform at a number of significant events, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics and the RBS International Women's Day Event 2014, the Tones have performed several successful sets at the Brandenburg Choral Festival and continue to sing at various events across London.

In 2014, the group reached the semi-finals of The Voice Festival UK and in 2015, they reached the finals, becoming the first all-female a cappella group to reach the deciding stage of the competition since 2009, the group was awarded the prize for 'Outstanding Arrangement' at both the semi-finals and finals for Zara Tso's arrangement of 'Awake My Soul', originally performed by Mumford & Sons.

Alongside performances, the Tones offer workshops for schools where they cover a variety of the skills needed to perform a cappella, including help with arrangements, team-building exercises and much more, they are currently working on their first single, to be released in spring 2015.

University of Leeds[edit]

The Songsmiths[edit]

The Songsmiths are a mixed a cappella group from the University of Leeds'. They have performed at the British Heart Foundation Ball, various University Union events and at the Riley and JCR Awards, they have been very successful in the past two Voice Festival UK competitions; in 2012 winning Best Arrangement and in 2013 winning Best Soloist and Best Musicality. "Taking A Cappella to unreachable levels of intimacy" - The Songsmiths (2013)[46]

The Cosmopolitones[edit]

The Cosmopolitones are an all-female a cappella group from the University of Leeds'.

University of Manchester[edit]

Manchester University Barbershop Singers[edit]

The Manchester University Barbershop Singers (MUBS) is a barbershop society at the University of Manchester, it originally started in 2010 as a men's chorus and became a full University of Manchester Students' Union society in 2013 with the addition of a ladies' chorus. The names of the two choruses are Mantunian Way and Ultraviolet, respectively, as of November 2013, the society has more than 50 regularly singing members, but each of their choruses remain under the category of 'small chorus'. Society members have also attained success on the national stage both in quartets made up of MUBS members (Tagline, 2015 British Association of Barbershop Singers Gold Medal Quartet), and also with other singers from across the country (The Emerald Guard, 2013 British Association of Barbershop Singers Gold Medal Quartet, Mach 4, 2012 Silver Medal Quartet). Since 2014, Mantunian Way competes in the yearly British Association of Barbershop Singers Chorus competition, being the first University chorus to do so.[citation needed] Mantunian Way obtained third place overall in 2014 and became the first ever chorus to obtain a medal in its first BABS Chorus competition.[citation needed] Mantunian Way obtained seventh overall place in the 2016 Harrogate BABS Chorus competition as well as the Jim Carter trophy for best small chorus. Members of Ultraviolet have competed in the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers chorus competition as part of Chrystal Chords in 2015 .[47][better source needed]

Sing It! Society[edit]

Sing It! are a mixed acapella chorus set up by University of Manchester students in 2016. The chorus is open to non-university members, is non-auditioned and has a diverse mix of people, they perform a range of music including jazz, folk and barbershop. Their first competition outing was in the 2017 British Association of Barbershop Singers Mixed Chorus competition in Bournemouth, where they achieved a very respectable score for a chorus only eight months in existence.

University of Manchester A Capella Society[edit]

The University of Manchester A Capella Society (UMACS) was founded in 2015, and has since grown to over 100 members across 7 active groups: Amplify, One Note Stand, Tone Deft, Real Hymn Shady's, Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them, Duly Noted and Licence to Trill. UMACS hosts an a cappella showcase every December and May, in which all groups perform covers of popular songs. Performances from the showcase are recorded and uploaded to the society's YouTube channel [48]. Aside from the showcase, individual groups organise and perform at external concerts, such as university events, corporate functions and charity fundraisers.

University of Nottingham[edit]

RadioOctave[edit]

RadioOctave is a mixed a cappella group from the University of Nottingham. Formed in 2014, it was the first a cappella group from the university;[49] in 2016, RadioOctave competed at The Voice Festival UK for the first time, reaching the semi-finals.

In 2016, RadioOctave appeared on Gareth Malone's The Choir: Best In Britain, competing in the Midlands and Wales category. [50][51]

Aca-pocalypse[edit]

Aca-pocalypse is a mixed auditioned a cappella group from the University of Nottingham. [52] Having formed in October 2015, Aca-pocalypse reached the semi-finals of The Voice Festival UK in 2017. [53]

University of Oxford[edit]

Out of the Blue[edit]

Out of the Blue was formed in 2000 by postgraduate Derek Smith, who, having arrived in Oxford after an undergraduate degree at Harvard University, noticed the distinct lack of an all-male a cappella group at the university. Since their inception, they have become one of the most successful university groups in the UK, having toured the UK[citation needed], Ireland[citation needed], the United States,[54][55][56] Japan, Sri Lanka and Scandinavia[citation needed], and acquiring consecutive Fringe Sell-Out Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year since 2006.[citation needed]

The group took part in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) in 2009, progressing to the grand final in New York City, coming second. That year they also won the inaugural Voice Festival UK competition, the final of which they would go on to reach every year with the exception of 2013 (when they did not compete), winning again in 2014.[13][57]

In 2011 they took part in Britain's Got Talent and progressed to the live semifinals, they finished 4th in the 4th semifinal and therefore did not progress to the final.[58]

The Oxford Gargoyles[edit]

The Oxford Gargoyles is a mixed-voice jazz a cappella group formed in 1998. They have toured the United States several times,[59] appearing at Disneyland[citation needed] in Los Angeles and on NBC.[60]

In 2007, the group won the Western European semifinal of the ICCAs and progressed to the final in New York,[57] they won the Voice Festival UK in 2010.[13]

In 2012, they won the Open Category of the Choir of the Year competition and performed at the finals, which were broadcast on BBC.

In 2014, the Gargoyles toured Hong Kong and Macau, performing at the first Oxford Asia Alumni Weekend, Cathay Pacific / HSBC Rugby Sevens Weekend, Hong Kong City Hall, Teatro Dom Pedro V, and more than a dozen other venues.

They have appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year since 2006, and were awarded the status of a sell-out show in 2008.[61]

The Oxford Belles[edit]

The Oxford Belles is one of the two all-female a cappella groups from the University of Oxford. They were formed in 1995 by Helen Whiteley, a year-long visiting student from the University of Virginia who had previously sung with The Virginia Belles.

In 2009, the group reached the London final of the Voice Festival UK and were confirmed as the best female group that year.[13] Following this success, they travelled to New York City[62] later that year, and returned to America in 2010, this time to the West Coast and California.

In 2010 they took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time since 2000 and received critical acclaim for their performances.[63][64]

In 2012-2013 the Belles recorded and released a single and a music video, they competed in Voice Festival UK 2013 and received the award for "Outstanding Musicality".

The Oxford Alternotives[edit]

The Oxford Alternotives at the Voice Festival UK Finals 2009, held at the Wathen Hall, St Paul's School, London

The Oxford Alternotives is a mixed-voice a cappella group and the oldest a cappella group from the University of Oxford, having formed in 1993. They were founded as the Oxford University Alternative Singing Society by three students seeking an alternative to the chapel choirs dominating the university music scene at the time.

They have toured the USA a number of times, including a performance at the 9/11 memorial service for British victims in New York in 2005,[65] the group also appears every year at the Edinburgh Fringe, having received 5-stars in 2013.[66]

In 2009, the group came second in the Voice Festival UK, winning awards for 'Outstanding Arrangement' and 'Outstanding Soloist', and again qualified for the national final as Oxford regional champions in 2013.[13]

In The Pink[edit]

In The Pink is one of the two all-female a cappella groups from the University of Oxford. They were formed in 2003.

In 2006, the group participated in the ICCAs in Western European semifinal in Oxford, they finished third, with Alexandra Godfree winning the award for 'Outstanding Arrangement' on "Rainy Days and Mondays". In 2007 they entered again, and despite not placing in the top three, Rebecca Dale won the award for 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion'; in 2008, the group participated again, this time in the first of two quarterfinals. This time Suzannah Merchant claimed the award for 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion'.[57]

They have appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2005 and are set to do so again in 2013, as a result of their performance in 2010, they appeared on the Richard Bacon show on Radio 4.[citation needed]

The group have recorded five studio albums: Naked (2005), Tickled Pink (2006), All Mouth No Trousers (2007), By Any Other Name (2008), Pinkredible (2010) and their latest effort "She Who Dares" (2012).[67] They competed in the Oxford round of the Voice Festival UK 2013 and received awards for 'Outstanding Performance' and 'Outstanding Soloist'.[68]

The Ultrasounds[edit]

The Ultrasounds are an all-male a cappella group from the medical school of the University of Oxford. They formed in 2010 and made their competitive debut at The Voice Festival UK 2012 in the Oxford Regional Round,[69] where they won 'Outstanding Overall Performance' and 'Best Vocal Percussionist'.

The Beatroots[edit]

The Beatroots are an 8-strong mixed a cappella group of postgraduate students from the University of Oxford, formed in 2012. They were awarded 'Judges' Favourite Song' at the Voice Festival UK Community Showcase in 2014.

The Aneurhythms[edit]

The Aneurhythms are a relatively new arrival (established 2014) to Oxford's roaring a cappella scene. However, since their conception they have taken the scene by storm, having been praised as the best all-female medical student a capella Oxford has to offer, the group have performed at a variety of student and charity events across Oxford, singing a variety of self-arranged repertoire from old classics to new pop mash ups.

The Oxford Commas[edit]

The Oxford Commas are Oxford's hottest all male a cappella group. Formed in November 2014, the group regularly performs a variety of gigs in and around Oxford, including at colleges, weddings and balls, the group initiated their first international tour to the east coast of the USA in March 2017.

Royal Holloway, University of London[edit]

Absolute Harmony[edit]

Absolute Harmony is a mixed-voice a cappella group formed in 1997 at Royal Holloway, University of London as 'Alternative Harmony' by Regina Yau, who didn't feel there was much opportunity for the average student to sing in an informal, unauditioned choir. After the group disintegrated somewhat due to Yau taking a year abroad, she returned, influenced by several American collegiate a cappella groups and decided to convert the group into an a cappella group, with a smaller group of members meeting more often to form 'Absolute Harmony', the group was instrumental in the inauguration of the first ever British Inter-collegiate Contemporary Championship of A Cappella (BICCAs).

Eventually the name of the entire group changed to 'Absolute Harmony', with a smaller group, 'Hardcore Harmony', meeting more regularly to work towards competitions.[70]

University of St Andrews[edit]

The Other Guys[edit]

The Other Guys was formed in 2004 and are the only all-male a cappella group from the University of St Andrews. They are perhaps best known for their YouTube hit "Royal Romance", a tribute to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, which gained recognition in the rest of the United Kingdom,[71] the United States,[72][73] Australia,[74] and India[75] within a week, and the video also appeared on "Webtastic" on The Today Show.[76]

The group entered the ICCAs for the first time in 2007, when St Andrews hosted the Western European quarterfinal, and progressed to the semifinal in London,[57] they repeated this success in the following year.[57] In 2009 they progressed to the London final of the inaugural Voice Festival UK competition.[13]

The Alleycats[edit]

The Alleycats is a mixed-voice a cappella group formed in 2001. Having originally been an all-male group, in 2007 girls were allowed to audition for the first time, and now the group consists of roughly half and half.[citation needed]

In 2008, the group appeared on the BBC's Last Choir Standing, making it to the final 15,[77] the group also took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010 and plan to do so in August 2011.[citation needed]

In 2009 and 2010, the group progressed to the final of the Voice Festival UK in London; in 2009, Lizzy Weintz won the award for 'Outstanding Arrangement' in the final. In 2010, the group received the 'Outstanding Performance' award.[13]

The Accidentals[edit]

The Accidentals is an all-female a cappella group.

In 2010 they progressed from the St Andrews semifinal of the Voice Festival UK to the London final having won the award for 'Outstanding Performance'; in 2011 they achieved this success again, with Anna McDonald winning the award for 'Outstanding Soloist' for her performance of Adele's Rolling in the Deep and Ellie Mason winning the award for 'Outstanding Vocal Percussion' at the semifinal. In the final, the group were highly commended for their arrangement of Price Tag, as well as their Vocal Percussion.[13]

The Hummingbirds[edit]

The Hummingbirds is an all-female a cappella group. They have competed in the Voice Festival UK since its inception in 2008, the group won the "Outstanding Choreography" award during the Scottish A Cappella Championship in 2015. The Hummingbirds made their debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016.

The Madrigal Group[edit]

Formed in 1946 by student Evelyn Webb,[78] the auditioned choir of 16 sings madrigals as well as contemporary 'choral' A Capella by the likes of Eric Whitacre, Paul Mealor etc. In addition the group has for many decades sung choral arrangements of popular music, long before this style underwent something of a renaissance in the mid to late 1990's.

The Vocal Bandits[edit]

The Vocal Bandits are St Andrews' only non-auditioned a cappella group made up of both males and females.[citation needed]

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External links[edit]