Do you have an interest in Acapella music and wish to join an Acapella group? If yes, read on to know the 10 best college Acappella groups in the World 2021.
Musical instruments add flavor to a singer’s voice. The glamorous and harmonious effect of a good voice and a good beat makes a great song. However, some singers can still render the best sonorous songs without any musical instruments.
This type of singer forms an acapella group and does not need a musical instrument to produce good music. In this article, you will get information on what acappella music is, the best college acappella groups in the world 2021, how to name your acappella group, and some world competitions for college accappella groups.
Acapella groups have a huge fanbase who will pay anything just to hear them sing, especially on stage. Hence, these singers make a living out of their unusual talent.
What is Acappella music?
An acappella music is a group or solo singing without musical instruments. It is actually a musical rendition without an accompanying musical instrument of any sort.
It is simply music that uses no instruments besides vocal ones.
In this 21st century, Accapella now refers to any music sung without accompaniment, whether sacred (religious) or secular (non-religious). Some notable Accapella groups across the globe are:
- Pentatonix: Formed in 2011 and focuses on the cover of popular songs.
- Straight No Chaser: Formed in 1996 and they rendered “12 Days of Christmas” in a hilarious and catchy way
- Gentleman’s Rule: This is a seven-member vocal group changing the perception of acapella music.
- Voca people: This eight-member acappella group consists of singers and comedians.
- Naturally 7: This seven-piece group provides full sound without overwhelming the audience
How Do You Name an Acappella Group?
There is no general rule on how to name an acapella group. However, you may have to put a lot of factors into consideration before making a decision. First and foremost, it is important you draw up a plan for your acapella group.
First, you have to decide if it is a solo or group Acappella group. If it is a group, then, you may have to find like minds and a bunch of talents to merge with. It is, however, advisable that you work in closeness with other acapella groups to understand how it operates before establishing yours.
Next is to consider and decide the kind of music you want your acapella music group to be known for. This is very important because your group must be known for a particular type of music. This will help you climb the ladder of success quickly.
In summary, to name an acapella group, consider the number of singers in your groups, decide on a kind of music for your Acapella group, and set long-term goals for your group.
For instance, the Pentatonix consists of five vocalists while the Naturally 7 Acapella group consists of 7 vocalists. So, to choose a name put into consideration the number of vocalists in your music group.
World competition for College Accappella Groups
There are a number of competitions for college acapella groups in 2021. This competition helps these groups to showcase their talents and win outrageous but enticing prices. One of the known competitions for college acapella groups is The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA).
This competition was formerly called the National Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (“NCCA”, a play on NCAA)
It is an international competition that attracts hundreds of college acapella groups each year. This competition was founded by former Tufts University Beelzebubs music director Deke Sharon and former Brown University Derbies member Adam Farb in the year 1996.
Basically, the Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) is the only global tournament that showcases the art of student acapella singing.
The ICCA tournament takes place from January through April in nine regions: Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes, Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, South, and United Kingdom.
Sadly, the 2021 edition which was scheduled to hold on April 18, 2021, has been canceled because of the global crisis.
10 Best College Acapella Groups in the World
There are a number of college acappella groups in the world. Most of them are not directly affiliated with the school’s music program but are most often directed and operated by the students.
Basically, the list comprises only the best College Acappella Groups. Some of your favorites may not be college-based. Also, in choosing our best acapella groups, we put the following into consideration.
Year of Formation
Our best schools must be existing for some years. However, while this could just be a number, their consistency over these years reflects their seriousness and commitment to growth. Hence, one of our criteria for the best college acapella group.
Number of Productions
This article also considers the number of productions, album releases, or viral videos the college accappella group has released.
Competitions Won/ Audience Base
We also put into consideration each group’s popularity and fan base as a criterion to become one of the best. In addition, our best collegiate acapella groups must have won the ICCA at least once.
1. Pitch Slapped & Upper Structure College Acappella Group
Our first best college acappella group in the world is the Pitched slapped. It was founded in 2006 and is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.
Over the years, this college group has been consistent in productions. In fact, through their productions, they have created a niche for themselves and made a name in the world.
In the USA, Pitch Slapped is one of the top five Acappella groups. The group has won two international championships of collegiate Accapella competitions. The first was won in 2001 and later in the year 2004. Its co-collegiate Accapella upper structure formed in 2015 took 2nd place in the 2018 ICCA final.
Also, in 2010, the group appeared on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and was featured on America’s Got Talent in 2015.
They have done the harmonious and good cover for the following songs:
- Beggin and Pleading- by Brandy
- Jealous- by Labrinth
- Pink and White- by Frank Ocean
- Princess of China- by Coldplay
- You Know You Like It- by Aluna George
- The Way- by Ariana Grande
- I Wish- by Stevie Wonder
- Glory- by Jessie J
- Deja Vu- by Beyonce
- Attention- by Charlie Puth
- Midnight- by Lianne La Havas
2. The Nor’easters Collegiate Accapella
Nor’easters in affiliation with Northeastern University is the oldest acappella group on campus. Interestingly, only a few of this acappella group offer music at northeastern universities. Hence, the group comprises different students from different specialties.
In fact, to most of the students, rehearsal is a time to unwind from the daily stress. It is a bonding time for other students.
Notably, the group posits that its members are from different parts of the world, from different backgrounds, yet music unifies them. In 2013, 2017, and 2019, Nor’easters won the ICCA. Also, they were named winners of the ICCA wild card championship in 2015.
Amongst their numerous achievements since inception is the performance at White house in 2013 for the Christmas gala and being the feature group on the first season of PoTv docu-series, performing alongside John legend and so many other feats.
They have been awarded the best mixed collegiate Album for 2013, 2014, and 2018. Currently, Nor’easters college acapella group has 38k Youtube subscribers and will release new music soon. Some of their songs include:
- Crying in the Club
- The End of Love
- Fire on Fire
- Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough
- I Know A Place
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- I Can’t Be Mad
3. Scattertones College Acapella Group
The Scattertones is the newest college Acappella at UCLA and is in affiliation with the University of California Los Angeles. It was formed in 2002 and is one of the best in the world. its consistency and perturbed growth are felt to date to the admiration of its audience.
They have won several competitions which will be listed here. However, as part of their numerous achievements is its first-place performance at Hollywood Bowl and performance at Grammy award-winning Pentatonix in concert.
Even though they made their first appearance at ICCA in 2004, it was not until 2007 when they placed first in the ICCA quarter-final.
The ScatterTones are known for their ballad style and their consistent competitiveness. Their creativity in sets and outstanding arrangements have marked them as an acapella group worth listening to. Currently, they are one of the best 20 collegiate acappella groups in the U.S.
The Scatter tones hold auditions at the beginning of the fall quarter every year.
4. The Beelzebub Collegiate ACapella Group
The Beelzebub Acappella is the oldest male Acappella group at Tufts University. It was formed in 1962. Over the years, they have created a niche for themselves in contemporary Acappella. The Tufts University Beelzebubs provided the vocals for almost every Warblers track on the show (aside from Darren’s beautiful solos, of course).
The alumni of the Beelzebubs include over 300 members and make up the Beelzebub Alumni Association. The alumni remain active in helping the current group as well as ensuring that “Bubs” from every generation stay connected.
They have also created Be the Music, a program where Bubs and alumni join in harmony with the students in order to expose them to the rich world of contemporary a Cappella.
In fact, we can’t help but love them, especially, because of their give back to the community project which is organized and funded by The Bubs foundation. This foundation goes all out to support underfunded middle and high school programs.
The release of Full Rally marks the culmination of three generations of Bubs’ dedication to music. Traditionally, albums are released in alternating years, but Full Rally came to the stage three years after “In the Book”, meaning there are more voices on the album than usual.
The Beezelbubs have achieved the following since inception:
- Runner Up on NBC’s “The Sing-Off”
- Over 30 CARA nominations
- Two times “Best Male Group in the Nation”
- Eleven selections featured on BOCA
- Performed on an episode of My Super Sweet Sixteen
- The Bubs Foundation
5. Socal Vocal College Acappella Group
Socal vocal is an Acappella group formed at the University of Southern California in 1995. USC is known to have amazing acapella groups like “The Sirens” which is an all-female collegiate acapella group. In fact, the USC 9 a capella groups are all doing well and this can be attributed to the prowess of the Thornton School of Music. This 22-year-old acappella group remains the best at USC.
However, after about ten years of existence, the team decided to take acapella more seriously. In fact, their hard work and consistency have earned them the title “an established powerhouse, the team to beat” in The New Yorker, after the 2015 ICCA competition.
For Junior Connor Pearl “Ever since then, the tone of the group in terms of achievements has been very goal-oriented. They set the bar really high,” In response to this, they put in more work which earned them ICCA champions in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2018.
Currently, Socal Vocal is the only 5-time ICCA winning group on the West Coast. Also, they performed last year for former President Obama, and they have released eight studio albums and have had tracks featured on Voices Only and BOCA.
In summary, the SoCal VoCals have been, one could argue, the most successful collegiate acappella group and promise to maintain their excellent standard for years to come.
To see the beautiful faces behind these achievements, click the button below.
6. Faux Paz College Acappella Group
This is a co-ed acappella group established in 1992 by members of the treblemakers. Formerly, it was called “the Looney Tunes”. Over the years, the group has grown to become one of the best colleges Acappella groups in the world.
Faux Paz has released eight studio albums and is currently developing its ninth record with The Vocal Company. The group has traveled all over the country to perform at universities, high schools, and private events in Boston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.
Among its many achievements for the past 26 years is winning CARA nomination for best rock in 2018 alongside receiving 7 CARA nominations. Others include;
- Faux Paz sang the Maryland Fight Song on ESPN in 2014
- They opened for Jay Leno and interviewed for NPR in 2015
- First-time finalists for ICCA in 2015
- 3rd place overall at the ICCA Final Event and were featured on “Sing it On” in 2016
- In 2017, Faux Paz won first place at the Boston Sings A Cappella Festival and also won their first-ever CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards) for Best Collegiate Arrangement.
- Competed for the first-ever national A Cappella Convention with 8 other of the nation’s top groups.
7. Voices in Your Head Collegiate Acappella Group
This is an Acappella group at the University of Chicago. It is a student-run acappella group of both graduates and undergraduates. The group was formed in 1998 and since its inception, has drawn a list of impressive awards that includes frequent advancements to the finals of the ICCA.
In 2015 and 2017, the voices in your head Acappella group won second place and took first place in ICCA 2018. Among their numerous awards is the ICCA Great Lakes Quarterfinal Champion (Winner).
They were featured in the best of BOCA in the year 2014. In the same year, their single “Burn” was selected as Acappella Review Board’s Single of the Year. Amo
Also, they performed at the white house in 2016, the same year they release their sixth studio album. Interestingly, that same album won the best Mixed Collegiate album by CARA.
This Acappella group covers music across pop, R&B, rock, and alternative music genres.
8. The Hullabahoos Collegiate Acappella group
If you are looking for an Acappella group with good-looking men with great fashion sense, then, The Hullabahoos is your best bet. Though not the first all-male acappella group at the University of Virginia, this group decided to distinguish themselves by adorning themselves in uniquely patterned robes when they perform.
This group was founded in 1987 when a group of guys suggested they sing and wear robes while doing it. In fact, the story has it that each member got a new desired robe pattern which they picked up from Mr. Hank’s Fabric Store in Charlottesville.
Well, aside from looking great while singing, Hullabahhoss has done great recordings that brought them into the limelight. In a nutshell, their 19 studio albums are all top-notch and have made them one of the best in college acapella.
In 2012, the Hullabahoos made their first on-screen appearance with their version of “The Final Countdown” in the blockbuster hit. Their tracks have been featured on the Best of College A Cappella compilation album 6 times.
Since 2004, The Hullabahoos have been featured on Voices Only, won National Collegiate Album of the Year, and have also been featured by media outlets including GQ, US News & World Report, and Good Morning America. They have performed for 2 Presidents, Nike Headquarters and the Democratic Caucus.
In summary, this all-male acappella group at the University of Virginia appeared in the movie Pitch Perfect. Classical movies that x rays collegiate a cappella groups.
9. The Whiffenpoofs College Acappella Group
This collegiate acapella group is an old singing group at Yale University. It was founded in 1909, this makes it one of the oldest acappella groups in the world. In fact, it is the oldest in the USA.
The group associates its name with the mythical dragon fish “Whiffenproof”. While we may not understand why they choose this mythical fish as their muse, we all concur the group is doing well and has produced great alumni. In fact, to date, the group boast of their alumnus Cole Porter who sang in the group in 1913.
Over the years, they have remained consistent and hence have numerous achievements cum awards to their name. They have appeared on Saturday Night Live, Gilmore Girls, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Glee, and The West Wing.
In addition, they have performed in notable places like the Lincoln Center, the White House, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Oakland Coliseum, Carnegie Hall, and the Rose Bowl.
The Whiffenpoofs are best known for their “Whiffenpoof Song” which was published in sheet music in 1909. The song is derived from the poem “Gentlemen Rankers” by Rudyard Kipling.
In the lyrics, “Mory’s” refers to Mory’s Temple Bar, a restaurant next to the campus where the Whiffenpoofs still perform every week. The song became a hit for Rudy Vallee in 1937 and Bing Crosby in 1947. It has also been recorded by Elvis Presley, Count Basie, Perry Como, Ray Conniff, Mitch Miller, the Ames Brothers, the Statler Brothers, and others.
10. Acabelles Collegiate Acapella group
This acapella group is an all-female group that always brings its girl power to the stage. It comprises five subs Acappella groups of the notable three include REVERBS, ACABELLES, AND ALL NIGHT YAHTZEES.
It was formed in 2000 and comprises 12 singers known for their fierce choreography, killer vocals, and innovative arrangements. With 20 years of consistent production of great sounds, this group has become one of the best college acapella groups in the world.
Among their numerous achievements, AcaBelles have traveled across the country and have released multiple albums.
In 2016, they received a Contemporary A Cappella Award for Best Female Collegiate Arrangement. Its co-ed group, All-Night Yahtzee made it to the Finals in 2018. This honor singles out All-Night Yahtzee as one of the top ten acappella collegiate acappella groups in the world.
Furthermore, its third notable co-ed group Reverb, founded in 2007 has won multiple awards including fourth place overall in the finals of the ICCA in 2013, 2nd place in SoJam A Cappella Festival in 2014, and Best Male Collegiate Album of 2015 for “Evolve”.
In recent times, Acabelles has been noticed by CNN, Good Morning America, and Lorde.
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