A group of 15 students from the University of Bath is jetting off to New York later this month to represent the UK at the finals of an international singing competition after coming first place in the UK round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA).
The group, called Aquapella, comprise of mostly undergraduate students studying a mixture of subjects, from management to maths. They performed at the University’s 50th birthday celebrations in October last year, can often be seen busking in Bath city centre and regularly perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The ICCA, run by US based Varsity Vocals, is the only global tournament for college and university student groups singing a cappella.
Out of 387 entries across the UK and US, Aquapella has now made it to the final ten, after winning the UK semi-finals held at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London on 25 March where they competed against other award winning UK teams such as the The Rolling Tones from Kings College London and The Bristol Suspensions from University Of Bristol.
Mathematics student Georgia Blessitt from Aquapella also won a special award for Outstanding Soloist for her solo performance of Prince classic Purple Rain.
The finals will be held in Broadway’s historic Beacon Theatre on Saturday 22 April. They will be one of ten groups, mostly from North American universities, to compete for The Gooding Cup trophy, including their idols The Nor'easters from Northeastern University in Boston.
Last year’s winners were the Techtonics from Imperial College London, making them the first ever UK winners. Aquapella would like to continue their success and keep the trophy in the UK for a second year.
Alex Yelland, a third year BSc Maths student and President of Aquapella, took up singing after joining a Barber Shop Quartet at his college in Hampshire.
He said: “We’re still in complete shock that we won. We went there with the aim of just enjoying it, so when we won were completely speechless! It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
The group are now focussed on fundraising for their trip to the US. You can follow their progress on their Facebook page.