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Bath singers represent UK in international championship

Aquapella will be performing at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella finals in New York

Posted by Hannah Vickers | April 07, 2017 | Students

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, having won the UK semi-finals held at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London on 25 March. 

Competing against other award winning UK teams such as ‘The Rolling Tones’ from Kings College London and ‘The Bristol Suspensions’ from University Of Bristol, they also went on to win a special award for Outstanding Soloist awarded to Mathematics student Georgia Blessitt 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.

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 - Alex Yelland, President of Aquapella

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.”

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