Competition Application Policies
Know them before you apply to the ICCA, ICHSA, or The Open
Applications for ICCA and ICHSA US & Canada are due by October 15 at 11:59 pm EST. Applications for ICCA UK & International are due by November 15 at 11:59 pm GMT. Applications for The Open are due by May 1 at 11:59 pm EST.
Make a video recording of your group performing two or three songs. Upload it to YouTube as an unlisted video. You will be asked to provide the unlisted URL in the online application form.
Your video must be labeled in YouTube with your group name, school name (if applicable), and date of recording, as well as the following information about each song in your set: song name, original artist, soloist, arranger, and any other special performers (vocal percussionist, etc). You may record all three songs separately, but if you do so, you must edit them together so that you provide us with only one link to your audition. You may not stop or edit within a song; it must be a truly live performance. There are no constraints on song or set length in your audition.
Recordings must be made after August 1 of the current year (for ICCA & ICHSA) or after January 1 of the previous year (for The Open), and accordingly they will include those were in your group at that time. You may make changes to your roster later.
You do not need to sing what you intend to sing in competition, nor must you have visual presentation/staging/choreography. This is simply an audition intended to give us an idea of your potential.
Your competition entry fee (250 USD for ICCA/ICHSA; 150 USD for The Open) is due with your application and is payable by credit card only when completing your online application. Please do not complete the application unless you are ready to make payment.
Your entry fee will be refunded if your group is not accepted into competition.
Unfortunately, we are only able to accept payment for entry fee with a credit card. You will receive an email receipt of your transaction, which you may use to request reimbursement from your school, if necessary.
ICCA & ICHSA: Groups must consist of permanent, full-time, full-fledged participants who are students enrolled at your school or university. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will take into account the academic enrollment status of the member in question as well as the individual school’s policy for participation in registered student organizations. Please contact us with membership questions.
Under no circumstances should groups bring in outside performers for competition. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in disqualification from any and all future competitions.
The Open: Anything goes for your a cappella dream team. Round up your old group for another shot at the championship, pull together the all-stars from your past, call up all the best singers, dancers and beatboxers from your neighborhood, office, book club, and family reunion.
We accept vocal ensembles of all styles, but we are not a choral competition. Groups composed of more than 18 members must understand that our stage dimensions and sound setup (especially when we have all wireless mics) are only adequate for up to 18 members. Groups composed of more than 24 members may not compete. The group-size limit for The Open is 18 members.
You must notify headquarters of any exceptions or new members not on the original roster included in your application in order for these members to be eligible to compete. Groups who lose members between rounds will not be penalized.
Please review our competition rules before submitting an application.
Groups will be considered based on the musical aspects of our competition judging criteria and selected by Executive Director Amanda Newman and ICCA Director David Rabizadeh (for ICCA), ICHSA Director Andrea Poole (for ICHSA), or The Open Director Lucy Jacobs (for The Open).
A list of accepted applicants will be posted on our website on November 15 (US tournaments), November 25 (ICCA UK region), and by June 15 (The Open), and we will schedule groups into the first round of events shortly thereafter.
By sending in an application, your ensemble agrees to compete in any competition to which you advance. Please list on the application form any known conflicts for tournament-season weekends, as specified in the application form. We will do our best to take into account academic conflicts and academic breaks when making assignments.
Unfortunately, due to the limited number of events in each region, we may not be able to accommodate all conflicts. Those who withdraw from competition because of a conflict of which Varsity Vocals is not notified before the application deadline may be barred from competition for one year, and their entry fee will not be returned.
You understand that Varsity Vocals reserves the right to waive any of the entry and competition requirements in its reasonable discretion and you agree that Varsity Vocals and Varsity Vocals judges’ decisions are final in all matters relating to any Varsity Vocals contest or event. As a condition of entering, you agree to (a) release to Varsity Vocals its agents, representatives, and contractors and each of their officers, members, directors, employees and agents, from any and all liability, loss, or damage incurred with respect to your group’s participation in any Varsity Vocals event(s), including any travel related thereto; and (b) consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state, and local courts located in Cook County, Illinois and a choice of Illinois law in any matter relating or concerning a Varsity Vocals contest or event, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. By participating, you represent and warrant that you are the age of majority in your state or territory of residence (or you have obtained express permission from your parent or legal guardian to participate) and that you and your group’s participation and performances in any Varsity Vocals event will not violate the rights of any third party.
A Final Word
Our goal is to include as many groups as possible, especially in growing programs like the ICHSA and The Open. Have a concern about meeting these application policies? Talk to us!
Think you’ve got it? Ready to apply? Let’s do this.
US & Canada
Applications for ICCA/ICHSA in the US and Canada are due Oct. 15, and you will be charged $250 US.
UK & International
Applications for ICCA UK are due Nov. 15, and you will be charged $150 US.
Applications for The Open are due March 31, and you will be charged $150 US.