Dear 2021 competitors,

You’ve made it, or you’re mostly there! Here’s some information for you as you get ready to submit your video for quarterfinals. There’s quite a bit of detail here, but bear with me — and keep an eye out for a summary/TL;DR at the end.

UPLOADING YOUR VIDEO – requirements!
(1) Please upload your video to YouTube as “unlisted.”

(2) Please title your video as follows:
Group Name, School Name – Tournament Region Quarterfinal #
Example: The Bellas, Barden University – ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal 2
Example: The Beats, Newman High School – ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal 5

If you are unsure of your region or quarterfinal number, please refer to your assignment here.

(3) In the description section of your video, please use the following format *exactly* and complete with details:


Vocal percussion:
Audio mixing:

We use this information for special awards, so please review the following important notes:

For arranger and choreographer: please list ONLY if they are a current member of your group and therefore eligible for a special award. If arranging or choreography are done by your group, please indicate your group name, so we know the entire group should be named as the award recipient. If you do not have an eligible arranger or choreographer, remove this line.

For soloist and vocal percussion: remove this line if you do not have a vocal percussionist.

For audio mixing and videography: please only indicate a member of your group if they are primarily responsible for the group’s audio mixing or videography, and thus should be named as the award recipient. If it was a group effort, please indicate your group name. High school directors, please do not indicate an adult director’s name here — either indicate the group as the recipient if it was a group effort, or if it was your effort, please remove this line to indicate your group is ineligible for the award.

We are still not certain we can offer special awards at the QF level; we are still working on finalizing judge availability. We’d rather underpromise and overdeliver, so please know we are doing our best.

If you have any other information to include about your video, you may include it below all of that!

If you have any questions about the above, please let me know.


Please submit your competition video here: VV 2021 Competition Entries. You will receive a confirmation email when you have successfully submitted.

Submissions are due Feb. 26 at 11:59 PM EST.


Please subscribe to the Varsity Vocals YouTube channel.

Set a calendar reminder for Saturday, March 13 at NOON to change your YouTube video from “unlisted” to “public.”

Playlists of your quarterfinals will also go live on the Varsity Vocals YouTube channel starting at NOON EST on Saturday, March 13.

You’ll receive an email from us that morning reminding you. Please do *not* make your videos public before then — though none of us will lose any sleep if, for timing reasons, you need to make the change a few hours early. The intention here is that your videos will be public when our playlists are public — and that your video premiers as part of this “event.”

Results will also be posted to these playlists. We will email your scores to you.


We know many of you have requested and hoped for the opportunity to view these in some sort of live setting. We’ve scrambled on this a million different ways, but it’s just not possible for us to accomplish that for quarterfinals this year. We will have over 30 hours worth of videos to air, and unfortunately, due to keeping this completely free, we don’t have a staff this year — which means just getting all these videos posted live and pushed out to judges and processing all the scores and getting them distributed to you all is a lot of work that will be done by two people.

We are really bummed about it, and we wish we could do something formal for you all. If we decide to continue this format in the future (in addition to live shows), we will find a way to have adequate staff so that we can have all the quarterfinals on different days, which will make processing results and airing virtual content in a live format more feasible.

We are still working on figuring something out for semifinals. Stay tuned.


In light of the above, and the really difficult year we have all had, I strongly encourage you to watch as many of your fellow competitors’ videos as you can, and like and comment on their videos. I would love to see these videos filling up with comments from fellow competitors. In a regular competition season, you have the opportunity to meet each other or wish each other luck backstage — or you wouldn’t, because your own nerves would have gotten in the way.

Let’s take advantage of this new format and setting and use it as an opportunity to support each other’s work and be specific and vocal about our comments and compliments with each other.


Thank you all for your unending patience with us this season. In many ways, this year has reminded me so much of my first year running Varsity Vocals, in 2003. I had one staff member (Sara Yood, who is still with us and produces Finals!) and for the most part was alone at my kitchen table, trying to figure out how everything would work — and every question or request or bump in the road required a lot of creativity. It took years and years to establish the amazing team we have at Varsity Vocals, and all the processes and systems that make us operate like clockwork — and this year has been a far cry from that!

I’m so grateful for how gracious you all have been in sharing your time and talent with us once again, and for bearing with a year with a slow rollout of information and a lot of uncertainty. Because of your willingness to participate, we collectively are going to have a ton of amazing new music to share and experience, on what could potentially be our biggest and most far-reaching “stage” to date.

Congratulations to you all on accomplishing something HUGE and NEW this season. It’s an incredible thing to put together during such a trying time, and I cannot wait to see what you’ve created.

I would love to hear from you with your thoughts on this process — if you would participate in something like this instead of/in addition to live competition in the future, what you’d like to change (allowing professional help, for example), or just general pros and cons of what you learned and where you were challenged.

– upload your video as unlisted
– name your video properly
– include required details in the description
– submit your video here by Feb. 26
– change video to public at noon EST March 13
– subscribe to VV YouTube and watch playlist shows on March 13
– comment on everyone else’s video
– congratulate yourself on being rad

On behalf of everyone at Varsity Vocals, thank you. We miss you and can’t wait to see what you’ve created and hope we will see you back on our stages soon.


Amanda Newman
Executive Director
Varsity Vocals
(312) 636-8855