Back in September, Her Campus brought you a list of the 12 best college a cappella groups in the country, but with so much amazing musical talent at universities across the United States, it was hard to pick just 12! We decided to share a few more of our favorite scholarly songsters with all of you, so you can add some more tracks to your iTunes and get a little dose of vocal awesomeness while Glee is on hiatus. These talented groups will make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, they’ll make you sing along in the mirror with a hairbrush while your roommate is gone… and basically, you’ll fall in love with each and every one of them.
The SoCal VoCals (University of Southern California)
The SoCal VoCals can be best defined by the immortal words of founding member Brock Harris, who said in 1996: “This ain’t no choir, babe.” The SoCal VoCals, who are often called “a party on stage,” were created to be a vocal group dedicated to rock music, not just that silly barbershop stuff that was popular back then. Even their motto, “Hoc Etiam Petrabit,” means “This, too, shall rock” in Latin. Well, kind of—founding member Matt Green had to make up a future tense for the verb “to rock,” since it didn’t exist back in the days of Ancient Rome (those squares). And rock the SoCal VoCals do. The coed ensemble has won The Varsity Vocals International Championship of A Cappella (ICCA) more than any other group ever, taking home first place in 2008, 2010, and 2012. The SoCal VoCals have performed in places such as the Rose Bowl, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Staples Center, the Getty Center, and the Los Angeles House of Blues.
Pitch Slapped (Berklee College of Music)
No, we’re not talking about the tagline from Pitch Perfect, the hilarious a cappella movie that came out in early October (although one of the actors is a member of a group on this list!); we’re talking about a coed group of amazingly talented Berklee students by whom you definitely won’t mind getting “pitch slapped”. Pitch Slapped was the 2011 champion at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and has won their ICCA quarterfinal competition every year since they first competed in 2008—but would we expect anything less from students of one of the best music programs in the country? The group also competed in season 2 of The Sing-Off, a televised a cappella competition judged by Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, Nicole Scherzinger (seasons one and two), and Sara Bareilles (season three) that was on NBC for three years (and we’re still bitter that Pitch Slapped was eliminated so soon). In 2011, Pitch Slapped won first place at SoJam, an a cappella festival in Raleigh, NC. And did we mention they were founded in 2006? That’s a pretty stellar track record for a group that’s only six years old!
The AcaBelles (Florida State University)
You’ve probably heard the FSU War Chant before (“Shake Ya Tailfeather” was our jam back in middle school), but have you ever heard it dubstep style? Look no further than The AcaBelles’ rendition of their classic school song, which is so well done that even Gator fans would have a hard time denying its awesomeness. With their signature hot pink and black Chuck Taylors, The AcaBelles are an a cappella staple on FSU’s campus. They’re also award-winning; in 2009 and 2011, they were the ICCA South Champion, and they won second place at the 2011 SoJam competition. The group says they’re influenced musically by everything “from Katy Perry to Radiohead and Lady Gaga to The Goofy Movie.” We’re not really sure how The Goofy Movie fits in there, but if The AcaBelles are singing it, we’ll listen.
Vocal Point (Brigham Young University)
BYU Vocal Point is “like a bunch of wholesome ThunderCats,” according to Sing-Off season three judge Sara Bareilles, and they even made judge Ben Folds proclaim: “I’ll never again say that I could never enjoy Bieber sung by a bunch of Mormons.” It’s hard not to love this group of nine men, and even harder if you’re a video game fiend; their Super Mario Medley delighted gamers across the country for its realistic sound effects and hilarious lyrics. The group has won their ICCA regional semi-finals twice, but refused to compete in the final competitions because they were held on a Sunday, which conflicted with their Mormon beliefs. However, in 2006, the final ICCA competition was thankfully held on a Saturday, and Vocal Point won first place. So basically, if you want to win the ICCA competition, make sure it’s on a Sunday so you can avoid getting beat by these talented gents.
The Jabberwocks (Brown University)
Is it just us, or do Ivy League a cappella groups have the coolest names (remember the Whiffenpoofs from Yale?) The Jabberwocks get their quirky name from the Lewis Carroll poem “Jabberwocky.” According to their website, “One night back in ‘49, one of the founding members began reciting the poem, because, well, that’s what you did for fun in 1949. They decided to use the name, and it stuck.” But a cool name isn’t the only thing the Jabberwocks can brag about—they’ve also been honored in the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) and had multiple tracks on Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) compilation CDs. The group has performed at Carnegie Hall and appeared on TV in South Korea. And if their silly name didn’t tip you off enough, they also have an adorable sense of humor—check out their cover of “Party in the USA.” We think they give Miley a run for her money.