Scottish A Cappella Competition: 2016

Of all of my insecurities about graduating St Andrews: missing the sea & beautiful surroundings; the lack of conveniently located friends; no job prospects; the fact that I will end up an alcoholic rather than engaged; perhaps, however, the pinnacle insecurity is forthcoming absence of St Andrews a Cappella in my life.

I confess, I am a devoted, verging on fanatical, supporter of St Andrews a Cappella – I admit it, I have not missed a Christmas concert in all of my four years. I remember when the Scottish a Cappella Championships was still the Voice Festival UK. An insider told me that my friend and I were among the first to buy tickets for the competition this Friday. I once followed The Other Guys down the street (OK, they were walking towards my flat, I promise!). I have partied with The Accidentals (OK, my friend’s friends). The various voices make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me have a deep-seated desire to re-watch Pitch Perfect.

It has been a joy to see the different groups of St Andrews transform and improve throughout the years.

Hence, it is with a combined sense of dread and excitement that I look forward to Friday – what will sadly be one of my last (tearing up) spectacle of the magic that is St Andrews a Cappella.

This year, nine groups are competing (other groups from Scotland come along: I always forget) for a £1000 prize. So if you are bored of the St Andrews a Cappella scene – although how could you be – come along to see performances by students from the University of Aberdeen and a debut performance from the University of Edinburgh.

Here are some of the pretty faces (and voices) that you can enjoy on the night!

Aberpella from the Universtiy of Aberdeen


The Killer Quines from the University of Aberdeen


The Belles & The Beaus from the University of St Andrews


The Vocal Bandits from the University of St Andrews

As per usual – and I would expect nothing less from such a well-run student event – the judges are scarily esteemed and extremely qualified. I hope they are also super judgy, but they are probably too nice for that. This year, the difficult task of distinguishing such amazing voices falls to: Bede Williams, Joanne Evans and Andrew Panton. Williams is a professional conductor in addition to being a teaching fellow here at St A. Evans is a member of Gobsmacked, a new a Cappella musical. Panton is the artistic director of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has appeared as a judge on The Naked Choir. A concord of incredible talent amongst the judges; let’s hope this is matched on stage!

Kyle Blain, the Director of Student Development and Activities is participating as MC, and crowd favourites Blind Mirth will also be performing while the judges ponder their decisions. (Let’s hope they don’t make any #acappellasowhite jokes).

Good luck to everyone involved: I hope your pitch is perfect! (Although honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell).

The event usually sells out, so be sure to get tickets outside the library on Thursday from 10-4, or online the night before!

Be there, or be musically impaired:

Where: Younger Hall

When: 7.15 pm on 4th March