The Virginia Belles is the oldest and most established all-female a cappella group at the University of Virginia. Simply put, we are a group of young ladies who love to sing without instruments, and we have been making beautiful music together for 40 years.
In 1977, UVA student Katherine Mitchell realized that there was no existing outlet for female a cappella at the University, despite the University’s first all-male a cappella group, the Virginia Gentlemen, founded in 1953. Unwilling to let the boys have all the fun, Katherine founded the Virginia Belles as the VG’s female counterpart, comprised of the most talented members of the Virginia Women’s Chorus. While the Belles are no longer a part of the Women’s Chorus, the group remains affiliated with the McIntire Department of Music at the University and continues to bring together exceptionally talented women with a passion for music.
The Belles share their music at a variety of venues at the University, in Charlottesville, and along the east coast. We were recognized by the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, opened for Ingrid Michaelson at the Music Inspires Health concert in Washington D.C., and have even been covered by Fox news. Additionally, selections from our album, Tintinnabulation, were featured on both the Voices Only 2013 and Varsity Vocal’s Best of College A Cappella 2014 compilation albums.
The Belles also love to travel and consistently perform alongside some of the most prestigious college a cappella groups on the east coast—from Harvard, Yale, Brown and more—as well as with UVA’s own talented male groups. We love to lend our voices to charities, official University events, and private events alike. Everything we perform and record has been arranged and learned by members of our group. Despite being beyond proud of our achievements, we constantly strive to develop, grow, and improve as a group.
While music is what brings the Belles together, it is our friendship that keeps us together. Once a Belle, always a Belle; it is a bond that simply cannot be put into words. Whether rehearsing, performing, or just hanging out, the Virginia Belles is much more than just an a cappella group — it is something that we hope to share with audiences and with each other for another 40 years… and long after that.