BYU's Vocal Point group shines at international fest

Published: Monday, April 18 2011 6:38 p.m. MDT

Vocal Point members pose in front of New York City's Lincoln Center. Seated: Jake Hunsaker, Ben Murphy, Mike Christensen, Ross Welch and McKay Crockett. Back row: Tanner Nilsson, Tyler Sterling, Keith Evans and Robert Seely.

Rick McFarland

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NEW YORK — Brigham Young University's premier a cappella ensemble did itself proud in the finals Saturday at the 2011 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

Performing before a sold-out crowd at New York City's Lincoln Center, Vocal Point finished in the first runner-up slot.

The vocal ensemble, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March, also took top honors in several individual award categories, including outstanding soloist award for Jake Hunsaker's rendition of "Meglio Stasera (It Had Better Be Tonight)" and the outstanding vocal percussion award to Tanner Nilsson.

The group placed first in the recent quarterfinal competition round in Eugene, Ore., and in the semifinal qualifying round in Los Angeles to put Vocal Point in the finals as the top West Region group.

At the finals competition against seven top qualifiers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, Vocal Point was edged out by Pitch Slapped from the Berklee College of Music from Boston.

Originally, there were 150 groups from around the world competing.

"Every group on stage tonight was amazing," said Vocal Point director James Stevens. "We performed as well as we ever have. I'm proud of our guys for the way they represented BYU."

Vocal Point won the international championship in 2006 and previously qualified for the finals twice. Because final rounds had been scheduled for a Sunday, the group did not compete again until this year.

Email: haddoc@desnews

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