“Vocal Point is completely volunteer. We don’t receive any financial compensation or academic scholarship for participating,” Crockett added.
For most, tuition and books cost around $3,000 per semester. Housing and food and transportation is additional. Add a family and the costs go up.
Alumni of the group know better than most the demands made on the group that has brought all kinds of positive attention to BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the past 20 years.
Recently, a CNN religion blog writer featured Vocal Point, saying the connection between the group and the LDS Church was “regularly made” on the prime time show. “Fans left comments about the team’s Mormon faith on message boards and Mormon newspapers and blogs began following Vocal Point’s weekly progress.”
Roy Brinkerhoff, a BYU Alumnus office representative, said Vocal Point alumni are trying to create a scholarship endowment fund for the current members of the group.
They are still short of the initial goal needed to create the fund. Once the startup fund is created, the alumni group should be able to provide partial scholarships to a couple of the members. The long-term goal is to build the fund to the point that all group members can receive scholarships.
Donations to the Vocal Point grant fund can be made at http://give.byu.edu/affinity.
One of the group’s founders, Bob Ahlander, said few people realize the group operates independently of the university.
He and his wife, Julie, recently sponsored a watch party for Vocal Point that brought in nearly $900 in donations for the fund.
The guys in Vocal Point and those in the other 17 BYU performing groups have to figure out how to make the money stretch “just like every other college student,” said Shane Wright with the office of Performing Arts Management.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.
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