Vocal Point, the Brigham Young University sponsored a cappella group, sang its way to the world championship Saturday night in New York's Lincoln Center, when it took top honors at the 2006 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.
The nine-member group won with a 12-minute competition set that consisted of a movie-related "THX Sound Effect," the "20th Century Fox Theme," an energy-charged original arrangement of the "Spider-man Theme," an original gospel ballad titled "He Is Born" and a swinging jazz standard, "Sing, Sing, Sing."
To qualify for the finals, Vocal Point had to win first place in both the quarterfinal and semifinal competition rounds. Seven finalists emerged from a field of 150 groups from around the world. (Second place in the final competition went to Out of the Blue from Oxford University in England, and third place went to The Other Guys from the University of Illinois.)
"We were just thrilled to make it here," said Vocal Point member Jordan Keith. "It was an honor to share a stage with these other amazing groups. But winning is just unbelievable."
Other members of Vocal Point are Buck Mangum, David Anderson, Jimmy Dunn, Josh Rich, Ricky Parkinson, Ryan Innes, J.J. Haines and Dan Cahoon. Faculty director is James Stevens.
The group has twice before won the right to compete in the ICCA finals, but in each case the finals had been scheduled on a Sunday, and as BYU has a long-standing policy of not participating in athletic or performance competitions on Sundays, on both occasions Vocal Point gave up its slot. This year, however, the finals were on a Saturday.
Vocal Point celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. It was started by two students, Bob Ahlander and Dave Boyce, in 1991 and was adopted by the BYU school of music in 1994. Since then, dozens of students have circled through the Vocal Point, which has become one of the most-requested performance groups on the BYU campus. Students devote 10-20 hours to the group each week; they do not receive scholarships or other compensation.
Vocal Point has received three Pearl Awards from the Faith Centered Music Association and has toured throughout the country."We couldn't be more proud," says Alex Leeman, a member of the Vocal Point Alumni Association. "It's fun to see the little gig we started all those years ago, go so far. They do us proud. They have represented us, the university, the church and the state very well."
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