Vocal Point is part of the BYU School of Music and one of 18 performing groups sponsored by the university. It is the most-requested performing group at BYU and regularly performs in front of sold-out crowds on and off campus. Members of Vocal Point devote more than 20 hours each week to the group and do not receive scholarships or other compensation for their time. The group performs for more than 50,000 people each year, regularly selling out shows weeks in advance. Vocal Point is currently under the direction of James Stevens, the group’s fourth director.
Vocal Point was founded in 1991 by two students at Brigham Young University. Dave Boyce and Bob Ahlander first heard the contemporary a cappella sound during a visit to the eastern U.S., where it had already grown to considerable popularity at colleges throughout the east. Seeking to bring that sound westward, Boyce and Ahlander recruited Jill Petersen-Lex to serve as the group's first Artistic Director. The three held auditions in fall 1991. After the members were selected and began singing, the nine-man group became an instant hit on campus, selling out its very first concert. The group made its first recording "If Rocks Could Sing" and went on its first tour that same year.
With Ahlander and Boyce providing the vision, and Lex providing much-needed musical direction, the first three years proved equally successful for the student-run group. They toured several times and released their first full-length CD, "Instruments Not Included." The group was so popular that the Director of the School of Music at BYU thought it should be an official part of the University. Finally, in Fall 1994, the ensemble was adopted into the School of Music, and Jim Anglesey was appointed as the group's Faculty Advisor. This was an important move for the group, as it ensured their longevity, and allowed for a full-time director, access to BYU's marvelous performing venues, and assistance from the staff of the School of Music and Performing Arts Management.
During Anglesey's seven year stay as director, Vocal Point released two more albums, "Fatter Than Ever" in 1996 and "Mouthing Off" in 1999. The group had several key performances during this time, including a series of successful concerts in the de Jong Concert Hall on BYU campus, as well as the group's first New Year's Eve performance at the Tabernacle on Temple Square. In 1999, group member Joseph Lebaron updated the group's logo to its current "screaming head" design.
In 2001 co-founder Bob Ahlander returned to the scene to take the reins as director of Vocal Point. He started his tenure off with a bang, hosting the group's ten-year anniversary celebration, including a successful alumni reunion concert. Shortly thereafter, the group released its fourth CD, "Grand Slam," which represented the final years of the Anglesey-directed group.
During Ahlander's time as director Vocal Point reached new heights. They twice won the regional semi-finals for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, but refused to take their seats at the international finals in New York City because the event would be held on a Sunday. The group performed the national anthem at multiple Utah Jazz games and other venues. In Ahlander's final weeks as director, Vocal Point spent three weeks in Nauvoo, Illinois, opening the new summer performing arts series there, and performing for thousands of visitors over a three-week run. At the group's final performance of the tour, they sang to a completely full house, giving them the idea for the name of their upcoming album, "Standing Room Only." That CD was released in Fall 2004, representing Ahlander's three years of work as director.Next on the directorial stage was James Stevens, a BYU grad and studio engineer who had performed with Vocal Point for two years under Bob Ahlander's direction. Stevens quickly got to work, helping the group sell out the de Jong Concert Hall faster than ever. At the end of that year, the group took home three Pearl Awards from the Faith Centered Music Association for "Sacred Recorded Song of the Year," "Group Recording Artist of the Year" and "Performing Artist of the Year."
The following year, 2005-06, was a banner year for Vocal Point. The group appeared at BYU's well-known Homecoming Spectacular, as well as its first at BYU devotional. The group also hosted a successful celebration in honor of Vocal Point's 15th Anniversary. As a culmination of the group's success, they again won the regional semi-finals in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, but this time did not have to bow out; the finals were to be held on a Saturday. The group took its first tour to New York City, and competed there with some of the world's best collegiate a cappella ensembles in the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. In its first ever appearance at the finals, and after winning regional competition three times, Vocal Point took first place. They were crowned International Champions for 2006!
To mark the 20-year anniversary of Vocal Point, BYU’s Tantara Records released Vocal Point’s latest album, “Back in Blue,” in 2011. In addition, Tantara is in the process of remastering Vocal Point’s first album, “If Rocks Could Sing,” which is slated to be rereleased soon. This will mark the first time “Rocks" has been available on CD. “Back in Blue” is Vocal Point’s eighth album.
Competitions and Performances
In 2011 Vocal Point competed with 16 singing groups on the popular NBC TV show, "The Sing-Off," for a chance to win $200,000 and a record deal with Sony music. The group wowed judges for several months and ended up in fifth place.
In 2012 Vocal Point and other "Sing-Off" favorites performed at the SCERA Shell. That year the group led the ReMix Vocal Academy, a summer vocalist camp at the Covey Center for the Arts. The BYU Education Week 2012 guests were also favored by nightly performances by the nine-man group. Later that year the singers were featured at the annual BYU Homecoming Spectacular.
- Bob Ahlander 1991-1994, 2001-2004
- Dave Boyce 1991-1994
- James F. Anglesey 1994-2001
- James Stevens 2004-Present
- In 2006 Vocal Pint won the international championship in 2006 and previously qualified for the finals twice. Because finals were held on Sunday, the group did not compete for those two years.
- In 2011 Vocal Point finished as first runner-up at the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Originally, there were about 150 groups from around the world in the competition. Before competing in New York, 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. In addition, Vocal Point's Jake Hunsaker received the Outstanding Soloist award and Tanner Nilsson won the Outstanding Vocal Percussion award.
- The Universe - BYU Spectacular honors Maeser Building (9 Oct 2012)
- The Daily Herald - BYU Campus Notes (6 Aug 2012)
- The Daily Herald - Former and current Vocal Point members starting vocal camp (8 July 2012)
- The Daily Herald - Vocal Point takes on new role: Camp counselors (24 June 2012)
- The Deseret News - Vocal Point stars launch a mentoring camp (8 June 2012)
- The Daily Herald - A cappella has its night in SCERA 'Supershow' (24 May 2012)
- The Deseret News - 'Sing-Off' stars to perform at the SCERA (18 May 2012)
- The Salt Lake Tribune - Vocal Point will do-woop the weekend away (6 Mar 2012)
- LDS Church News - BYU Winterfest at the LDS conference center (4 Jan 2012)
- The Deseret News - BYU's Vocal Point will sing another day on "Sing-Off' (20 Sept 2011)
- The Daily Universe - Vocal Point to compete in NBC’s “The Sing-Off” (13 Sept 2011)
- BYU Magazine - 20 Years of Happy Ears (Summer 2011)
- The Daily Universe - A capella group hopes to hit the right pitch (28 June 2011)
- The Deseret News - BYU's Vocal Point group shines at international fest (18 April 2011)
- The Daily Universe - Vocal Point signs, releases variety CD (14 March 2011)
- Meridian Magazine - BYU's Original Men's A Cappella "Glee" Vocal Point Gears Up for Mega-Performance (2 March 2011)
- BYU News - BYU's Vocal Point a cappella group celebrates 20 years March 3-5 (24 Feb 2011)
- The Daily Universe - Vocal Point warms up for kickoff concert (5 March 2010)
- Mormon Times - Vocal Point makes a point to bring joy (26 February 2010)
Pages in category "Vocal Point"
The following 20 pages are in this category, out of 20 total.