March Madness has begun! And no, I’m not talking about college basketball. I will tell you that I’m a huge college basketball fan and I went to the University of Kentucky. Enough said… What I’m here to talk about today is my new favorite March Madness. This is the one that my kids are a part of. This March Madness is the one that has me not watching all of the college basketball games that I used to so that I can stay focused on my love of high school a cappella. This is not for the faint of heart and I think every group on this list will agree. I’m here to introduce you to the top ten high school a cappella groups in the country. These are the groups that aren’t satisfied just performing around their local town and high school communities. These are the groups setting the tone for the future of high school and collegiate a cappella. Colleges all over the country will benefit from the accomplishments and understanding of what the kids in these groups have achieved. It’s such an exciting time of year for high school a cappella and the groups below have climbed the ladder to the top of the high school a cappella world. On behalf of CASA and high school a cappella I would like to thank all of you for making the a cappella world a better place! Congratulations to all of the groups for their hard work and dedication to this craft! And to all of the college groups out there…it’s time to start drooling. These are the kids you want in your groups. This is what we live for…so let’s introduce you to the best of the best.
Enharmonic Fusion – Travis Erikson
Enharmonic Fusion, DeKalb High School’s mixed a cappella ensemble, is thrilled to be a part of the 2012 ICHSA National Finals! The ensemble was formed in 2010 and advanced that year to the National Finals as a Wild Card entry, placing 4th overall. This is DeKalb’s sixth year participating in the ICHSA. In 2007 and 2008 their guys a cappella ensemble Fly Check also advanced to the finals as ICHSA Midwest Champions. This past February, Enharmonic Fusion was honored to perform as host for the Midwest ICCA Regional held at DHS. While not rehearsing, they can be found playing Words with Friends or studying. They would like to thank their families, friends, and alumni for all their support, as well Varsity Vocals for this opportunity. They wish the best of luck to all other contestants. http://moss.dist428.org/schools/dhs/InstructionalDepartments/Music/Pages...
Forte – Ben Spalding
Forte is the premier contemporary a cappella group at Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio. This year Forte released their second studio CD “2 the Wire” and received 3 CARA nominations for Best High School Album, Best High School Song and Best High School Soloist. This school year Forte has worked and performed with Sonos, transit, and Christopher Diaz. Christopher Diaz worked with all of the members of forte and featured them on The Mouth Off Show in February. After winning their regional semifinal in Clarkston, Michigan, Forte went on to win at the Voices in Harmony Festival in Lexington, Kentucky out of 12 high school groups. The prize for winning was getting the chance to open up for The House Jacks. Forte is currently working on its 3rd studio album of all of their own original songs and the project will be produced with the help of Christopher Diaz and Deke Sharon. You can get more information about Forte and the Centerville High School Choral Program at www.centervillechoirs.org. You can also like our page and follow us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/forteacappella.
Highlands Voices – Tom Paster
The Highlands Voices are from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ. The “Voices” as they are called around the school, were last year’s Mid-Atlantic Champions and 2nd Runner-Up in the Finals in their first year of involvement in the ICHSA. The group is equally comfortable singing classical, vocal jazz or contemporary a cappella. They have performed in Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as festivals and competitions around the country. They are thrilled to have won the last two ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Championships and would like to thank Varsity Vocals for all that they do for the art of a cappella.
Limited Edition – Dennis Gephart
The group "Limited Edition' is a 16 member ensemble from the Port Washington / Saukville School District. Dividing their time equally throughout the year between a Madrigal Ensemble and an A cappella Vocal Jazz Ensemble, this group of men and women perform an eclectic variety of music. The name comes from the fact that this group is only an ensemble for a “limited” time (One full school year). After that, spots within the group are re-auditioned and an entirely new group is formed.
We have performed throughout our local community and state for various civic organizations. A high light of our A Cappella season is competing in Dekalb, Illinois at the Midwest semi-finals International High School A Cappella competition. This year the group placed first and also received awards for best soloist and best arrangement.
Since the inception of this group eight years ago, they have successfully earned Superior ratings at both the state and national levels of competition. In 2010 Limited Edition finished 1st in the Midwest semi-final competition and continued on to be named the National Champions in the National Finals of High School A Cappella in New York City on April 23rd. http://www.pwssd.k12.wi.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?se...
Mezzo Devotion – Jason Taylor
Mezzo Devotion is the premier vocal ensemble at Newberg High School in Newberg, Oregon. It was founded it the fall of 2008 by choral director, Jason Taylor. Along with performing for numerous community and school events Mezzo Devotion has also shared the stage with the Tufts Beezlebubs, Oregon State University's Outspoken, and past ICHSA Finals competitors, Soul'd Out from Wilsonville High School. This is Mezzo Devotion's first appearance in the ICHSA Finals, and feels privileged to represent the Northwest in New York.
OneVoice – J.D. Frizzell
Founded on rock, blues and popular music rooted in the rich musical cultural of Memphis, TN, OneVoice is distinctly cutting edge in their content and approach and embraces the principal musical movements of our time. They have recorded professional albums, performed on television broadcasts, and collaborated with GRAMMY award winning vocal jazz ensemble New York Voices. OneVoice is the flagship ensemble of the Briarcrest Christian School Vocal Music Program, which includes an 80-voice elementary choir, middle school choirs, and high school choirs. Students study voice and piano lessons at school through our Conservatory of Fine Arts. With extremely high levels of commitment and expectations, OneVoice strives to be more than just a great high school ensemble; they want to be known as an awesome a cappella group, period.
PFC – Matt Woodward and Caitlyn Griffith
PFC (Premiere and Final Cut) hails from Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas where they are the latest installment in a tradition of excellence in the Mac Choir. From barbershop to pop, this group works to produce entertaining and musically challenging performances throughout their community. The 21 member group includes sophomores, juniors and seniors. Members are involved in a plethora of other organizations and groups including concert choir, band, theater, orchestra, peer mentoring, National Honor Society, barbershop quartets and choruses as well as maintaining rigorous course loads. Many members hold part time jobs and volunteer regularly in the community. Upon meeting and hearing this year’s group in December, Michael Odokara of the Dartmouth Aires, said “Just met MacArthur PFC, they are the most talented high school a cappella group I have ever seen and heard!!!” PFC competed in the Southwest ICHSA Semifinals and was awarded first place. They also received awards for outstanding soloist (Junior Bailey Coppin) and outstanding vocal percussion (Senior Nick Ruiz). They are now vigorously preparing for the ICHSA finals in New York City! You can follow us on Twitter @macarthurpfc!
Take 7 – Matthew Swope
Established in 2008, Take 7 is the select female a cappella group from Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida. These 11 young women perform at campus concerts and throughout Central Florida. Inspired by a wide range of musical styles, they pride themselves on their attention to ensemble awareness, text meaning, and interpersonal relationships. When they aren't rehearsing, the ladies of Take 7 enjoy watching The Sing-Off, slumber parties, squirrel diving, snack time, and singing while working out. Take 7 is thrilled to be competing at the ICHSA Finals. They wish to thank their parents, teachers, and NSO for their support!
Vocal Rush – Lisa Forkish
Hailing from Oakland, CA, Vocal Rush is one of the Bay Area’s newest and hippest vocal groups. Founded in March of 2011, Vocal Rush is made up of 12 students, ages 15-18 in the Vocal Music Department at Oakland School for the Arts. Directed by Divisi alumna Ms. Lisa Forkish, Vocal Rush has performed at several of Oakland's most prestigious venues, including nationally renowned Yoshi's, performing with Poplyfe, 4th place winners of America's Got Talent. Last May, Vocal Rush was invited to perform for CA Governor Jerry Brown, and in January of this year, they placed 2nd in the International Championship of High School A Cappella Semi-Finals. Vocal Rush is known for their soulful stage presence, killer soloists, and urban swag. Visit their YouTube page to see these young artists in action: www.youtube.com/osavocalrush
WitchPitch? – Alex Grover
WitchPitch? is Salem High School’s co-ed A cappella group from Salem, Massachusetts and sings arrangements primarily by current members and alumnae/i. The group was founded in 2009, and is directed by 2005 Salem High graduate, Alex Grover. Its student leaders are Pat Dunning, Emily Kent (PitchPipes) and Nathan Bertone (President). The group is a part of the Choral Program at Salem High School under Lianne Goodwin. This year WitchPitch? has performed at school concerts, and co-founded the event "Haunting Harmonies," hosting high school groups to sing on the streets of Salem during October. The group is also looking forward to releasing its debut album 'Here' in April. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!