HomeBlogscyserrano's blogLas Vegas A Cappella Summit Wrap-up

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This past weekend was the Fourth Annual Las Vegas A Cappella Summit hosted by Desert Oasis High School and their Choral Director Brad Pierson. I was fortunate enough to attend as a performer with The Trojan Men from the University of Southern California. If you were there, you know how awesome it was. If you weren't there, here's what you missed out on...

Friday night was filled with outstanding performances by High School A Cappella ensembles. It was inspiring to see an auditorium PACKED with young people passionate about music and a cappella singing. All of the groups did an amazing job and they've only been singing with each other for a couple weeks! Some of them not even more than two weeks together. The competition was judged by Deke Sharon, Kai Robinson of Wonder Voice and members of The Trojan Men. In the end, Performing a vocal jazz arrangement of Blackbird and Come Together, Vocal Oasis from Las Vegas Academy took home first place.

Saturday was jam packed with Master Classes and Workshops taught by Ben Stevens, Deke Sharon, Jake Mouton, Kai Robinson, and Antonio Medrano. The High Schoolers attended workshops on bass singing, solo singing, vocal percussion, arranging, vocal jazz, even live looping with Mister Tim.

The Trojan Men also got in on the action and led a session on what singing in a collegiate a cappella group is like. This was definitely a highlight of the day for us. We took questions about what it's like to be in college, what the vocal arts program is like at USC, tips on starting your own group, group dynamics and plenty more. At the end of the session, they wanted to learn one of our songs, so the entire class got up and after a couple minutes of sectionals, sang Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder together!

Through the day, Wonder Voice, The House Jacks, Overboard and The Trojan Men gave short performances as a teaser to the big concert later that night.

After a dinner break, everyone returned to the Desert Oasis High School performance auditorium for the big show. Vocal Oasis opened with their winning set. We went on after that and had a blast. After us, Mister Tim was up for a Live Looping solo performance. After a short intermission, The House Jacks capped the night with another one of their dynamic and powerful performances. I had never seen them live before and I was blown away by what great performers they are. They really know how to interact with and entertain an audience. It was an amazing show.

In all, the weekend was solid. We had a great time and the High School groups also had a lot of fun. My favorite part of the weekend was being able to interact with the students and hopefully have a lasting impact on their impression of a cappella and singing through their college years and beyond.

Brad has been doing a fantastic job organizing the LVAS for the past four years and the program has definitely been growing. We attended as performers and clinicians two years ago and since then, the caliber and quality of the summit, not to mention the number of groups participating, seems to have increased by leaps and bounds every year.

The Summit does have plenty of room for growth, however, and that's where you come in. They could always use donated CDs and merchandise to give away to the students. Also, there is plenty of room for more collegiate/professional group performers and master class and workshop teachers. Lastly, if you're in a High School A Cappella group or you're the teacher of one, you should bring your students/group to the Summit. So in summary, if you're a living, breathing person, you should be attending and contributing to this festival!

So thanks to Brad Pierson and everyone who was there this past weekend, you made it a memorable one for us!

Cy Serrano
Director, The Trojan Men
University of Southern California
http://thetrojanmen.com 

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Comments

great review!

Sounds like Brad Pierson put together an awesome event! Guess I missed out. Next year....

Thanks!

Thanks Cy!   I am busy gathering pictures from students and teachers as we speak.  I am so thankful for everyone that got involved with our event this year.  I will be posting soon about the event and the aftermath - what new groups were started, the continued evolution of our Las Vegas a cappella community, etc.

Looking forward to getting even more people involved next year!

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