On Saturday, Feb. 2, UR’s very own all-female a cappella group, Vocal Point, competed in the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella. This international competition features groups from all over the United States and some from England, and it consists of three levels: quarterfinals, semifinals and nationals, which are held at Lincoln Center in New York City. Vocal Point has been competing in this prestigious competition for six years now, but they truly set a momentous group record after this year’s quarterfinals at Pennsylvania State University.

For the quarterfinal round, Vocal Point had to prepare a three-song, 12-minute set that displayed the spectrum of their ranges. They performed Natalie Imbruglia’s “Wishing I Was There,” Imogen Heap’s “The Walk” and Matchbox 20’s “Downfall.” The featured soloists were Vocal Point Director and senior Kristy Doot, and assistant director and senior Martha Guenther, and senior Naomi Takagi.

The group effortlessly earned first prize for Best Group in the quarterfinals, qualifying them for the next stage in the rigorous competition, the semifinals, which will take place at Rutgers University on April 5. In addition to winning the main coveted prize, the singers took home all four of the special awards. Two soloists, Doot and Guenther, tied for Best Soloist, the group as a whole won Best Arrangement, sophomore Polly Flinch took home the rare Best Percussion award and sophomore Anna Kroup took home Best Choreography.

“We’ve worked really hard, especially considering we only had two weeks to get ready after Christmas break and lost a few members to study abroad programs and Todd Theatre, as well as taking on two new members [freshmen Gracie Weinstein and Lindsey Garrison] for this semester,” Doot said.

“It was a really amazing experience for the group as a whole,” freshman Samantha Levine said. “We were able to put on such a high-energy and motivated performance, and it was a really nice surprise to do so well at the competition. It started my career with this group on a high note.”

The singers are mentally and musically prepared to move on to the semifinal round in April and will compete against all the groups who placed first and second in the various quarter final rounds in the mid-Atlantic region.

UR’s only co-ed a cappella group, After Hours, also competed in the quarterfinals of the ICCA. They prepared a three-song, 12-minute set featuring “Fidelity,” by Regina Spektor, “Mistake of My Life,” by Caedmon’s Call and “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las.

Although the group did not win any awards, its members certainly put their best feet forward during the competition.

“We had an awesome time,” said group historian and sophomore Lindsay Wood. “It was a great bonding experience for us.”

After Hours enthusiastically urges everyone to attend their next concert on March 28.

Vocal Point has been a part of UR for almost 40 years and consists of 15 members. The group arranges its own music and puts on concerts in the fall, during Christmas and in the spring. The group’s spring concert is currently scheduled for April 19.

Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.

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