Vocal Point performed its award-winning International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) lineup with a guest performance from RIT’s Eight Beat Measure at it’s annual spring show “Veepzfeed” on Saturday.
The concert capped off an exciting year for the group, which saw UR’s only all-female a cappella group release an album, go on tour, and advance to the ICCA semifinals.
The group’s seniors took center stage throughout the night as their peers reflected on the time they had all spent together over the course of the year.
“Vocal Point is my family, and even though it is my greatest joy performing with them, last night was so bittersweet because I knew it would be my last time on that stage with them,” senior and Vocal Point choreographer Elizabeth Johnson said of the show. “It’s an extraordinary feeling to look around on the stage and see people whom you love so fiercely singing with you, for you, and with the same passion as you. I am unsure if I will find anything like that ever again.”
Johnson has been very important to the group as one of its choreographers. She, along with fellow singer and junior Susanna Chhibber, won an award at the ICCA Central Quarterfinal in February for Outstanding Choreography. At that same competition, the group took second place overall.
Vocal Point then went on to the 2017 ICCA Central Semifinal, where they were the only all-female a cappella group in the competition.
“This year, for the first time in six years, we competed in the ICCA,” Johnson added. “We devoted a lot of time this semester to perfecting the three songs that went into that: learning harder arrangements, adding more choreography, and perfecting the musicality of the set.”
Saturday’s show is representative, in part, of the large amount Vocal Point has done over the past year. A year ago, Vocal Point’s spring show was held in the May Room, a very different setting from Strong Auditorium.
Vocal Point members were thrilled at the show’s great success in a different setting.
“I’m probably more proud of this show than I’ve ever been of us,” senior Aiyana Smith said. “And that’s saying something, since the last 2-4 semesters have been amazing.”
The past year has been especially rewarding for Vocal Point, as they released “1969,” their first album in four years. They also were honored by the Women’s A Cappella Association (WACA) by having Vocal Point works placed on the WACA Vol. 4 Album, which compiled songs from a variety of a cappella groups.
Last September, Vocal Point was given the opportunity to perform at the Rochester Fringe Festival. The group later went on tour in March, spending eight days on the road with performances in Clarence, N.Y., Buffalo, and Chicago.
The recognition and success over the past year has left some wondering where Vocal Point will go next.
“We’ve built something here,” Smith said after the concert. “I’m proud to leave this legacy behind, excited to see what it will become. I’m excited to see these girls and be their “sappy grandma” from off stage this time.”
During Veepzfeed, tributes to the seniors turned teary, as all four had contributed a great amount to the group.
Eastman School of Music Senior Sabrina Parry has served as the group’s assistant musical director for the past two years. UR Senior Priya Thomas is Vocal Point’s finance manager. Johnson is a choreographer, and Smith is a bass in the group.
The seniors leaving the group emphasized the bond between the members of Vocal Point.
“From going on tour and performing in places like Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Club, to singing on the quad at 2 in the morning, to having spa nights before our shows, to staying up until 3 a.m. in the library, and in every single rehearsal, laughing at jokes until we cry (jokes that no one else would find even remotely funny), there is just so much passion and love,” Johnson said.
Others reflected on their growth as a person throughout their time in Vocal Point.
“Every year, it means more to me in different ways,” Thomas said on her involvement. “It used to be proof that I can be musical. In my experience, this is proof that you can touch people every year.”
After the alumni song, Vocal Point wasn’t ready to call it quits for the year. Through the beginning of intermission, attendees had the opportunity to vote on a final song for the group to perform together. The winner was “Bang Bang,” which was met with a virtually instantaneous standing ovation at its conclusion.
“We showed them what we’re made of,” Smith said.