Brigham Young University’s premier nine-man a cappella singing group, Vocal Point, is bringing alumni members back together for its 20th anniversary celebration in the “Maximum A Cappella” reunion concert Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m. at the Covey Center for the Arts.
Three additional performances, without Vocal Point alumni, will be held Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5, at 7:30 p.m. at the same location.
Tickets are available at coveycenter.org or (801) 852-7007 for $10 on the balcony or $12 on the floor.
The show will feature all nine founding members from the 1991 group, along with about 70 of their successors. Although Vocal Point had reunion concerts to mark its 10th and 15th years, this will be the first time that the founding lineup has sung together since graduating from BYU.
Vocal Point was founded in 1991 by Bob Ahlander and Dave Boyce while both were students at BYU. “We were looking for a singing outlet that was maybe a bit outside the BYU norm,” Ahlander said. “We wanted to do something BYU had never seen before.”
The group takes the songs heard on the radio, retools them and delivers a new rendition with voices alone — complete with all the complex percussion and instrumentation found in the originals. Started in the tradition of Ivy League glee clubs, Vocal Point has developed a varied repertoire of rock, pop, country, jazz, spiritual and R&B styles, all produced in the group’s unique style.
Vocal Point was originally intended to be a double-quartet with just eight members. However, at the conclusion of the first auditions, Ahlander and Boyce found themselves unable to decide between two singers with only one more spot to fill. At that point, Vocal Point’s signature nine-man sound was born.
“When we created Vocal Point, we envisioned a group that would become a tradition at BYU,” Boyce said. “We are so happy and proud of what Vocal Point has become. We often joke that we wouldn't make it into the group if we auditioned today.”
More than 100 men have sung with Vocal Point, including the nine currently in the group. To mark the 20-year anniversary of Vocal Point, BYU’s Tantara Records is releasing Vocal Point’s latest album, “Back in Blue.” 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.
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 Buck Mangum, the group’s fifth director.
Writer: Philip Volmar