Two former EAC students advance in elite choir competition
By Lori Dugan
THATCHER, AZ—Two former Thatcher High School and EAC Music students are on their way to the “final four.” No, it is not the basketball final four, but instead the international finals of the Intercollegiate A Cappella Association (ICAA). The men, Jordan Keith and Ryan Innes, will travel to New York City where the international championships will be held on April 29 at Lincoln Center as part of “Vocal Point,” the Brigham Young University nine-voice male a cappella performing group. And instead of the “final four” it is really the “final six” as they will compete with two other vocal groups from the United States, two from Great Britain, and one from Canada.
The ICAA is an organization of participating colleges and universities involved in popular-based a cappella singing made famous by such groups as “Boys 2 Men” and the “Back Street Boys.” The groups are judged not only for their vocal abilities, but choreography, student arrangements, soloists, and many other aspects of a cappella-type popular singing.
The BYU group attained this honor by winning the Western Division Title two weeks ago at Stanford University where they defeated a capella groups from the University of Southern California, University of California at Berkeley, and two groups from the University of Oregon, among others.
“We have been blessed to have great music teachers all through school starting with Mrs. Jordahl and going through Dr. Lunt and Mr. Bishop,” said Keith. “One of the important things they taught us was that no dream is too big to live if you keep working on it.”
In addition to Vocal Point winning the total competition in San Francisco, Ryan Innes won the award as the “outstanding solo voice” and the group won the “outstanding student arrangement” for their presentation of a modern Christmas song entitled He is Born.
“This is a big WOW! for Thatcher, Thatcher High School and EAC,” said EAC Interim Choral Director, Dr. David Lunt. “It was my treat to enjoy the talents of both Ryan and Jordan a few years back. They both are blessed with the gift of music...a huge love of making and sharing music, and watching the ‘lights turn on’ in audiences as they felt the real message of the song. Both have natural solo voices and abilities to write and arrange music, and are very creative. We thrill and cheer with them for this achievement...for themselves, personally, as well as for their families, Thatcher High School and EAC!”
“Vocal Point” is part of the School of Music at Brigham Young and is an audition-only group limited to nine male singers. They rehearse extensively and do most of their own arrangements and all their own choreography. They specialize in high energy performances and family-oriented programs that have appealed to audiences throughout the United States. The group had a sold-out performance at EAC in February and typically play to standing room only audiences in Provo. Among other events this year, they have performed in Anchorage, Alaska; for several business and governmental functions in Utah; and for the Utah Jazz basketball team.