Finalists Announced for 2018 Annual VoiceJam Competition

Finalists Announced for 2018 Annual VoiceJam Competition

Walton Arts Center is pleased to announce the eight a cappella groups chosen to compete in the 2018 VoiceJam Competition on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

During the past several months, groups from around the country submitted audition videos for a chance to compete on the last night of the VoiceJam A Cappella Festival. The selected finalists include high school, collegiate and community a cappella groups from around the United States.

THE 2018 COMPETITORS

The Originals - Carnegie Melon University

VORTEX - University of Texas at Arlington

Mind the Gap - University of Oregon

The Harmelodics - Northern Illinois University

Impromptu - Indianapolis, IN (community group)

The Amateurs - Washington University in St. Louis

The Texas Songhorns - University of Texas at Austin

Ars Nova - Miami Valley School (High School, Dayton, Ohio)

"We are really pleased to have received auditions from so many talented groups this year," said Sara Broome, artistic director for VoiceJam. "In selecting the finalists to compete at VoiceJam, we are looking for unity in a group - in their intonation, precision and tempo. We also look for groups whose overall sound is harmonious. We have a strong group of competitors this year who are going to put on an entertaining show."

The VoiceJam Competition will be hosted by Deke Sharon - dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as "the father of contemporary a cappella." The group that earns the title VoiceJam Grand Champion will have the opportunity to attend the Vocal Asia Festival in Taiwan this summer.

In addition to the competition, the VoiceJam festival includes a headliner concert featuring VoicePlay, season four competitor on NBC's "The Sing-Off"; a full-day of workshops for anyone interested in learning more about a cappella and professional development opportunities for choral directors and music teachers. Tickets to all events can be purchased in person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, online at waltonartscenter.org or by calling 479.443.5600.

VOICEJAM FESTIVAL

Friday-Saturday, April 6-7, 2018

Headliner Concert

Featuring internationally renowned act VoicePlay

Friday, April 6 at 7:30 pm

Tickets start at $15, plus applicable fees.

VoiceJam Workshops

Saturday, April 7, 9 am-5 pm

Tickets are $25, plus applicable fees, and include access to all workshops.

Led by our guest judges, each one-hour workshop is open to the public and will focus on the art form and industry of contemporary a cappella. Arkansas Department of Education credit is available for choral directors who register in advance.

VoiceJam Competition

Hosted by Deke Sharon

Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 pm

Tickets start at $19, plus applicable fees.

VOICEJAM GUEST BIOS

Deke Sharon - Heralded as "The Father of Contemporary A Cappella," Deke Sharon is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella, having created the dense vocal-instrumental sound in college, subsequently spreading it around the world. Deke produces NBC's "The Sing-Off" worldwide (USA, Netherlands, China, South Africa), which had the highest ratings of any new, unscripted television show in the U.S. in 2009, and was the third highest rated show on NBC in 2010. In addition, Deke served as arranger, onsite music director and vocal producer for Universal Picture's "Pitch Perfect" and "Pitch Perfect 2" starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. Deke has shared the stage with countless music legends including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and The Four Tops, and has performed for luminaries including former President Bill Clinton. He is the founder, director and arranger for The House Jacks, who have eight albums and dozens of international tours, including multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall and a performance at the Monday Night Football Theme with Hank Williams Jr. in 2011.

VoicePlay - Based in Orlando, FL, VoicePlay performs their incredible brand of entertainment across the country and around the world. What began quite literally as a street corner barbershop act has now evolved into an internationally acclaimed touring sensation. VoicePlay is unlike any theatrical experience available today, recreating the orchestrated sound of an entire musical production with nothing but the human voice. The cast of VoicePlay has taken the timeless sound of vocal music and turned it completely on its head. Re-imagined as a full stage show, amazing, humorous and vertigo-inducing harmonies pepper VoicePlay's music-without-music sound as it ping-pongs between eras and styles, channeling the breadth of the musical landscape and lacing it with inventive and often hilarious on-stage theatrics.

To learn more about VoiceJam Festival, visit waltonartscenter.org.

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas' largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 195,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 400 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 200 volunteers donate 21,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, International Artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 45% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

Photo Credit: Keith Branch

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