They have percussion without drums, a rhythm section without a bass—the only instruments on stage are the nine voices of the nationally renowned a cappella group Vocal Point. Hailing from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, this nine-man group takes the songs you hear on the radio and delivers a new rendition, complete with all the complex instrumentation, performed only with the sounds of their mouths. The group competed and finished in the top five on the nationally televised competition NBC’s The Sing-Off in 2011. “That’s about the most professional group at the collegiate level anywhere,” said Deke Sharon, Vocal Producer of NBC’s The Sing Off and founder of the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA).
Vocal Point performs for over 50,000 people each year, regularly selling out shows weeks in advance. The group is often invited to perform in unique settings such as for the San Francisco Giants at 3Com Stadium and at nearly every major venue at the 2002 Winter Olympics. After starting a YouTube channel in 2013, Vocal Point already has over 100,000 subscribers and 15 million views. Their music videos have been featured on Good Morning America and the Grammys. The group recently released Spectrum (2014), rearranging popular tunes including Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” and a Newsies medley. They followed that up with He is Born (2015), their first Christmas album.
Vocal Point presents a highly entertaining, family-friendly show by keeping their repertoire clean and genuine. “One of my favorite things about a Vocal Point performance is that, unlike a play or musical where the people on stage are playing a character, Vocal Point members are simply being themselves,” says director McKay Crockett. He adds, “The guys are just as kind, funny, quirky, and good in real life as they appear to be on stage. It’s a pleasure and a gift to work with such upstanding young men.”
BYU alumni Bob Ahlander and Dave Boyce organized Vocal Point as a private venture in 1991. Less than three years later, the group joined BYU’s School of Music to establish Vocal Point as a permanent tradition of contemporary a cappella at the university.