Move over, March Madness.
In a real-life “Pitch Perfect” scenario, hundreds of collegiate a cappella groups across the nation recently submitted videos to compete in an event modeled after the NCAA tournament that was canceled earlier this year due to the pandemic.
On Wednesday, NPR reported that BYU’s Vocal Point has made it to the Final Four of the UpStaged National Collegiate Performing Arts A Cappella Championship.
“The four final entries really spoke to the amazing diversity and the richness of a cappella music that is today,” said Annette Philip, a Berklee College of Music faculty member and judge in one of the earlier rounds, according to NPR.
For the competition, Vocal Point submitted its performance of the “Lion King” classic “Circle of Life” — a video from spring 2019 that makes great use of Utah’s scenic outdoors. To date, the video has nearly 1.2 million views on YouTube.
Rounding out the Final Four are The Harvard Opportunes, The Vanderbilt Melodores and the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Masala. The final groups win cash prizes for charities of their choosing, according to NPR, and a panel of judges will choose the ultimate champion.
Vocal Point plans to give its winnings to the NAACP, according to East Idaho News.
Carson Trautman, a BYU senior and Vocal Point member, told NPR that the a capella group has done its best to keep rehearsing during the pandemic — the ensemble even used LaVell Edwards stadium for a time.
“But then it started getting really cold,” Trautman said with a laugh.
Now the group practices indoors, wearing masks and staying socially distant. Vocal Point recently released a video performing a “Polar Express” medley with the Rise Up Children’s Choir. The medley is on the group’s new holiday EP, “Newborn King,” the Deseret News reported.