Vocal Point preps new member for March concerts

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BYU’s premier all-male a cappella group, Vocal Point, will be introducing the newest member of its nine-man ensemble to fans on campus and in the local area.

The group’s newest member has been preparing for upcoming performances for more local audiences. Vocal Point will be performing on campus in the Harris Fine Arts Center’s de Jong Concert Hall on Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

At the beginning of winter semester, Vocal Point members learned that one member, Conlon Bonner, would be unable to continue as a member. They immediately began planning a closed audition for the open spot. Bryce Romney, a sophomore from Dallas, was invited to the closed audition after a chance encounter with Vocal Point member Trevor Johnson.

“I was sitting in the Cannon Center and I saw this guy that I recognized from Vocal Point,” Romney said. “I felt compelled to ask him when auditions for next year were, even though I knew exactly when they were. He’d never heard me sing, but he invited me to a closed audition. The day after auditioning they gave me a call and I accepted the position. It was really great because I felt compelled to do it and the timing was just perfect. It felt so right.”

Vocal Point, which was founded in 1991, has earned a reputation for high-energy songs and fine-tuned performances. Romney said that while his first performance with the group was nerve-racking, he ended up having a great time.

“I was really nervous at first, but toward the end I realized it is a lot more fun than pressure,” Romney said. “It was great. I loved it.”

After accepting a position in the group, Romney had only three weeks to learn both choreography and music for each of Vocal Point’s 16 songs.

“It was stressful, but luckily I had time to dedicate to it,” Romney said. “I would learn my part and review choreography just a couple hours everyday. I definitely think I had divine help.”

Adam Heimbigner, a sophomore from South Jordan, and Vocal Point’s vocal percussionist, said the transition of Romney into the group has been surprisingly smooth.

“Bryce and a lot of the other guys have taken a lot of time out of their schedule to learn the choreography and parts we already know,” Heimbigner said. “Really Bryce just comes to rehearsal and is like, ‘Hey, I know these songs now.’ And we sing them and they sound great.”

Heimbigner, who is a first-year member of Vocal Point, said he feels a sort of duty to uphold their long-held reputation of talent.

“It is so intimidating, at least at first, because you come in and there has been such a legacy of excellence established,” Heimbigner said. “You have to find the line between emulating what they did and making it your own.”

Heimbigner said while his first few weeks in the group were scary, he finds that being a part of Vocal Point is no longer intimidating.

“As you get to know the guys, the Spirit really bonds you together and the intimidation leaves,” Heimbigner said. “It’s replaced by love and joy.”

Vocal Point is preparing for the upcoming concert here on campus, as well as performances at the Covey Fine Arts Center the second weekend in March. Heimbigner said audience members can expect a typical show-stopping Vocal Point performance.

“There is going to be something for everyone,” Heimbigner said. “I’d say it is probably going to be the most rocking Vocal Point concert ever.”

Jillian Innes, a freshman from Thatcher, Ariz., first began going to Vocal Point concerts when her older brother, Ryan Innes, was a part of the group between 2005 and 2007. Innes said she enjoys Vocal Point performances because of their interaction with the audience.

“They are just being themselves, and they are very confident about what they do,” Innes said. “The thing I love is that they can make you feel happy and excited with their fun songs and then immediately make you feel the Spirit with a hymn.”

The show at the de Jong Concert Hall is sold out, but tickets for the Covey Center shows can be purchased by visiting coveycenter.org or calling 801-852-7007.

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