Aca-fabulous! Listen to this a capella band of young singers from the Blue Mountains, and it’s like watching an episode of the popular TV show Glee or the hit movie Pitch Perfect.
The eight singers from Katoomba High and Blue Mountains Grammar that make up Vocalocity, recently garnered third place in the Australian A Cappella Awards school band division championship final in Melbourne against top teams from all over Australia and New Zealand.
Regular champions on the eisteddfod circuit, they auditioned by video and were selected to attend the finals on September 8 at Melbourne’s Wesley College Adamson Hall.
They were up against stiff competition from Queensland and Victoria, but were one of only two NSW groups to be successful with a top three placing – the other NSW entrant was in an ensemble group of 25.
And now they are ready to take on the world.
Vocalocity director Amelia Nell said they are eyeing off the World Choral Championship in Europe in 2020.
Ms Nell said it all started when she was a music teacher at Katoomba High four years ago.
“A group of Year 7 girls said ‘We’ve just seen Pitch Perfect and we want to put a group together’.”
“Those movies have turned the a capella world upside down. It’s made singing cool. It used to be viewed of as nerdy, thank god for them.”
Those movies have turned the a capella world upside down. It’s made singing cool. It used to be viewed of as nerdy, thank god for them.
Jo Dunning, a mother of the group’s youngest participant, 10-year-old Allegra who did the lead vocals on the popular Dolly Parton country hit Jolene, said the choir was “putting the Blue Mountains on the Australian a capella radar”. Allegra was the first primary school student to have performed at the championships.
Mrs Dunning said their teacher had worked hard prepping the children for the competition over the last year.
“Amelia worked extremely hard at no profit from this event to put these kids under the national spotlight. She does this for the love of music and helping the kids live out there dreams of performing.
“She has a successful singing school, and the Vocalocity choir is a side project she loves to do for two hours each week on a Friday afternoon.”
Their eight minute performance included songs by The Beatles, Johnny Cash and a groovy Latin pop number called Havana.
The group is on the lookout for some new talent to add to the group, including a beatboxer – a person who can mimic the sound of a drum, or as Ms Nell puts it “someone who can say boots and cats really quickly”. For details on the group call 0451 459 169. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg4PV-e8iGs to watch their performance at the finals.