Immediate Press Release
Contact: Wanda Cook | 707.718.7775 Cell | email@example.com
February 16, 2020
Vacaville Youth A Cappella Group: Quarter-Final West Champions
FUSE A Cappella Chorus, a program of Young Artists Conservatory of Music (YACM) located in Vacaville Ca. won first place at the ICHSA West Semi-Finals on Saturday February 15 at Fox Theater in Redwood City. As champions, FUSE will represent the region to compete in Seattle on March 28, 2020 for the Semi-Final West Coast Championship.
FUSE began only 18 months ago under the leadership of YACM Teaching Artists Casey Ellis and Melinda Packer. In 2018, longtime A Cappella participant and beat boxer, Packer approached Executive Director, Wanda Cook with a proposal. “I’ve got an idea! With YACM student vocalists and YACM resources I can create an amazing A Cappella group at YACM”, said Packer.
In 2019, after only 4 months of rehearsal, FUSE earned 3rd place in that year’s competition. “That’s when I felt sure we should invest more funding and resources into this privately funded non-high school campus program, said Executive Director Wanda Cook. This year, FUSE has 17 teen members who rehearse together two times a week. Many of the FUSE members have studied classical voice at YACM for years giving them control over their voices and a strong understanding of music theory, rhythm and stage presence.
FUSE hit the FOX Theatre stage in Redwood City with their strikingly fresh signature white on white competition attire designed by FUSE member, Senzel Ahmady. FUSE sang an 11 minute medley of “Know Who You Are” from Moana, “Who You Are” by Jessie J, “ Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin Degraw, and “Shake It Out, by Florence the Machine. YACM alumnus and Berklee College student Megan Albdress wrote the arrangement. Lead Vocals were sung by Alexis Edwards, Catie Whittet, Senzel Ahmady, and John Weber. Chloe Tu won best percussionist.
“Singing without the aid of instruments challenges us in ways that I could never imagine. You’re kinda vocally naked out there. Nothing to cover up your mistakes or anchor your ear: just the strength of your skills and the skills of your co-members, so it makes you appreciate your fellow singers and you all get better than ever”, Catie Whittet - (18, FUSE Member)