Walton Arts Center crowned The Wanted from Taiwan, as winner of the international a cappella festival, VoiceJam on Saturday night. The Wanted, the first international competitor in VoiceJam had vocal precision and stage presence that won over both the judges and the crowd, and also earned the titles of Outstanding Vocal Percussion and Aca-Fan Favorite.

Baylor University’s VirtuOSO came in a very close second place and qualified to compete at Walton Art Center’s partner, Vocal Asia in Taiwan later this summer. VirtuOSO also won Outstanding Choreography.

The Outstanding Soloist Award went to co-winners, Macy Hyland and Maddy Gourlay both from the University of Oregon’s Mind the Gap.

VoiceJam, now in its second year, was formed to bring outstanding a cappella professionals together with collegiate, high school and semi-professional singers to nurture some of the best contemporary a cappella talent in the country. After a successful showing, VoiceJam has created an international forum in Northwest Arkansas for a cappella music.

The Wanted was founded in 2014 by six Taiwanese high school students. Inspired by one of their teachers, they began to sing and arrange contemporary a cappella music. Even though all members now study at different universities, they still rehearse regularly and participate in different a cappella festivals worldwide. The Wanted have won the first place prize at the 2014 World Contemporary
A Cappella Competition, the first place prize and “Best Vocal Percussion” award at the 2015 China A Cappella festival, the first place prize at the 2015 Shanghai Citizen A Cappella Competition and the first place prize at the 2015 Vocal Asia Festival Asian Cup A Cappella Competition. The Wanted also had the opportunity to open for the professional a cappella group, Naturally 7 concert in Shanghai.

VirtuOSO has quickly risen to prominence among America’s Collegiate A Cappella groups. Of their 2015 ICCA finals debut, a Newsweek article noted: “My pick for first place goes to Baylor University’s VirtuOSO… because they are authentic. Professional but not produced.” This talented group mixes technical perfectionism and pure star-power, bringing all the fun and funk you love about a cappella music.

“Many thanks to our competitors, judges and aca-fans whose enthusiasm for the festival made it the place to be this weekend”, said Sara Broome, co-producer of VoiceJam. “There was so much aca-talent! Congratulations to the winners—and to all those involved who helped make VoiceJam a rousing success.”

Make plans now to attend VoiceJam 2017 to be held at Walton Arts Center March 31-April 1, 2017.

VoiceJam is supported by NBCUniversal, Cheyenne Products, Vocal Asia and CJCHT art & culture. VoiceJam information can be found at
Waltonartscenter.org/VoiceJam