A cappella: a cap·pel·la [ kə'pelə ] voices only.
… But this is not your grandmother’s a cappella. This is current music and old music made current by extreme vocal range and control, tight harmonies, sick beats and vocal percussion… Whether you want to compete, learn or listen, VoiceJam has something for everyone.

March 31 and April 1, 2017
Walton Arts Center, Northwest Arkansas

Welcome to the third annual VoiceJam, a festival produced by Walton Arts Center, featuring regional and international contemporary a cappella ensembles. Hosted by Deke Sharon, dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as "the father of contemporary a cappella," the festival will light up Northwest Arkansas with the sounds of contemporary a cappella.

Taking place in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, VoiceJam features an array of events from an international competition, competitor masterclasses, a day full of vocal workshops and a professional showcase concert, to concerts for NWA schools and other aca-surprises - introducing and exciting audiences young and old to the unique elements of a cappella music.

If you’re in an a cappella group that wants to compete on the VoiceJam stage, it’s time to start prepping your audition now! We’ll be accepting video audition submissions soon.


November 1 – January 31: Submit your audition video!
February 3: Groups selected for competition are announced.
March 31: Naturally 7 concert and Competitor Masterclasses
April 1: Workshops and VoiceJam Competition


How many competitors will be accepted?
Up to 8 groups will be selected as finalists for the live competition.

How many singers can be in your group?
Groups should consist of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 20 singers.

Who is qualified to audition for the competition?
Groups consisting of 3-20 singers are invited to submit audition videos. There is no age restriction. We welcome everyone to participate!

Will the competition be timed?
Yes. Each group will have 10 minutes to perform one set each. (Timing begins when first note is sung).

How will the competition be judged?
Judges will consider pitch, blend, overall entertainment value and level of difficulty. Each of these categories will be scored 1-5, then added to determine a winner.
The judging panel will include a cappella experts and professional musicians… Names will be announced at a later date.
Each group may receive their score sheets for feedback after the competition.

Walton Arts Center will announce finalists on February 3, 2017, allowing 8 weeks to prepare competition performances and arrange travel. The competition takes place on April 1, 2017 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR.

Each group must confirm their commitment to compete by purchasing discounted festival passes for each member. $30 per person - includes all VoiceJam events, discount card for local restaurants, and a light dinner at Walton Arts Center before competition.

All participating groups are responsible for their own travel and accommodations in Northwest Arkansas. Hotel discounts and packages are available.

Tickets and passes for VoiceJam 2017 are on sale now!


1. Submit your audition video November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017.

2. A selection committee will review submissions and narrow down to a field of finalists. Submissions can be footage of rehearsals, concerts, singing in the street or in your mother’s living room! We just need to be able to see and HEAR your group’s a cappella awesomeness within a maximum time of 5 minutes. Take advantage of the allotted time to introduce your group, tell us where you’re from and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Keep in mind submissions must be voices only. All styles of a cappella will be considered.

3. Criteria:
Maximum video length: 5 minutes.
Good sound quality is required: the selection committee must be able to hear clearly.
At least 50% of the singers in the submission video must be current members. Previous years’ concert footage can be used, as long as half of the singers intend to compete at VoiceJam 2017.
Have questions? Email VoiceJam@waltonartscenter.org

4. Now that your video is ready, what next?
- Complete the competition application.
- Format your YouTube video submission with the title “VoiceJam 2017 Competition [YOUR GROUP NAME HERE]”.
- In the video info section, enter your group name and title/arranger for each song performed.
- Whether your video is posted publicly or privately, please make sure we are able to view.
- You’ll receive a reply email letting you know we’ve received your video.
- Deadline for both registration form and video submission: 11:59pm, January 31, 2017.

5. When will we know if we made it?
The groups selected to compete will be announced on February 3, 2017 via the VoiceJam website, Facebook page and direct email.
Each group must confirm their commitment to compete by purchasing discounted festival passes for each member. $30 per person - includes all VoiceJam events, discount card for local restaurants, and a light dinner at Walton Arts Center before competition.

Each group selected to compete will receive a masterclass with an a cappella professional on Friday, March 31, 2017, prior to the professional concert.


1st Place
VoiceJam 2017 Trophy
Vocal Asia 2017 Competition, including:
  • Automatic entry to participate in Vocal Asia Festival 2017 in Hong Kong
  • Festival passes for the VAF2017, including workshops, masterclasses, group coach and concerts
  • Performance opportunities for the group
  • Accommodations during Vocal Asia Festival (housing and meals)
  • Arranged city tours for the group
  • Some travel support
2nd & 3rd Place
Bragging rights

Audience Favorite
VoiceJam 2017 Trophy

Individual Awards - Trophies gives to the following:
  • Outstanding Soloist
  • Outstanding Arrangement
  • Outstanding Choreography
  • Outstanding Vocal Percussion
All competing groups get access to still photos taken during competition.



Additional support provided by Kelly & Marti Sudduth and Cheyenne Products