Walton Art Center Hosts Program for Aspiring Vocalists

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, February 17, 2020 – Walton Arts Center is now accepting applications for the VoiceJam Varsity Singers, a week-long learning and performance opportunity for up to 25 high school or college-aged vocalists who are interested in a cappella.

Varsity Singers, an addition to the VoiceJam A Cappella Festival lineup last year, gives local, aspiring student vocalists the opportunity to rehearse with and learn from a cappella industry professionals.

Applicants must be in grades 9-12 or enrolled in an undergraduate higher education program and able to read music. Selected vocalists must commit to attending rehearsals and the showcase performance during the week of April 1-5. Applications will be accepted through Friday March 13, 2020. Vocalists chosen for the program will be notified by Friday, March 20, 2020.

Varsity Singers will workshop and rehearse a selected song over the course of three rehearsals March 30 – April 1 with VoiceJam instructor, Michael Martinez. The Varsity Singers will perform the arrangement on Thursday, April 2 at a free community concert with Acapellago, Vocal Asia’s 2019 Asian Cup Competition winner.

Application and audition instructions are available online. Contact Meghan Dale, Walton Arts Center’s engagement coordinator, at 479.571.2766 or mdale@waltonartscenter.org for more information.

Michael Martinez is currently the choral director at RJ Reynolds High School in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Martinez has been a judge for Varsity Vocals for three seasons. His choirs have received superior ratings at NCMEA Music Performance Adjudication since he began teaching in 2010. His former group, Tonal Spectrum, placed fourth in the 2015 ICHSA Championship in New York. Since then, Tonal Spectrum has opened for Deke Sharon's group, Vocalocity, and released their first album, Tonal Spectrum 2015, which was nominated for two Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. Martinez sells arrangements for a cappella and offers coaching sessions for groups competing in ICHSA/ICCA. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Music Education. He was a member and treasurer of the a cappella group, The UNCG Spartones (2007-09). He also co-founded and directed The AcaFelons, the first a cappella group at Gardner-Webb University (2011-12).

VoiceJam A Cappella Festival
Pushing the limits of vocal range, singers will astound audiences with tight harmonies, sick beats and flawlessly choreographed sound. Vocal gladiators take the stage in a head-to-head competition, bringing their best with the goal of taking home the title. Whether you want to compete, learn or listen at the edge of your seat - VoiceJam has something for everyone! VoiceJam A Cappella Festival, produced by Walton Arts Center, brings national and international vocal ensembles to Northwest Arkansas. Now in its sixth year, the festival includes an array of public events, workshops, professional showcases, pop-up performances and concerts in local schools.

Tickets and can be purchased in-person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org.

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 215,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.