(Provo, UT) For the second time, Brigham Young University’s premiere contemporary a cappella ensemble Vocal Point has earned the right to compete at the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella held in New York City next month. Their win at Stanford University this past weekend ranks them as one of the top six college vocal groups in the nation.

But the final round is held on a Sunday and BYU has a long-standing policy, for sports teams and performing groups alike, of not participating in competitions on the Christian Sabbath. So Vocal Point will not be going.again.

Unlike two years ago, when producers of the competition had mistakenly announced the finals date as a Saturday, the group knew going into it that the finals this year were to be held on Sunday. “We talked about it as a group and decided that even if we couldn’t go to New York we wanted to see how far we could get,” says Dave Brown, a current member of the group. “Winning the semifinals at Stanford was a huge deal for us. It means we’re good enough to go, even though we’re disappointed we can’t.”

This disappointment notwithstanding, Vocal Point has had a stellar year. The group is celebrating its 10th Anniversary of adoption into the School of Music at BYU. It is the only student-initiated performing group to have had this privilege.

The ensemble’s semester concert, to be held this Thursday in the 1400-seat de Jong Concert Hall on campus, has been sold out for nearly a week and they are to be the subject of a live concert/documentary being produced for BYU Television. They are also completing work on their 5th CD.

To top it all off, the Vocal Point was chosen by Church and University officials to inaugurate a performing arts series in Nauvoo, Illinois this summer. The group will perform 18 shows during a three-week run in the Joseph Smith Academy Theater across from the LDS Church’s new temple.

“I’m really proud of these guys,” says Bob Ahlander, Vocal Point’s faculty director. “And not just this year’s group, but all the guys from the last few years who have worked so hard to get where we are now.” Ahlander, who co-founded the group in 1991, was asked to take the reins as director in fall of 2001.