Good Company, including (from left) Melodie May, Leah Risser, Kevin Eby, Nathan May, Katie Derstine and Joel Ross, won the first prize in the 2017 Shenandoah Valley Sing Off competition. (Photos by Jaden Hostetter)

A cappella groups invited to audition for 2018 Shenandoah Valley Sing Off

Amateur a cappella groups are invited to audition for The Shenandoah Valley Sing-Off, an April 21 competition with cash prizes hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC).

Audition materials, including recordings of two different songs, are due Sunday, Jan. 28.

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This is the second annual event. Last year’s first-place winner was Good Company. Camerati, a male group of James Madison University students, won second place and audience favorite.

“The goals of the Shenandoah Valley Sing Off are to promote artistry, excellence, camaraderie and musical community among singers in Virginia,” said SVCC Artistic Director Janet M. Hostetter.

The event will raise money for scholarships to provide all children the opportunity to participate in SVCC, a nationally acclaimed choir that provides young people with opportunities for quality performance, music education, touring and recording.

Second-place winner Camerati, which also took the “Audience Favorite” award in the 2017 event.

The competition is also a nod to a cappella’s historic legacy, which has been practiced in the Shenandoah Valley since the late 1800s, “thanks to the singing schools and songbook publications produced by Joseph Funk and his sons in Singers Glen,” Hostetter said.

Groups can number from four to 20 members. Selection is based upon vocal tone, intonation, blend, diction, rhythmic precision and overall musicality. Between eight to 10 groups will be selected to compete 7 p.m., April 21, at Lehman Auditorium, Eastern Mennonite University.

During the evening event, selected groups will perform an up-tempo song of no more than four minutes. Up to five groups will advance to the ballad round, with the top two contestants advancing to perform a selection of their choosing.

The first-place group will receive a $750 prize, and the runner up, $500. The “audience favorite” of the first round will be awarded $250.

Tickets go on sale Monday, March 12.

SVCC is a program of Eastern Mennonite University.