Transit Takes The DC AcaOpen

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With only four members, you may think Transit Vocal Band would sound sparse, but that wasn't the case at the Varsity Vocals' Mid-Atlantic AcaOpen Semifinal in College Park, MD, on Saturday night.


Behind the strongest rhythm section of the competition, the Rolesville, NC, group earned an impressive victory to advance to the AcaOpen Finals at Carnegie Hall in New York City on September 23.


Not surprisingly, their drummer, James Wallace, won the "Outstanding Vocal Percussion" award. If there was an "Outstanding Bass" award given out, it most likely would have went to Oren Bailey, whose bass shook the room without using any octaving effects.


"Ghost" as performed by Transit Vocal Band


Traces came in second place, using their experience on "The Sing-Off" to their advantage. They had a great stage presence and overall were very cohesive. The best solo of the night came from the group's Keesha Gumbs on "Begging and Pleading." Traces' energy was fantastic, especially from percussionist Selame Kedist


"Nobody Love" as performed by Traces


Placing third was VXN, which was solid throughout its entire set with a nice, clean blend.


"I'm With You" as performed by VXN


The Dekelboum Concert Hall at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center didn't see a bad performance all night. The judges had some hard decisions to make, as every group was good in one way or another.


"The Mid-Atlantic AcaOpen was filled with a lot of variety from super groups formed from high schools, college campuses, and cities." Judge Amy Branahl told FloVoice.  "The talent was incredibly deep which holds true during the regular ICCA and ICHSA quarter and semifinals.


"With a lot of amazing singers, particularly soloists and vocal percussionists, it was clear that all the groups worked very hard to prepare for the AcaOpen. It was a fun filled night of music making and one that I will remember for a long time!"

Being with an experienced judging panel really helped bring validity to the spirit of the semifinal.

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