The A Cappella Group is a part of the Vocal Music Department at Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts in Fort Myers, Florida. The group was founded in the fall of 2003 after hearing the Florida State University group All Night Yahtzee the previous spring. The students were so blown away by All Night Yahtzee that they begged to start our own a cappella group. The rest is a very brief, but exciting history.
The group made a name for themselves right off the bat and were selected to open for The Four Tops at the local performing arts hall. The group took the stage in front of the near sold-out house and proceeded to wow the crowd and earn a tremendous ovation after every song. Of course, we are biased but a music reviewer for the Naples Daily News felt the same:
Review: Four Tops still bellowing out upbeat love songs
By JOHN HENDERSON, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 20, 2004
There they were, on the same stage that was about to be occupied by Motown legends, and they brought down the house.
Students of the Cypress Lake High School of the Performing Arts kicked off the Wednesday night performance of The Four Tops, bellowing out tunes in a cappella to standing ovations.
The students asked their teachers whether they one day might ever perform at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. The teachers decided to send a tape of the group to The Four Tops who had an upcoming show.
The Tops loved what they heard and invited the students to be their opening act.
In nearly perfect harmony, with the hall's elevated ceilings echoing their voices, the students belted out tunes such as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" featured in "The Lion King."
The Tops had a tough act to follow, but with five decades of performing together, with a full brass band behind them, they were up for the task.
With the great success of their inaugural year behind them, the group looked to build on that success and get even better. No one could have imagined how much success that the group would achieve in the 2004-05 school year. We undertook the challenge of the National Championship of High School A Cappella. After submitting our audition tape and being selected as a Florida finalist we gave a great performance at the Florida competition and took home the Florida State Championship!! We also won for best soloist, Ashley Brasile (you can hear her song on track 2 of the CD) and best showmanship. We then moved on the South Division competition with a chance at advancing to the National Finals in Washington DC.
The only problem is that we didn't have a lot of money to make the trip to the University of Georgia for the competition. This prompted us to begin a local promotion campaign here in Fort Myers to raise money. We were featured in a major story in the lifestyles section of the newspaper. We also were featured in a radio piece on NPR that was heard throughout the state of Florida. Performance offers and donation started rolling in to help get us to Georgia. During one fund raiser at Barnes & Noble, a man heard us singing and could not believe we were a high school group. He could not attend the concert we were promoting but asked if we accepted donations. Two weeks later, we received a check for $2,500 from him. I think he was impressed. We ended up raising double the amount of money needed for the trip.
We made it to the competition and gave a strong performance and were named Runners-up, just missing out on the opportunity to go to Washington DC. We had a lot of extra money that was raised and decided that we needed to record the group to try to capture the magic of the school year.
After countless hours in the studio and numerous hours in production, we have a final product that we are very proud of. We hope that you will enjoy it as well.
The group is now in our third year and we are determined to make this year even better. We would love to hear from you, so please e-mail us if you liked the CD.