Limited Edition finishes second in a cappella semifinals

Port High group's hope for championship bid rides on wild card round

Port Washington High School's a cappella ensemble Limited Edition performed during the Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella semifinal competition on Saturday, March 10, in DeKalb, Ill. Photo by Robert Tyree
Ozaukee Press staff

Placing second in the fiercely contested Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella Midwest semifinals last weekend, Port Washington High School’s Limited Edition is now eager for a wild-card shot at competing for the championship title in New York City.

“We had some technical issues in the semifinals that threw us a little bit,” Port High Vocal Director Dennis Gephart said. “It wasn’t our best set. We know we can do better.

“We’re very excited for the wild-card round to show the group that beat us what we’ve really got.”

Limited Edition was the runner up to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School’s Vocal Point in the Saturday, March 10, competition at DeKalb High School in DeKalb, Ill. 

Oak Creek High School’s Knight Club finished third. Grafton High School’s Graftonics also competed in the semifinals. 

Semifinal winners automatically advance to the April 20 championship at the Lincoln Center in New York City, but second and third-place finishers in each of the eight regions qualify for the wild-card round. The winner of that round advances to the championship.

In the wild-card round, groups submit video-recorded performances for judging. Limited Edition recorded its entry Tuesday.

Entries are due March 28, and the winner is announced April 2.

Noting that the Midwest has become a hotbed of a cappella talent, Gephart said Limited Edition members were pleased with the semifinal results and determined to make the most of the wild card round.

“They were ecstatic they got second place,” he said. “The president of Varsity Vocals was at the semifinal competition, and she was just amazed by the talent we have in this region.”

That said, the Port High group isn’t willing to settle for second without a fight.

“We’ve always challenged ourselves to be better and not settle for something that isn’t our best, which says a lot about the character of this group,” Gephart said.

Limited Edition, which has been a perennial powerhouse in the competition for years, won the wild-card round in 2016.     

The Port High group has advanced beyond the quarterfinals seven out of the last eight years and won the semifinal round six out of the last eight years, Gephart said. The group won the championship in 2010.     

Limited Edition won the quarterfinal round of this year’s competition on its home stage in January to advance to the semifinals at DeKalb High School.   

If the group wins this year’s wild-card round, it will have precious little time to raise money for the trip to New York.

“We have a GoRundMe page and we’ll probably be selling baked goods,” Gephart said. “We’ll need to raise something like $1,000 a day for a week-and-a-half.”

Regardless of whether it wins the wild-card round, Limited Edition will host Acapocalypse, billed as Wisconsin’s largest a cappella festival, at Port Washington High School Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7.

The highlight of the festival is a Friday concert headlined by Vocalight, considered to be one of the top-10 a cappella groups in the world. 



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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