Friday, December 25, 2015

Vocal Point 2006 ICCA World Champions

Vocal Point 2006 ICCA World Champions

Winning the ICCA World Chamionship as a member of Vocal Point was one of the greatest musical highlights of my life. Much of what I do today is because of that fateful night, performing in the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Our winning set was a movie-related theme consisting of: "THX Sound Effect," the "20th Century Fox Theme" that led right into "Spider Man" (lead vocal by Dan Cahoon). An original gospel ballad titled "He Is Born" was lead by the vocals of Ryan Innes. Finally the set finished with a powerhouse rendition of "Sing Sing Sing."

To compete in this competition,Vocal Point first had to qualify. We did this by winning first place in both the quarterfinals and semifinal competition rounds. 

The group consisted of: Buck Mangum, David Anderson, Jimmy Dunn, Josh Rich, Ricky Parkinson, Ryan Innes, J.J. Haines, Dan Cahoon, and Jordan Keith. James Stevens was the director and arranged many of the groups vocals that year.

Some of my favorite memories of that year include:

Performing in New York. Everyone kept saying there was something different about our group. (Hint- we were clean shaven, well dressed, used appropriate language, and sang songs that were uplifting and inspirational). The other groups had lots of guys with wild hair, disheveled clothes, and sang songs with mature themes. I think the part of our set that set us apart from the other 7 groups was the ballad "He Is Born." We chose to testify of the birth of Christ and let the music speak for itself. Even though we drew the undesired, first performing slot, we were still remembered long at the end of the competition because of that moment. I'll never forget stepping out into our "flying V" formation as Ryan Innes sang "Hallelujah" and the lights, the crowd, the sound- everything was just perfect. A perfect musical performing moment in history.

When the winners were announced everyone went crazy! BYU won! We were finally able to attend this competition because it was the first time it was not held on a Sunday.

When it was all over, we were asked to sing an encore. We chose to sing the hymns "It Is Well." It was another perfect musical moment in history. The spirit was strong that night. It was cool that the other groups were singing Cold Play and pop hits, but the spiritual hymns stood out in everyone's memories.

I'll never forget gathering together in front of the Lincoln Center and taking these "Grand Champion" shots.

I'd like to think that this was a huge leap for Vocal Point in helping the group get to being the household name it is today. If only we had Youtube video productions back then. . .  Just a few years too early. :)

Wives, parents and family were there for moral support as well as alumni members.

Much of our success goes to this guy, James Stevens. He was an incredible coach and mentor throughout the entire process!

Afterward, it was late but we were starving. We decided to have dinner at TGIF in Time Square.

One of my favorite memories was singing "Superstitious" for the waiters and the entire restaurant.

Their minds were blown. Especially by Jimmy Dunn's amazing beat boxing skills. 

Here we are gathering in Grand Central Station in New York City, just coming into town to give our all to this competition.

We loved going out into the city and performing on the street!


We traveled and toured a lot throughout the year and had to sign many autographs. It was fun playing up the celebrity lifestyle. 

Coming into New Haven, Connecticut. We spent some time there and in Boston performing for small crowds. Lots of fun.

We were asked to perform the next fall at the BYU Homecoming Spectacular. We reunited one more time to perform are award winning set. 

We also sang "It Is Well" in the Spectacular
My son, Jaxon was due during that performance, and I had to keep running back and forth between the Spectacular production practices and performance while Ari was in labor.

It was great to come back to this though. . .

Vocal Point also came out to see the new baby, and we had an incredible moment. We sang "He Is Born" to Jaxon in the hospital room when he was just hours old. It was the first music he ever heard.

Recording the award winning Nonstop album at James Steven's house:

"Ghoti" or David Anderson

 Josh Rich

Ryan Innes

Dan Cahoon

J.J. Haines

Jordan Keith

Recording is tough work. . .apparently

James Stevens mixing away

We traveled to Alaska. . .
San Francisco

Golden Gate

I think this shot was at Berkeley

Palo Alto (Stanford University)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October- Broken Bones, Birthdays, Fairs, and Fun Fun Fun

 Oct. 2 Right after school this Friday we were planning to leave town to Anthem to go visit and see Jordan's former students perform in Shrek Jr. the musical. We had everything in the car all ready to go except the last minute blankets and stuffed animals. I stayed out in the car with the girls, grandma and dad and the boys went back in the house. When I came back in I could hear Jordan talking in his panic voice and Jaxon was crying so I wondered what in the world was going on. I walked into the boys room and Jaxon was lying on the ground practically under the desk with Jordan and grandma kneeling over him. Jaxon was trying to tell us what happened but he couldn't. He was hurting but he didn't know exactly where.
Apparently he jumped on Kodee's bed and was reaching for his Chomper with his right hand and holding onto the bed with his left hand. His left hand slipped and he fell back right onto his left hand and he heard a pop. His arm didn't swell right away so we were unsure if we should go to the hospital or hop in the car to still go to Gilbert. Jordan knew it was broken and was sad to cancel our trip.
I had the crazy idea to just give Jaxon tylenol and hop in the car and still drive to Gilbert and we would take him then. About a half hour into the drive Jaxon's arm was hurting worse and he wasn't moving it anymore. I knew it was broken and we should've taken him into the Safford hospital. We also thought Richard was gone on his trip to Hawaii so we didn't even try calling him. He called us right before we drove through the mountain pass saying we should have called him but we told him we would take Jaxon into Gilbert.
When we got to Gilbert we grabbed our dinner and drove to Emily's house to drop off Jordan and the kids. Thankfully the hospital was 2 minutes away and we got into the ER pretty quickly esp. for a weekend. At first we were a little PA with a very high voice came to check on Jaxon. He did NOT want her to move his arm. She left and ordered xrays. The billing dep. came and got all of our information, (so grateful we had insurance then). Shortly after that an xray tech and rolled JAxon in his bed to the xray wing   
Being a trooper moving his arm in positions that hurt his arm
 The longest wait was after the xray waiting for the dr to read it. Jaxon got to watch some tv. She came in and showed me a copy of the xray and there was a fracture in the Humerus bone right before the elbow. Another guy came and splinted Jaxon's arm and then put it in a sling.
After only 2 hours in the ER we headed out to the hotel room which was 30 seconds away. 
For having a hard night with Jaxon, all the places we went to were very close together.
ooo! Nice hotel room! Jordan told me he accidentally put in the wrong booking dates on the computer the night before, but luckily they had this room open for us.
The kids had a blast checking out the room and being monkeys on this cart 
 It took them another hour to settle down and go to bed
The hotel had a pretty awesome breakfast in the lobby with juice and eggs and cereal and fruit and oatmeal and sausage and fruit and yummy french toast sticks. Dad then took the kids swimming in the hotel pool while Jaxon and I watched. Poor kids was such a trooper for having a newly broken arm. He just kind of laid around all day.
We then made the drive up to Anthem to go to lunch with our good friends-the Coates and Phillips-Janae came for a minute to say hi. We picked the most crowded day ever! The food court was packed although we were able to find 4 small tables to eat at. When the kids finished they went outside to play and the dads took them so I was able to talk with Hollie and Sharifa. That went good until this custodian kept coming to tell the littler kids like Layla and Lottie not to jump on the furniture. WHY did they put nice furniture in an eating area? Kids are bound to jump all over it. She kept saying they were going to fall and hurt themselves. The second time the lady came over I noticed some women at a table talking about us. They kept putting their hands up to hide their mouths and looking in our direction. Right after that everyone came back in and we started saying our goodbyes. I was getting really distracted because this particular woman kept staring at me with a sour look on her face. Then Lottie came running towards me and tripped and hit her eye on the hard tile floor. When I picked her up it was an almost bursting goose egg and I knew it was going to be a black eye. I was trying to get her ice for her eye and she was just screaming. I looked up and that lady was still staring at me. I had had enough so I tried to smile and said Hello. I wanted to ask her, What is your problem? Or you can stop staring at me now. But i didn't. She didn't even say anything but gave me the most disgusted face I've ever seen; like she couldn't care I was a human with a screaming child. A look that said Lottie deserved to have a hurting eye. I couldn't believe it!! I could barely say goodbye to Hollie and it totally ruined my lunch with my friends.
All I know is that lady must be miserable if she has to spend all her time judging other women and how they parent.
I wanted to tell Jordan but he had taken Kodee to go get some new shoes.
I let the other 3 kids play again at the play place but Jaxon was so done and his arm was hurting. I don't blame him. So we went looking for Jordan at Nike but he wasn't there. He was on the other side of the shops so we started walking back again. We finally met up and drove over to Hollie's house to drop off Lottie so we could go see Shrek!
We waited in the lobby for 20 minutes and Jordan got to see some former students so that was a plus.
We had seats right in the middle and we really enjoyed the show. Most of the songs were shorter than the Broadway show which was perfect for the kids. They loved it! Emma did so great as the pig with her German accent. Brody was the perfect Donkey! So high energy with the ability to say a lot of lines quickly. The costumes were great and Fiona was played by a sassy girl with a great voice. Although she was a little loud on a few of her songs!
Glad we came up to see the show!
After the show we got Lottie (Thanks Hollie) and we drove down to Mesa to Golden Canyon Chinese Food. This is where Jordan's love of Chicken Egg Foo Young began with his dad. 
It was in an empty parking lot on a scary street but we did it.
Jordan was pretty sure the decorations hadn't changed a bit in 20 something years.
We got the full experience-complete with spotty service.
I was nervous about the food but it was really good.
Kodee and I shared orange chicken that I really like and Kodee also had lo mein noodles that were tasty too. The noodles weren't weird. Gemma and Jaxon shared beef and broccoli and they ate most of the broccoli.
I find it funny how much my kids love Chinese food when I hated it for so long.
Lottie screamed for the first 10 minutes so there's that.
Then we said goodbye to the city! 
The next day was Conference. 3 new Apostles-Dale  L. Renlund, Gary E. Stevenson, and Ronald A. Rasband
I was crazy and made cinnamon rolls again. I made them the weekend before but Jaxon wanted them again because that is the tradition. 
So those took a while and the kids were loud so we missed a bunch of the talks.
We have had CRAZY rain this September!!!
One day we got almost 2 inches of rain in 8 hours. 
That is a ton for AZ
And then we got hail!
Those were pretty big pieces for the temperature being in the 60s
Grandma went to New England for a tour of American history/church history sites for almost 2 weeks so the kids really wanted to sleep on her bed. We let them do that for 2 nights. It's pretty sweet how much they want to be together all the time
Fair weekend!! Jordan had Thursday Friday off and the kids had Friday Monday off. So Thursday ended up being Gemma's bootcamp day. She has been mean to the boys and just pretty sassy lately so Jordan wanted to nip that in the bud. He made her wear these jean capris and she cried she couldn't wear a skirt and be girly. He called her soldier at the park and she did NOT like that either. She had to do situps and jumping jacks and swinging by herself. She had to do timed obstacle courses. Then we played for a few minutes. Gemma was so scared bootcamp was going to be harder so Jordan told her the next time, if that happens, will be a lot harder so she needed to shape up. She said she would and then in the car we asked her how Bootcamp was and we got this photo above..
Then we went to Denny's. On the way there Lottie had a HUGE blowout that got all over her shorts and car seat. I was SO SO glad I had a few wipes and a diaper for her. We looked quite the sight walking into Denny's with our workout clothes and Lottie just in diaper.
Friday was Parade day. Gemma's dance class dressed up in pirate attire to ride the float in. Aargh! Gemma is sure a pretty pirate!

We got seats very close to the start of the parade so we didn't have to wait long to see Gemma.
This is how we kept Lottie from going in the street. She liked sitting there even though it doesn't look like it.
There's her float! She is to the left of the guy in the grey shirt with her arm outstretched waving
Close-up. Now she's on the right hand side with the perfect Miss America wave going.
Right after her float passed us I took off with Jaxon to go get his arm casted finally. We had to walk a few blocks to the pool to get the truck. Jaxon was sure glad they had a blue cast for him.
The newest PA at Richard's clinic named Josh Benson casted it. I could tell Jaxon was nervous because he kept chatting and wouldn't hold his hand up straight. Here is the cast. 

Saturday morning - singing competition day! We worked with the kids all Friday night to make sure they were ready for their performances.
Kodee was solid
Gemma was pretty solid-we just had to make sure she didn't yell
Jaxon was shaky
We took away the hard words but even then he started singing weirdly
BUT! Here they are all ready to sing.
  Gemma sang first. Way to go Gemma!
She was a little quiet and stiff but she did great!
Kodee knocked it out of the park. His pitch is spot on. He even sang boy and King instead of girl and Queen.
Jaxon got up there and nerves took over. He didn't hit his first high note and it just kind of stayed on the same note the whole song. He was so bummed when he was finished. Poor kid. Next year we need to prepare you more on a song you know better.
Too bad we didn't sign you up for the piano.
The kids got antsy sitting there waiting for everyone to sing so we went and looked at the exhibits. 
Our cross stitch got Grand Champion! WOW!
Look at my little cute piggy!

 Look at my little animals! 4 animals and 4 kids. 
Kodee got 1st place in the 6 and under catergory. Way to go Kodee!
1st place gets $30.
Kodee on his first 'big' ride. I was scared for him. But he really wanted to do it. At first he was on his tummy but then they went sideways and got high and fast. I think he got a little scared at the end.

Gemma showing off her 2nd place ribbon
 She got $20 for 2nd place
Kodee's Orca whale party invite I made up
 It says "Whale" come to Kodee's party! Luckily we saw Ranger's parents at the fair so I was able to get their phone number to send them an invite
Kodee asked for me to bring doughnuts to his class so Friday morning before his birthday the girls and I went to Bashas and got three boxes of almost all glazed doughnuts. I got a discount for buying so many so that worked out well. Kodee was so excited to pass them out and eat them!! The kids in his class love it as well and kept thanking me for bringing them.
I let the boys open a present from Gma L. early. They are little football zipper pouches which had money in them. They were so excited for $16 dollars of their own. They even started sleeping with them
Kodee's party decorations 
I got the blowup whale through Amazon. The whale is swimming in the streamer waves.
(I should have gotten streamers through Amazon as well. The whole town was out them due to 2 huge parades that weekend)
Blue tablecloth, blue and white candle, and water beads in the vases. I love water beads. They start out tiny and you just add water and they grow overnight. They feel soft and gel-y and a little wet. Kodee loved them! He told me 'thank you for buying these' at least 3 times.

 I bought whale themed cheese crackers and no one ate them. Not even Lottie
Probably the favorite-Ocean water
I made our very own Sonic's ocean water
Kodee, us and his friends. Ranger in the back, Hayden, Kaelin, and Jaxson im front
Little Caesar's for lunch and fruit cut like fish pieces
Whale shaped cake (banana bread with banana cake frosting)
The boys placed the candles
Present time!
Jaxson gave both Jaxon and Kodee this nice soccer ball
I think he likes it
Our happy Kodee
Ranger gave him exactly what he wanted
Nerf guns!!
And extra bullets

Kaelin gave Kodee 3 large choclate bars. He couldn't believe it

Water beads with hidden foam fish in it
Kodee played with them for hours
Jordan decided to teach all three bigger kids how to cross stitch
It was adorable
Jaxon and Kodee are actually getting the hang of it

The Taste of Sound kids dressed up for pajama day during homecoming week.