Centerville A Cappella group wins national championship

On Friday, April 29, 2016, Forte, Centerville High School’s premier a cappella ensemble took first place at the International Championships of High School A Cappella.
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On Friday, April 29, 2016, Forte, Centerville High School’s premier a cappella ensemble took first place at the International Championships of High School A Cappella.

Credit: Submitted photo

Credit: Submitted photo

A hearty congratulations is in order for Centerville High School’s premier a cappella ensemble, Forte, as they bring home a national championship.
On Friday, April 29, 2016, Forte took first place at the International Championships of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Finals at The Town Hall Theater in New York City. Forte competed against the top 10 high school a cappella groups in the country, selected from a total of 150 groups in quarterfinal and semifinal rounds earlier this year.
2015-2016 Forte members include Kyle Bates, Anneliese Bohlman, Emmaline Carter, Justin Crichfield, Jon Evans, Trevor Ginsburg, Katie Guirnalda, Anna Hlinomaz, Ashley Huhta, Ryan Nichols, Sophia Rosado, Faith Simmons, Natalie Spiroff, Joseph Tyre, and Elyssa Zimmerman. 
Forte received additional national accolades: senior Justin Crichfield was named top vocal percussionist for his second consecutive year, and Forte won first place for choreography.  Ryan Nichols, also a senior, won best overall soloist at both the quarterfinal and Midwest semifinal competitions.
Forte brings home The Gooding Cup, created by the maker of the Grammy Awards and named for the benefactors of the competition. Each national champion gets to hold and display the Gooding Cup for a year, and their group name will be permanently engraved on the trophy.

Founded in 2001, The ICHSA and the collegiate version (ICCA) are the only international tournaments that showcase student a cappella singing.  The ICHSA has seen an explosion of participation with 150 groups competing this year.
Under the directorship of Ben Spalding, Forte received three national runner-up ICHSA titles in the three previous years they competed. In 2015, they opened for the national Sing-Off Tour in Cleveland, Ohio; recorded a music video with Grammy-winning artist Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix; and performed live with pop star Jojo on her national tour. Forte has released seven albums and was the first-ever high school group to release a CD of all-original songs written by its members.
“I could not be any prouder of the kids, who have worked hard this entire year and given their heart and soul to this group! It’s such a huge accomplishment!" said Director Ben Spalding. "We have National Champions! What an incredible honor for our school district and the City of Centerville!”