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MHSA vocal ensemble featured in PBS documentary

MHSA vocal ensemble featured in PBS documentaryCatch some fresh musical entertainment on TV featuring MPS students! “Acapocalypse! A Cappella’s New Note” explores the national two-day Acapocalypse festival hosted by Port Washington High School. Directors chose three award-winning groups to follow, including the Milwaukee High School of the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

The 13 group members, along with Director Raymond Roberts, spent about four months interviewing, performing, and taping for the production of this in-depth look at the preparation and perfection involved as an a capella group. At MHSA, Vocal Jazz Ensemble meets during the school day as part of the music curriculum, but requires a commitment outside of class time for performances and competitions. The group has won numerous awards and is a regular favorite on the annual WISN-12 Season to Celebrate holiday program.

The documentary draws out the hard work and technical skill involved in a capella performance, and also brings forth the impact on students. MHSA vocalists expressed their love of music and performance and the ways that musical discipline improves their school work and connection to others. Students shared the camaraderie of being part of such a close-knit group and the support they offer each other.

Because student participation in the documentary ended in March 2019, nine members of the ensemble have since graduated. Six are currently studying music (three at Columbia College in Chicago and three at the School for Music Vocations in Iowa). One is studying film at UW–Milwaukee, one is attending MATC, and one is engaged in service learning with City Year.

To watch a preview of the documentary, visit the PBS Wisconsin Music and Arts page.

The program is scheduled to air on PBS Wisconsin on March 31, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. PBS Wisconsin does not broadcast in the Milwaukee area, but the program can be viewed on demand at and on the PBS app on phones, tablets, Roku, Apple TV, and many smart TVs beginning March 31, 2020. Search for “Acapocalypse” to find access.

Congratulations to the MHSA Vocal Jazz Ensemble!


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