A Cappella Academy 2017

$620 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 11 people in 2 months
Tucker Helms  PITTSBURGH, PA
A CAPPELLA ACADEMY!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!

I have been so unspeakably and remarkably blessed as to have been accepted into A Cappella Academy- an audition-only summer camp based in Los Angeles and created for the advancement of young musicians- for the Summer 2017 session! I submitted my audition as one of 588 applicants, and am one of 78 offered admission into the Academy this year. It is such a humbling and exciting opportunity, and I am so grateful for it being granted to me.

A Cappella music is something that has been a significant part of my life all througout high school. When I was a freshman, I watched my older sister perform with Vega, the premiere a cappella group at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School, which I attended for my freshman and sophomore years. During my freshman year, I was encouraged by members of the group to audition, specifically as the vocal percussionist/beatboxer. I knew from watching my sister, Addi, perform with them, that I wanted.....needed to be a part of this group. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was something about it that spurred some hidden passion deep inside of me. So, one weekend, I watched four YouTube tutorial videos on basic beatboxing, and ever since, I haven't gone a day without making SOME sort of noise with my mouth. I auditioned and was accepted into the seven-person group as the Vocal Percussionist for my sophomore year. The year that I spent with Vega truly opened me up to a whole new world of music and performance, and that hidden passion that spurred me to audition for Vega, became and remains as a driving force in my everyday life.  

After my sophomore year, I moved to Pittsburgh, and began attending Central Catholic High School. I love it, however, upon my entrance, they did not have an a cappella group, or anything even relatively similar. The only true outlet I had for a cappella during my junior year was auditioning for Academy 2016. I submitted my application and anxiously waited, waited, and waited some more for results. One night, I got an email at 2 in the morning granting me admission to camp, and from that moment, my life has never been the same. I had no idea what I would become immersed in. I auditioned for Academy as a musical challenge and outlet, one from which I would be able to create with and learn from some of the most talented young musicians from across the nation. And, without a doubt, I was right.

While at ACA, I garnered so much musical knowledge, both from the counselors and the campers, that have given me the ability to grow and push myself as a musician over the months following. That being said, I had absolutely NO CLUE what else would come with all of that musical knowledge. To be put simply, I found a home. A home in the people that were as excited that I was at camp, as they were about their own selves being there. A home in the people who came from all across the WORLD to come together over a love of music, which grew into a love of each other and formed a complete and true family, one that I am so incredibly proud to be a part of. ACA may only be 11 days long, but I have never experienced a more formative, joyous, care-free, and love-filled 11 days in my entire existence. Many of my absolute best friends and favorite people I met while there, most of whom I haven't seen since July 11 when we all dispersed from ACA 2016. But something about this place created such a strong bond of unconditional love and support that I still am as confident, if not more, in the bonds that I formed. 

In addition to the indescribable feeling of true family that was created, I gained so much confidence from Academy. Enough confidence that I was able to leave there believing that I am capable enough to make a career out of music, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Throughout the college process, it has been driving me that I am making the right decision in studying music. I gained enough confidence in my own ability that I started my own group at Central Catholic (with Oakland Catholic, the all girls school down the street), which I direct myself. In fact, my group, Free Verse, has competed in the International Competition of High School A Cappella and advanced to the semifinal round. It is safe to say that without my experience at ACA 2016, I would not be the musician or person that I am today. 

And that is why I have created this GoFundMe. Last year, through the overwhelming and humbling generosity of family, friends, and strangers, I was able to raise enough money to fully pay for my trip out to Los Angeles and tuition to camp. This year, camp tuition is $1995, and a flight out to LA is around $450-$500.  Any donation is incredibly helpful, and is greatly appreciated.

I thank you deeply for your generosity. You are giving me the opportunity to return home and be overwhelmed with love once again.
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$620 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 11 people in 2 months
Created February 13, 2017
TF
$40
The Castelnovo Family
1 month ago
BB
$25
Becky Barrett-Jones
1 month ago

So excited for you!

NL
$100
Nathan Lucchino
1 month ago
AS
$25
Adam Szalay
1 month ago
JZ
$100
John & Kathy Zaidain
1 month ago

Glad we could help!

$150
Anonymous
1 month ago
NL
$50
Nathan Lucchino
2 months ago
CP
$20
Cassandra Phillips
2 months ago
MR
$50
Maria Russell
2 months ago

And the beat (boxing) goes on.... You're amazing!

CS
$50
Cherylanne Skolnicki
2 months ago

Have a ball, Tucker! What a fabulous opportunity.

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