2017 ANWAC Festival Instructors:
Kevin Kunz’s Love of music started a very young age, growing up in a musical family. His father, Jack Kunz a very noted composer, choral director and arranger, started Kevin and his older brother Kelly, and younger sister Colleen along a varied and diverse musical journey. Kevin studied jazz piano and voice at Central Washington University and studied under nationally renowned director, John Mowad. After college, Kevin jumped into radio jingle and commercial singing, while playing jazz and pop keyboards and singing in clubs and lounges in the 80’s. From there he joined forces with his brother Kelly and started an original rock band in the 90’s with some of the finest musicians in Seattle, called Hoi Polloi. Kevin joined with his brother again in 2000 and formed Groove For Thought, which went on to win the coveted 2005 National Harmony Sweepstakes championship. Groove for Thought has gone on to star in NBC’s The Sing Off Season 2 and continues a very successful musical career. With numerous songwriting awards, album credits for writing and arranging, including arranging for string ensembles and horn sections, 2 CARA Awards and 3 more nominations for 2107. He is very active in the local music scene. Kevin is an annual judge at the Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella competition. Kevin and his wife Mary, and daughter Aliya formed Straighter Road in 2012. “Straighter Road has been the most challenging, yet rewarding musical experience of my life” says Kevin. Being in the role of director has come with many learning opportunities! The 6 vocalists of SR come from very diverse vocal backgrounds and experiences and blending them together resulted in being named 2015 Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes Champions, their very first competition ever, and then on to with the National Harmony Sweepstakes award 2 months later in San Francisco, competing against the very best groups from around the country, while also bring home the award for Best Arrangement!Kevin’s journey of faith began in 2002, when God called him out of darkness, and his faith in Jesus “get’s me through all the little and big challenges life throws my way on a daily basis.”
Collin was first introduced to contemporary a cappella music when he auditioned for Undefined, Western Washington University’s male a cappella group. He quickly became enamored with the genre and the community, and over the next 5 years he would become heavily involved in college a cappella in the Pacific Northwest. As part of the WWU A cappella Club Board in his freshman year, Collin helped to organize the First Annual Northwest A cappella Concert (ANWAC), which is now going into its 7th year. As President of the WWU A cappella Club his Senior year, Collin worked with Varsity Vocals to plan and host the first ever Washington State ICCA Quarterfinal, which is now in its 3rd year. He also had the privilege of co-directing Undefined to their third place finish in the ICCA Quarterfinal in their competition debut, and he was honored to receive the WWU Arts, Dance, and Music Club of the Year award on behalf of WWU A cappella Club in his second year as the club’s President. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, Collin moved down to Seattle and joined the South Asian Fusion a cappella group, UW Awaaz. With Awaaz, Collin was able to explore the South Asian Fusion subset of collegiate a cappella which gave him a broader perspective on the genre and the future of contemporary a cappella as a whole. With this diversity of experience and his background in a cappella event planning, Collin looks forward to being a dynamic contributor to the growth and development of the a cappella community in the Pacific Northwest.
Matt Mayrhofer’s appreciation for a cappella music comes partially from his background in instrumental music. Playing trombone and euphonium in high school band gave Matt plenty of experience in jazz, classical, and contemporary music. He began arranging popular music for his high school’s marching band while he was still a student there. After graduation Matt chose to pursue a degree in music from Central Washington University. After joining CWU’s Nada Cantata as a founding member his freshmen year, Matt immediately began learning how to transfer his arranging skills to the a cappella genre. Since then, Matt has contributed numerous arrangements to various groups both local and from abroad as a commissioned arranger. He has distributed thousands of copies of Pentatonix transcriptions for free to a cappella musicians around the world, making connections and serving the a cappella community. After learning and developing his beatboxing skills for Nada Cantata at CWU, Matt earned recognition as “Outstanding Vocal Percussion” at ICCA his first year as the group’s vocal percussionist. His groups have also been recognized for outstanding choreography, arrangements, and various other awards in competition. For his senior project at CWU, Matt constructed a full guide on arranging for a cappella, which provides relevant information and examples for those creating their first arrangements and those who wish to bring their arrangements to a new level. He hopes to continue to provide resources for musicians and serve the a cappella community in many ways.
Isaiah began his a cappella career at Central Washington University in 2010 where he founded the group Nada Cantata. Nada Cantata was CWU’s first collegiate a cappella group and now the community has grown into four groups on campus. Isaiah earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from CWU and sang in the University Chorale, Men’s Choir, Chamber Choir and Opera scenes along with being music director, arranging and singing in Nada Cantata. In 2014 Isaiah was awarded Outstanding Choreography at the ICCA quarterfinal, on the same night Nada Cantata took their first podium finishing second runner up. Most recently Isaiah sings Bass with the Seattle Symphony Chorale and in an a cappella quintet, 20/20, who performs and competes around the Pacific Northwest. In 2015 Isaiah was awarded Best Arrangement at the Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes, and his group 20/20 finished 2nd overall.
Amanda started her musical journey in elementary school with clarinet, tenor sax, piano, and drumline, and continued all throughout high school. Outside of school, she started writing songs and performing with rock bands in 10th grade. It wasn’t until college, that her a cappella ventures began at the University of Washington where she graduated with a BA in Anthropology, Medical Anthropology & Global Health, music minor, and was a member of Furmata A Cappella where she held the positions of Communications Director, PR, and Treasurer. She performed as a tenor 1 and vocal percussionist from 2009 to 2013, and in her senior year, she pushed Furmata to be the first UW group to ever compete in ICCAs. In the last few weeks of undergrad, Amanda formed the quintet that became SeaNote. After only two months with the current group, they became the 2014 PNW Harmony Sweepstakes Regional Champions and took home Audience Favorite and Best Original Arrangement, and soon after, placed 3rd at the National Championships. In August 2014, SeaNote released their debut studio album, Vocal Static, in which Amanda was the album coordinator and designer for. As of September 2014, Amanda has been Furmata’s alumni adviser and was the main event coordinator for the 2015 ANWAC Festival. In May 2015, Amanda released her debut solo EP, Back of My Mind, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Communication through Purdue University while working full time at the Student Activities Office at UW. Amanda hopes to share her incredible experiences and deep love of all things a cappella to all that enjoy it and want to continue to grow as artists.