VM Coldplay HeaderThe OSA School of Vocal Music provides comprehensive artistic training for aspiring young vocalists. Courses are offered for students in grades 6th – 12th in ensemble and solo singing as well as Music Theory. Students are trained in a variety of musical genres including jazz, classical, musical theatre, spirituals, and contemporary. There is a strong emphasis on music literacy and aural skills in the School of Vocal Music.

The philosophy of the Vocal Music department is founded on the principles of self-motivation, artistic excellence, professionalism, and a strong work ethic.  We believe that students must be competitive and relevant in today's artistic climate. The repertoire we choose, the shows we produce, the character qualities we expect, and the curriculum we study are meant to prepare students for the ever advancing expectations that are present at both the professional and collegiate level.  It is our intention to cultivate a love for learning and a deep respect for the study and craft of music. 

For more information please review the Vocal Music Department's Handbook

vocal rush 1Vocal Rush recently placed 1st in the International Championship of HS A Cappella Semi-Finals. They also won awards for Outstanding Choreography and both beatboxers, Barbara DeVeaux-Griffith and Nelly Ake won Outstanding Vocal Percussion. Vocal Rush is headed to Finals in New York in April for the third time! Big props to these students for taking things to the next level, not only demonstrating musical excellence, but also incorporating a powerful  message into their set-- they represented Oakland and OSA beautifully! Here is a video of their competition set  Video link.  Mark your calendars for March 26th -- we will be holding a benefit concert for our NYC Trip at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Tickets available here: Buy tickets. 

vocal rush 2
Vocal Rush write-up on The A Cappella Blog! Article link. "Yes, Vocal Rush sounded great and looked great, but what elevates this ensemble to level of all-time great scholastic a cappella franchises is their willingness to both take chances and make real statements, not only musically, but with a social conscience." 

Faculty Directory:

  • 510-873-8800 x8411
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 510-873-8800 x8512
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 510-873-8800 x8407
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 510-873-8800 X8516
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 510-873-8827
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Vocal Rush is a two-time national champion a cappella ensemble based out of Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) and comprised of singers ages 15-18. Combining passion, talent and dedication, along with the vision of director/founder Lisa Forkish, Vocal Rush has become one of the most respected high school a cappella groups in the U.S. since their inception in March, 2011. Before joining the renowned School of Vocal Music faculty at OSA, led by chair/founder Cava Menzies, Forkish was music director for the University of Oregon's award-winning a cappella group Divisi, featured in Mickey Rapkin's book "Pitch Perfect" that was later made into a box-office smash film. Vocal Rush has received numerous accolades, including national championship titles in 2012 and 2013, a first place win at the L.A. A Cappella Festival, and most recently, a spot on NBC's hit a cappella competition show, "The Sing-Off." Past members of Vocal Rush have performed for President Obama as well as OSA founder, California Governor Jerry Brown. In 2012, the group released a four-song EP titled "The Beginning" that was nominated for three CARA awards, including Best High School Album. The ensemble has the soulful stage presence and urban swag that not only reflects all that is unique to OSA, but also sets them apart in the a cappella scene. Vocal Rush brings to life the heart and soul of Oakland School for the Arts, putting their all into every performance. See these young singers in action at http://
VR KeyartFor booking and media inquiries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 510-873-8820.

Press Page

Download Vocal Rush's EP


ICHSA 2013:

LA A Cappella Festival 2013:


Quotes & Accolades:

"IN A WORLD where evidence was compelling to policy makers, Oakland School For The Arts' (a public school) "Vocal Rush," our youngest group on this year's Sing Off, would be Exhibit A, illustrating that arts in education produces well-rounded, focused, intelligent, well-spoken and happy students. The kind of students who are productive, but more importantly, innovative members of society. The data has shown us that test scores improved profoundly when academic classes are peppered with music classes. Students, like the young people of "Vocal Rush," breathe life into those stats. These kids are bad asses. I hope my generation is paying attention for the next two weeks to Sing Off, and not just to "Vocal Rush," but to all this season’s groups and what this form of music means in this era."
Ben Folds, Sing Off Judge & A Cappella Artist

"{Vocal Rush} is the United Colors of Beautiful."
Jewel, Sing-Off Judge & Singer

"Vocal Rush – As the youngest and most "Glee"-like team of the season, these Oakland high-schoolers could've been easily outclassed by the older groups, or intimidated by the seasoned judging panel. They weren't. Singing Delta Rae's "Bottom of the River," this sassy, mostly girl-powered crew brought swag to the stage and sounded polished and professional. And that gumboot-stepping/Stomp thing they did towards the end really kicked up the energy in the room. Ben loved their laser-like focus. Shawn was impressed by their maturity and by how lead singer Jordan, a real little star in the making, "sold the song." Jewel told them, "I can tell you listen to some really great singers. That track reminded me of Nina Simone's 'Sinnerman'; it had that sort of righteous anger." What a great start to the season this performance was."
Lindsay Parker, Yahoo TV blogger

"Vocal Rush is reminding the world that impressive scholastic a cappella extends beyond the Vocal Rush slide14collegiate realm, and they’re doing so in the funkiest way possible." - A Cappella Records


"I just got a copy of your version of 'Let Us Be Loving' -- it is ace!!! Wow!" - Alice Russell (soul singer/songwriter/recording artist)

"These kids better SING!" - Avi Kaplan (Pentatonix)

"The monstrously talented OSA Vocal Rush!' -- Delta Rae (roots/rock band, VH1 featured artist)

"Really cool distinctive, high attitude sound, with a lot of swagger to it." -- A Cappella Blog

"Literally the most talented group of high schoolers I've ever met. Wow." - Scott Hoying (Pentatonix)

"You're not killing the game, you're rewriting the book!" - Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing-Off)


OSA50px:  http://www.oakarts.org




fb: www.facebook.com/osavocalrush

Twitter logo 50: www.twitter.com/osavocalrush

YouTube-icon-full color: www.youtube.com/osavocalrush

Instagram Icon 50: www.instagram.com/osavocalrush