2013 An A Cappella community review

Origin From: vocalbox fan page
Author: Caca
Date: 2014-01-05

2013 was a good year for the contemporary a cappella community. Throughout this article, I will try my best recap many events. Feel free to contributes in the comments if I left out something by accident.

Thinking back, in February 2012, there was a viral meme called “Harlem Shake” on the net. It went viral because one could easily find thousands of video responses, video and a cappella cover on YouTube and various social media. That was the 2013 kick off.
Globally, “The Contemporary A Cappella Society of Hong Kong and Macau (CASHM)” continuously hosts a cappella workshops on home turf. Same month, a new American YouTube channel “Inside A Cappella” was created to inform the world-wide a cappella enthusiasts current contemporary a cappella news and events. “The Sing-Off China” announced their crown in February - Band Freeman, who will be performing live at Los Angeles A Cappella Festival.  Last but not least, “The National A Cappella Spirits” competition in Japan also declared their winner, Voice vocal band.

Exciting news in March, NBC America announced the returning of “The Sing-Off Season 4!” On the other side of the world, “The Hong Kong International a cappella Festival 2013” took place through March and April. Many popular contemporary a cappella groups, MayTree, Out of the Blue, The Exchange, and The House Jacks took part in the festival as guess performers.
Just across the Taiwan Strait, “The Taiwan Choral Music Center (TCMC)” announced a series of a cappella events starting April, events such as “Super Vocal Carnival” and “Gala Concert.” Guest performers Ommm, The Exchange, and MICappella all took turns singing from the north end to the south.

April was the start of “Boston Sings (aka BOSS).” During that event, hosts unveiled “The Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs).” Two of the Taiwanese vocal bands came out splendid: Winning ‘The Best Asian Album’ was Voco Novo vocal band. Their original arrangement scored second place in ‘The Best World Music’; Winning ‘The Best Jazz Album’ and a runner up in ‘The Best Asian Album’ was O-kai Singers. This was a milestone in Taiwanese Contemporary A Cappella industry. Rapping up the month was the annual Beijing/Shanghai Strawberry Music Festival invited MICappella, The House Jacks, O-kai Singers, Vox, E.X.I.T.
Despite all positive events, The Taiwanese A Cappella group Natural Q announced a hiatus.

Immediately after the Strawberry Music Festival, The House Jacks toured in Taiwan. (They had also offered workshops to various Taiwanese a cappella groups.) On the same note, The RPT Film Studio released their graduation project video ‘Voice This Way.” This video was a collaboration of many Contemporary Taiwanese A Cappella groups. In regards to new a cappella news sites, one should definitely visit “A for acappella” fan page on Facebook for current events.
Ending this month with on a high note, the Taiwanese vocal group Sure was nominated for 4 divisions in “The Golden Melody Classic” awards. With their album ‘Nandao Vali’, Sure took home both the ‘best cover design award.’ (Huizhen, Huang and Siwei Zheng.) and the ‘best singing award.’ Last but not least, with album ‘O-kai A Cappella’, O-kai Singers were titled the ‘top 10 album of 2012’ by “The Taiwanese Musician Association;” that same album was nominated in 5 divisions of “Popular Golden Melody Award.” In the end, O-kai Singers won ‘the best aboriginal album,’ ‘the best singing group,’ and ‘the judges’ choice.’

Starting June, an a cappella all-star concert started in Anhe 65, Taipei. The concert will run from the date till December. At the end of June, “Koushyuu A Cappella Summit” took place in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. President Chen of Vocal Asia and the Set Tone Men vocal band were guests of that event.

A cappella was ever so lively in Hong Kong and Macao since the establishment of “Hong Kong and Macao University A Cappella Association” in July. Reports said that Hong Kong a cappella team Lasagna scored first place in the “A Cappella Championships” in Singapore. Across the ocean, three vocal bands (New Vorld, Gongsheng, and Wings Vocal Band) were neck to neck in their performance during the “3rd Shanghai A Cappella Festival.” In Taiwan, Sure sang abroad and won a bronze medal from “The International A Cappella Competition” in Graz.
“The Taipei International Choral Festival (TICF)” invited a Belgium a cappella band Witloof Bay to perform in Taiwan. After being in that concert, I could testify that they are formidable.  My favorite band Sonos renamed their name to ARORA and released their new album ‘Bioluminescence’ at the end of July.

In August, Instructor Jo Jo Pang established an a cappella institute in Hong Kong. In Korea, many a cappella bands collaborated with popular singers (E.X.I.T & Secret, D.I.A & A Pink, MayTree & Sistar) on MBC. Movie clips were popular and remained the top search online for months to follow. In Taiwan, a cappella groups collaborated and released their first album ‘Voices of Asia.’ At the same time, “Vocal Asia Festival” took place in Taoyuan. Organizer invited the Finnish group Rajaton to perform at the new stage in Taipei. However, due to bad weather, their show was canceled. I had a great time seeing them perform in Taoyuan.

The Hong Kong Yat Po Singers had been offering workshops since 2013. They introduced a new unplugged theatre ‘Sing Sang Sung’ in September that focuses on original productions. Shedding light on Taiwan, Ever since the close down of ‘Taipei Mono (an open club for a cappella music),’ ‘Let’s A Cappella’ became the new hangout place for the cool kids.

In October, a selected few a cappella bands such as O-kai Singers, Vox, Semiscon Vocal Band, performed at “The National Theatre Concert Hall.” The latter group also sang at different pubs in Taipei. “The Hong Kong and Macao University A Cappella Association” held their “University A Cappella competition” in Hong Kong. In the end the Hong Kong a cappella band Mosaic won first place.
Wrapping up October was the annual “Taiwan International Contemporary A Cappella Festival.” Winning the 2013 national top 3 were Safak, The Pure, and Popphone Singers. Guest performers for the festival were from Denmark, Postyr Project and Basix.

MICappella, for the first in the “SoJam A Cappella Festival” history, was invited to perform in Raleigh, NC in November. In the same month, “The Hong Kong International University A Cappella Competition” was also worth mentioning. After a good sing-off, the Japanese band ZooSeum won the first price; the Taiwanese band Pure won a gold medal.
In December, The NBC Sing-Off was on its finale. It was without a doubt, the channel of many households through the cold winter days. As for Taiwan, Hanguang Vocal Band held their first admission concert. The other band, Vox released their first album ‘Chocolate’ around mid-December. Voco Novo managed to perform in a gig or two before a few members come back from their hiatus. On new year’s eve, O-kai Singers performed in Taitung County; Voco Novo performed in Senlin Village, Ali Mountain, Jiayi; Seagull-K Vocal Band performed at National Tsing Hua University for the fifth time.

And that’s it for the 2013 recap. There were some bands that went on a hiatus and others that strived to look for performing opportunities. Nevertheless, we look forward to a fantastic 2014.



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