Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Asian a cappella acts aim to hit all the right notes

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's H202 promise to make some racy a capella music this weekend.


Fans of a cappella are in for a treat this weekend when the 2nd Asian A-Cappella Festival sings its way into town with performances at the National University of Kaohsiung tonight and at Taipei's Novel Hall on Sunday. This year's festival features performances by three professional a cappella combos from Taiwan and Singapore.

Leading the pack at this year's festival will be Singaporean a cappella sextet, Vocaluptuous. Formed in 1999, Vocaluptuous has been one of the most sought-after Southeast Asian a cappella acts and has wowed audiences both at home and throughout Asia with its versatility. The group packs its sets with a wide variety of tunes, ranging from upbeat pop-standards to Broadway tunes and from R&B classics to sultry reworkings of popular jazz numbers. For its inaugural Taipei shows, the group will be accompanied by Taiwan's very own human beat-box, Peter Huang.

Two very contrasting a cappella groups will be representing Taiwan this year. The five-piece Yo-Ho will be giving the festival a classical edge with its gospel sound and down-to-earth approach to a cappella. In stark contrast to Yo-Ho's more placid performance style, local a cappella sensation H2O2 will be giving audiences something to shout, or rather sing about with a couple sets that incorporate English and Mandarin contemporary rock and pop classics, as well a few Taiwanese a cappella numbers.

The festival also doubles as a competition, where undiscovered a cappella combos are given an opportunity to prove their mettle in front of a panel of judges from Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

University groups from across Asia will take to the stage tomorrow evening at 7:30pm at Taipei's National Chengchi University to participate in the festival's competition, which will feature performances by a dozen acts. The winners of the competition will get to perform at New York's Lincoln Center as part of the World A Cappella Competition next year. Admission to the competition is free.

Performance notes:

What: 2005 Asian A-Cappella Festival

Time & Location:

★ Tonight: National University of Kaohsiung, 700, University Rd., Kaohsiung (高雄市大學路700號).

★ Sunday: Novel Hall, 3-1, Songshou Rd, Taipei (台北市松壽路3-1號).

All performances begin at 7:30pm.

Admission: Tickets cost from NT$300 to NT$800 and can be purchased direct from the venues.

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