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A cappella Singing Contest Launched

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Inspired by the performances in the American TV show Glee, as well as in the 2012 American musical comedy movie Pitch Perfect, a new singing competition among a cappella performers was launched last week.

(Business World, 08/06/2013)

Inspired by the performances in the American TV show Glee, as well as in the 2012 American musical comedy movie Pitch Perfect, a new singing competition among a cappella performers was launched last week.

A cappella refers to a performance style in which means vocal music unaccompanied by instruments.

Called Akapela Open, the contest is open to all contemporary a cappella groups in the country with a minimum of three and a maximum of 12 members, aged 18 years old and up.

The contest, which is the first of its kind in the country, is spearheaded by the music school of veteran composer and musical director Ryan Cayabyab in cooperation with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Smart Foundation, and the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) Foundation.

"When I saw the a cappella performances in Glee and in Pitch Perfect, I said to myself, ‘Filipinos can do that, and we can do that better.’ So I decided to organize this competition to search for the best a cappella groups in the country," Mr. Cayabyab told reporters at a press conference last week.

Mr. Cayabyab said the groups may be all male, all female, or mixed for as long as they perform only a cappella arrangements pop, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, rock, folk and pop songs.

"Stage movements and choreography is encouraged. Original a cappella arrangements made specifically for the group are required," Mr. Cayabyab explained.

The first round of auditions shall be done through video performance auditions. Interested groups can fill up the application form, and upload their performance videos on the competition’s official website www.akapela.com

"The video should feature the group’s performance of one a cappella song with live, unenhanced sound. Video submissions will be accepted until Sept. 7," Mr. Cayabyab said.

He said a panel of judges will select from the video auditions those who will qualify for the live performance auditions on Oct. 5 and 6.

The groups that pass will then battle it out in a semi-finals competition on Oct. 12, before a final line-up of 12 groups is selected for the finals night to be held at the Meralco Theater on Oct. 30.

The grand champion will win P250,000 and a trophy, while the runners up will receive P150,000 and P100,000 respectively.

A special award for best a cappella arrangement of a Filipino song will receive P50,000.

"We hope Akapela Open will help promote the love for contemporary a cappella singing and the appreciation for vocal harmony performance, as well as help cultivate a community of contemporary a cappella singers," Mr. Cayabyab said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. -- which is a subsidiary of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, one of the contest’s sponsors -- has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.