Saturday, September 18, 2004

Acapella

The nostalgic sounds of ex-chorale members crooning in the aftermath of Ben & Mel's wedding got me wondering about the acapella scene in Singapore. Never one to pay for the experience of a live acapella group, especially when there used to be too much of a good thing in the class, canteen, and at the bus-stop, I decided to track a few local groups down...

Agapella


Akatones
The group has a nifty webpage, accepts song requests, but remains rock solid in music integrity - ie. NO BOY BANDS, NO GIRL BANDS AND DEFINITELY, NO BRITNEY SPEARS! With a love for the music of rock and pop, the group leaves its signature on familiar hits, as well as obscure gems of songs, with its original arrangements in an 80's style, the era its eight members grew up in.

bcoz

Budak Pantai
A "professional" and established quintet, the eccentric members of Budak Pantai, that time in this year with a median age of 34, trade in business attire and etiquette, to entertain those in the know, at the Blue Moo café on the first Friday of each month. Originally formed for a Rollin' Good Times Beach Boys Look-and-Sound-Alike contest in 1994 (thus the unusual name), these believers of the freedom to express "butcher" (sic) almost every song they arrange, with a big dollop of budak humor. The fact that they do not perform to musical scores means you may not hear a song sung in the same way the next time they perform it!

Dischordant


Es' Choir

Girls of Grace
Women of faith looking to spread the joy of music and the love of God through one of the most precious gifts bestowed - the beauty of voice.

Hose Reel

In A Chord

Impromptu

JUZ B


KEVII Acapella
The King Edward VII Acapella Group from the National University of Singapore was set up in 2001 by a group of friends who loved to sing. Since then, it has grown both in size and experience, and has become an established hall activity with more than 20 members.

Key Elements
Key Elements was formed in early 2001. The group comprises key elements of 3 well-known and established a cappella groups in Singapore: Ho Kah Keh from Budak Pantai, Jason Ong and Chua Kim Beng from In A Chord, Benedict Goh from Impromptu, June Wong from Vox Ensemble, and Chua Hui Lian from bcoz and Original Mix. Concentrating on their special brand of eclectic jazz music, Key Elements also intends to make a difference by not being solely a solely a cappella group. In an effort to develop each voice as a soloist, their repertoire spans from jazz to contemporary pop, meeting the interests of the singers as well as the audience.


KR Aca
A group of vocal musicians from NUS Kent Ridge Hall.

Le Ragazzi
An all-male group of 5 guys. They started singing in secondary school and continued to JC as members of the VS and VJC choir. They have done a number of low-scale performances. They love acapella singing and would like to spread a capella to those who haven't heard it.

Nanu
Formed in December 1999, Singapore's all-female vocal band, Nanu has since brought its music to the distant shores of Indonesia and America. The group has already recorded tracks on 2 local a cappella albums and is releasing an EP of its own soon.

NGAM
This group was only three months old, when it wowed the audience with a stunning display of vocal pyrotechnics and soulful singing on its way to winning the best new group award at the 2001 Harmony Awards. Made up of a group of fun-loving friends who share a passion for singing, the members of Ngam were students at that breeding ground of talent known as Victoria Junior College.

Original Mix
Original Mix was formed at the beginning of 2004. Most of the members are in their early 20s nad have an enthusiasm for a cappella singing. Not content to just stick to the conventional arrangements of well-known favorites, they prefer to give renditions, which they like to call "bastardized", giving a fresh, youthful feel to the music with their wry sense of humor.

Popcorn

Resonance
Resonance was first formed in 2000 by members of CACS Voices who were interested in trying their hand at a cappella music is primarily a club for a cappella music enthusiasts in NUS. It hopes to promote interest and knowledge of a cappella music amongst members of the collegiate community, while giving its members a chance to experience stage performances first hand. The club's repertoire is extremely varied, consisting of doo-wop, pop, swing, rock, jazz, and a cappella standards to introduce the rudiments of a cappella singing to new members. This eclectic mix even includes Chinese and Korean pop, as well as techno music.

SWAT
SWAT, an all-male group made up of 5 members, aged 14 to 16. SWAT sang its first note in September 2003 when these 5 guys from 5 different secondary schools came together to form an acappella group. SWAT's current repertoire consists of pop, jazz, classical and rock pieces.

The Notations
The Notations is a fulltime sextet that performs actively in the Urban Harmony School Tour programme. Since it's formation in November of 2002, the group has performed for audiences around Singapore as well as in Taiwan. The group sings a lot of R&B numbers as well as pop, light jazz and music from the Rock & Roll era!


Tic Tac Tone
Tic Tac Tone's repertoire ranges from contemporary pop, R&B, jazz, hiphop to classic evergreens. Formed in June 2000, the group came in 2nd in the nation-wide Sing Singapore Competition and was awarded BEST Mixed A Cappella Group in the Harmony Awards 2001 and 2003.

Upbeat
UpBeat is an a cappella ensemble that was formed towards the end of 2002. Despite being a young group, the singers that make up UpBeat are extremely experienced performers. They have individually performed with many vocal ensembles and arts organisations in a wide range of musical genres that include choral, a cappella, musical theatre and western opera.

Vocaluptuous
5 men and a woman with voluptuous vocals provide the sound that is uniquely Vocaluptuous. A favorite with a cappella fans here with its upbeat contributions to the aka a cappella cds; Vocaluptuous has an eclectic repertoire of songs in the genres of funk and soul, with the odd sprinkle of pop and jazz. Among the first to incorporate vocal percussions in a big way, they continue to push the borders of a cappella, now integrating choreographed dance into their performances. Their biggest blend of these elements of music and dance came in their musical "We Don't Dance" in the year 2000.

Vox Ensemble

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