A cappella is a vocal art form that celebrates the human voice. Without instrumental accompaniment, the performance can be versatile and full of surprises.
This week, Daning Theater is hosting the 2014 A Cappella Summer Camp as well as the 4th National A Cappella Competition. Seventeen teams and 30 individuals from around China are joining this year.
The camp also hosted master classes by leading a cappella artists as well as a forum on Wednesday. The competition will take place tomorrow at 3pm.
“In addition to the classes, we invited elite mentors and groups that also provide the opportunity for the participants to really see how to be a performer. The focus on stage is not just the voice, but how to communicate with the audiences,” says Chen Wuming, Vocal Asia’s executive officer.
Vocal Asia, which co-hosts the camp, was established in 2010 with the mission to unite a cappella musicians in Asia and share the music with the world.
Contemporary a cappella is something people can have lots of enjoyment without too many technical barriers. Anyone from anywhere can get together and sing, and thus it’s also an international phenomenon, common to all cultures.
Originated in Italy, a cappella has been used in both secular and sacred music since medieval times. Modern groups not only focus on harmonizing, but sometimes also use their voices to emulate instruments. The repertoire ranges from classic compositions to popular songs, even rock music.
A cappella is also a popular activity among students and young people. Many universities in China have student a cappella groups who perform in concerts, music festivals and galas.
The one-week summer camp will end with a live performance by Danish vocal pop group Basix at Daning Theater on Sunday. The group’s six vocalists are also acting as mentors for camp participants.
They will be singing “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Purple Rain,” “Englishman in New York” and more.
The group started their career after performing in the Danish pre-competition for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 and released their debut album “The Grass” the same year. It immediately broke into the Danish charts, becoming a top 10 hit in Denmark and earning them a platinum album.
Their repertoire ranges through pop, jazz, soul, R&B and rock, and the group has toured all over the world. They have won a total of five Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) including best European album and best holiday album.