SINGAPORE - When renowned Danish a cappella singer Tine Fris touches down in Singapore next week, she will head straight to the studio to start training local singers intensively.
There is no time to waste. She is performing with a cappella group Urban Harmony and The A Cappella Society Singers on May 24, after only a week of workshops and rehearsals.
"I am wicked excited about meeting Urban Harmony and sharing the Scandinavian sound," says Fris, 30, a member of acclaimed Danish groups Vocal Line and Postyr Project.
Postyr Project, for instance, have shaken up the traditional sound of a cappella by adding electronic music to their songs.
The setlist for the concert, called Vocal Edge With Tine Fris, currently has 19 songs, including both group numbers and solos for Fris. She says: "Performing in Singapore is a dream come true. I get to know people and see the city before making music together onstage. I hope to bring home inspiration from the Singapore scene."
Vocal Edge, an annual production presented by The A Cappella Society, began in 2012.
This year's Vocal Edge will introduce a technique taught by Fris - The Complete Vocal Technique, which is a scientifically researched system of singing developed in the 1980s by Danish singer Cathrine Sadolin.
The technique is characterised by the understanding of the anatomy and physiology behind the human voice, and the possible ways it can be used.
It is the first time Vocal Edge is featuring an artist from Denmark. The society has previously invited artists from Britain and the United States to direct the concerts.
Fris will coach the six Urban Harmony members in this technique, using her expertise and 10 years of learning experience. The members will each have one-on-one time with Fris, who will challenge them to explore and improve their own voice, before coming together in accord.
Urban Harmony's leader Angelina Choo says she wanted to work with Fris so that the group can learn new methods to apply in their own training.
Her six-member group is formed mostly of vocal and choral trainers, and she says the chance to exchange knowledge is valuable. "Tine focuses on developing singing skills as an individual," says Choo, 39, who is also founder of The A Cappella Society and hopes to introduce Tine's methods as a training programme.
"I'm looking forward to seeing where we can go with it."
The A Cappella Society was formed in 2002 for a cappella education and as a network for singers and groups. Currently, it has three training groups and two performance teams.
The non-profit society caters to people of all ages who have an interest in singing, providing vocal music programmes to the masses. It holds a cappella events such as the Vocal Edge concert with Urban Harmony.
The society's "open-door policy", adds Choo, means anyone is welcome to sing with it.
"Appreciation for a cappella has grown, especially with pop cultural influences such as the movie Pitch Perfect and Pentatonix from YouTube," she says.
It will present a concert next month for Whim 'N Rhythm, an acclaimed all-female a cappella group from Yale University. Choo says: "The purpose is to experience different performing styles from different countries. Ultimately, the process is most important."
Meanwhile, Vocal Edge's performers are looking forward to the show. Ms Yee Peixiu, 23, a student of composition at Lasalle College of the Arts who is performing in a Vocal Edge concert for the first time, says: "I hope to discover my own voice with Tine."
VOCAL EDGE WITH TINE FRIS
Where: 03-03, Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street
When: May 24, 3.30 and 7.30pm
Info: Go to www.a-cappella.org.sg
WHIM 'N RHYTHM WORLD TOUR 2014
Where: Aliwal Arts Centre
When: June 13, 7.30pm
This article was published on May 9 in The Straits Times.
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