Contest for Vocal Ensembles 2021

Known for its exciting atmosphere and its high level of quality, the Contest for Vocal Ensembles features vocal ensembles from Finland and abroad.

This year’s contest will be held entirely online. The finalists’ performance videos will be published on 7 June, and the audience vote will begin at the same time. An hour-long compilation of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles will be streamed on Thursday 10 June. The results will be published in a live stream on Saturday 12 June.

The total prize pool is EUR 11,500. The jury will also award the Grand Prix trophy to the best ensemble in the Contest.

Four ensembles have cancelled their participation after the announcement of the finalists in March 2021.

The 2021 Contest is jointly organised with the Finnish Amateur Musicians’ Association (Sulasol), the Swedish Song and Music Association of Finland (FSSMF) and the Finnish Church Music Association. The headline sponsor for the Contest is the Kalle Kaihari Cultural Foundation.

Runtime 58 minutes

Audience vote 7 – 11 June 2021

This year, the audience vote will be held online on Facebook and Instagram. You can vote for your favourite on the Tampere Vocal Music Festival page on Facebook or Instagram (@tamperevocal) by liking the photo of your favourite ensemble. If you are unable to vote via social media, you can participate using the GoogleForms form provided (click here to vote). Select your favourite on the form and click Send.

The ensemble that has received the most votes in all channels combined will be rewarded with a 90-minute private masterclass given by a jury member of their choice.

© Ali Göktürk

A Capella Boğaziçi (Turkey)

Canan Özgür (s), Cansın Hazan Bayrak (a), Recep Gül (t/bar), Fehmi Cesur Özdemir (t/bar/beatbox), Ali Göktürk (b)

A Capella Boğaziçi return to Tampere after having been in the final round of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles in 2019. Established in 2002, they have become a pioneer in a cappella music in Turkey. Recordings, festival performances and collaborations with prominent Turkish and international artists have increased the ensemble’s popularity. They have also established a major presence on social media, having gained more than 30 million views for their performance in the series ‘Turkish Popular Music History’.

Contest Videos

Lamma Bada
Trad. Andalusia, sov. Recep Gül

Ayde Vino Piyam
Trad. Makedonia, sov. Recep Gül

Sarı Gelin
Trad. Lähi-itä, sov. Recep Gül

© Josefin Stacy

AORA (Sweden)

Elin Oskarsson (s), Linnéa Seldinger (mz), Sofie Eiderfors (a), Gabriel Sjöwall (t), Marcus Svärd (bar/vokaaliperkussio), Jonas Törnqvist (b)

The members of this five-year-old ensemble are university students and recent graduates who have extensive backgrounds in classical and folk music, pop and soul. They make use of this richness of experience in their performances. They write their arrangements themselves, taking listeners on a journey through sensitive landscapes, emotional harmonies and rapid dance rhythms. The ensemble won 2nd prize at the Leipzig A Cappella competition in 2019.

Contest Videos

Trad. Sweden, arr. Linnéa Seldinger

Tres Hermanicas Eran
Trad. Sephardic, arr. Marcus Svärd , harmony Avishai Cohen

music and words Sofie Eiderfors

© Pietari Vuola

Femma Fatale (Finland)

Hilla Pyötsiä (s), Sini Tikka (mz), Ellie Oijala (a), Lassi Övermark (bar/vokaaliperkussio), Pietari Vuola (b)

Femma Fatale are a warm-hearted, enthusiastic a cappella group formed by five friends. They originally met in a student theatre and decided to form a vocal ensemble in spring 2019. Most of their arrangements are medleys of recent, well-known pieces of popular music. Femma Fatale take engagement and entertainment to the max.

Contest Videos

music and words Bruno Mars ‒ Philip Lawrence ‒ Christopher Brody Brown ‒ James Fauntleroy ‒ Jonathan Yip ‒ Ray Romulus ‒ Jeremy Reeves ‒ Ray McCullough II ‒ Belcalis Almanzar ‒ Klenord Raphael, arr. Pietari Vuola

God is a woman
music and words Ariana Grande ‒ Ilya Salmanzadeh ‒ Max Martin ‒ SavanKotecha ‒ Rickard Göransson, arr. Hilla Pyötsiä ‒ Pietari Vuola

Part of Your World
comp. Alan Menken, lyr. Howard Ashman, arr. Pietari Vuola

© Daniel Wetzel

Gretchens Antwort (Germany)

Steffi Klein (s), Jessica Jorgas (mz), Liza John (mz), Anne Stabler (a)

The mission of the ensemble is to address the key issues of life with the power of song and with a woman’s instinct. Born out of a project created by friends, the ensemble has progressed through study and competitions to comprehensive concert programming, to music theatre and to domestic tours. Performing at the centenary celebrations of women’s suffrage in Germany in 2018 was a major milestone. The group have also collaborated with jazz and swing musicians in Berlin.

Contest Videos

Huch, hab’s wieder getan
music and words Max Martin ‒ Rami Yacoub, arr. Martin Kirchhübel

music and words Sting, arr. Martin Kirchhübel

Lady Marmalade
music and words Bob Crewe ‒ Kenny Nolan, arr. Friedemann Petter

© Isabelle Banco

Les Itinérantes (France)

Pauline Langlois De Swarte, Manon Cousin, Elodie Pont

The members of Les Itinérantes met while studying music theatre, having various backgrounds in early music, jazz and world music. The resulting merger of styles led to the ensemble’s repertoire now encompassing eleven musical styles, nine centuries and 19 languages. In keeping with their name, they travel from one time and place to another, creating images, stories and feelings with their voices.

Contest Videos (Will be published on 7th June)

Clair de Lune
comp. Gabriel Fauré, lyr. Paul Verlaine, arr. Pauline Langlois deSwarte

Sous la Glace
music and words Elodie Pont

Mama Compla
music and words Manon Cousin

© Vincent Schmucker

StimmGold Vokalensemble (Germany)

Helene Grabitzky (s), Christina Müller (mez), Marlene Kraft (a), Christoph Schäfer (t), Marlo Honselmann (bar), Jakob Steiner (b)

StimmGold was founded by students of church music and music education in 2014. These classically trained, experienced singers are equally at home with German Romanticism and premieres of contemporary works. Indeed, the ensemble has held a composition competition in multiple years, focusing on a variety of themes. This year, they are releasing a new album containing music by Hassler and Schütz along with a new commissioned piece and prize-winning works from their earlier composition competitions.

Contest Videos

comp. and text Gerson Batista

Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben (SWV 391)
comp. Heinrich Schütz, text Bible, Revelation 14:13

Bleibe, Abend will es werden (op. 36 Nr. 2)
comp. Albert Becker, text Franz Alfred Muth

© Aviad Fuchs

Total Vocal (Israel)

Omer Hallel (s), Bar Cohen (s), Michal Nissimov (a), Maayan Zitman (a), Hillel Yuval (t), Ohad Ashkenazi (bar), Itai Lahav (b), Yuval Bilgorai (b-box)

Led by Kineret Erez, Total Vocal consists of graduates of the distinguished Rimon School of Music in Israel. The ensemble performs at various festivals and cultural events and collaborates with local musicians and singers. Their diverse repertoire is rooted in a variety of musical styles, spiced with a fresh and modern twist. Total Vocal brings an endless groove to the stage.

Contest Videos

Jason’s Song
music and words Jason Robert Brown ‒ Ariana Grande, arr. Ronen Boxer

Ahava Hadasha
music and words Avishai Cohen, arr. Eli Benacot

Achshav Hakol Beseder
comp. Yehudit Ravitz, lyr. Yakov Gilad, arr. Amir Lekner

© Ilhui López Martínez

Vox Populi Project (Mexico)

Luis Ramón Barragán Díaz, Jonathan Uriel Martínez Palestino, Ana María Alatorre Carrasco, Daniel Alfonso Marin, Juan Jesús Guzmán Godínez, Emma Coyolicatzin, Hernández Solórzano, Samantha Lizeth Beltrán Martínez

Vox Populi Project from Mexico are not afraid to cross boundaries or to push the envelope of the human voice. Under the artistic leadership of Julio Morales, the ensemble cultivates a unique sound in a combination of pop, jazz and Mexican music. The ensemble has performed and competed widely in its home country and has also toured South America, the USA and several European countries. They are currently working on a new single and EP.

Contest Videos

Sin Embargo
music and words Julio Morales

music and words Julio Morales

El Navegante
comp. Enrique Segarra, lyr. Leonardo Amador, arr. Julio Morales

© Nadja Hallström

Åkervinda (Sweden)

Agnes Åhlund, Lise Kroner, Linda Bergström, Iris Bergcrantz

The four members of Åkervinda are jazz singers to the core but are also linked by a love of folk music. They give new life to Scandinavian folk tunes with original, modern interpretations. Like innumerable storytellers and performers before them, Åkervinda tell stories of women through the ages in their visually augmented performances. They attracted wider public attention with their appearance at the Aarhus Festival in 2015, after which they have toured extensively in Europe and also in Canada and the USA.

Contest Videos

En midsommarafton
Trad. Sweden, arr. Åkervinda

Vispolska efter Höök-Olle
Trad. Sweden, arr. Åkervinda

Ack ack
Trad. Sweden, arr. Åkervinda