Playing acoustic guitar, college students showed their talent in performing beautiful songs and tugging at heartstrings in the Finals of the 7th Golden String Acoustic Guitar Competition held by the Soochow University Guitar Club at Chuang Xian Hall on May 17. Student contestants from colleges throughout Taiwan competed at this annual event for top honors.
The Golden String Acoustic Guitar Competition has the following four categories: solo vocal and solo guitar, musical band, songwriting, and fingerstyle performance. This year, a total of 77 groups signed up, with only five groups in each category qualifying for the Finals.
In the category of fingerstyle guitar, Shao-En Lo from National Taiwan University won the first prize for his playing of Kotaro Oshio’s “Red Shoes Dance”. He gave an assured performance that revealed the light rhythm of the music. Moreover, Lo and his partner Hung-Lin An performed Lykke Li’s “I Follow the River,” in which An’s resonant voice coupled with Lo’s outstanding guitar skills astonished the audience. They carried off the championship in the category of solo vocal and solo guitar.
The first prize in the category of musical band went to four male students, Chieh-Hsiang Lin, Chen-Yu Chang, Ting-An Lin, Yi-Lun Huang who performed a nice cover version of the Korean pop song “TT” by the girls’ group Twice. In addition to solo vocal and guitar, they added bass and cajon to rearrange this song in a rock style, winning the hearts of the judges and audience.
In the category of songwriting, the first prize went to Yi-Chao Zeng from Tainan University of Technology, sang his song “Children of Trees” accompanying himself on the guitar and the harmonica. He said this song was inspired by the aborigines in Taiwan in the hope that it arouses interest among the general public in social issues concerning the aboriginal population.
This year the organizer invited three well-known music producers, Yun-Chang Tung, Kun-Chi Tsai, and Cheng-Hu Chung, to serve as the judges. “It’s hard to rank these contestants, since each of them gave an outstanding performance and so the score was close” said Tung. Chung added that contestants’ performances were better than before and he suggested that they should not lose heart over the results of the competition; but keep creating instead.
The final of the 7th Golden String Acoustic Guitar Competition concluded successfully with audience’s enjoyment and applause. It was a great opportunity for students to play music and realize their dreams on stage and also for the audience to experience beautiful music.
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