German Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Gordon Kricke and his wife Madame Anke Mackrodt Kricke hosted a concert for the German a capella group Vocaldente on March 16 at his residence at Forbes Park, Makati City.
Formed in 2004, the five-member all-male singing band disembarked from the cruise ship where they regularly sing that docked in Manila on March 15.
The embassy’s First Secretary for Culture Thorsten Gottfried, who personally knew the group in Germany, made the arrangement and invited friends from the diplomatic corps, government, academe and media for a night of beautiful music sans instruments.
Considered Germany’s most successful a cappella export, Vocaldente primarily emerged from the Hannover Boys Choir. Like most groups, members have come and gone over time. This quintet of Benjamin Boresch, Tobias Kiel, Jakob Buch, Alexander Nolte and Tobias Pasternack, though, had been successfully intact for two-and-a-half years.
With a repertoire of popular songs covering contemporary and modern music from the past 100 years, their take of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” was one of the most applauded numbers.
“We also try to incorporate popular songs from the countries we visit, like we have an Indian song and just added a Turkish song,” Boresch, who joined the group in 2014, told The Manila Times after their performance, adding that it is also possible to add a Filipino song or two in their repertoire.
Overjoyed by the response of the audience, original and founding member Kiel said they’d be happy to come back to Manila repeatedly upon the invitation of the German embassy.
The group won several awards in international a cappella singing competitions, notably First Prize in the 2007 Tampereen Savel in Finland; First Prize in the 2008 Harmony Sweepstakes A Capella Festival in San Francisco, California, USA; and First Prize in the 2008 Taiwan International Contemporary A Capella Competition.
All songs are arranged by the members themselves, putting great emphasis on singing acoustically without technical aids except microphones.
Four members of the nine-member a capella group Pinopela also performed to the delight of the audience, strengthening the reputation of Filipinos’ musicality.
Dignitaries who came to enjoy the music and sumptuous authentic German food, beer and wine included former Philippine President Fidel Ramos, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, French Ambassador Thierry Mathou and Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng.