Sounds like teen spirit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 August, 2010, 12:00am

Five aspiring solo musicians and one band rocked Cyberport last weekend. But when Summer Music Festival 2010 officially wrapped up its inaugural show on Sunday, only one of these acts walked away with the grand prize.

Organised by Music in You Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to uniting people through the universal language of music, the festival consisted of seven days of events.

'The festival allows us to spread the idea of 'music in you',' says Horace Mui, festival producer and co-founder of Music in You Foundation.

'It's about your musical side and your appreciation of music.'

The festival featured live performances by Canto-pop artists such as G.E.M - who was also a festival ambassador - Kolor and Dear Jane. Organisers also ran a competition called the 'Stage of Dreams', where contestants showcased their musical talent for a rare chance to take part in a music video shoot for the Disney Channel.

'It's not a competition per se,' says production director and Music in You co-founder Colleen Yu-Fung. 'It's more about giving them a platform, a chance to [have] more opportunities and perform in front of an audience.'

Anyone under the age of 25 was eligible to take part. Applicants - group or solo, in any genre of music - had to submit an audition video of them performing. The most promising applicants were invited to perform at the festival. Seven awards were handed out in three categories: talent, won by Tina Yip, Tunes Ting and Rachel Ho; creativity, won by Vincy Chan and Arun Govada; and popularity, won by Jackson Chan and the band Awaken.

The seven winners were invited back for the finale (Rachel was unable to attend) and a chance to win the grand prize: a trip to Taiwan to shoot a music video for the Mandarin version of It's On, the theme song for the upcoming TV film Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, with hip hop group Da Mouth.

'We want people to express themselves,' says Mui, a trained vocal coach. 'The goal shouldn't only be to win. Music is not about 'if you can hit this high note you're a winner'. It's more than that.'

In the end, Awaken took home top honours with their rendition of Jon Bon Jovi's It's my Life. Awaken's members are Jonathan Luk (vocals), Ernest Choi (vocals), Benjamin Wong (guitars), Nicholas Szeto (bass) and Peter Ng (drums).

Musically, the band is less polished than some of the other performers. But their performance displayed the true rock 'n' roll spirit. The band energised the crowd in a way beyond their years, experience and expectations.

'This is actually our first public performance ... we never expected any awards,' says lead vocalist Ernest. The future of the band, however, is unsure. Benjamin will be leaving for Canada next month. Band members say they are looking forward to him coming back and jamming with them again.

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam will air October 10 on Disney Channel