Singing competition to focus on Samoan music


Following the success of the popular “Le Leo o Amerika Samoa” singing competition that ended last month, the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs (DYWA) recently applied for and received a grant of $5,000 to host another singing competition.
This time, it won’t be individual competitors but instead, groups of 2-6 performers who will be schooled on how to write, compose, and perform original Samoan songs using only traditional instruments like the ukulele, pake (wooden drum), or fala (mat).
DYWA Deputy Director Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr. told the Samoa News over a telephone interview on Friday that one of the conditions for the competition, is that the program had to be under the direction of a local music scholar.
So they consulted with local musician Pulefaasisina Tuiasosopo, who has since agreed to take on the task of overseeing the program, which will include workshops conducted by Pulefaasisina to educate interested groups on the origin and history of Samoan music, how Samoan music was composed, and what they mean.
According to Tapumanaia, a registration fee is required for groups interested in entering the competition but an exact dollar amount is yet to be confirmed. Also, the Fatuga Samoa program will be similar to the “Le Leo o Amerika Samoa” singing competition, as far as having judges critique the performances. However, it is unclear whether or not the text voting method will be used to determine the winning act.
(The text voting method was criticized by many during the recent “Le Leo o Amerika Samoa” program, as a number of people believed that the winners should have been determined by sheer talent, and not based on popularity and the number of votes a person gets.)
The competing acts in the Fatuga Samoa competition will be challenged with composing, writing and performing original Samoan songs either acapella or with the use of a regular guitar, ukulele, pake, or fala. No electric instruments will be allowed.
The competition will be aired live just like “Le Leo o Amerika Samoa,” so there will be a live studio audience as well as spectators tuning in from home.
Auditions will begin towards the end of July, and the program is set to kick off in August, after the conclusion of Youth Month which will be celebrated next month in the territory.
More information on how to register for the Fatuga Samoa singing competition can be obtained by calling Tapumanaia directly at 633-2835.


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