The Association of Vocal Artists was formally established at a meeting on the sixth floor of Shih-chian Building at Ta-chih St. on November 22, 1992, with fifty voice teachers and singers attending. On the day of establishment, Professor Sheng, Shue-yong was elected as the first chairperson of AVA. By the year 1993, Professor Liu, Sai-yun continued Professor Sheng’s term as chairperson and in 1995 she was re-elected for a second term. Professor Hsi, Moo-Teh was elected as its third chairperson in 1999, and continued her second term since 2003.
Although AVA has been facing financial problems even up until now, thanks to the efforts of its chairpersons, throughout the past twelve years, AVA has given a great deal of performances and has, thus, become a significant model in Taiwan or even abroad, when it comes to the development of contemporary vocal arts in Taiwan.
At present, AVA has about 300 regualr members and 30 prepatory members. The former are generally professional vocalists and vocal teachers with BA, MA, or DMA degrees in the area, whereas the latter are university students majoring in vocal arts.
Composed of Taiwanese vocal artists both local and abroad, AVA aims its goal on perfecting the standard of vocal arts and vocal training in Taiwan, creating more opportunities for member singers to perform on stage, and promoting contemporary vocal compositions in Taiwan so as to enforce international integration.
The Scope of Our Program and Achievements
To develop and to promote operatic arts in Taiwan, AVA has been regularly devoting itself producing national tours of operatic highlights every year. The National Taiwan Symphonic Orchestra has also participated in some of the performances. The opera workshop held in 1995 by AVA had offered courses on acting, music interpretation, diction and body movements, etc. Three operas: “Sour Angelica”, “Mozart and Salieri” and “Gianni Schicchi” were, then, introduced to the Taiwan audience for the very first time. In 1998, under the commission of the Council for Cultural Affairs, Executive Yuan, AVA produced Mozart's opera “Die Zauberfloete” with five performances. Furthermore, in order to develop international cultural exchanges, members of AVA had participated in the Asian Opera Festival held in Korea and also the Asian Chinese Vocal Competition in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
As for art songs, AVA has produced a series of contemporary art song concerts sponsored by the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center, including “An Evening of Faure, Debussy and Ravel”, “An Evening of Berg, Webern and Hindemith” and “An Evening of Spanish Vocal Works”. In 1997, to celebrate Schubert's 200th birthday, two concerts featuring Schubert’s art songs were produced. In November 2000, AVA went on producing a concert called “An Evening of Contemporary American Art Songs”. Furthermore, by the year 2001, AVA produced the “2001 German Lieder Competition Taipei”, which attracted the attention of more than one hundred singers to participate.
Contemporary Vocal Music in Taiwan
In order to promote vocal music in Taiwan and to encourage contemporary Chinese vocal compositions, AVA produced a series of concerts featuring works by Chinese composers: Yuan-Ren Chao, Tsang-Houei Hsu, and Sheng-Xi Lin. In 1997, four concerts highlighting vocal works by contemporary Taiwanese composers were produced in National Concert Hall. This project, as a whole, took three years of preparation, more than one hundred songs written by thirty-two local composers, and the efforts of eighteen vocal artists who sang in the four concerts. In 2000, AVA took a step further and commissioned four composers to work together on a concert featuring Chinese art songs for eight professional singers. With the participation of contemporary poets, the second round of this project again took place in National Concert Hall by the year 2003.
Symposiums and Master Classes
Besides producing concerts, AVA has also continuously arranging symposiums regarding issues on vocal arts and the subject matters, such as the public discussion held in December 1999, concerning the copyrights of public musical performances. Through the years, AVA has also organized several master classes featuring by world-famous vocal artists as following: Eva Marton (2001), Mady Mesple (2000), G.F. Pastine (1999), Dilber (1998), Chin-wei Li (1998), Walter Moore (1996, 1997), and E. Mannion (1993).
In order to discover new talents and to provide them with more opportunities to sing on stage, AVA has been regularly producing Salon Concerts as well as arranging annual singing contests for young singers.
International Exchange Program
Up to now, our international exchanges with other countries included "The 7th Asian Vocal Competition, Singapore", winning first and second prize; participation in exchange concert in Korea. And also our members such as Professor Hsueh-Yung Shen, Sai-Yun Liu, Phyllis M.T. Hsi, Gen Tang, and Ching-Mei Lee were invited at different times to be the judges of several international vocal competitions.
For the communication among its members and to provide information on current music events, AVA has been publishing the AVA Newsletter bimonthly since October 1999.
Publication of Commissioned Vocal Works
"Let's Sing the Songs You Wrote--Contemporary Chinese Art Songs" was published by the Mercury Publishing House.
Friends of AVA
In December 2003, a group of vocal music lovers formed the Friends of AVA, which now has more than one hundred members. For an annual fee of NT 500.00-, the members enjoy discount tickets of AVA concerts and lectures, free copy of AVA Newsletter and every three month, members will get together enjoy singing and communication with AVA singers.
Our Future Plans
Besides regular concert presentations our future activities will include：
1. Lecture and concert series for communities, private organizations, schools, aiming to bring the vocal arts to a wider public.
2. Certification of examination for vocal students
3. Symposium on Chinese art songs
4. Vocal competitions