PHOTOS: SF State students show off vocal chops in 'Voice' competition

SF State's Voice judges Kris Domingo, left, and Adenike Hamilton, right, listen to a contestant during the audition performances inside Jack Adams Hall in San Francisco Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Photo by Godofredo Vasquez / Xpress

Student Life has taken it upon themselves to discover who has the greatest voice on campus with SF State’s Voice Competition.

The month-long singing engagement is based off the popular NBC reality TV show, “The Voice,” where judges are tasked with organizing singing teams to compete against one another. The four student judges will have their backs turned during the blind auditions and will have to select their team members by the quality of the contestant’s voice only.

“It’s a brand new event based on student input and feedback for more entertainment-style events,” Franko Ali, student life marketing specialist, said.

San Francisco
Tyler Boyd, 19, performs in front of nearly 250 students during the audition performances of the SF State's Voice inside Jack Adams Hall in San Francisco Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Photo by Godofredo Vasquez / Xpress

This is the first event of its kind at SF State, and it was organized by Student Life after they noticed the amount of talented singers participating at different events.

“We host numerous variety shows throughout the year and are always amazed at the level of vocal skills that show up to perform,” Joseph Greenwell, interim director of campus recreation, said. “This event also plays into the popularity of the various singing competitions on television.”

The already underway competition is divided into four events, spread across the month of October.

The blind auditions were held on Oct. 1, where the judges each recruited four to six members for their teams. The judges included Associated Students Inc. President Adenike Hamilton, Gospel Gators director Ja Ronn Thompson and students Kris Domingo and Kenneth Collins.

Nearly 250 students filled Jack Adams Hall during the first round of blind auditions.

Freshman music major Hortencia Espinoca wowed the four judges as they all turned around for her.

“I consider myself to be a passionate singer in everything I do, and how I move,” Espinoca, 18, said. “It comes from deep within. Every single emotion, it’s real. It’s not something I try to fake.”

Tyler Boyd, a broadcast and electronic communication arts student, also had the judges wooing over him. Boyd faced a tough decision when forced to choose which judge will mentor him during the competition.

“I saw Ja Ronn turn around first and that’s when I was singing quiet. He turned when I was still singing low, which surprised me a little bit,” Boyd, 19, said. “… I heard that (Ja Ronn) is the head of the gospel choir, and why not have that as a coach or a guide?”

The next phase is the battle round, scheduled for Oct. 15. Contestants will sing in either duets or trios with their other teammates. For each group, a judge will pick who they think is the better singer among his or her team members to go to the third and final round on Oct. 22 where the finalists compete in a one-song sing-off.

“I am completely confident in my team. They are absolutely incredible, and I think I really have the best singers here, honestly,” Thompson, 27, said.

The winner will be decided by SF State students in an online vote, and videos of the finalists will be uploaded to YouTube for students who missed the live performances.

The finale is scheduled for Oct. 25, where there will be a variety show and the winner of SF State’s Voice will be announced.

“Throughout the month of October, SF State students will have an opportunity to be engaged in the competition as judges, contestants, live audience members and also watch the live show via YouTube,” Greenwell said. “I am personally excited to showcase our students while hosting a fun and enjoyable event for everyone to participate.”

The winner of the competition will be dubbed The SF State Voice, and will hold that title for a year until the next competition, where the winner will have to defend the title.

All four nights of the event are free to attend, and will be held in Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center from 7 to 10 p.m.


Virginia Tieman contributed to this report.