Yamaha Reveals Judges for Freestyle Performance Contest

3/2/2011 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Phillip Keveren
Phillip Keveren.

Kent Hooper
Kent Hooper.

BUENA PARK, Calif.— Yamaha today announced the two accomplished musicians who will judge its Freestyle Performance Contest. Music industry veterans Phillip Keveren and Kent Hooper will help Yamaha seek out the talents of Clavinova and arranger keyboard users nationwide.

The Freestyle Performance Contest will demonstrate how the Style content found in Yamaha instruments, like Clavinova CVP digital pianos and arranger keyboards, provide a simple and powerful way for a single musician to deliver a total performance — completely arranged and controlled in real time. Entering is easy and the winner takes home a new Tyros 4 arranger keyboard valued at over $6,000.

These distinguished judges have had great success in a variety of musical genres," said Yamaha Electronic Keyboard Marketing Manager Dane Madsen. Phillip and Kent will provide diverse musical perspectives from their backgrounds in rock, worship and classical music."

Phillip Keveren is a multi-talented composer and keyboard artist who displays an extensive versatility in his original works and concert performances. A prolific arranger, orchestrator and producer, Keveren's work is featured in numerous instrumental recordings (including Discovery House Music's Classical Praise series), church choral, educational piano and Christian artist releases. His arrangements and compositions appear on recent projects by Mandisa, Jeremy Camp, Sandi Patty, Travis Cottrell, Sara Groves and Ronan Tynan. Keveren is also co-author, major composer and orchestrator of the internationally acclaimed Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, a complete method for young students. His unique piano arrangements are also featured in The Phillip Keveren Series (Hal Leonard Publishing).

Kent Hooper is a Tennessee-based producer and engineer. His studio 'the house of BIG' has been operating since 2000, and has hosted over 100 commercial album projects. In his past life as a product specialist for Yamaha, Hooper provided many demos that are now featured on their professional synthesizers and keyboards. He has worked on projects by artists including Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Jaci Velasquez, Jim Brickman, Amy Grant, Jeremy Camp, Scott Krippayne and Mercy Me.

Anyone with access to a MegaVoice-equipped instrument, a digital video camera and an Internet connection can participate in the contest. Simply capture your performance on video and upload it to the dedicated contest web site, www.yamaha.com/freestyle, from now until March 31, 2011 for your chance to win. If you don't currently own a qualifying CVP Clavinova or Yamaha arranger keyboard, no problem. Simply enter your zip code into the Freestyle dealer locator to find a store in your area with instruments on display where you can capture video of your performance.

The contest is open to any US resident over the age of 18 (employees of Yamaha Corporation of America are not eligible). See contest rules for full details.

Performance Specifics

The judges will review all videos looking for two key elements, each comprising 50% of the total score―Style Performance: creative use of Style elements such as Intros, Fills, Breaks, Variations and Endings; and Keyboard Performance: Voice selection, playing style, execution of the arrangement, and vocals (if used). Judges will narrow down qualified performances to a list of finalists that will be posted on the contest website on April 11, 2011. Viewers will then vote on which video will become the final winner.

Visit the contest website for more details at http://www.yamaha.com/freestyle.

Follow Yamaha Keys US on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/yamahakeysus.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com.

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