Bath Spa University graduate and singer-songwriter Rachel Mason has been selected to judge Sky 1’s new music talent show Sing: Ultimate A Cappella.
The show, hosted by Cat Deeley, aired on Sky 1 on 6th October. Five acts will perform each week for the chance to record an album at Abbey Road Studios.
Rachel, a singer-songwriter and vocal teacher, graduated from Bath Spa University in 2015 with an MMUS in Songwriting.
She is half of a singer-songwriter duo called Tucker and Mason, and has written songs for established and upcoming musicians, as well as BBC Introducing, Canadian Idol and The Voice alumni.
Rachel who has worked with the Team GB Olympic gymnasts on musical interpretation and expression for their floor routines, was chosen as one of five expert judges due to her experience judging vocal contests and directing award-winning choral groups.
Rachel from Bristol, said: “I am delighted to be judging Sing: Ultimate A Cappella. I was astonished and flattered when I heard I had been selected as a judge.
“I’ve judged Show Choir Championships and A Cappella contests all over the world and each time I’m stunned by the level of talent and commitment from the competitors.”
Rachel has been a judge for the Voice Festival UK and at the Show Choir Championships in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.
She was previously the Musical Director for the UK’s top Show Choir, Euphoria, which she helped to set up in 2010. She wrote the award-winning song Body on Mute for Euphoria, which became the official anthem for International Charity Beat Bullying and was used by The Diana Trust as a fundraising song in 2015.
Euphoria performed at the American Show Choir Championships in New York, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and on the BBC Strictly Come Dancing tour.
Rachel added: “Since I was young I’ve had song lyrics and melodies in my head. My love for writing, performing and studying music made it difficult to visualise myself in any other career.”
She chose to study for her masters at Bath Spa to learn more about the craft of songwriting. She said: “I decided that it would be the perfect way to improve my songwriting.
“For me the most enjoyable part of the course was being able to get detailed feedback from experienced and knowledgeable tutors, and exploring a variety of techniques for unleashing the creative process.
“Since gaining my MA I have felt more confident in my abilities as a songwriter and this has helped me to approach people to suggest we work together to create music.”
Groups are allowed to perform their own compositions on the show. Rachel added: “I was chosen as a judge as the producers felt it would benefit the show to have someone who was able to judge the technical quality of the composition as well as the vocal performances.”
Davey Ray Moor, musician and Course Director for the MMUS Songwriting at Bath Spa University, said: “We’re delighted to see Rachel’s passion for choir arriving in the mainstream. It was always likely to happen and I like to think we helped by encouraging her to research her culture and its songs.”
The judging panel also includes former Swingles singer and jazz vocalist Joanna L’Estrange, Ben Sawyer, founding member of the award-winning A Cappella group The Songmen, Carol Pemberton, founder of A Cappella quintet Black Voices, and west end star Aaron Lee Lambert.