Great Graz

Aug 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Personal Reports

Author: Adrian Ruckhofer (CHOIR REPORTER), Singakademie Graz, Austria
Translated from German to English

I still remember Shaoxing 2010 and my final report on this blog. Since then an entire year has passed and now also the World Championships in Graz have been closed.

We gave our last concert in Kornberg near Graz and took advantage of the time to meet nice other choirs. Also we visited the Zotter Chocolate factory and tasted all sorts of this dark treasure.

Graz seems to have changed after this week of World Championships. I miss all those people wearing nice traditional costumes or colourful choir dressed. There’s no cloud of sounds hovering above me. The Landhaushof and the Rathausplatz are not being populated anymore by bigger and smaller music making groups. I’m missing the immense variety of nationality and the mix of foreign languages. Where the multiple Champion “Iuventus, Gaude!” started to sing happy songs spontaneously after the Prize giving ceremony and performed “Freude schöner Götterfunken”, today Graz residents and less tourists are strolling across the square. I have a strange feeling in some way…

But actually at the same time I’m grateful and happy that I was part of these big events! We, the children and youth of Singakademie Graz, are looking back on a wonderful, emotional time, full of experiences, characterized by an amicable community and new friendships.

[…] The opening parade on July 10, the welcome of the choirs on the Hauptplatz and the Opening ceremony in Stefaniensaal were special highlights! We carried the flags and signs and represented all 40 participating countries – unforgettable! Also we enjoyed particularly the funny lesson of singing and doing gymnastics with Lorenz Maierhofer in Landhaushof. The concert of film music was really impressing and phenomenal!

Moreover we participated in two competition categories and despite the time consuming marathon rehearsals we achieved considerable success. In category 5 we reached the second highest evaluation following the Kammerchor Heidelberg and we’ve been awarded with a Silver Medal. From this perspective we are vice world champion! In “Grand Prix of Choral Music” (category 1) we also reached a second place and have been rewarded with a Gold Medal. We’ve been very happy about these results, as we’re visiting a secondary school, where the subject “choir” is (only) taught as an exercise with no strings attached.

We owe it to our multiply awarded choir conductor Maria Fürntratt that we can compete on this high international level. Since 1995 roughly 800 children have been “EXPERIENCING SINGING” with her.

Now this choral intensive time is over and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s my special wish to thank INTERKULTUR! Your team has done an excellent job again and has made the World Championships in Graz becoming a highlight for visitors and locals again through perfect organization and with much heart. By hosting these events Graz – following 2008 – has become the center of choral music once again!

Personally, I want to say a big THANK YOU for the possibility to write about my choir’s activities during the last year. Maybe I was able to give a small insight to the interesting, varied, emotional and impressing life of a chorister.

Finally I hope that many singers had a great time in Graz and that they like to remember us – and maybe some of them will come back one day. However, my greatest wish is to attend such a big event again some day!

So long!

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