A full day of the European Choir Games

Jul 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Choir Events, European Choir Games, Personal Reports, Top Post

Photo: Billie Hylton

Photo: Billie Hylton

By Billie Hylton, London

Yesterday was an extremely busy first full day of the European Choir Games with competitions, Friendship concerts and Gala concerts. I spent my afternoon listening to about six hours of choral music, which was very enjoyable!

From 3:00pm the Champions Competition began in the Stafaniensaal, with the first three categories: Children’s Choirs, Youth Choirs of Equal Voices and Mixed Youth Choirs. There were two choirs in each category who sang for about twenty minutes each, and it was fabulous to begin the competing with young voices. Although audience members were supporting their own countries with flags and banners, they cheered enthusiastically for everyone and the atmosphere was very friendly.

The six choirs presenting their programmes today were from Hungary, Russia, Norway, Great Britain and Romania. With all their pieces memorised as well as choreography and various stage formations, this was very impressive, and you could tell that all the choirs and their conductors had worked extremely hard. It was interesting to see choirs singing in their own languages as well as lots of songs in English and Latin, as well as traditional dress and elaborate uniforms and dances.

Following this I rushed to Landhaushof for the next event! This was a chance to Sing Together as a mixed community and the square was full and excited to welcome Bernard Krüger to the stage. He comes from South Africa and brought a traditional African song with him, “Amavolovolo”. Although it is a war song it is now used at weddings and certainly had an upbeat melody which meant it was quick to learn. Krüger had ambitiously given out a four-part score, and whilst some people attempted the parts, others were just happy singing along and joining in with the actions. This shows that music really is powerful in uniting people, and even though we were singing unfamiliar music from a different culture, we adapted quickly.

After this fun we were treated to two more acts with Imago Tijl, a young dance troupe from Belgium and Youth Female Choir from Macedonia.

The evening ended superbly with a Gala Concert for International Choirs entitled “Young Spirit”. The concert featured Cantamus Girls’ Choir from Great Britain, Zvonky Praha from the Czech Republic and Cantus Ante Omnia from Croatia. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Pamela Cook, who founded Cantamus Girls’ Choir in 1968 and had been its director until she sadly passed away last week. The choirs all shone with repertoire from their own countries, with the girls from Cantamus amusing with choruses from “The Mikado” and not leaving a dry eye in the house with rousing renditions of “The Rose” and “Bridge over Troubled Water”.
I’m looking forward to even more events tomorrow!

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