Cafella – Guatemala
The Cafella Vocal Group was formed in 2011, seeking to open a new space on the Guatemalan choral stage, with an a cappella proposal full of harmony, diversity and singers whose musical career began fifteen years ago, in the National Children & Youth Choirs of Guatemala (Corodemia). After their first public appeareance in December 2011, they continued with performances in local stages. By November 2012 they were chosen to participate in the 5th. International Chamber Choir Festival of the State of Mexico, sharing scenario with choirs from Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil. In October 2013 they were invited to the first edition of “Telar de Voces”, an international choral festival in Costa Rica. In 2014 they opened concert for Guatemalan Latin Grammy winner, Gaby Moreno, as part of her Christmas album release season. During their fifth year, Cafella Vocal Group recorded their first demo song on its own arrangement for the “Can’t Hold Us” theme, by the famous rapper Macklemore. They also participated in the reenactment concert “Misa a Cuatro Coros” by Sebastián Durón, for the 300 year’s commemoration of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Guatemala City. By 2016 two new members joined the project, strengthening the group’s musical style. Cafella Vocal Group aspires to fulfill in 2017 one of its most ambitious dreams, to reach outer fronteers at a competition level, sharing their passion for a cappella music.
Toraya Choir Jakarta – Indonesia
Toraja is an Indonesian population from the regency of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Toraya Choir Jakarta is a choir club from Jakarta and the members are of Toraja descent. It was established in 2013 and the director is Rainier Revireino. The choir has had the honour to perform at Indonesia’s Independence Day at the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and also to perform in other big events in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta. Toraya Choir Jakarta is also active in joining choir competitions from national to international level. It has achieved a gold medal in the folklore category in the 7th “Grand Prix Pattaya” 2014 in Thailand. In This year Toraya Choir Jakarta is ready to make another achievement at the Rimini International Choral Competition.
Cambiar La Mùsica – Slovakia
The origins of girls’ Choir Cambiar La Mùsica date back to year 2009 when the choir started by participating at holy masses and local festivals in the village Pohronská Polhora (Slovakia). Gradually it formed into its current shape. The name Cambiar La Mùsica can be translated from Spanish as, change the music. The members of ‘Cambiar La Música’ are High School and University students, who’s passion is choral singing and propagation of its beauty to the audience. Its repertoire is diverse, mainly consisting of folk songs from various countries including the songs’ distinctive characteristics and choreography. The choir has been actively engaged in choral competitions since 2014. It has joined several competitions where it gained the title Absolute Winner: ‘Mládež spieva’ (Youth Sings) 2014, ‘Praga Cantat’ 2014, ‘International festival of V. F. Bystrý’ 2015, ‘Mládež spieva’ (Youth Sings) 2016).
Subton – Russia
Tallinn Music High School Chamber Choir – Estonia
Tallinn Music Highschool is the only school in Estonia providing professional music education alongside the general primary and secondary curriculum. The Chamber Choir was founded in 1969 and consists of pianists, stringed instrument players, wind instrument players, composers, music theoretics, choral conductors and choral singers. Since 2012 the Conductor is Janne Fridolin. She is a PhD student of choral conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and she has graduated in music pedagogics and choral conducting. A part from conducting various choirs she has been the Chair of the Estonian Society for Music. She has been was awarded the prize from the Estonian Choral Association: The Best Young Conductor in 2010. The Choir’s vocal coach of is singer Triin Ella from the Estonian National Opera. Since 1992 the choir has participated in choral competitions all around Europe winning several first, second and third prizes, the last ones being: 2013 Summa Cum Laude (Vienna) 1st prize with the title „outstanding success“ and 2014 ’World Choir Games’ (Riga) gold diploma. They have toured Europe many times and recorded 4 CD’s.
Female Choir CVS – Portugal
Canticum Novum – Lithuania
In the beginning, a mixed choir of Pasvalys “Canticum novum” was assembled by Rimvydas Mitkus who has received a master’s degree in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. This choir consists of fifty people of different professions who work together for the same purpose. The choir started its public work in Saint John’s Baptist church in Pasvalys in which every two weeks and during special occasions sings until now. As the time goes by, the repertoire expands and improves stylistically. “Canticum novum” is open for innovations, seminars, various musical projects and it invites professional musicians for skills courses to acquire musical expertise and knowledge. Over the past three years, the choir has arranged sixty concerts. Furthermore, “Canticum novum” collaborates closely with Lithuania’s university of educational sciences mixed choir “Ave vita”. Together, they have arranged quite a few concerts. A multi-instrumentalist Saulius Petreikis prepared a program, which was performed in “Islands music festival” in Islands estate in Rokiškis district. Since Pasvalys also has a well known basketball team, during important matches, the choir performs the national anthem in Pasvalys “Pieno žvaigždės” arena. Moreover, our choir sang in quite a few charity concerts and it is a very active participant in Lithuania’s song festival. “Canticum novum” also participates in various choral competitions winning several first places and special awards, for example in “Kaunas Musica Religiosa”, Fifth organist contest of Jonas Žukas”, “Second choir contest of J. Naujalis”, “Eleventh republican choir contest for Saint Cecilia”, “J. Gudavičius republican contest” and in 2016 the choir received a supreme award – the golden bird for amateur art collectives in Lithuania.
Vox Caelestis – Hungary
Leioa Kantika Korala – Spain
“Leioa Kantika Korala” was created in 2000 at the Municipal Conservatory of Leioa, in the Basque Country. The choir is now a benchmark in the current choral scene both for its daring programmes, meticulous performance and its commitment to commission and premiere new music written for children´s and youth choirs. Right from the start, Kantika has taken part in different choral festivals and events both in Basque Country and in the rest of Spain. The choir has also been invited to different international festivals and toured abroad visiting more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia and America. Kantika has won leading international awards, at competitions such as Neerpelt, Gorizia, Tolosa and Arezzo. It frequently works with orchestras and conductors in choral-symphony workshops, courses and cycles, opera seasons and recordings. Kantika has premiered more than thirty works by composers from all over the world and some of the most well known compositors from Spain and abroad had written music for the choir. The choir has published five recordings and some of its performances have been broadcasted on television. It has also been selected for being ambassador of the IFCM and was the only Spanish choir invited for the 10. World Syposium on Choral Music that took place in Seoul in 2015.
Coro di Voci Bianche “Audite Nova” – Italy
The ‘Audite nova’ Choral Association, directed by Gianna Visintin, started the first music course for children from the age of four in 1995 and since the 1997/1998 school year, the choir participates in concerts and performances in their region. In 2002, the choir was rewarded at the Spring Festival of Voices organized by USCI Friuli Venezia Giulia and the year after held an important sacred music concert in the Basilica of Aquileia and a series of concerts in Valle d’Aosta. In 2004 they sang the Holy Mass in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and they also sang in Innsbruck (Austria) at the ‘Nativitas’. They have also participated in the ‘C.Seghizzi International Competition’ in Gorizia, won the second prize at the ‘National Competition City of Vittorio Veneto’, performed at the Festsaal of the Wiener Rathaus in Vienna on the occasion of the ,Internationales Adventisingen, sung at ‘Primavera di voci’ in Ljubljana (Slovenia), performed in Lienz (Austria) in the Church of St. Francis in Assisi. In 2011 they collaborated with other choirs of the province of Gorizia to realize the work of Paul Hindemith ‘We Build a City’ performed in several concerts in the region. In 2014, the choir obtained a merit plaque following her performance at the Wiener Rathaus Festsaal and in 2015, at the choral festival ‘XV CoroVivo’ they won the band of Excellence, an award for the Best Interpretation of a song in their category, the Best Project Award, and the Best Director Award for Gianna Visintin. The choir have made television broadcasts and recorded some CDs.
Hedvig Eleonora Ungdomskör – Sweden
Hedvig Eleonora’s Youth Choir is a newly formed choir from the autumn of 2015 that is linked to the Hedvig Eleonora church in Stockholm. The director is Natalia Edvall. The choir consists of about 33 young people between the ages of 14-20. With a few exceptions, the choir members are former students of a choir class from Adolf Fredrik’s Music Classes that Natalia has been training in singing since they were 10 years old. That choir won a National Rally Competition in 2014 (Federation of Young Musicians) and an International Choral Competition in Venice, in 2015. They have made a recording ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ that is available on Spotify. Natalia Edvall holds a master’s degree in choir conducting from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. She moved to Sweden in 1996 and has since then worked as a choirmaster at the Gothenburg Opera and conductor of various choirs. She has won several conductor prices. In Sweden, Natalia has studied choir conducting with Eric Ericsson and has participated in master classes with Helmut Rilling at the Bach Academy in Stuttgart. Since 2005 she has been employed as a music teacher at Adolf Fredrik’s Music Classes. There, Natalia Edvall was appointed First music teacher in 2014.
Choir of the Church of the Icon of the Smolensk Mother of God – Russia
The Temple Choir in honor of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God (Samara, Russia) was formed two years ago to attend divine services at the parish in honor of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. The choir members are not professional singers. The director of the choir is Ekaterina Kozlova. In 1997, she graduated in the cello (teacher LV Volkov) from the Shostakovich Music School № 1 and in 2000 from the conductor’s department of the Samara Theological Seminary (teacher AI Pakhomov). The choir’s repertoire includes spiritual music, works of foreign and domestic classical composers, interpretations of folk melodies and works by contemporary composers. The choir takes an active part in regional concerts and festivals. In January 2017 the ensemble performed in a series of Christmas concerts organized by the Samara Diocese. In May 2017, the choir took part in the Interregional Festival ‘Easter over the Volga 2017’. The choir is distinguished by the coherence of all voices, softness of sound, deep understanding of the work, and emotional and expressive performance.
Academic Choir of Gdansk University of Technology – Poland
The Academic Choir of Gdańsk University of Technology, founded in 1965, performs mainly a cappella sacred music as well as oratorios of different styles and eras from the renaissance to contemporary. The choir has a rich concert activity in the country and abroad and has, with great success, participated in many choral contests and festivals. They have recently won many awards: Grand Prix at II International Choir Festival “Canco Meditterrania” in Lloret de Mar and Barcelona 2013, Golden Medal at prestige Seghizzi Choir Festiwal in Gorizia 2014, Grand Prix at Choir Festival in Kielce 2015, 1st place at International Festival of Orthodox Church Music Hajnówka 2016 and 2nd place at Legnica Cantat 2017 Choral Competition. Mariusz Mróz is the conductor and leader of the choir since 1992. He studied choral conducting at Gdańsk Musical Academy and has participated in several conducting contests winning a prize at one of them. He has also taken part in Master’s Courses in Brugges.
Gratia Choir of Soegijapranata Catholic University – Indonesia
Gratia Choir is a students’ choir from Soegijapranata Catholic University (Indonesia) and it was founded in 1991. Gratia Choir consists of Soegijapranata Catholic University’s students from various departments. Gratia Choir had participated in various choral competition in national level and, for the first time in international level, at Singapore International Choral Festival 2016. The Choir actively assists during mass in the church or chapel and current faculty or university graduation ceremonies.
Riga 6th Secondary School Choir – Latvia
The Choir of Riga 6.th Secondary School was established in 1969 and since then, it consists of pupils from the 5th-9th grades. The choir regulary participates in song festivals and recives honors at choir competitions in Latvia and is active in the concert life of it’s school. The choir has been lead by a number of well known Latvian choir conductors and since 2004 the choir is lead by Inta Godiņa. Some of the most important concerts they have performed are: the first performance of A.Laukmanis and I.Zandere Musical ‘Dream about Christmas’ and G.Pergolesi ‘Stabat Mater’. In 2005 the choir took part in Latvia children’s choir festival obtaining both gold and 1st degree diplomas. Since then they have performed in many concerts and participated in choral competitions both in Latvia and abroad winning several gold, silver and bronze diplomas In 2008 the Choir gained the privilege to take part at the greatest music event in Latvia – ‘Latvia Choir Song festival’ and in 2012 the choir got nominated as the best children’s choir in Riga. As all school choirs the choir changes every year, but always with the hope to do their best. It is still one of the best childrens’ choirs in Riga.
Dekliški Pevski Zbor Aglaja – Slovenia
The girls’ Choir Aglaja was formed in October 2010 under the cultural society Kulturno društvo Radlje ob Dravi. It is led by music professor Kerstin Pori who is also the founder of the choir. The choir is composed of 20 singers aged 15 to 26. The choir holds two independent concerts annually. It started competing in choral competitions two years ago; since then, it has already achieved its first achievements: In 2015 at “Praga Cantat”, the choir won a golden award in the category of female choirs, the award for the best performance of a folk song and the award for best conductor of the competition. They also received a golden award with honours, four special awards: the award for promising female ensemble, the award for best performance of a piece written from 1995 until today, the award for best female choir and promising choir leader at the regional competition “Od Celja do Koroške”. In 2016 the Choir received a silver award and the choir leader was awarded the prize for promising choir leader at the 24th National Competition “Naša pesem in Maribor”. Since the choir first started out, the voices of the singers have changed slightly, they have become more mature, harmonious and fine-tuned and the members have formed bonds of friendship, which is a very important factor on the way to success.