Maîtrise de Seine-Maritime – Yvetot, France
Conductor: Mathias Charton
Categories: B (Mixed Voices Choirs), C (Children and Youth Choirs)
Maîtrise de Seine-Maritime traines nearly 200 young singers each year from the schools Albert Camus College and Lycée Raymond Queneau in Yvetot Seine-Maritime. After a 9-year training course, the best elements are gathered in the youth choir Maîtrise de Seine-Maritime. The choir consists of forty singers aged 15 to 25 years and it aims to promote a high quality choral training throughout the region of Normandy. Bringing culture and music to the heart of rural areas of the region, the choir’s repertoire is mostly sung a cappella. Singing works from the Renaissance to contemporary music, the choir is committed to supporting contemporary art. They pursue a comprehensive music education (choral singing, vocal technique, musical culture, music theory, works analysis) and many singers are preparing to become professional musicians. Through a demanding practice and international influence, the choir Maîtrise de Seine-Maritime offers singers a unique pre-professional experience.
Gema Sangkakala Female Choir – Manado, Indonesia
Conductor: Rolan David Enoch
Categories: A (Equal Voices Choirs), E (Sacred Music)
Gema Sangkakala Female Choir was founded in 1998 when, all the girls from Gema Sangkakala Choir felt they need to spread their wings and form an all female choir. The female group is composed of the members of Gema Sangkakala Choir itself, students, and church members of all denominations. The Choir has been awarded a Silver Medal in the Asian Pacific Choir Games and the 1st Price in Manado Christmas Competition. The Choir is renowned for their variety of their music repertoire. They perform sacred music, contemporary music, secular music and folkl music, from around the world. The choir conductor is Roland David Enoch. He was born 29 years ago, as a first child from Enoch Family. He was born and raised in Manado and his interest in the choral world started when he joined Gema Sangakala Children Choir at the age of nine. Roland started to learn choral conducting at Bandung, and continued his studies at Manado State University majoring in choral conducting until his graduation. Now he’s a full time choirmaster for Gema Sangakala Female Choir and vocal coach for Gema Sangkala Children Choir.
Cantus Delicium Vocal Band – Pyrzyce, Poland
Conductor: Tomasz Szutkowski
Categories: D (Folk/Gospel Music), E (Sacred Music)
‘Cantus Delicium’ was founded on 1st July 2010 by the Parish of St. Otton in Pyrzyce (Poland). They mainly perform Latin songs of less known artists. They also perform Orthodox music and Gregorian music. Their achievements are: 2010 – III prize, 12th Łódź Choir Festival “Cantio Lodziensis”, category – vocal bands and I prize, 16th West Pomeranian Carols and Pastorals Competition; 2011 – III place 17th National Carols and Pastorals Festival in Będzin, category – adult vocal bands and III prize, 16th West Pomeranian Carols and Pastorals Competition; 2012 – Bronze Diploma, 43th National Choir Competition “Legnica Cantat” and I prize, 18th West Pomeranian Carols and Pastorals Competition; 2013 – Bronze Diploma, 6 th “National Passion Song” Festival in Bydgoszcz and Silver Diploma, 12th “Feliks Nowowiejski’s International Festival of Choral Music” in Barczewo and also Silver Diploma, 7th “Rimini International Choral Competition” – category sacred music; 2014 – Bronze Diploma, “Freamunde International Choir Competition” (Portugal) – category sacred music, adult vocal bands mixed; 2015 – Bronze Diploma, 46 th National Choir Competition “Legnica Cantat”;2017 – II prize, 36th International Festival the “Hajnowka’s Days of Orthodox Music” – category city parish choirs.
Music Everywhere Choir – Gdansk, Poland
Conductor: Beata Śnieg-Wądołowska
Categories: B (Mixed Voices Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music), E (Sacred Music)
Music Everywhere Choir is a group of enthusiasts who love singing together. The band was formed by Beata Śnieg-Wądołowska in October 2010 and consists of secondary school and university students as well as young professionally active people, who joined for their passion for singing. Their repertoire includes numerous works of contemporary, popular, secular, sacred and folk music. Passion, persistent work, as well as searching for the depth of music and good sound under the guidance of the perfectionist conductor has lead the choir to a lot of achievements at national and international competitions and festivals. The greatest successes include: two Gold and two Silver Diplomas at the 6th International Festival and Pau Casalsa Choir Competition “Canco Mediterrania” in Spain; Grand Prix at the XIII National Polish Christmas Carols and Pastorals Competition in Chełmno; Grand Prix at the 1st National Festival of Religious Songs “Pater Noster” in Strzepcz; 1st place at the XXIV International Kazimierz Szwarlik Christmas Carols and Pastorals Festival in Będzin; 1st place in the Mixed Choir category and the Pop and Jazz category at the 3rd International Competition and Festival “Per Musica Ad Astra” in Toruń. Beata Śnieg-Wądołowska is a PhD student and a teacher at the Music Academy in Gdańsk, laureate of the National Choral Conductors Competition at the Academy of Music in Poznań and the finalist and laureate of the Special Award of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Italy at the International Choir Conducting Tournament “Towards Polyphony” in Wroclaw. She has been honored with the award for the best conductor at numerous choir competitions and festivals.
Karangturi Choir – Samarang, Indonesia
Conductor: Petrus Wahyu
Categories: C (Children and Youth Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music)
‘Karangturi Choir’ name was originally used as the name of the choir for Karangturi Junior High School in 2005. The choir was founded to perform during the school’s internal events. Besides Karangturi Choir, the School also has a choir for elementary and senior high school, namely ‘Gracia Choir’ which was founded in 2008 and ‘Melodus Choir’ which was inaugurated in 2005 in preparation for the national race organized by the Faculty of Law Diponegoro Semarang. Over time, each group has received a lot of achievements ranging from local to international levels. Sometimes the school’s three choirs compete together under the name ‘Karangturi Choir’. Currently Karangturi Choir has levels ranging from kindergarten through high school, each of which routinely trained in extra-curricular activities at school. Since 2005 they perform annual concerts and they have participated in numerous national and international choral competitions where they have received gold, silver and bronze medals as well as recognitions. Some of them are ‘Semarang State University Choir Competition’, ‘ITB National Choir Competition’, ‘Bogor Art Festival’, ‘Winter Choral Festival’ in Hongkong, ‘Penabur National Choir Competition’, ‘World Choir Game’ in Cincinnati USA and ‘Voyage of Songs International Choir Competition’ in Penang, Malaysia.
Medici Cantantes – The Choir of Wrocław Medical University – Wrocław, Poland
Conductor: Magdalena Wojtas
Categories: B (Mixed Voices Choirs), E (Sacred Music)
The Choir of Wrocław Medical University was founded and first conducted by Agnieszka Frankow-Zelazny in 2000. Since 2015, it is conducted by Magdalena Wojtas. The choir has represented Wroclaw Medical University on various occasions, both in Poland and abroad, participating in many international tour and receiving many prestigious awards. Throughout the years, the group visited many beautiful places: Slovakia, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Macedonia and Portugal. Every year the Choir participates in St. Barbara’s Festival of University Choirs in Wrocław. The group also organizes Carol Nights and Lenten Mysteries – a treat for every choir member. Traditionally, at the end of each artistic season, the Choir holds a show, inviting all its present and former members to take part in the concert, together with their families. These events are so popular amongst the choir members, that they are gradually becoming ‘school reunions’. The Choir has recorded six albums. For many, the choir is an escape from everyday life. It is the formation that help people make friends and sometimes even fall in love. At the same time the choir members work diligently to perform and experience moments which give them strength and motivation for further work.
Coro La Rupe – Quincinetto, Italy
Conductor: Domenico Monetta
Categories: A (Equal Voices Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music), E (Sacred Music)
The choir LA RUPE was founded in Quincinetto in 1952, inspired by a popular song, in a country with an ancient vocal tradition. In 1962 Dante Conrero becomes the choir’s conductor and the repertoire is enriched with arrangements and master pieces by the maestro, which still characterize La Rupe in a significant way. Gigi Valenzano, musician and author, takes over until 1982 continuing his original work. With Edy Mussatti, from 1982 to 2008, La Rupe leads an interpretative evolution obtaining 8 national awards and, in 1999, the 1st place in the men’s choir category at the International Competition of Montreux. From 2008 to the direction of the choir is Domenico Monetta, a singer in the choir the Rupe and son of one of the founders; under his guidance the choir obtains acknowledgments, establishing itself in several Italian competitions (Vittorio Veneto, Quartiano, Fermo, Polifonico of Lago Maggiore, Arezzo). For the Italian national choral association Feniarco, La Rupe intervenes with the Piccoli Musici di Casazza, at the concert of the Assembly of the European Choral Association. In recent years, the choir has been promoted on its territory by musical events such as concerts and master classes with prestigious conductors and musicians (Dario Tabbia, Philip Lawson, Carlo Pavese).
CantiAros – Århus, Denmark
Conductor: Michael Hvas Thomsen
Category: B (Cori Misti)
CantiAros is a small chamber choir composed by about 20 singers. The choir was founded in 1988 in Aarhus, Denmark, a city with a lively musical scene and many amateur choirs. CantiAros sings classical choir works, primarily a-capella music from the Renaissance until today, with a preference for early as well as contemporary music. The choir’s conductor Michael Hvas Thomsen is the organist of Horsens Abbey Church, and an experienced conductor. CantiAros sings alone or together with other choirs. Lately the choir performed Scarlatti’s Mass for Ten Voices together with the Cantori of Horsens Abbey Church.
Akademisk Kor Århus – Århus, Denmark
Conductor: Jonas Rasmussen
Categorie: B (Cori Misti), E (Musica Sacra)
Akademisk Kor Aarhus was founded in 1985 and is now led by conductor Jonas Rasmussen. The choir consists of around 30 singers between the ages of 20-35 years. All the singers have a connection to the musical scene surrounding the University of Aarhus as well as the Royal Academy of Music. Akademisk Kor Aarhus is a professional classical amateur choir. We see it as our most distinguished purpose to provide the joy of music to the audience, and every year we sing around 15 concerts, participate in competitions all over the world, get hired for orchestra projects and do tours abroad. In the last 10 years, we have travelled to Canada, Hungary, China, Germany, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Norway, the US, England, Italy. Our latest travels took us to Riga, (Latvia), where we participated in ‘Eurovision for Choirs’, representing Denmark. In 2015, we won the prestigious competition Musica Sacra a Roma. The international acknowledgement we received in relation to that has in particular strengthened our wish to provide the wondrous world of music to a broad audience. The repertoire of the choir is mainly focused on newer Danish and Nordic choir music, but we also work with a broad range of genres, reaching from the strict, polyphonic music of the renaissance to the more emotional music of the Romantic Movement, and even to first performances of works by contemporary Danish composers.
Zbor sv. Nikolaja Litija – Litija, Slovenia
Conductor: Helena Fojkar Zupančič
Categories: B (Mixed Voices Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music), E (Sacred Music)
The St. Nicholas Choir of Litija is composed of more than 50 singers from central Slovenia. The choir has been enriching Slovenian and international choral scenes with their strong creative energy for the past twenty years. Under the guidance of their conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič the singers have taken on genres like gospel, spiritual music, folk music, pop, chants, and many others. The choir’s home is the parish of Litija. Their most recent notable achievements include a golden plaque and all-around second place in the 24th competition Naša pesem in Maribor (2016), second place in the categories of polyphony and folk music, and the audience award for the best choral in the international choir competition in Tolosa (2016), and overall first place in the international choral competition in Derry, Ireland (2015). To commemorate their 20th anniversary in 2017 they added two new CDs to their collection. The first one, entitled Puer est natus / Dete je rojeno, contains Gregorian chants. The second one, entitled JAZZLICE, consists of twelve jazz arrangements of Slovenian Christmas Songs.
Radost Praha – Prague, Czech Republic
Conductor: Jan Pirner
Categories: C (Children and Youth Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music), E (Sacred Music)
The Children’s Choir Radost Praha was established in 1961 by choirmaster Vladislav Souček. The children from Radost have sung in many countries throughout Europe; they visited Canada in 1994 and 1997. They also regularly participate in international competitions, bringing home major awards (Bratislava, Cantonigròs, Celje, Limburg-Lindenholzhausen, Llangollen, Montreux, Tours). From recent years, let us mention their success in Neerpelt, Belgium (2014; 1st prize “Cum Laude” and 1st prize “Summa cum Laude”), in Kaunas, Lithuania (2016; four 1st places and the Grand Prix for the best choir of the competition), in Preveza, Greece (2017; two silver and one gold medal). Radost collaborates with Czech Radio, Czech Television, and the State Opera in Prague; in the past years it has performed at Prague Spring Festival, Prague Autumn, Bohuslav Martinů Days and with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble’s repertoire encompasses all stylistic periods and numerous genres. The children’s concert choir is led by choirmaster Jan Pirner, with Vladimír Kopáčik at the piano.
Sbor Gymnázia Jana Nerudy – Prague, Czech Republic
Conductor: Petr Bärtl
Categories: B (Mixed Voices Choirs), D (Folk/Gospel Music),
The GJN Choir was founded in 1994 by Mgr. Petr Bärtl, who is still its choirmaster, dramaturg and manager in one person. During the twenty-four years of existence, the choir has worked its way to the top of Czech and European high school choirs and fifteen times won golden medals in national and international competitions (Gymnasia Cantant, Young Prague, Canti Veris Praga). In 2006, the GJN Choir achieved absolute victory in the Young 2006 Prague International Competition. The choir has concerted several times in Germany, France, Romania and Italy. The repertoire varies from secular music to folk, Czech and Slovak traditional, spirituals and gospel music.