April 30, 2015—The award-winning University of Oregon Chamber Choir has been invited once again to perform and compete in a prestigious international competition, this time in Germany.
The UO Chamber Choir, the most select ensemble in the university’s seven-choir choral arts program, is one of just ten choirs selected from around the world to participate in the 2015 Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition scheduled for May 22–27. The choir will compete in two rounds of competition on successive days, and will know the results of its efforts on Tuesday, May 26.
The Chamber Choir is no stranger to success, and has won at two previous competitions in Europe. The UO’s choral Ducks are hoping to add a third win to their portfolio.
Willamette Valley music lovers will have an opportunityto sample the choir’s competition repertoire for one night only, Thursday, May 14, on the UO campus. Entitled“The Light Within,” the Chamber Choir’s stirring program of choral works both old and new will include music by Brahms, James MacMillan, and Henry Purcell, among many others. The closing number of the evening will feature the Chamber Choir singing an amazing sixteen American folk songs in just under four minutes, in an arrangement by the Swingle Singers.
Tickets for the May 14 concert in Eugene are $7 general, $5 for students and seniors, available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office at McArthur Court (EMU South), 541-346-4363.
Fans can follow the Chamber Choir’s travels—and get the latest-breaking news on the competition—by searching for #UOChoirTour2015 on Twitter and Instagram, or by following the UO School of Music and Dance on Facebook.
The choir is directed by Sharon J. Paul, professor of music and head of the UO’s Vocal and Choral Studies area. Paul was recently recognized with a 2014-15 UO Fund for Faculty Excellence award.
“The festival theme this year is peace, and cultural exchange between choirs is very much encouraged, making this festival particularly appealing,” Paul said. “We are one of only two choirs invited from the United States, and the only student choir representing our country."
While abroad, the Chamber Choir will tour additional cities in Germany and Austria, performing a total of nine times. From May 27-31 the Chamber Choir will serve as the rehearsal choir for a choral conducting master class series offered by the Bavarian Music Academy. While more attention may be focused on the competition aspect of the trip, Paul reports that, in the world of choral festivals, the master class invitation is nearly as high an honor.
The Germany trip will be the Chamber Choir’s third international tour, and each time the choir has gone abroad, it has returned a winner. In May 2013, the UO Chamber Choir, under Paul's direction, took home the Fleischmann Trophy for a first-place win at the Cork International Choral Festival. In April 2011, the UO Chamber Choir, again under Paul's direction, took top honors in two categories (Renaissance/Baroque and Chamber Choir) at the 12th International Tallinn Choir Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.
"To be invited to Marktoberdorf, a choir needs to first prove itself at other festivals in Europe,” Paul said. “We are honored by this invitation to compete in Marktoberdorf, and grateful that our previous successes in European competitions helped get us there."
Local event details:
Thursday, May 14
UO Chamber Choir presents “The Light Within”
8 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building
Admission: $7 general, $5 students and seniors