Chamber Singers Headline International Choral Festival

by APU Life

Azusa Pacific’s 37-member Chamber Singers, led by Michelle Jensen, became the first American choir to headline the prestigious Voci nella Città choral festival in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy, last September. The occasion also marked the first time in 70 years that the international festival showcased a collegiate choir alongside renowned professional choirs representing several European countries. Set in the regional capital of choral singing, the event honored Gabriele Verdinelli, retiring director of the Polifonica Santa Cecilia choir.

The Chamber Singers’ nine-day Italian excursion included three days in Rome, where they performed at the Vatican in Saint Peter’s Basilica, toured the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel, and sang L. Fleming’s “Give Me Jesus” in the cell where the Apostle Paul suffered imprisonment. Lyrica Taylor, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history and the director of the Master of Arts in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism program, provided the group with historical context for the museums, galleries, and historical sites they visited in Rome.

This prestigious honor builds on past Chamber Singers’ achievements, which include 11 awards from the Llangollen competition in Wales last summer and placing first overall in the Competition for Choirs in Austria in 2013. “For more than a decade, Michelle Jensen has encouraged the Chamber Singers to reach higher levels of excellence, musicality, and international notoriety,” said Stephen P. Johnson, DMA, dean of the College of Music and the Arts. “This important milestone attests to their skills and growing reputation.”

Originally published in the Winter '15 issue of APU Life. Download the PDF or view all issues.