One of the world’s premier choral groups, Azusa Pacific’s Chamber Singers consistently receive invitations to some of the most prestigious festivals and competitions in Europe.

In their most recent competitive invitational, they began their journey in Paris, where they sang at a Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral on May 20, 2017. The invitation came after Michelle Jensen, M.M., conductor of the 35-member group, submitted recordings of previous performances (2007 and 2015) at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican—a significant honor, as very few outside groups, especially non-Catholic ensembles, secure such invitations. In addition to the Mass, the group secured rare access to rehearsal time in the cathedral prior to the event, which enabled them to extend the experience of creating music in the acoustically superior, visually stunning church.

From Paris, the Chamber Singers traveled to Tours in the Loire Valley, May 26-28, to participate in the Florilege Vocal de Tours International Choir Competition, known as the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. In addition to the ensemble’s entry in the compulsory program and free programs, a small group from the Chamber Singers also competed in the Renaissance competition and won third place.

The singers concluded their distinguished competitive performance invitational at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, June 2-7. Established in 1989, this event quickly became one of the world’s most popular choral competitions. The Marktoberdorf event occurs every two years, and since its inception has drawn nearly 200 choirs from more than 40 countries to perform for international audiences and compete with global peers. This year, APU’s Chamber Singers brought home third place for their performance in the mixed choir category.

During their time in Europe, the Chamber Singers also performed a concert at Chartres Cathedral and other venues, worked with an arts ministry in Paris (an outreach event that featured the APU ensemble), and seized the opportunity to learn about and from other cultures.