Chamber Singers Win Top Honors at International Competition

by APU Life

The 37-member Azusa Pacific University Chamber Singers, under the direction of Michelle Jensen, clinched six awards at the renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, July 7–11, 2015. The group competed with top choirs from around the world and performed for Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. They entered and placed in six categories—first in Mixed, Adult Folk, and Open, and second in Cultural Showcase, Youth, and Vocal Ensemble—qualifying them as 1 of 5 choirs among more than 75 participants to advance to the final Choir of the World Competition, eventually won by an Irish group. This distinguished honor builds on the choir’s 2013 international acclaim when it placed first overall in the 50th International Competition for Choirs in Austria.

“Performing at the world’s longest-running international musical festival with choirs hailing from 50 countries brought intense competition,” said Jensen of the site where Luciano Pavarotti launched his career in 1955 and Placido Domingo gave his first professional United Kingdom performance in 1968. “This remarkable experience fueled the students’ passion and commitment to music and the arts. Enriching our trip, the Chamber Singers also performed at Southwark Cathedral in London and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and took Irish music classes at University College Dublin.”

“What an incredible achievement,” said Stephen P. Johnson, DMA, dean of the College of Music and the Arts. “Over the last few years, our Chamber Singers have garnered an increased national and international reputation for choral excellence. These musicians exemplify high-level discipline and professional artistry as they use their voices to engage the world as difference makers, influencing and shaping culture.”

This fall, the Chamber Singers performed internationally once again as the first university choir invited to headline the Voci nella Citta music festival in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy, in September 2015. In November, they will join nine other U.S. choirs selected to perform in the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference in Portland, Oregon.