U Choir places first in international competition

By By Jamie Bowen and By Jamie Bowen

By Jamie Bowen

The University of Utah Singers won first place at the 11th annual International Chamber Choir Competition, which was held in Marktdoberdorf, Germany.
Specifically, the choir won first prize in the competition’s Mixed Choir Category. They also won third prize in the Youth Choir Category. They were awarded with a prize for the best interpretation of a work premiered at the competition for their performance of Nancy Wertsch’s “Hail Holy Light,” according to a U press release.
“I am absolutely thrilled for our students and their conductor,” said Robert Walzel, director of the school of music. “That ensemble works so hard year round. They are always brilliant.”
The choir has been on a tour of Europe for the pastthree weeks. They have toured the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Germany.
On a blog the choir members had written on the competition, they said, “The anticipation yesterday was about killing us. We sat in the hall and held hands and clapped and cried and had so much nervous energy that I think we almost exploded.”
They were sitting in the hall with hundreds of other singers when they heard their name called out as the first place winner.
“When they called our name, we all leaped to our feet, jumped up and down, screamed, cried, hugged, clapped,” they wrote on the blog. “It was an incredible feeling, and something we will never forget!”
This isn’t the first time the singers have won a competition. According to the choir’s Web site, the singers, in 2006, won the European Grand Prix International Choir Competition in Tolosa, Spain. They were able to compete in the competition because they won the Grand Prize at the 2005 Florilège Vocal de Tours International Choir Competition in Tours, France.
The choir was organized in 2003, consists of 45 members and is conducted by Brady Allred, professor of music and director of choral studies.
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