The Chamber Singers were awarded first place in the 13th International Maribor Choral Competition Gallus, held in Maribor, Slovenia, on April 10-12, 2015.
The Maribor Choral Competition Gallus is part of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, an annual choral competition between the winners of six European choral competitions. Despite its name, the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing is not limited to European choirs; invited ensembles from many countries participate.
The ECU Chamber Singers were the only choral group from the United States invited to the Maribor competition, which included participants from Latvia, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Indonesia and Slovenia. The ensemble is the first American choir to win in the history of the competition.
As a result of the win at Maribor, the ECU Chamber Singers have qualified to participate in the finals of the Grand Prix Europe competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 2016.
“It is a true honor to be invited to represent the United States in an international choral competition at this level,” said Andrew Crane, director of the Chamber Singers. “The other invited choirs had very impressive professional resumes, and I imagine they thought of us as underdogs. Our victory is a testament to the hard work, intense preparation and dedication of this special group of ECU students.”
The ECU Chamber Singers were extended an invitation to take part in this year’s competition in Slovenia, a small country in south-central Europe near Italy, as a result of their outstanding performance at the Tolosa International Choral Contest in Spain last year. Owing to the high profile of the competition and the honor of being invited to compete, the competition funds the cost of all accommodation and food for the singers while in Maribor.
The ECU Chamber Singers consists of auditioned undergraduate and graduate students, and is the select choral ensemble at ECU. They maintain a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule, and focus predominantly on unaccompanied choral literature suitable for advanced chamber choir.
The chamber singers receive a 2500 Euro cash prize for winning the competition. They also received a first place medal, the flag of the competition and a sculpture of Jacobus Gallus, the Slovenian Renaissance composer for whom the contest is named.