The ECU Chamber Singers have been named one of the winners of the international Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain, and as winners, they will perform at the winners concert today in Tolosa.
The ECU group was competing against other invited choirs from Germany, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Indonesia, Russia, Spain and Sweden. ECU was the only representative from the United States competing at the event.
In the chamber choir category, the final results are as follows:
POLYPHONY COMPETITION: 1st place St. Jacobs Ungdomskor (Sweden), 2nd place Saarbrucken Kammerchor (Germany), 3rd place East Carolina University Chamber Singers
FOLKLORE COMPETITION: 1st place St. Jacobs Ungdomskor (Sweden), 2nd place East Carolina University Chamber Singers, 3rd place Saarbrucken Kammerchor (Germany)
With these awards, ECU will receive a silver medal, bronze medal, and a total of 1,250 euro cash prize (750 for silver, 500 for bronze).
The invitation to compete came after the ECU Chamber Singers posted several concert performance videos on YouTube in spring of 2012. Soon after the posting, ECU chamber singers director Andrew Crane noticed that Javier Busto, a prominent Spanish choral composer, commented on one of the videos.
“This was particularly exciting for us, that someone so renown, and halfway around the world, would take the time to tell us he liked our video,” Crane said. “ I didn’t think much of it after that.”
As a jury member of the Tolosa Contest, Busto invited the ECU Chamber Singers to participate in 2013. No more than one American choir is invited to participate annually.
“Apparently, he listened to our performances on YouTube and shared them with his fellow jury members,” Crane said. “They all agreed that they were of a high enough quality to grant us this invitation.”
The Tolosa competition is unique among choral competitions in that the organizers pay for all the choir’s lodging, food and transportation once at the location. The chamber singers will be in Spain through Nov. 5.