Here’s a Festival wrap up from MU Choir Director Peggy Dettwiler, sent Sunday, July 10. Congratulations to all!
Dear Friends of the MU Concert Choir:
I am so proud to report how beautifully the Concert Choirs sang in all five categories in which they participated in the International Choral Festival (Eisteddfod) in Llangollen, Wales. We won prizes in three of the five performances! Here are the rankins with a few of the judges’ comments:
Youth Choirs- 2nd place (350 pounds in prize money)
1. Cantilon Chamber Choir from Canada
2. Mansfield University Concert Choir from USA (1/2 point difference from first place!)
3. DePaul University A Cappella Choir from USA
“This is a first class choir. Terrific rhythmic drive. We sensed and admired the pride the choir had in their soloists.”
Mixed Choirs – 2nd place (550 pounds in prize money)
1. Adventist University of the Philippines Ambassadors
2. Mansfield University Concert choir, USA
3. CFL from Cardiff, Wales.,
“Captivating performance. Lovely warm tone. Observed every possible detail of articulation. Steadiness of your rhythm was outstanding, helped by your very musical pianist. The dynamic contours you produced were very powerful.”
Folk Showcase – did not place in top three.
We had not planned to participate in this category but were listed in the program. So we decided to perform some of our favorite selections: star in the East, The Road Home, and I Want Jesus to Walk With Me. Dancers/singers from South Korea, India and England were the winners.
“A beautiful sounding choir with a powerful cohesive sound. The presentation of each piece was done with great musicality and panache! This was an enjoyable performance of a very high standard. However, we did feel you should have added another element into your performances.” (Such as dancing or costumes).
Women’s Choir — 1st place. (1,100 pounds in prize money)
1. Mansfield University Concert Choir – USA
2. Cantilon Chamber Choir – Canada
3. Bel Canton – England
“A beautiful transparent and elegant sound texture was created and dynamics were rendered true to the integrity of the style period. Elegant conducting” (tribute to Hingrid who conducted the first piece by Schubert) “Dynamics were rendered very careful with great insight. Performed with panache and true to style.”
Male Choirs – did not place
Choirs from England and Wales won the competition, but our men sang beautifully. We have not yet received the individual comments. However, the chief juror spoke from the podium about the male choir tradition and alluded to the fact that one of the choirs featured men from a mixed choir and not an official male chorus organization.
Vocal Solo competition for age 21years or older
Here we had six out of ten of our students qualify to perform in this very competitive category! (Melanie DeJesus, Derek Gracey, Michael Hogue, Jocyelyn Raychel, Derrek Start and Nick Webb.) There were 24 singers competing, most of whom were much older! A soprano and a tenor from Wales won 1st and 2nd place, and Derrek Stark (age 21) placed 3rd. This is a remarkable achievement. Several of the jurors commented on his potential for a wonderful career as a tenor.
Lastly, because our women’s Choir placed first, we qualified to perform in the Choir of the World Championship on Saturday night, along with four other choirs from the Philippines and England for an audience of 4,500 people. While we did not win the top crown (it was given to the wonderful choir from the Philippines), many in the audience congratulated our women for a fabulous performance.
Mansfield University can be very proud of the achievement of our students!
Tonight we celebrate together from Kilkenny, Ireland!
Editor’s Note: Here’s a collection of videos of the choirs during their performances and a large collection of photos taken by Brad Rissmiller.