The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir will this week embark on its fifth international tour, during which it will defend a world title and sing in some of the United States’ most distinguished venues.
The Choir will compete against choirs from 70 countries at the Seventh Annual World Choir Games in Cincinnati from July 4-14.
In 2010, it was named overall winner in the mixed choir and contemporary music sections at the Sixth World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China, and also received a gold diploma in the Folklore category.
The 40 choral members hit the road with invitations to perform in Washington, Boston, Bermuda and at the United Nations’ Rhythms of One World Festival in New York City.
“In China two years ago, other countries took notice of us,” Director Philip Matthias said.
“We embrace a range of repertoire and performance styles that many choirs both in Australia and overseas just could not aspire to,” he said.
Yesterday the Choir added to its long list of achievements winning the John Lamble Foundation Australasian Open Choral Champions for 2012.
The Choir - made up of University staff, students and singers from the Newcastle community - has continually wowed judges in national competitions across Australia. It ranked eighth in the prestigious Musical Mundi world rankings in April this year, the highest ranked Australian choral ensemble on the list.
The University is underwriting part of the tour costs, but this year singers took an innovative fundraising approach on their road to the World Choir Games, giving community members the chance to ‘Adopt a Choir Member’ to help them travel to the US.
“Taking 37 singers to the US is very costly,” Dr Matthias said.
“We have received great support from the community and would like to thank both the University and the people of the Hunter for helping us realise this dream to sing in the United States.”
Please refer below for the University of Newcastle Chamber Choir’s timeline of success.
For interviews with Choir Director Philip Matthias please contact Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations, (02) 4985 4276.
University Chamber Choir timeline of success
2006: Won Adult Choir of the Year in the ABC's Choir of the Year competition. Both the state and national finals of this competition were broadcast nationally on ABC Classic FM.
2007: Three-time winners at the National Eisteddfod in Canberra in August: the Open Sacred Choral Award, the Open Contemporary Australian Choral event and the inaugural Australian Open Choir Championship.
2008: Won Battle of the Choirs, a national talent show that pitted 16 community choirs against each other. The Choir received $100,000 and a recording deal with Universal Music. It later performed at the Festival of Voices in Hobart, presenting the first Australian performance of Gabriel Jackson's 40-part motet, Sanctum est Verum Lumen, in conjunction with the Sydney Chamber Choir for Musica Viva.
2009: The choir released a CD titled Battle Cry, featuring songs from its Battle of the Choirs winning performance.
2010: In June 2010 the choir took out three first prizes at the McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod, winning the John Lamble Open Choral prize, the City of Sydney Chamber Choir Award, and the Sacred Music Award.
In July, the choir secured three world titles at the Sixth Annual World Choir Games in China. Named overall winner in the mixed choir and contemporary music sections and also received a gold diploma in the folklore category.
2011: Performed a number of broadcasts for ABC Classic FM, including a 2011 ‘Sunday Live’ broadcast of its concert to a packed Conservatorium Concert Hall. Released the CD title This Land, a recording of the choral works of Australian composer Iain Grandage.
2012:Choir announced winners of the John Lamble Foundation Australasian Open Choral Champions for 2012, on June 17.
World title defence at the seventh annual World Choir Games in Cincinnati, USA. Invited to be part of the Rhythms of One World Festival in New York, among world renowned international choirs.