This Easter [March 30 – April 01, 2018], Cardiff will host the inaugural International Choral Festival Wales. Over 400 competitors, from some of the best choirs in the world, will arrive in the Welsh Capital to compete at this exciting new festival.
The competitive strand of the Festival will include a wealth of international choirs competing across four categories: Mixed Choirs; Single Voice Choirs (SSAA/ TTBB); Open Category; Young Voices (under 25’s). The climax of the competition will be the Choir of Choirs Competition, where a panel of world class adjudicators will determine the best overall choir of the Festival and the recipient of the prestigious Sir Karl Jenkins Trophy.
Commenting on the Festival, Sir Karl Jenkins, CBE said “I feel both humbled and honoured to have been approached to give my name to the International Choral Festival Wales Trophy. Over ninety nine percent of my compositional output has involved singers and singing and the sound of the human voice has been an inspiration to me over many years, whether by the conventional use of the voice as a vehicle for expressing a narrative or by using it purely as an instrument, as in my Adiemus project. Curiously enough, I rarely if ever sang, spending my time playing the oboe in the orchestra. I recently heard that I was the answer in a quiz! This even trumps that.”
This year’s entrants represent South Africa and Ukraine as well as the host nation, Wales and its neighbouring country, England.
L-R: Pearls of Odessa; Ysgol Glanaethwy; Chanteuse Chamber Choir; Côr Heol y March; Côr y Cwm; The KZN Midlands Youth Choir;.
The KZN Midlands Youth Choir from South Africa have achieved great success in competition both national and internationally. They were awarded 1st place in the Cultural Showcase Category at the 2017 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod; Silver and Bronze Awards in the Youth, Pop and Folklore Categories at the 2015 Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg and the Best Youth Choir at the 2013 ATKV Animato National Choral Competition. Highlights include performing at her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond Jubilee at Westminster Hall in 2012.
Borne out of a passion for choral singing, Ukrainian National Children Chorus, “Pearls of Odessa”, have performed on some of the World’s most prestigious stages including China, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia and Taiwan. Conducted by Larisa Garbuz, the choir regularly performs at the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet. Performances to date include Carmen, Tosca, Turandot and Carmina Burana.
Ysgol Glanaethwy’s success on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent (2015) and BBC’s The Last Choir Standing (2008) is only the tip of the iceburg in the long-established performing arts school’s story. They have won four times at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and in 2010 they were awarded two gold and one silver award at the World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China.
Completing the line-up are the Chanteuse Chamber Choir from England; Côr Heol y March, Côr Iau Glanaethwy and Côr y Cwm from Wales and the Ukrainian Children Chorus, “Seeds”.
Artistic Director, Eilir Owen Griffiths said “Wales is known as the Land of Song and it is my vision to bring together the best of the international choral community to Wales and establish Cardiff as a centre of choral excellence. We only launched the festival six months ago and I am overwhelmed by the standard of the choirs that will compete at this year’s festival. I cannot wait to welcome these talented choirs to Cardiff.”