DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire Chamber Singers will compete in one of the most prestigious choral competitions in the world later this month -- the 13th Marktoberdorf International Choral Competition, in Bavaria, Germany.
Held every two years since 1989, the competition and festival runs May 16-22, 2013, and requires a competitive screening audition before the final competitors are selected. Only the finest choirs are invited to compete.
“It is a great honor for the Chamber Singers to be invited. Since its inception, the Marktoberdorf competition has featured nearly 200 choirs from all over the world. The list of participants reads like a ‘who’s-Who’ of the world’s major choral ensembles, and the competition for places is intense,” said William Kempster, professor of music and conductor of the UNH Chamber Singers.
“The Chamber Singers will present a challenging and diverse program of music spanning four centuries of choral repertoire, and will also present two other concerts in the Allgäu region of Bavaria during the period of the competition,” Kempster said.
The 22-member Chamber Singers will present its tour program in a special pre-departure performance Monday, May 13, 2013, at 8 p.m. in the Dover City Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
In the 24 years since the competition commenced, ensembles from just six other United States universities have been chosen to compete in Marktoberdorf. In addition to the UNH Chamber Singers, the list of choirs selected to participate in this year's competition includes the Swiss Youth Choir, Lausanne, Switzerland; EXtraCHORd, Montabaur, Germany; KammerChor Saarbrücken, Germany; the Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir, Helsinki, Finland; the Chœur National des Jeunes de France, Caluire, France; Coralia, San Juan, Puerto Rico; the University of the Philippines Manila Chorale, Philippines; Svetozar Markovic, Novi Sad, Serbia; and the Moores School Concert Chorale, Houston, Texas.
Immediately following the German competition, Kempster and 12 members of the Chamber Singers will then travel from Germany to Castlebar, County Mayo, in the Republic of Ireland to join 12 other UNH singers - from the UNH Concert Choir - to compete in the 2nd annual Mayo International Choral Competition May 23-27.
The UNH contingent will compete in two categories, one in which the whole ensemble performs, and another designated for smaller forces, in which the reduced Chamber Singers group will compete. The touring ensemble will be featured at the opening concert of the festival, to be held in Westport May 23. The group will also represent the United States in a special ceremony at the Mayo Peace Park honoring American soldiers who have fallen in overseas conflicts during the 20th century. The guest of honor at this ceremony will be the U.S. Defense Attache to Ireland, Lt. Col. Sean Cosden.
After the competition the UNH group will travel to the very north of the Republic of Ireland, and will present a full program at the Sligo Cathedral May 29.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
The University of New Hampshire Chamber Singers will compete in one of the most prestigious choral competitions in the world later this month -- the 13th Marktoberdorf International Choral Competition, in Bavaria, Germany.
Twelve members of the Chamber Singers and 12 members of the UNH Concert Choir will compete in the 2nd annual Mayo International Choral Competition in Castlebar, County Mayo, in the Republic of Ireland from May 23 to 27.