August 25, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 1

The Northridge Singers, pictured here on campus, win "Choir of the World" honors
at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales.

Northridge Singers Win 'Choir of World' Title in Wales

More Than 40 Nations Compete for Top Choral Prize; Four CSUN Students Receive Individual Honors

The Northridge Singers, Cal State Northridge's acclaimed choral group, won "Choir of the World" honors in July, taking the top prize at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, one of the world's premier choral competitions.

Led by conductor Paul Smith, the choir made a sensational debut appearance at the invitation-only festival, winning not only the ultimate honor but several honors for individual singers as well.

Northridge students Shira Thomas and Sara Murphy took first and second place respectively in the solo vocals competition, and Vanessa Douglas and Delaney Gibson took first and third respectively in the songs from shows division.

"I am enormously proud of the singers and of their director, professor Paul Smith," said William Toutant, dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication. "The Northridge Singers have always been one of our premier ensembles. We were honored when we were invited to take part in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod."

"I am delighted that I work in an environment with talented students and colleagues," said Smith. "In this setting, there are many opportunities for achievement, and winning this event was but one of them. We worked hard to earn this prize, and share it as a reflection of the work of our talented faculty."

Singers from nearly 40 nations jammed the streets of Llangollen, a town of 3,000 in northeastern Wales' picturesque Dee Valley, for the week-long festival that culminated in the "Choir of the World" competition.

Among the countries taking part in this year's competition were Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brittany, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Holland, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Sardinia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.

At the competition, the choir performed a diverse musical program, ranging from works by Renaissance master Orlando di Lasso to a spectacular New Zealand Maori war chant by Japanese composer Shinichiro Ikebe.

@csun | August 25, 2003 issue
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