Southern Chorale visited Europe this summer
The Georgia Southern Chorale recently completed an 18-day tour of Austria and Germany, culminating in performances and two international choral competitions. This was not only an opportunity for 32 choral students to experience the culture and rich musical history of the area, but also to perform alongside other internationally recognized choirs.
The tour began with a visit to Vienna, the City of Music. Vienna is alive with musical culture, serving an important role (and as the final resting place) for such musical icons as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Strauss. Students also saw the relationship between music and history as they toured the Schönbrunn Palace. We even fit in some time for a baking class, where we learned to make traditional Austrian breads.
The next stop was the beautiful town of Baden, Austria. Southern Chorale was selected to perform at the beautiful Festival of Roses, an important regional celebration held in Baden’s Doblhoffpark. The choir was thrilled to compete alongside choirs from seven other countries. It was wonderful to expose these students to the musical heritage of countries such as the Philippines, Sweden, Hungary, and Ukraine. Dr. Shannon Jeffreys was awarded the Conductors Promotion Prize for outstanding conducting of an ensemble. Southern Chorale received Gold with 92.8 points!
Southern Chorale then toured historic Melk Abbey (and provided an impromptu performance) on the way to Salzburg. There were so many musical sites to see, including Mozart’s home and settings for the movie-musical “The Sound of Music.” We were treated to a private dinner and concert of Mozart’s music atop the Hohensalzburg Schloss.
After a brief stop in Innsbruck, the tour culminated at the Marktoberdorf International Choral Competition. This is the most challenging and prestigious choral competition in the world, and it was a thrill for the Southern Chorale to be accepted into this event. After three days of competition and evening performances, the Georgia Southern Chorale received the Level 1 Certificate, the highest level of achievement possible. The choir was also ranked 7th overall, ranking above and amongst professional choirs from the Philippines, Ireland, and Russia, and the United States.