The First Winners of the Choir Games Awarded; Latvia Wins Medals too

The First Winners of the Choir Games Awarded; Latvia Wins Medals too
In an emotional awards ceremony at the “Arena Riga” on the night of the 12th of July, the first winners of the World Choir Games in seven categories were announced, winning the title of the 2014 World Choir Games Champions and accepting the champion’s statuettes designed by artist Olga Šilova. The ceremony also saw the best choirs in the Open Competition awarded golden, silver and bronze Diplomas.

In the Champions Competition, Latvian choirs have won three gold and ten silver medals, as well as five golden and five silver diplomas in the Open Competition.

The results of the Champions Competition, featuring choirs that have participated in, and won, international competitions, are as follows:

In the 2014 World Choir Games category “Young Male Choirs”, “Diocesan Boys School Choir” from Hong Kong won the Champion’s title.

“University of Pretoria Camerata”, of South Africa, triumphed in the “Mixed Youth Choirs” category. Also, the mixed choir of the Riga State Gymnasium No. 1, conducted by Kaspars Vēvers, won gold.

“Chapel of Boys and Young Men of the Sverdlovsk State Children Philharmonic”, Russia, was titled the Champion in the “Boys’ Choirs” category.

Latvian choirs have won several medals in the “Musica Sacra with Accompaniment” category. “Stellenbosch University Choir”, South Africa, was repeatedly crowned the Champion in this category. Gold medals went to the Latvian choirs “Via Stella” (conductor Liene Batņa) and the University of Latvia Physics and Mathematics School mixed choir “Aura” (conductor Edgars Vītols).

Furthermore, several Latvian choirs won silver in this category: Sigulda mixed choir “Atvars” (conductor Jānis Baltiņš), children’s choir “Lielvārde” (conductor Baiba Klepere), mixed choir “Anima” (conductor Kārlis Rūtentāls), Liepāja Youth Choir “Intis” (conductor Ilze Valce), mixed chamber choir “Matejs” (conductors Rudīte Tālberga and Māris Dravnieks), and the mixed choir of the Riga State Gymnasium No. 1 (conductor Kaspars Vēvers).

Saturday night, best performers in the “Barbershop Quartets” category were also honoured. “KeyChord” won the 2014 World Choir Games Champion’s title, whereas Latvia’s “Harmony 4 Riga” (conductor Ārijs Šķepasts) took the silver.

In the “Barbershop Choirs” category, “The Old Joe’s Choir” from Sri Lanka was named the Champion – the first Sri Lankan choir to win such high recognition at the World Choir Games.

The Chinese “Choir of Nankai University” was titled the Champion in the “Scenic Folklore” category, whereas Latvian choirs won three silver medals. These include the University of Latvia Physics and Mathematics School mixed choir “Aura” (conductor Edgars Vītols), children’s choir “Lielvārde” (conductor Baiba Klepere) and youth choir “Mēs lidosim…” (conductor Liene Batņa).

Also, the winners in these respective categories in the Open Competition were announced, as were the winning choirs in the “Senior Choirs” category:

The Golden Diplomas in the Open Category were presented to the Jelgava Region senior choir “Gaisma” (conductor Zita Kurševa), Riga Latvian Society House senior choir “eReLBe” (conductor Zaiga Lazdiņa), senior choir “Atvasara” (conductor Skaidrīte Pugača), choir “Vivat” (conductors Ināra Freimane and Jānis Veļičko) and mixed choir “Vidzemīte” (conductors Dzidra Jēkabsone and Baiba Žēbina).

The Silver Diplomas went to the senior female choir “Noktirne” (conductor Ilga Bērziņa), senior female choir “Atvasara” (conductor Daiga Galeja), chamber choir “Amadeus” (conductor Inga Dziļuma), the Ogre Culture Centre Youth Choir (conductors Gunita Bičule and Daina Čudare), and the Riga 84th High School mixed choir “Harmonija” (conductor Justīne Voitkeviča).

For a full list of the winning choirs, see this website.

The World Choir Games is the largest choir music festival in the world, which this year brings 460 choirs from 73 countries on five continents, or a total of 27,000 choir singers, to Riga. The idea of the World Choir Games is to bring people together through singing in peaceful competition. For ten days, from the 9th to the 19th of July, competitions in 29 categories are held in Riga concert halls and parks, as well as master classes and seminars, special concerts and friendship concerts, the Parade of Nations and much, much more.

The World Choir Games are hosted biennially since 2000. The Games in Riga are organised by the “Riga 2014” foundation in co-operation with the German cultural organisation “Interkultur”.


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