The experience of singing in gothic churches and touring around Austria was the meat and potatoes for Victoria Children’s Choir members.
Winning their category at the recent Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival in Vienna was the gravy.
“The win was only part of it. The win was something that wasn’t expected, but it certainly was wonderful,” said choir artistic director Madeleine Humer.
“We went into this to learn and to grow and see what we were (capable of) as musicians and as an ensemble.”
The Victoria singers, who were the lone choir representing Western Canada at the competition, performed six pieces in all. Two were compositions common to all choirs in the category of treble choir – the term dates before the Second World War and refers to children or youth voices in a higher register – and four were of their own choosing.
The VCC made a particular impact on judges with their rendition of “Epitaph for Moonlight,” by Canadian composer Murray Schaefer. It helped give the 37-member Victoria group first-place marks and an overall grade of ‘outstanding.’ They also performed the piece during the gala awards night for the festival.
The group, primarily in their early to mid-teens, competed in the 30-and-under age division. The bumping up in age was due to the inclusion of four young men who had graduated from the VCC concert choir program. Humer said the four did a magnificent job singing falsetto parts throughout, despite having long since experienced changes to their voices.
The Victoria Children’s Choir begins its 11th season of operation in September. Visit www.victoriachildrenschoir.ca for more information.