Participating Choirs & Orchestras

The Methodist Ladies’ College Symphony Orchestra is a Premier Division Full Orchestra and one of just two ensembles awarded ‘Outstanding’ at the 2015 and 2016 Western Australian Schools’ Orchestral Festivals in this division. Apart from recognition at state level, the orchestra was awarded the 2013 Matthew Krel Memorial Prize for orchestra excellence. It has performed at venues in the UK and mainland Europe and celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016 with a performance of the family concert, Maximus Musicus. Recent repertoire has included works by Shostakovich, Beethoven, Ravel, Handel, Bizet and Mozart, along with Australian pieces by Grainger, Sculthorpe and Grandage. Girls have also performed as soloists with the orchestra in movements from a wide range of concerti. A string orchestra and several chamber ensembles, made up of members of the orchestra, will also be performing on the 2017 Tour. Directed by Dr Robert Faulkner, girls in Symphony Orchestra also enjoy guest coaching from distinguished international string players, Haylie Ecker and Ronald Thomas, and other MLC tutors. The orchestra is sometimes led, and even conducted by senior students.

The Methodist Ladies’ College Jazz Orchestra is made up of girls between the ages of 13 and 18 and is directed by Brett Smith. It is the only all-girl school jazz orchestra to have appeared regularly at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, playing most recently in 2011 and again in 2014. It has performed at venues and festivals in Austria, Switzerland, Latvia and the UK and regularly appears at events in Western Australia. Winners of numerous awards at West Australian eisteddfods, the Jazz Orchestra was host to the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Young Women in Jazz initiative in 2014 and 2015, with girls performing at leading Perth jazz venue, The Ellington Jazz Club. Two of its members currently play in the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra. Student vocalists from the College regularly perform with the orchestra. The ensemble plays a wide range of repertoire from jazz standards to contemporary Australian jazz works. Recent repertoire has included classics by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Herbie Hancock.

The Pymble Ladies’ College Chamber String Orchestra is a select orchestra consisting of advanced players from Years 7 – 12. Many of the performers here have begun their string studies in the comprehensive String Program which begins at Year 3 in the College. The Chamber String Orchestra has enjoyed numerous successes in competitions and has achieved placings for 21 consecutive years in the City of Sydney Performing Arts Challenge. During 2009 The Chamber Strings toured Austria and Scandinavia alongside the Pymble Chorale. The Chamber Strings performed with excellent success and were awarded first place in the String Orchestra division of the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna. Mrs Narelle Colbey has been teaching at the College in the Music Department for 23 years and has been Head of Strings for a large component of her time at the College. The String Program begins in Year 3 and includes a Chamber String Orchestra, String Orchestra and String quartets in both the Junior School and the Senior school. During 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013 string players at the College have had the opportunity of working with Guest conductors from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

The Children-Junior Choir Bodra Pessen at the Municipal children’s complex in Shumen, Bulgaria was founded on 05.12.1963. Art director and conductor of the choir is Denitsa Uzunova. Zhaneta Katsarova is the piano accompanist. Two years ago at the Girls’ Choir was founded formation of women, former singers in the children’s choir. Children’s and women’s choir sing together.Pride for the town of Shumen and our country was brought by the plenty awards and medals of the choir from national and international festivals and competitions. The choir “Bodra pessen” had won the first prizes at the following international choir competitions: Debrecen, Hungary – first prize; “Guido D’Arezzo” – Arezzo, Italy – first prize; Neerpelt, Belgium, “Summa cum laude”;“Prof. Georgi Dimitrov” – Varna, Bulgaria – first prize; First International Choir Competition 2009 – Antalya, Turkey /Cum Loude/; “MOSCOW SOUNDS” 2010 – GRAND PRIX; First prize in the category ” Equal Choirs” and the highest award Grand Prix and a gold-plated statuette of the IV International Choir Festival “Chernomorski zvutsi” – Balchik, 2014. The choir “Bodra pessen” is distinguished in representing the Bulgarian children’s choir arts in Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Slovakia, Poland and France. Studio and documentary recordings in Radio Berlin, Radio Leipzig, Budapest, Brussels, Hamburg, and Sofia; at the national Polish television; and also have many audio and video recordings, and a CD. The base of choir repertoire is built on the Bulgarian song repertoire, and a great part of the songs were specially written for the choir. Many of them are arrangements of Bulgarian folk songs disclosing the specific nature of the Bulgarian national folklore with its diverse uneven rhythms.

Cantemus Children’s Choir (founded in 1975 by Dénes Szabó) is the multi international prize winning senior pupils’ choir of the Kodály Zoltán Primary School in Nyiregyháza, Hungary. Since its formation in 1975 the choir has achieved the highest of standards in choral performance and has travelled extensively to give concerts, compete, and take part in festivals in countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world – including Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, South America and the United States of America. The successes of the choir are founded on the principles of the Kodály music teaching method implemented under the leadership of Dénes Szabó, who teaches music to children in the senior years at the school, conducts and directs the choir and is the Director of the Cantemus Choral Institute. The choir’s extensive repertoire is focused on the the beauty of choral music – ranging from Gregorian chant through the Renaissance and Romantic periods to contemporary works. Some of the Hungarian repertoire is based on traditional folk music – including works by Bartók and Kodály – and some have been written especially with the choir in mind by leading contemporary Hungarian composers. As such the choir has become a standard bearer for both traditional and contemporary Hungarian music.

The Cantores Minores Youth Choir from Gniew was established in September 2004. The CM Youth Choir is led by Isabella Chyla – the music teacher and the conductor. Currently, as an inter school choir, it consists of young children from Primary School, Middle School and High School. Main achievements: 2013 – recorded the first Christmas album. The Choir has sung with „Gdański Kwartet La Scala” and the students October 2014 – The Brown Tuning Fork in the XXXIV National Competition of Children and Youths in Bydgoszcz, Poland, May 2015 – Silver Diploma in the category of „Passion Music ” on XII International Festival of Choirs Mundus Cantat in Sopot October 2015 – The Brown Tuning Fork in XXXV National Competition of Children and Youths in Bydgoszcz, Poland, December 2015 – Silver Diploma and Special Prize for the conductor in the Advent and Christmas Music Mundus Cantat” competition in Sopot. January 2015 – The Silver Prize on the XI National Passion Music Competition in Chełmno , Poland. May 2016 – Brown Diploma on Mundus Cantat Competition in Sopot. October 2016 – The Silver Tuning Fork in XXXVI National Competition of choirs A cappella in Bydgoszcz. December 2016 – Silver Diploma in the National Festiwal of Advent and Christmas Music in Krakow and the special invitation from the Director Leonardo Sagliocca on the Festival in Florence in July 2017. Christmas Eve concert at the Christmas meeting in „Urzędzie Marszałkowskim” on the special invitation by Mr Marszałka Mieczysława Struka. January 2017 – the concert of carols at the Castle in Gniew. The CM has sung with Piotr Płecha. January 2017 – The Silver prize in XII National Christmas Music Competition in Chełmnie.

From its humble beginnings in 1992, Kammerchor Manila (KM) has evolved to become one of the Philippines’ premier chamber choir today by sharing its long tradition of excellent choral music as a commitment of service to God. Through the years, its membership grew by accommodating people from all walks of life who wishes to share their talent and expertise while strengthening their ties with God. With a vast repertoire of musical genres ranging from madrigals to unconventional contemporary music, folkloric to modern OPM, sacred music to pop, KM’s versatile musical artistry have garnered them various local and international accolades and recognition that brings continuous joy and pride to the country. Currently under the musical tutelage of Mr. Anthony G. Villanueva, KM has engaged itself in music festivals, distinguished occasions and goodwill tours in Hong Kong, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Switzerland, Italy, the Vatican, and Czech Republic. KM has also participated in prestigious local and international choral competitions wherein they won the following awards: 2016 Ani ng Dangal recipient, The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), 2014 • Absolute Winner Award, Grand Prix competition round at the 42nd Festival of Songs in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The group also garnered gold medals with the highest points in the category rounds: – Superior Mixed Adult Choir – Mixed Adult Choir – Folklore Acapella – Spiritual, Gospel and Pop • 4th Place Grand Prix competition, 2nd International Choral Competition – Ave Verum in Baden, Austria. 2013 • 3rd place, Chamber Choir Category at the 1st Andrea Veneracion International Choral Festival in Manila, Philippines 2012 • 3rd place, MBC National Choral Competition in Manila, Philippines 2010 • Participant, 6th World Choir Games in Shiaoxing, China – Silver Medal, Mixed Chamber Choir Category – Bronze Medal, Folklore Category 2009 • Participant, 2nd International Anton Bruckner Choir Competition in Linz, Austria – Gold Diploma, Mixed Choir Category – Silver Diploma, Sacred Music Category – Special Prize, Outstanding Interpretation of the choral piece “Pamugun”.

The Mixed Choir Obala Koper was founded in 1977 and it is resolutely heading for its fifth decade of activity. Over 300 singers have been part of the choir through the years, as Obala constantly regenerates itself maintaining its original vital energy. An example of this is the organization of the international choir festival of Koper, a biennial event that has already become a pivot of Koper’s cultural life. In the past, the choir has been led by Mirko Slosar, Walter Lo Nigro, Ambrož Čopi and Maja Cilenšek, and since November 2008, it is successfully conducted by Sebastjan Vrhovnik. In April 2012, Obala won its twelfth gold plate at the national choral competition “Naša pesem” in Maribor. The singers are especially proud of several first prizes and awards at foreign competitions: the latest achievements come from Italy (Rimini, 2008, “C. A. Seghizzi”, 2011), the Netherlands (2006), Germany (2010), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014) and Croatia (2015). These awards are a symbol of the continuous growth in quality of the choir, which often co-organizes a number of events on local and national level. The singers enjoy working with other choirs, orchestras and organizations; the choir also stimulates the production of new music by commissioning compositions to the youngest generation of Slovene composers.

The Methodist Ladies’ College Chorale, is an equal voices (upper voices) choir made up of 60 girls between the ages of 13 and 18. MLC Chorale enjoys a prestigious reputation as a leading school choir in Western Australia. It is a multiple silver medalist at World Choir Games and gold medalist at International Grand Prix. In 2014 they were second in the Summa Cum Laude Festival in Vienna, and won two silver medals at the World Choir Games in Riga. They have sung at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in Wales, the Musikverein and MuTH in Vienna, in St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and in numerous other international venues. They are regular winners of eisteddfods in Western Australia. The choir sings a wide range of secular and sacred repertoire, mostly a capella, from the Renaissance to the present day. Chorale commissions new works and arrangements nationally and internationally. In 2016, it performed the world premiere of Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Long Road for women’s voices, a version dedicated to Methodist Ladies’ Chorale and its director, Robert Faulkner, and subsequently published by Edition Peters. Chorale has also recently premiered, with the MLC Symphony Orchestra, a new Australian work, Uluru by Rod Christian. Choristers are regular accompanists and repetiteurs, and various College ensembles, including string quartets, percussionists and the College Symphony Orchestra, perform with Chorale from time to time.

The Methodist Ladies’ College Barbershop is an equal female voices, traditional barbershop chorus. It is made up of 20 girls between the ages of 13 and 18. MLC Barbershop has performed at a wide range of venues, festivals and competitions in Europe and Australia. They were silver medalists at the 2014 World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, and have competed at the Llangollen Eistedfodd in Wales, Summa Cum Laude Festival in Vienna, and World Choir Games Grand Prix in Graz. In 2015 the MLC Barbershop placed seventh in the Sweet Adelines International Young Women In Harmony Video Chorus Contest in competition with ensembles from all over the world. It regularly wins awards at West Australian Eisteddfods and often performs for College, local community and state events. Directed by Carole Macintyre, its repertoire includes a wide range of traditional barbershop songs, and more contemporary a cappella and glee numbers, including original arrangements. Barbershop quartets are formed from within the ensemble, and these quartets also perform regularly in concert alongside the MLC Barbershop. In 2016, one of those quartets performed at the Rising Stars Competition of the Sweet Adelines International in Auckland, New Zealand, placing sixth in the Under 25-years Pan Pacific Competition.

The Pearls of Odessa has been founded by Larisa Garbuz in 1984. Since that time it has been given more than 2000 concerts in different countries around the world: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, South Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius & Reunion Islands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Ukraine. The chorus has been appearing on radio stations, television programs and shows in different countries. Also, the chorus takes part regularly in the performances of Odessa National Opera: “Nutcracker”,“Carmen”, “Tosca”, ”Turandot”, “Queen of Spades”, “Carmina Burana”, “Dido and Aeneas”, “Snow White and Seven Dwarfs” and others. The chorus has 3 different sets of costumes: 2 sets of traditional style and 1 set of modern style costumes. The repertoire of the chorus is very various: Ukrainian folklore as well as song its arrangements, world classic, contemporary works, religious orthodox songs, songs from the musicals, Christmas songs and many other works. As a present for the foreign public, the chorus usually prepares and performs several songs in the language of the country the chorus visits. The chorus has recorded various CD and video disks. Usually the chorus consists of 30-35 people for the tour and accompanied by own instrumental group (4-5 musicians): piano, violin, clarinet, set of pipe instruments, bayan (accordion) and domra. The chorus can be accompanied by the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra under direction of Igor Shavruk. On request, the choir can perform with local orchestra of the country they visit. Type of the venues: theatres, open-air stages, concert and conference halls, churches.

Le Petit Chœur Des Ondes is a French chamber choir. It comes from Toulouse (western south of France). It is composed of about ten singers, who take singing lessons with Isabelle Ramalanjaona (also an opera singer), their conductor. They are all, fond of classical songs and their musical repertory often needs vocal requirements. Le Petit Chœur Des Ondes exists since 2010. It participated to many festivals inside France or abroad, as Portugal, and soon, in Italy.

The Cathedral Girls’ Choir Puellae Orantes belongs to the elite of European choirs. It was founded in 1985 at the Cathedral Basilica in Tarnow. The founder and the conductor of the choir is Rev. Władysław Pachota. Aleksandra Topor is responsible for voice forming. Members of the choir are girls aged 10-19. The choral team is the laureate of twenty four competitions. It claimed the Grand Prix of the prestigious contests: 52° Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido d’Arezzo (Italy, 2004), 21st International May Choir Competition Prof. Georgi Dimitrow (Varna, Bulgaria, 2011), and Concorso Internazionale Corale Città di Rimini (Italy, 2013), where they won the main prize and the medal of the President of the Republic of Italy. The choir conducts extensive performance activities. It gave concerts in Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Germany, France. It also performed in the United States, Hungary, Denmark, Bulgary and Spain. The choir recorded nine CDs and one DVD. The albums of the choir enjoy great interest which can be proven by awards: Gold CDs and Platinum DVD. The Tarnów choir carries out unique projects with outstanding artists. Inter alia, in 2015 it performed concerts with the two-time Grammy Award winner – the team King’s Singers, in 2016 – Canadian Brass. “Puellae Orantes” made recordings for the Polish Television and the Polish Radio, France 2 and France 3 channels of the French Television, the Vatican Radio, as well as the Dutch and French radios.

Puzangalan Children’s Choir was founded in Majia Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan in 2008. The choir consists of children from the indigenous Paiwan tribe in Taiwan. The name “Puzangalan” means “hope” in Paiwan language, and indeed, the choir was founded with an aim to bring hope to children and spread happiness through singing. The indigenous children of the choir are well trained and taught to sing traditional Paiwan songs under the leadership and robust training of Conductor Muni Takivalji. With a repertoire that infuses traditional indigenous tunes with modern characteristics, the choir serves not only to highlight the importance of cultural inheritance, but also to enable Paiwan children to know more about their own culture. The choir has received honors at several musical competitions. It was awarded the “Gold Medal First Prize” of the Youth Category in the Competition of the 10th China Choral Festival and the 2nd Xinghai International Choral Festival (2010), and the “Gold Medal First Prize” of the Children Category of the China International Chorus Festival and the IFCM World Choral Summit (2012). In addition, it has been a three-time recipient of the First Prize of choral music in the National Student Competition of Music in Taiwan. Puzangalan Children’s Choir has been invited to sing at several renowned events at home and abroad, including the 29th Japan Choral Association KODOMO (Children) Chorus Festival (Hiroshima, 2015), the 34th International Children’s Choir Festival „Georg Friedrich Händel“ (Germany, 2013), the 4th International Children’s Choir Festival Dresden (Germany, 2012), and the Taipei International Choral Festival (Taipei, 2011-2013). In 2016, the choir performed at the Taipei International Choral Festival (for the 4th time) in August, the 11th Cantemus International Choral Festival in Hungary in August and 12th Busan Choral Festival & Competition in South Korea in October.

The Pymble Chorale is one of several select voice choirs within Pymble Ladies’ College. It consists of 60 girls from ages 12 – 18. Pymble Ladies’ College has a long tradition of excellence in choral singing and all students in the College participate regularly in choral singing in a diverse range of styles. Many of the members of The Pymble Chorale have been training from their earliest years at the College. They have enjoyed considerable success over many years in competitions and festivals both within Australia and overseas. They are several times winners of the Australasian Secondary School Choral Championships and the National Eisteddfod. The Pymble Chorale performs regularly at school functions and concerts, continuing to delight audiences with their fine choral sound and diverse and entertaining repertoire. Adjudicators and critics alike have commended the choir on their beauty of tone, excellent blend, musicality and sense of phrasing as well as their ability to create an atmosphere and draw the listener in. Being a college of the Uniting Church of Australia, the Chorale provides music for many services within the College and the wider church community. In addition they also perform for community, corporate and charity functions as well as participating in other music festivals and concerts. The Pymble Chorale has a wide ranging repertoire of sacred and secular music, both accompanied and a cappella, from 16th century European composers through to works by modern composers. The choir performs in a wide variety of languages and has a particular interest in promoting and performing the music of Australian composers.

The Girl’s Chamber Choir of the Pedagogical Faculty of the University of Ústí nad Labem was created in the autumn of 1990. The repertoire is focused especially on composisitions of contemporary composer and folk music arrangementes. It has achieved remarkable results at internationalus competetions. The most important ones include: 1st position at Spanish Cantonigros (1990), 1st position and Gold Zone at IFAS Pardubice (International Festival of Academic Choirs)– CZ (1998,2002,2014, 2016). The choir performed in February 2009 in Dvořák’s Hall – Rudolfinum Prague, on the 3rd seriál koncert of The Czech Philharmonic. The koncert called „Honor of Composers“ was arranged to honor the memory of Petr Eben, who would celebrate his 80 this year. Conductor Vladimir Kuželka graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy Univerzity J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem, major study of music teaching and from the Conservatory Teplice vČechách (CZ) – playing the piano. Mr. Kuželka was a conductor of the mixed Faculty Choir of PF Ústí n.L. as university lecturer in musical theory and pedagogy (choir conducting). Since 1990 he has been the art director of The Girls’s Chamber Choir.


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