UO Chamber Choir brings home trophy from Ireland

The University of Oregon Chamber Choir placed first in a major international competition on Saturday in Cork, Ireland.

The Chamber Choir, the most select ensemble in the university’s eight-choir choral arts program, competed in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival . The festival is renowned as one of Europe’s most prestigious choral arts events.

The competition’s judges awarded the Chamber Choir a score of 92.67 percent, surpassing local favorites New Dublin Voices.

The UO Chamber Choir was one of 11 ensembles competing in a field of thirty choirs (hailing from seventeen countries) that auditioned, and was the sole representative of the United States. The choir competed with a set featuring both sacred and secular repertoire spanning 400 years, sung in seven languages, with styles as varied as Italian madrigals to bluegrass-influenced gospel, from composers including Monteverdi, Schütz, Debussy, Sydney Guilaume, and Eric William Barnum.

The competition was conducted in Cork’s beautiful City Hall, known to choral enthusiasts the world over as one of the most acoustically perfect venues in Ireland. Leading up to the competition, the Chamber Choir also presented concerts in Dublin, Kells, and Loughrea.

The Chamber Choir, directed by UO Professor Sharon J. Paul, includes both undergraduate and graduate students and performs a cappella music from the 16th through 21st centuries.

Paul is professor of music, chair of vocal and choral studies, and director of choral activities at the University of Oregon, where she teaches graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy, and conducts the Chamber Choir and University Singers ensembles. 

Dr. Paul served as artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus from 1992 to July 2000. Dr. Paul has presented interest sessions at national and international music conferences. She appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, and honor choir director throughout the United States.

Aaron Ragan-Fore