Choral Fireworks bring highly successful World Choir Games 2018 to a close

Ed’s Note : South Africa has done it again!  Not only did  the fabulous St Mary’s DSG, Kloof Choir, conducted by Lindy van der Meulen, win Gold in the Scenic Folklore category but The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir, conducted by Bernard Krüger, win 2 Golds, one in the Scenic Pop/ category and one for Children Choirs. 

We are just the best are we not.  St Mary’s DSG Kloof Choir were delighted with their gold medal won in their category Scenic Folklore with 83.5%. This was awarded gold at the World Choir Games and earned them first place in the category. In total, 16000 singers in 300 amateur choirs from 60 countries took part in the Games.

At the 10th World Choir Games (first time on African soil) with over Artistic Director at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School Bernard Krüger said in an exclusive interview with Anytime Magazine (to be published in their August edition) “The Drakensberg Boys Choir has never competed in this competition and for us as the new entrance was quite an achievement and very exciting for us to win” And they won it away from last years winners, Kearsny College. With over 95% they swept the Gold away from other entries for Scenic Pop which is a category popular with audiences and entrants alike. They also won in the category of Children’s Choirs with a score of 89.39%

The melodies will fade away but the spirit of the World Choir Games 2018 will remain. 10 days of Various Voices – One Harmony brought memories for a lifetime, unexpected encounters and a unique collection of songs from all corners of the world. The Closing Ceremony in Sun Arena on July 14 draws the final curtain of the event which united more than 300 choirs, and over 16 000 participants from more than 60 countries and regions in choral singing.

The 10th anniversary event and the first-ever World Choir Games on African soil came up with quite a number of premieres: 14 world premieres of choral works in category Musica Contemporanea, the new WCG anthem “One Voice” by John Rutter which resounded here in Tshwane for the first time or the Choral Olympic Flame which will continue to burn for all future World Choir Games events. 

Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR says: “The past days have once again proved that peace in the world can be advanced by the means of music. The World Choir Games 2018 have united so many nations in song who all simply want to make music together regardless of origins, religious backgrounds or ideologies. I am proud that INTERKULTUR and the World Choir Games 2018 have contributed a significant share to this purpose of greater good.”

The traditional Parade of Nations from Tshwane House to Union Buildings as well as a total of six exceptional high-level Celebration Concerts were only some of the highlights of the World Choir Games 2018. All in all more than 50 concerts and over 400 competition performances took place during the entire event and showcased brilliant choral singing throughout the event.

On July 14 the last Medals and Diplomas have been awarded in an emotional and atmospheric Awards Ceremony. The Champions of the World Choir Games 2018 have been paid due tribute for their performances: Best choir in the competition was The Aeolians of Oakwood University from the USA (conducted by Jason Max Ferdinand) by achieving the brilliant result of 97,88 points in the category Spiritual.

All in all the international jury has awarded 12 Bronze, 92 Silver and 134 Gold Medals in The Champions Competition of the World Choir Games 2018. In The Open Competition a total of 3 Bronze, 104 Silver and 67 Gold Diplomas were given to the participating choirs. The top countries of Medal Winners of the World Choir Games 2018 are South Africa with 76 and China with totally 25 medals. They are followed by Russia, USA and Germany.

The next host country Belgium showed excellent performances with the Show Choir Rise Up and the Jeugdkoor Waelrant and scored 2 Gold Medals in the Champions Competition and 2 category wins in the Open Comeptition.

The Closing Ceremony in the evening of July 14 represented a last impressive Choral Fireworks featuring a huge Festival Stage Choir consisting of 14 choirs and about 1000 singers from four nations. They performed the official music of the World Choir Games 2018 – “Singomanqoba” by Sibongile Khumalo and “One Voice” by John Rutter – as well as a selection of famous songs from all over the world.

The host country South Africa handed over the flag of the World Choir Games to the representatives of the next host country of the World Choir Games 2020 of Flanders/Belgium. And at the same moment the singers were bid farewell by South Africa, they were already welcomed with open arms by Flanders/Belgium.

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