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Quire of Voyces to Take Summer Trip to Wales for International Choral Competition

The Quire of Voyces with Artistic Director Nathan Kreitzer (center). The group will be traveling to Wales this summer for an international choral competition.
The Quire of Voyces with Artistic Director Nathan Kreitzer (center). The group will be traveling to Wales this summer for an international choral competition. (Quire of Voyces photo)

A Santa Barbara choir is heading for the choral capital of the world — a tiny town in Wales, the United Kingdom’s land of song, this summer as part of a Californian
gold rush.

The Quire of Voyces is making its first visit to Wales, and manager Patty Volner said, “People may ask how we in California heard about Llangollen, but doesn’t everyone in the choral world know about Llangollen? We think of it as the choral capital of the world.”

They will be at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for the Choir of the World competition for the Pavarotti Trophy.

The coveted trophy is named for the legendary Italian tenor who had his first taste of international success at Llangollen in 1955 as a member of the Chorus Rossini from Modena.

Now the fame of the Choir of the World event and other choral competitions at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has enticed them to make the 5,000-mile trek to Wales for this summer’s 70th festival.

“Being in Llangollen and around so many others singers from all around the world and sharing our passion for music will be an experience unlike any other,” Volner said. “The coming together of groups from different cultures offers an experience to broaden one’s perspective and we agreed our deep commitment to the arts shares the same values of the original founders of the Eisteddfod. We are so excited to be a part of this festival.”

The Quire was founded by artistic director Nathan Kreitzer in 1993, and while the mixed choir focuses primarily on performing in California, it aims to our once every three to five years.

“We are dedicated to presenting and recording world-class interpretations of sacred a cappella works from the Renaissance and modern eras,” Volner said. “Performing in Llangollen will give us a much wider audience and recognition worldwide while also meaning we can learn from other high quality groups.”

The Quire of Voyces has sung at High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican as well as at Salisbury and Canterbury Cathedrals and in Naples, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Finland, Estonia and Sweden.

An eisteddfod is a traditional Welsh competitive festival of the arts, particularly celebrating song and dance, and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod was set up to promote worldwide peace and harmony in the days after the end of the Second World War.

It was held for the first time in 1947 and over the years since then its concerts have featured stars like Pavarotti, Joan Baez, Burt Bacharach, Lulu and Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.

California will be well represented at this year’s Eisteddfod. Bob Cole Conservatory Choir from Long Beach, the Davis Madrigal Singers and Palmdale’s Sunday Night
Singers will be just a few of the Quire’s competitors, and all are hoping to strike gold against choirs from around the globe at the iconic festival.

Eilir Owen Griffiths, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod’s Musical Director, said, “We know just how strong the choral music scene is in California. Last year we had two Californian choirs and this year to be able to welcome four choirs is wonderful.

“I'm delighted to hear that Llangollen is considered by our Californian friends to be the choral capital of the world. That’s a sentiment I certainly wouldn’t argue with.”

This year’s Eisteddfod begins Tuesday, July 5, 2016, with an opening night concert by superstar soprano Katherine Jenkins, who will sing Bizet’s Carmen opposite New York tenor Noah Stewart.

Other concerts will feature Bryn Terfel and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja with the Choir of the World competition for the Pavarotti Trophy on Saturday
before the final concert on Sunday featuring Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

For more on the Eisteddfod, visit www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk, and for more on the Quire of Voyces, visit quireofvoyces.org.

— Alistair Syme is a publicist representing Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

 

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