A global honour for NUSChoir

Members of the NUSChoir during their performance at the competition (Photo: Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod)

The coveted Pavarotti Trophy will be coming to Singapore for the first time. On 7 July, the NUSChoir took overall honours and won the title of “Choir of the World” at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod held in Wales.

First staged in 1947 as the “International Eisteddfod”, the competition was conceived as a means of healing the wounds from the Second World War and to help promote lasting peace through music. In the 71 years since, more than 300,000 competitors from over 100 nationalities have competed in the annual event.

The 60 members of the NUSChoir competed in three categories: Mixed Choirs, Youth Choirs and Open Choirs, demonstrating the range of their repertoire by performing works from Europe, Cuba, Japan, South Africa and Singapore. Strong results in all three categories saw the group qualify for the “Choir of the World” competition alongside groups from Wales, South Africa and Poland.

To win the highest award, the group performed an eclectic selection of pieces, including When David Heard by Richard Burchard, Que Rico E', by Guido Lopez Gavilan and finishing with a delightfully playful Humpty Dumpty Medley, arranged by Paul Hart.

The choir’s beautiful harmonies and stagecraft charmed both the audience and the adjudicators in the final contest, and Choral Director and Resident Conductor, Dr Nelson Kwei, triumphantly raised the trophy at the end of the competition.

“To be the first Singapore choir to win the most coveted title "Choir of the World" is an achievement that belongs to all the singers and NUS Centre For the Arts,” said Dr Kwei following the victory. “I hope we have done our country proud by showing the world our artistic skill and total commitment to choral excellence.”

There will be no break for the NUSChoir as they will be going straight into rehearsals for their next public performance upon their return to Singapore. Together with the NUS Symphony Orchestra, they will be part of the closing performance of the NUS Arts Festival on 22 September. Tickets will go on sale from 16 July.

by the NUS Centre For the Arts