Tara Schumaker of Gilbertsville, PA will compete with the Mansfield University Concert Choir, directed by Peggy Dettwiler, at the 2014 World Choir Games, the largest international choral competition in the world, July 9-19 in Riga, Latvia.
Thousands of singers in 491 choirs from 59 countries around the world are already registered to join together in festive competition for gold medals and championships at the event known as “the Olympics for Choirs.”
The MU choir will participate in three separate categories singing four different selections in each: Mixed Youth Choir, Sacred Music with Accompaniment, and Spirituals.
The Mansfield entourage of 55 students and eight adult travelers will depart from campus on Monday, June 30. They will visit and perform in Lübeck and Berlin, Germany, Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania before arriving in Riga, Latvia.
The MU Concert Choir is no stranger to the World Choir Games. In 2008, in Graz, Austria, Mansfield won the championship in the Gospel & Spiritual Category and placed second among 36 choirs in the Mixed Youth Choir Category. In Cincinnati, OH in 2012, MU won three gold medals.
The Concert Choir embarked on their first international tour in 1996 and has brought much acclaim to Mansfield University through the years. The choir was a finalist in the Floril?ge Vocal de Tours International Choral Festival in Tours, France; a winner of a Gold Medal and a special prize for “Artistic Interpretation” at the Robert Schumann International Choir Competition in Zwickau, Germany; and they placed fourth in the International Choir Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.
In 2011, the group won first-place and two second-place prizes at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, and was awarded the 2011 American Prize in Choral Performance for the College/University Division.
The Concert Choir has performed in 13 countries during their six European Tours and will add three more countries on this, their seventh tour. Concert Choir alumni will attest to the life-changing experiences gained through international touring. From witnessing the differing architecture, art, music, language, dress, and food, and being exposed to other people and divergent attitudes, students gain a broadening and educational experience that is unforgettable; they become more aware of world events and the differences, similarities, and connections between people around the world.
The Mansfield travel party will depart from the Butler Center parking lot on the MU Campus on Monday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m.
The public is invited to see them off.
Fans can also keep track of the Concert Choir by joining their Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/267068086783122/
For more information on the World Choir Games, go to interkultur.com/world-choir-games