SINGING THE BRIDGES II
Following the success of the first Euro-Mediterranean Youth Choral Festival in 2011, The Cultural Movement of Limassol “Epilogi” in collaboration with the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, organizes the second meeting of youth choirs which will bring together for three days over 200 participants for conferences, workshops and concerts that aim to explore choral music as peace building tool and stimulate collaboration within the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The project is a part of VOICE project funded by EU “Culture” Programme and co-funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus.
The Aurin Girls’ Choir was founded in 1998 from the 14-year-old previous members of the MIRACULUM Children’s Choir, continuing the aims and work of the children’s choir. The girls’ choir has been awarded eighteen first prizes in the previous years (Budapest, Debrecen – Hungary, Pohlheim – Germany, Riva del Garda, Grado, Lecco – Italy, Kalundborg – Denmark, Llangollen – Wales, United Kingdom, Xiamen – China, Kraków, Wroclaw – Poland). Both the children’s choir and the girls’ choir are constantly trying to broaden their repertoire in order to include a wide range of choral works from the Renaissance to the 20th century, paying special attention to the works of the Hungarian composers Kodály, Bartók, Bárdos and Kocsár.
Ellerhein Girls’ Choir (Estonia)
Ellerhein Girls Choir was founded in 1951 by professor Heino Kaljuste (1925-1989) who conducted the choir and directed its artistic growth until the end of his life. In 1979 Tiia-Ester Loitme started as second conductor, and was chief conductor from 1989 to 2012. Choirmaster Ülle Sander also teaches music theory, the choir’s concert master is Sten Heinoja and Vilja Sliževski their vocal pedagogue. Since 2012 the chief conductor of the choir is Ingrid Kõrvits. Ellerhein uses the relative Kodaly system in their everyday work. In 2004 the choir won the Grammy Award for “Cantatas” (J.Sibelius) released by Virgin Classics, Ellerhein Girls Choir- conductor Tiia – Ester Loitme and choirmaster Ülle Sander, Estonian National Male Choir- conductor Ants Soots and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra- conductor Paavo Järvi.In May 2012 Ellerhein won Second Prize Gold Level at the “Ave Verum” choral competition in Baden, Austria. In april 2013 Ellerhein won Second Pize in cathegory of Youht choirs at the international choral festival “Tallinn 2013”, also took part from Grand Prix’ competition. On January 1st 2013 Ellerhein took part in the New Year’s concert at the Estonian Concert Hall with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra – conductor Paavo Järvi.
Cairo Conservatoire Youth Choir (Egypt)
The Cairo Conservatoire Youth Choir gave many concerts with the Cairo Conservatoire Orchestra- since its foundation in the 70s – at Sayed Darwish Theatre, Cairo Opera House and The Egyptian Universities. Different Egyptian professors conducted and trained the Choir as Dr. Nadia Abdel Aziz, Dr. Enayat Wasef from The Musical Education Faculty in addition to different foreign professors like Klaus Hoffmann (Germany), Hayk Sargsyan (Armenia), David Blanchivadze and Maya Givineria (Georgia). Currently, Dr. Mona Hafez is training the Choir. The Cairo Conservatoire Choir presents European, classical and folkloric music besides music of the contemporary Egyptian composers like Attia Sharara, Gamal Abdel Rahim and Alaa El Din Mostafa. The Choir participated in concerts at The American University in Cairo and the Italian, French and British cultural centers. In 1995 the Choir participated in the International Festival held in Nancy- France. In 2011 in took part in Choral Crossroads 2011 in Limassol, Cyprus. The Choir represented Egypt in the China International Choir Festival in Beijing. Cairo Conservatoire Choir was rewarded prizes from different organizations like the Supreme Cultural Council.
The choir was stablished in Saint Joseph’s monastery – Jrabta (Tomb of Saint Rafqa) in the year 2010, and it’s formed by two groups: children’s choir & adult’s choir conducted by Sister Marana Saad. The choir receives training on sacred chanting in specific Maronite chants and classical Lebanese singing. Weekly rehearsals include musical formation and vocal exercises in small groups and within the choir. Choir members are divided into study groups and attend weekly classes in the “Institute of Saint Rafqa for Music – ISRM” such as: theory and solfege, musical listening, music and liturgy, etc. Instructors at the institute collaborate through a frame of educational orientation based on the principles of focusing on the Maronite sacred music and proper musical education. Saint Rafqa’s Choir also contributed to several soundtrack recordings and filming of movies including . In addition to chanting in masses in religious ceremonies, in the monastery and other holy places, Saint Rafqa’s choir under the direction of Sister Marana Saad has performed throughout Lebanon and cooperating with major cultural, educational and religious institutions in the country. In 2013, the Choir visited France and performed the “Mediterranean Symphony” in collaboration with Opéra Berlios from Montpellier.
EPILOGI Youth Choir was founded in 2007. It consists of 60 young people between the ages of 14-20. Since it foundation the Choir has taken part in various events, festivals, concerts both in Cyprus and abroad, and was awarded at international choral competitions in St.Petersburg in 2009 and Bratislava in 2010. EPILOGI Youth choir has co-operated with renowned Cypriot and foreign musicians, conductors, choirs and orchestras, such as the Budapest Concert Orchestra, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, the Fulda Cathedral Youth Choirs and others. The Choir performs a wide range of sacred and secular music from the Renaissance to the present day, including choral arrangements of traditional songs, music by Greek and Cypriot composers, as well as World music with preference to the contemporary repertory. The choir is a member of EUROPA CANTAT. Artistic Director of the “EPILOGI” Youth Choir, since its foundation, has been Mrs. Angelina Nicolaidou-Spanou.