Last summer, the Birmingham University Singers (BUS) and the University Women’s Choir (UWC) competed at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod - a first for the University, and even for central Birmingham. Both choirs performed marvellously, with UWC winning their category and securing a place in the final.
The International Musical Eisteddfod is an acclaimed choral festival and competition, as well as a celebration of music, dance, costume and culture from all over the world, established after the Second World War.
BUS performed a composition by University of Birmingham lecturer Michael Zev Gordon, and the choir was praised for their excellent dynamics, diction, and ability to bring their pieces alive. The choir received a well-earned 84.3 points, but the quality of performances meant they placed 6th overall, a narrow 4.7 points behind first place.
UWC competed in the Female Choirs competition, including a performance of Jubilate Deo by MA Choral Conducting student Jan Wilke. They received 88.3 marks overall, securing them both 1st place and a place in the final. In the final, they competed against the Youth, Open, Mixed, and Male Voice winners for the Choir of the World trophy. They gave an excellent performance and received very positive feedback, but were unfortunately beaten at the post by the winners of the Mixed Choir competition.
The choirs achieved outstanding overall results and were delighted with their experiences. One first year Medical student said that taking part in the competition “made me feel so privileged to be part of University Women’s Choir.”
Simon Halsey, Professor and Director of Choral Activities, said "I am so delighted that our splendid University choirs have been recognised for what they are: among the very best student ensembles in the country. They are rightly very excited by their adventure at Llangollen and I hope sixth formers all over the country will choose to come to join us at the University of Birmingham!"