Oregon pip Dubs to take festival crown

The University of Oregon Chamber Choir last night pipped Irish ensemble New Dublin Voices to the coveted top prize in this year’s Cork International Choral Festival.

Using a stringent marking formula, the international jury judging the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition gave the US choir 92.67% and the Dublin choir 90.11%.

It was a climatic end to a highly successful festival involving some 5,000 musicians, 1,000 of them international, performing in 122 different ensembles in 63 venues around Cork.

The festival, which has been running since 1954 and is considered one of Europe’s premier choral events, got off to the ideal start on Wednesday when members of the Voci Nuove Chamber Choir climbed to the top of the landmark Shandon steeple just before dawn broke and sang out as the first rays shone across the city.

From then right up to last night’s gala closing event, venues across the city were packed to capacity.

According to festival manager Sinead Madden, attendances were up significantly on last year, not least due to the number of free and fringe events. It is estimated that 35,000 people watched the performances.

As well as the top prize for the Oregon choir, last night’s awards saw New Dublin Voices named Ireland’s Choir of the Year and Presentation Secondary School Choir from Ballyphehane in Cork named School Choir of the Festival.

* A full list of award winners will be published in County tomorrow.

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