A Glee Club from the Philippines were last night awarded the Fleischmann International Trophy on the last day of the Cork International Choral Festival.
The Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club took the top prize with a score of 93.89%. The choir also took the PEACE Trophy, which is awarded to the choir that best embraces the spirit of the festival. The choir, led by conductor Maria Lourdes Venida-Hermo, beat Ensemble vocal from Germany into second place.
Third place went to Hwa Chong Choir from Singapore.
However, there was controversy in the National Competition when no first prize was awarded in any of the four Premier categories.
A number of choirs are understood to have expressed their anger to festival director John Fitzpatrick.
Conductor of the Claremont Chorale choir from Dundalk, Ronan Dennedy, said he planned to write a letter of complaint to the festival.
Mr Dennedy said the competing choirs felt the rules had changed to require a higher standard and that this was not relayed to the choirs in advance of the festival.
“People were gobsmacked and there was quite a bit of anger when it was announced,” he said. “It was very badly handled. All the silverware was brought onto the stage and it just stayed there. Quite a few choirs said they had never been treated so badly and would not be coming back.”
Mr Dennedy said the manner in which the results were handled was “very insensitive” and that the judging panel displayed “a touch of arrogance” by not awarding a first prize in any of the categories.
However, a spokesperson for the festival said the rules and criteria had not changed and the judges felt that none of the competing choirs reached the standard for a first prize to be awarded.
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