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The Voices and Sounds of the World Choral Symposium
A montage by Leslie Crane

The conductor of the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Dirk DuHei, and a member of the choir speak about the event and Taiwan's involvement this year. The choir is singing a piece called "Carrying a Heavy Load," based on a Taiwanese hunting song. In the piece the singers throw handfuls of stones onto the stage.

The second selection is "Autumn Song," performed by the Little Singers of Armenia, a chorus of 12-16 year old singers from Armenia's capital city. A former member of the choir (Ana) who travelled to the symposium with them this year talks about what the choir has meant to her.

Johann Van Der Sandt, conductor of the University of Pretoria Choir from South Africa, discusses the mix of races and languages in his choir post-Apartheid: "We don't see color, we don't see language..." The music is a traditional South african number. Imagine dancers and drummers in colorful costumes as the choir also dances.

Next we hear "Where Are You Going, Little Rooster?" sung by the Riga Dom Cathedral Boy's Choir of Latvia. Their conductor, Martins Klisans, tells Brian Newhouse about choral singing traditions in Latvia and a festival boasting 20,000 participants sharing one stage.

Johannes Prinz, from Vienna, loves the music of Brahms, as we hear him explain. He conducts the Vienna Chamber Choir in a performance of Brahms' Zigeunerliedern.

The Amabile Boys Choir of Canada was a last minute substitute for the Cuban choir Entrevoces (they had visa problems and could not gain admittance into the United States). Member Jack Spence describes the choir's travelling uniform, a hocky jersey, while the choir sings the Canadian song "Vive l'amour."

Bobby McFerrin and his group Voicestra brought down the house on Wednesday night with their completely improvised program. Jazz singer Rhiannon and Bobby talk about their artistic processes and "cultivating the heart."

Representing Croatia was the National Folkdance Ensemble of Croatia Lado. The group's conductor, Branko Stark, tells the story of a Serbian attack on Zagreb during one of their rehearsals. Thankfully, no one was hurt or killed, and Lado's aim is to move past this experience with their music.

Two members of the World Youth Choir, from South Africa and Ecuador respectively, sum up the experience of touring with this choir representing every one of the continents and of the symposium itself as we hear a swirl of voices in an improvisation on a Swedish folk song.

World Choral Spectaular Homepage

MPR's World Choral Symposium Coverage


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