Chamber choir echoes international success

University of Newcastle’s Chamber Choir, Echology, on its 10th international tour, has claimed a first place at the International Kathaumixw Choral Festival in Canada.

Winning the Adult Equal Voice division, the talented line up of current and former University of Newcastle students and staff also earnt second place in the Chamber Choir category.

The victory follows a string of success for the multi-award winning choral ensemble, who has previously performed at Vatican City and placed in global competitions in America and China.

Conducted by the School of Creative Industries’ Dr Philip Matthias, for this tour Echology brought together 25 individuals who share a love of singing, including seven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singers.

Dr Matthias said the choir performed a challenging and varied repertoire, ranging from renaissance to more contemporary music.

“Echology incorporated Indigenous inspired songs into the performance, which was a great success on many levels. We enjoyed breaking new ground and exposing the audience to content that was more challenging.

“We were privileged with the opportunity as the first invited artists to perform in concert at Tla’amin Governance House – part of a first nation, self-governing community.”

Additionally, at the request of the adjudicators, Echology was invited to sing Yanaya in a surprise performance to an audience of 3,500 at the Festival’s closing ceremony – a collaboration with David Leha who was the first solo artist tied to the University’s recently launched record label, Baraya.

Featuring a Western approach and Indigenous sound, Dr Matthias said the judges were impressed with the incredibly unique collaboration of the song.

The International Choral Kathaumixw is a five day choral festival filled with concerts, choral and vocal solo competitions, conductor seminars and social events held in Powell River, British Colombia.

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