SMC Chamber Singers and Glee Club Win Silver Medals at World Choir Games

Saint Mary’s Chamber Singers and Glee Club are once again medal winners at the World Choir Games. Both the Chamber Singers and Glee Club earned silver medals in the South African city of Tshwane, at an international music competition that drew an estimated 20,000 singers from 44 countries.
 
Saint Mary’s Chamber Singers and Glee Club are once again medal winners at the World Choir Games. Both the Chamber Singers and Glee Club earned silver medals in the South African city of Tshwane, at an international music competition that drew an estimated 20,000 singers from 44 countries.Recently retired music professor Marty Rokeach, who accompanied the two choral groups to the competition, was joyful about SMC’s singers winning in the mixed chambers and pop choir categories at the games. “We were incredibly proud, and the singers felt they had performed at their very best.” 

Choir Director Julie Ford was ecstatic about the choir’s achievements and attributed part of their success to the academic underpinnings within the music department’s use of new vocal science-based techniques “that undergird our pedagogy and truly are positioning us on the cutting edge within the choral field.” She also expressed deep appreciation for voice teacher Kelly Fosdahl Burge, “who also came along on the trip and provided real time vocal coaching as needed. Her contributions are quite extraordinary and certainly helped us to reach such a high level of achievement.”

Many of the choir members shared their pride about participating in the World Choir Games on SMC’s social media channels, including Alexis Clark Rodriguez, who said on Instagram, “The Saint Mary’s Chamber Singers and Glee Club were one of nine choirs chosen to represent the U.S.A. in the World Choir Games in Tshwane, South Africa. We sang, we danced, we competed, and we shared the universal love for music with choirs from countries all over the world. This was my second international tour as a member of the SMC choirs, and I am so grateful that my passion for music can make a difference in this world.”

Also sharing via Instgram was Julia Hoessl, who graduated in May. “I was lucky enough that my final SMC event was a trip with my best friends to South Africa. Going to the World Choir Games with the SMC choirs was such a fantastic way to end my undergraduate career. Beyond competing, there were so many unique intercultural experiences involved in the World Choir Games.”

Hoessl added, “One of my favorite memories is representing the United States in the World Choir Games, Parade of Nations. On the final day, we marched down, decked out in Stars and Stripes from the Tshwane city center to the South African Capital buildings with people from all over the world! We sang with choirs from South Africa, Norway, Singapore and so many more. There is nothing quite like sharing music and connecting with people who are just as passionate as we are about choral music. I made fantastic friends that day and came back with memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”