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Chamber Choir captures top award

By Jeff Green | May 1, 2006

Memorial University's Chamber Choir has won bragging rights to a national award.

The ensemble, under the direction of veteran musician Dr. Doug Dunsmore, captured the top award in the University Choir category Tuesday, May 2, during the CBC/Radio Canada National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs.

Part one of that competition aired nationally Tuesday evening. Memorial placed first in its group while the University of Saskatchewan placed second.

The contest is open to amateur groups who rehearse regularly and whose individual members do not receive a professional fee.

Memorial's Chamber Choir is made up of students, faculty and the community at large and was first formed in 1975.

  • Listen to the Memorial Chamber Choir perform Fair Phyllis. Runs: 1:37 mins.

The group has represented the province and university on various tours throughout Canada, and served as Canadian ambassadors in two British tours.

The choir performed at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist during live finals for the competition which aired on Choral Concert on CBC Radio Two.

A panel of internationally-renowned choral experts judged each group.

Another group with strong ties to Memorial took top honours Tuesday evening.

Lady Cove Women's Choir, under the direction of alumna Kellie Walsh, placed first in the Equal Voice Female category. Ms. Walsh is the founder and artistic director of that group and holds bachelor degrees in both music and music education from Memorial, as well as a masters degree in conducting.

And, the group Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, conducted by Chad Stride, an honours graduate from Memorial's School of Music and Faculty of Education, received on honourable mention during Wednesday night’s portion of the competition. The group performed in the Chamber Choir category. Mr. Stride also founded the choir.

Meanwhile, another major award handed out during the competition has connections to the university. The Galaxie Rising Star Award for the choir with the most potential in the entire competition that did not place in the finals was awarded to Newman Sound whose co-conductors include Dr. Dunsmore and Ms. Walsh. That award came with a $2,000 prize.

  • Listen to Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir perform Sanctus. Runs: 2:48 mins.

  • Listen to Lady Cove perform Augelus. Runs: 1:42 mins.

First prize in the competition was $3,000 per category. Second prize was $2,000 per category. The grand prize was $5,000.