All eyes on the Gracias Choir at the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf
The world’s best International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf, Germany, runs over two days; the 23rd of May to the 24th.
During the morning session of the first day, the Gracias Choir sang in total of five songs including ‘Blessed art thou’ by Rachmaninov.
At the end of each song, the audience were shocked and whispers of awe were heard everywhere.
After the final song had finished, a powerful and warm round of applause came bursting out.
Some of the audience said that they would have to stay until the end of the competition, to hear them again and some people simply exclaimed, ‘Triple A!’, ‘Perfect!’, ‘Magic!’ or ‘Amazing’.
Even the members of the Gracias Choir thanked God for helping them sing in that perfect voice
“We sang in a way that we had never sung before. We felt an emotion that we had never felt before. Some of the members even shed tears after that performance.” (Tenor Tae Hyung Kim)
“Even though it was us who were singing, the song touched our hearts and it felt actually like it wasn’t me who was singing.” (Tenor Ji Hyuk Shin)
“I am so thankful that I am in this position now and while I was singing, it felt like God was alive and was standing next to me, singing along.” (Alto Uh Ddum Oh)
The interest in the Gracias Choir continued on to the evening concert that day.
IN the evening, the choirs were split into groups of three choirs and the Gracias Choir was able to sing in Saint Anne’s Church.
It was a typical European cathedral with high roofs and making the sound of the Gracias Choir even more beautiful, the audience could not help but admire their voice.
As the third song ended, the audience began to shout, ‘Encore!’ and when they began to stomp their feet, the Gracias Choir could not deny them one more song.
Even after the end of the last song, everyone remained standing until all of the Gracias Choir had left.
The competition’s best Director came to the concert, sitting in the front row, and other choirs that wanted to hear the song of the Gracias Choir also participated.
The Gracias Choir seemed to be a big hit amongst even the summit of world music.
On the second day, a lot more people gathered together and some even had to stand at the back. The Gracias Choir sang two songs; including ‘Gakseori taryeong’ and the audience at the back even recorded it.
The audience, who held their breath for the whole performance, were full of laughter at the Gakseori’’s (Beggar) funny motions at gave a thunderous round of applause when the song was finished.
Suitably to the image of the world’s best choir competition, the Marktoberdorf Choir Competition’s scale and the number of the audience was to a very high standard.
In this competition, there were ten choirs in the Mixed category and five in the Women’s category. In each category, there would be a 3rd Prize Winner, a 2nd Prize Winner and a 1st Prize Winner but because there was no Grand Prize, the top achievement is to win the 1st Prize.
The first day takes up 75% of the competition and the 2nd day counts for 25%. It is a competition with choirs of the highest standard without any allowances for mistakes.
Living up to the image as the best International Choir Competition, the Choirs were also of the best quality.
There were several choirs that had were of such good quality that you could not separate them.
The Gracias Choir continues to have their concerts on the evening of the 24th and 25th and the curtain of the competition closes on the 26th after one final concert.