Gracias Choir was awarded Grand Prize on April the 16th, from a total of 6 teams in the final round at the International Choir Competition Riva del Garda.
In its 13th year, the competition first began in 1988 at Budapest, and has grown to become the benchmark for worldwide choir competition through its new competition evaluation system called “Musi Mundi.”
This competition is held annually at the beautiful San Giuseppe Church built in 1579.
During this year’s competition, 20 teams from 14 countries participated, and Gracias Choir was the only choir representing Asia. Out of a total of 9 categories, Gracias Choir performed on the 14th under the General Music free program as an A1, and performed under the Hymnal category as a S1 on the 15th. Therefore by coming first place in both the A1 and S1, they entered the final round and were awarded the exclusive Grand Prize on the 16th.
On the 14th, the Gracias Choir began their performance with their chosen song, “De Profundis.” On the last day, they showed an excellent performance that revealed Korea’s beauty and culture through a traditional Korean folk song, “Beggar’s Song.”
The next day on the 15th, they went on stage being first in order, and gave a quality performance by singing songs that highlighted their respective generations such as “O Rex Gloriae.” Gracias choir received high ratings from all judges for both performances, and boldly claimed 1st place while advancing to the final round.
The final round had the vibe of an international festival with participants waving their country flags.
A total of 6 teams participated, and the Gracias Choir performed last.
As they sang “Sunset Music” and “Song of Cherubim”, the crowded audience lost their breath and was captivated by Gracias’ Choir’s song. Shouts and thunderous applause soon followed after the song ended.
In both categories A1 and S1, the Gracias Choir held a huge point difference from the 2nd place team, was awarded the gold medal with a near perfect score, and eventually the exclusive Grand Prize.
For the encore performance, they sang the Korean traditional folk song “Beggar’s Song”, and tenor Paul Oh, who played the role of the beggar, along with the entire choir danced joyfully as the audience responded with laughter and applause.
As the choir competition came to an end, many choirs congratulated the Gracias Choir and even greeted them personally. As some members shed tears of joy, with happy hearts they boarded the bus heading for a competition in Switzerland.