Arts & Life, Features

Long Beach State’s Chamber Choir will compete in Wales this summer for the title of “Choir of the World”

Long Beach State’s Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir won the title of “Choir of the World” in 2016 at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod Festival in Wales and are back and ready for more. 

Every summer, the Llangollen International Eisteddfod Festival is held in Wales in the United Kingdom. At the festival, multiple choirs from all around the world compete against each other in order to win the title of “Choir of the World.” 

“We are shooting to be the only American choir to win twice,” Jonathan Talberg, director of the BCC Chamber Choir, said. 

Next summer, the choir will be traveling to Llangollen again and will be competing against other choirs from around the world. The two-week tour in July will have the team performing in different countries. 

“After we have our five days in Wales, we are going to fly to the Netherlands and we are presenting ‘Carmina Burana’ in Amsterdam and in Brussels,” Talberg said. 

After performing “Carmina Burana,” the choir will end their trip with a concert in Berlin, where they will perform a variety of great American choral music. 

The chamber choir will not be the only group of people attending the European tour. Any student that registers for one of the five choirs on campus in the spring will be singing “Carmina Burana,” giving them the opportunity to travel with the group.  

“I have invited other members of the university to join us for the second part of the trip, for the ‘Carmina Burana’ piece and the other concert that we will be doing in Berlin,” Talberg said.  

Throughout the year, the chamber choir will be fundraising to help fund the tour. The choir will be putting together extra concerts, caroling during the wintertime, using direct donations and having a dinner fundraiser. 

“We are going to have to hustle,” Talberg said. “Each student is expected to contribute between $1,800 and $2,000…and that’s after we raise $85,000.”

Talberg is currently in the process of meeting with the director of the foundation, Vice President Cesca, in October to map out their plans for the tour. 

According to Talberg, the choir has full support from the university. President Jane Conoley even asked when their next return to the competition would be after their win. 

Out of 42 students in the choir, all but one plan on attending the summer trip. 

“I feel very excited,” Lauryn Jessup, a second-year music major, said. “It’s good to get out and see the world. I’ve never been to Europe.”

Talberg is still in the process of picking out the music for their competition set. With the music being due in November, Talberg has made lists, called colleagues and looked at videos to help him decide what kind of music they will perform. 

“I’m excited, and the students are very excited,” Talberg said. “It’s a wonderful choir this year. I think we have a great chance at doing very well at this competition again this year.”

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