Open Arts Community Choir wins triple gold at European Choir Games
The Open Arts Community Choir has returned from representing Northern Ireland at the European Choir Games in Riga, Latvia with an impressive two gold medals, a gold diploma and a silver diploma.
The choir progressed through all three levels of competition at the European Choir Games – from the Open Competitions, through to the European Champions and finally the Grand Prix of Nations – competing against choirs from all over the world, including Canada, Russia and the USA.
In the Open Competitions the choir received a silver diploma in ‘Folklore A Capella’ and a gold diploma in ‘Adult Choirs – Mixed Voices’. In the European Champions competition they won a gold medal in ‘Adult Choirs – Mixed Voices and another gold medal in the same category in the Grand Prix of Nations.
Formed in 2000 by Open Arts, one of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic arts and disability organisations, the choir features 35 members from all over Northern Ireland who have a range of disabilities: physical disabilities, visual impairment and mental health issues.
Commenting on the choir’s tremendous success, Bev McGeown, Musical Director of Open Arts, said:
“Taking part in the European Choir Games was an incredible experience and a real honour for the Open Arts Community Choir. To represent the arts in Northern Ireland so successfully on a European stage will help us to make even more of a difference in challenging perspectives on disability, and bringing our message of inclusion to the rest of the world!”
During their visit to Latvia, the Open Arts Community Choir had several opportunities to perform, compete and network with other internationally renowned choirs. They also participated in a South African music workshop, and received a choral coaching session from conductor David Slater, who is Australia’s Ambassador to the World Choir Council.
For further information on the Open Arts Community Choir, please visit www.openartsni.org or search ‘Open Arts Belfast’ on Facebook.
Open Arts is principally funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and receives Core Multi-Annual Funding from Belfast City Council’s Tourism Culture & Arts Unit.