1st World Choir Championships - 2nd Asian Choir Games
July 7 - 17, 2009
A colourful opening ceremony, three beats of a huge traditional yonggo barrel drum and the message "You are the world!" to participating choirs and ensembles from around the globe marked the opening of the 1st World Choir Championships (WCC) in Korea on 8th July 2009. Two days later came a surprise turn of events: the maiden WCC, jointly organised by INTERKULTUR and the Korean Province of Gyeongnam, had to be called off due to the spread of swine flu.
The first part of the WCC took place in harmony and at the highest musical standard. There was time to determine the winners of the "Grand Prix of Choral Music", with prize-money of up to 12,000 US dollars, in the categories "Children's Choirs", "Mixed Choirs", "Sacred Music" and "Folklore". There were also numerous category winners in the other competitions which took place simultaneously: the 2nd Asian Choir Games and the Korean International Open.
The winner of the "Grand Prix of Choral Music" in the category "Children's Choirs" was won by the "Mandaue Childrens Choir" from the Philippines, conducted by Dennis Gregory Sugarol. The US choir "University of Louisville Cardinal Singers", conducted by Kent Hatteberg, won the Grand Prix in the two categories "Mixed Choirs" and "Sacred Music". The group "Cool~a Cappella", conducted by Cool-Jae Huh from the host country, Korea, won the "Folklore" category.
The 2nd Asian Choir Games produced the following category winners: "Young Voices of the Adventist University of the Philippines", "Cool~a Cappella" (Korea), "Bitung City Chorale" (Indonesia) and “Seoul Master Choral" (Korea). The category winners of the Korean International Open Choir Competition were "Jeju Female Buddhist Chorus" from Korea, the "Calasiao Childrens Chorus" (Phillippines), "Masan Jeil Girls' Middle School's Chorus" (Philippines), the "Ssams` Choir" (Korea) and the "Blessed Men Mission Choir" (Korea).
After the WCC had to be abandoned, INTERKULTUR and the international jury members expressed their regret about the events in Korea and the inconvenience caused to the participating choirs. INTERKULTUR is in close contact with all the choirs affected by the competition's premature termination and will do everything it can to find a mutually agreeable solution.