John P. Stevens High School Chamber Choir (USA) © INTERKULTUR

Sing’n’Joy Princeton 2019 has opened!

Westminster Choir College hosts again an international choir competition

Sing'n'Joy Princeton

Hosting an international choir event at a place and in the atmosphere of a city that is full of choir music for more than 200 years is always a great moment in the everyday project work of INTERKULTUR. Yesterday, the second Sing’n’Joy Princeton 2019 opened in the world renowned  in Princeton, New Jersey, home of the world renowned Westminster Choir College. 3 choirs from China, Canada and seven federal states of the USA are participating this year.

During the Opening Concert the audience enjoyed four choirs from Canada, China and the USA that gave a fantastic first impression of the choral music choirs and audience are going to hear during the next days.

The concert was opened by the Grand Prize Winner of the premiere edition of Sing’n’Joy Princeton in 2017: John P. Stevens High School Chamber Choir from the United States is back this year to experience the special flavour of this festival once again and maybe even to defend the title.

Next choir on stage was the Firefly Children’s Choir from China, which even travelled 7500 miles to participate in the festival in Princeton. They entertained the audience with traditional pieces from their home – a great experience for everyone on the grounds.

The Takoma Academy Chorale from the USA was the next choir on stage. The program included, among others, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (arr. Roland Carter), which was written as a poem by NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) leader James Weldon Johnson and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1899. It was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal.

The last contribution to the Opening Concert came from Canada. Les Voix Boréales from Laval performed two special pieces to feature the music and culture from their home country: First they sung a folk song that came from the western part of France to Quebec. "C'est l'aviron” (arr. Donald Patriquin) is a song the Voyageurs would sing while paddling canoes on early Quebec's waterways.
The second song had a fantastic message to deliver, which was well received by the audience: “’Cause when I sing, I feel as light as spring. It's a funny thing, I just feel a lot better, when I sing!" When singing these lines from the piece “When I Sing” by Bill Henderson (arr. David J. Elliot) the choir expressed exactly what all fellow singers in the audience feel when pursuing their common passion of choral singing.

Until Saturday evening the participating choirs will compete in competition and sing in Friendship Concerts in Princeton, before the best choirs – selected by the international jury – will compete once again in the Grand Prize competition for the overall win. The Grand Prize Competition with subsequent Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 17 at 19:00 h (local time).

More information about the event is available here. Stay tuned and follow the event’s official Facebook page for more updates, photos and videos from Sing’n’Joy Princeton 2019.