Northwestern State’s Chamber Choir is the only American group chosen to take part in an international competition in Baden, Austria. The choir was chosen among 10 other groups from around the world.
Formed by Dr. Burt Allen in 1987, the NSU Chamber choir is a flagship choir and the most highly auditioned ensemble at the university.
The choir currently consists of four choirs with a fifth coming next year. Students rehearse four times a week with individual sessions in the choir. The eventual goal is for all the choirs to reach the chamber’s level.
Nicholas Cummins, director of choral activities, said when they went to an international competition last summer that no one knew who they were. After competing, he added, people took notice.
Cummins said one of the judges told him to have the choir audition for the competition in Austria.
One goal of the trip is for the students to make friendships across the world with music, and to understand other cultures.
“We want to win, but the other goal is to create an understanding of other cultures,” Cummins said. “You become more reflective on what it means to be kind to those who don’t look like you or speak your language.”
The Chamber Choir is holding an online fundraiser on Facebook to raise money. Concerts will be held in the spring to help raise money.
Other nations in the event include Italy, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia and Czechia. The competition will be from May 31-June 2, 2019.