Chamber Choir captures top award
By Jeff Green
Dr. Doug Dunsmore directs the Chamber Choir during Festival 500 in July 2005.
Memorial Universityís Chamber Choir has won bragging rights to a national award.
The ensemble, under the direction of veteran musician Dr. Doug Dunsmore, captured the top award in the University Choir category Tuesday, May 2, during the CBC/Radio Canada National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs.
Memorial placed first in its group while the University of Saskatchewan placed second.
The contest was open to amateur groups who rehearse regularly and whose individual members do not receive a professional fee. A panel of internationally-renowned choral experts judged each group.
Memorialís Chamber Choir is made up of students, faculty and the community at large and was first formed in 1975.
Another group with strong ties to Memorial took top honours during the competition. Lady Cove Womenís Choir, under the direction of alumna Kellie Walsh, placed first in the Equal Voice Female category. Ms. Walsh is the founder and artistic director of that group and holds bachelor degrees in both music and music education from Memorial, as well as a masters degree in conducting.
And the group Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, conducted by Chad Stride, an honours graduate from Memorialís School of Music and Faculty of Education, received an honourable mention during the competition. The group performed in the Chamber Choir category. Mr. Stride also founded the choir.
Meanwhile, another major award handed out during the competition has connections to the university. The Galaxie Rising Star Award for the choir with the most potential in the entire competition that did not place in the finals was awarded to Newman Sound, whose co-conductors include Dr. Dunsmore and Ms. Walsh. That award came with a $2,000 prize.
First prize in the competition was $3,000 per category. Second prize was $2,000 per category. The grand prize was $5,000.