University of Oregon Wins the Cork International Choral Festival!


The University of Oregon Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Sharon Paul, is no stranger to international choral competitions. In 2011, they competed at the International Choral Festival in Tallinn and did very well, winning the top spot in two categories. For 2013, they wanted to see if they could repeat their success at the Cork International Choral Festival. Founded in 1954, the festival brings together chamber choirs from all over the world for the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition, in addition to hosting numerous Irish ensembles of all ages for national competitions and many more choirs in its non-competitive Gathering division. For five days, the city of Cork is filled with music as these ensembles perform throughout the city in public spaces, restaurants, churches, and Cork City Hall.

The UO Chamber Choir began its tour in Dublin with two performances, including one in Christ Church Cathedral. In Galway, the choir gave a wonderful benefit concert in a local library and made a visit to the Cliffs of Moher (also known as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from The Princess Bride). Six performances in four days at the festival, including the competition and gala concerts as well as performances around Cork, including one at Blarney castle, kept the choir very busy. While other groups competing had very impressive performances, the University of Oregon Chamber Choir’s performance ultimately won them the top score and the Fleischmann Trophy, which capped off a wonderful tour of the Emerald Isle.