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Moores School of Music Concert Chorale ranked No. 3 in the world

Chorale’s performance during Grand Prix of Nations earns high ranking among 1,000 choirs

The Moores School of Music Concert Chorale continues to hit high notes months after earning world championship honors at the Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg, Germany. Based on its captivating performances at that festival, the Chorale is now ranked No. 3 in a recent list of the world’s leading choirs.

Interkultur, an organizer of international choral festivals and competitions recently released its world rankings. The Chorale’s award-winning performance in Germany propelled it to the No. 3 spot on Interkultur’s Top 1,000 Choirs. It also took the No. 1 ranking in Interkultur’s list of the 50 best Children’s and Youth Choirs. UH is the only U.S. choir to be ranked in the top 10 of the latter category.

“We were elated to discover that our Concert Chorale is held in such high regard by this well-respected organization,” said its director Betsy Cook Weber. “Honestly, it is more fun to look forward, and I can't resist saying that I believe the ensemble this fall will surpass the one from this past summer.  The quality of their singing and the speed with which they have learned new, difficult repertoire in the one short month since we started school is simply astonishing.”

On Oct. 5, Houstonians will experience the Chorale and other University vocal ensembles during “New Voices: Works by Stroope, White, McMillan, Gyöngyösi, Augustinas and Edenroth.” The performance will feature the Chorale, Concert Men’s Chorus, Concert Women’s Chorus and Mancorps. Tickets are $12 and $7 and can be purchased online through the Moores School of Music’s ticket site.

The recent Interkultur rankings complement the chorale’s other international accolades. Prior to its performances in Magdeburg, Germany, the Chorale also earned honors at other European festivals.

In 2009, it traveled to Wales for the Llangollen Musical Eisteddfod and took first place in the festival’s Chamber Choir competition. The group also took second place in the Mixed Choir Competition at the Florilege Vocal de Tours in France. In 2013, it performed at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Germany, where it received first prize and award for best interpretation of a religious work.

The Concert Chorale is made up of 40 singers. In addition to its performances on campus and around the state, the group has collaborated with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and performed at community events including the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration.

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is professor of music and director of choral studies at the Moores School of Music. In the fall of 2014, she became director of the Houston Symphony Chorus, where she had served as assistant director and associate director from 1990 - 1997 of the historic ensemble. Dr. Weber is the 13th person and first woman to receive the Texas Choral Director Association’s coveted Texas Choirmaster Award and is editor of the Betsy Cook Weber choral series with Alliance Music Publishing.

- By Mike Emery