56 students from Los Altos- and Los Gatos-based Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley participated in the 4th European Choir Games in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 3-10, 2019. The event brought together 171 choirs and over 6,300 singers from 47 countries for competitions and concerts.
Based on Cantabile’s prior success in international competitions and showcases, the choir qualified to compete in the Grand Prix level of the youth choir category against 16 university and high school-level choirs from around the world. Cantabile received a top-level gold medal based on the judges’ scoring of their performance and placed third in their category, behind two choirs from China. “Bravi,” Cantabile's Young Men's Choir, placed third in their category in their first ever international competition, earning a silver diploma. Cantabile was one of only two American choirs in the competition, and each placed in the top level of their category.
Los Altos resident and recent graduate Jessica Carlson found the experience rewarding as an opportunity to showcase the choir’s hard work and strengthen an international community of choristers.
“Every choir we sang with, marched with, ate dinner with, and chatted with throughout the tour was friendly and eager to create relationships with each one of us, and wanted to share as much of the experience as possible with us,” Carlson said. “The overwhelming show of love and support between all the choirs showed me that music truly creates communities that foster friendships and respect, even in the setting of a competition between us all. These choirs gave me a gracious reminder of the importance of always showing love and kindness to everyone around me, and that we should always be striving for unity and support of every single person around us.”
Cantabile is led by world-renowned Artistic Director, Elena Sharkova, and Associate Artistic Director, Jace Wittig, formerly of Chanticleer. Cantabile is a mixed-voice (girls and boys) choral organization that brings world-class artistic excellence in vocal music instruction to the youth of Silicon Valley. Cantabile singers, ages 4-18, are organized into six different choirs, based on level and age.
Entering its 25th year, Cantabile has provided music and performance education to hundreds of children who have gone on to attend prestigious colleges and universities, many with music as a primary area of focus, and all with a lifelong appreciation and capacity for making music.