The youth mixed choir Vox Populi won first prize and a gold medal at the second Freamunde International Choir Competition in Portugal held from July 12-16 and the group's conductor Janne Fridolin also took top honors.
The Estonians performed in the folklore category. Songs included Aarne Vahur's "Evening's Beauty," some of Veljo Tormis's folk song arrangements - "The Village Is Listening" and "When I, Little Chick, Was Growing Up" - and the last two movements of the Tormis cycle "Ingrian Evenings."
Vox Populi advanced to the Choir of Choirs level contested by three choirs but was edged there by Bulgarian chamber ensemble Te Deum Adoramus.
The nine choirs at Freamunde included the Academic Chior of the Technical University of Lodz and the Castelo de Paiva music academy chamber choir from the host country. Another Estonian choir, Viroonia from Rakvere, was also represented.
Did you know? Song Celebrations and Song Festival traditions are among the best known trademarks of Estonia.The joint choir of Estonian Song Festival has usually comprised 25,000 singers while in 2009, there were more than 30,000 participantsperforming to an audience of 80,000. In 2003, UNESCO declared Estonia’s Song and Dance Celebration tradition a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.