From the 11th to the 14th of April 2019, MePZ Viva Brežice participated as the only Slovene choir at the 16th Tallinn International Choir Festival 2019. We performed in two competition categories: in the category of mixed choirs and in the category of folk music. In total, the competition was held in eight categories, and prizes were awarded for the first three places won in each category.
The five-member international jury consisting of Sharon J Paul (USA), Mathieu Romano (France), Bo Holten (Denmark), Aarne Saluveer (Estonia) and Maris Sirmais (Latvia - president of the jury) could evaluate the performance of each choir with a maximum of 100 points.
Five pre-selected choirs performed in the category of mixed choirs; in addition to Viva, two Estonian, Finnish and Latvian choirs. Viva won the second place with 89.6 points in the category. The Latvians were first with 94 points, and the Finns were third with 89 points. In the category of folk music, the competition was more numerous, as as many as nine choirs were selected for the competition. Second place went to Viva with an excellent 95 points. The first place went to the Estonian youth choir with 95.2 points, and the Latvians with 94.8 points, who also won the Grand Prix, in which the best choirs from each category competed, won the third place.
After a successful Estonian tour, we arrived in the safe arms of our home municipality and the mayor of Brežice, Mr Ivan Molan prepared a wonderful reception for us, together with our families and supporters in the castle basement of the Posavje Museum in Brežice. The mayor congratulated the choir members on their excellent success and thanked them us for promoting the municipality. The president of the Association of Cultural Societies of Brežice, Jože Denžič, and the vice-president, Lučka Černelič, also joined in the celebrations.
Our choir conductor, Simona Rožman Strnad, said that the international competition in Tallinn is one of the most prestigious in Europe, to which choirs are selected based on the selection of the commission, to which they must first submit their recordings. Even qualifying for the competition was a great recognition for Viva. We went to Tallinn without high expectations, as the competition was strong. The two 2nd places won in the two categories in which we competed are therefore all the more valuable, as the competition was judged by an excellent international commission made up of renowned choirmasters and university lecturers. The announcement was a surprise and a reward for us, as well as a confirmation of long-term hard work. We are proud that we were once again able to successfully represent Brežice, Posavje and Slovenia abroad.
So full of wonderful feelings and incredible impressions from the far north, we bring home awards for second places in 2 categories, with which we became the most successful Slovenian choir that ever represented the colours of our homeland at the choir competition in Tallinn.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to say a big THANK YOU for the support of our families, the wider local community and the Municipality of Brežice, as well as everyone who enables Viva to live, grow and prosper.
VIVAT, CRESCAT, FLOREAT!
Photos in the Gallery: Vahur Lõhmus, Estonian Choral Association