July 10, 2008 — Bellevue, WA — Bellevue Chamber Chorus, directed by Dr. Fredrick Lokken, took first prize in the Adult Mixed Chorus category at the 2008 International Choral Kathaumixw festival held in Powell River, B.C., July 1-5. During the festival, the Chorus performed in two juried competitions and four concerts, which were shared with a combination of adult and youth choirs. The competitions were adjudicated by an international jury of conductors and composers from Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
In recognition of their award, the Chorus performed before the grand festival assembly at the awards ceremony along with other first prize winners in all competition categories. Included in that performance was another Seattle-area winning choir: the Columbia Children’s Choir, directed by Steve Stevens. During the final day of the festival, Bellevue Chamber Chorus also participated in the massed choir performance of over 1000 voices as part of the festival’s closing ceremony.
Begun in 1984, the renowned Choral Kathaumixw (a native word meaning “a gathering of different peoples”) festival is held every other summer in the small town of Powell River, northwest of Vancouver. In 2008, more than 30 children’s, youth, and adult choirs from around the world participated in its concerts and competitions. Many of the world’s best known conductors, choruses, soloists, and orchestras have appeared at the festival over the years.
After the festival the Chorus joined with Ozvena Youth Chorus from Slovakia for a five-day singing tour through portions of BC’s Interior. Both choruses were enthusiastically received by local audiences, with frequent standing ovations.
Following its successful Canadian tour, Bellevue Chamber Chorus now looks forward to its exciting 25th anniversary season in 2008-09. Founded in 1984, the Chorus is a non-profit (501c3) organization consisting of approximately thirty, auditioned, professional and avocational musicians of diverse backgrounds. The Chorus performs music of various styles and musical periods, from the Renaissance to contemporary eras, and from world folk music to vocal jazz, on its three-concert subscription series, as well as an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra.