TEMPO.CO, Tolosa - Indonesian choir Batavia Madrigal Singers (BMS), led by Avip Priatna, came out as the overall winner at the 48th Tolosa Choral Contest held in Tolosa, Spain.
"We're happy that we can make Indonesia proud again in this competition. Hopefuly, we can win the 2017 European Grand Prix!" BMS conductor Avip Priatna said in a press release received by Tempo on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
At the contest held from October 28 to November 2016, the choir also won the first prize for the Polyphony category and the first prize for the Basque Songs & Popular Music/Folklore category.
Wearing traditional costumes from East Nusa Tenggara, BMS performed the "Benggong"song from Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, and "Hentakan Jiwa" composed by Ken Steven. Sonja Simanjuntak took part by arranging the choreography.
In addition to performing Indonesian songs, BMS also sang Ivo Antognini's Canticum Novum, Jesus Egiguren's Et J'aime Uniquement, Felix Mendelssohn's Ehre Sei Gott in der Hohe, Karlos Gimenez's Xoxo Beltz Bat Banuen, and Allen Koepke's Wade in de Water. BMS also performed Henk Badings' Soir D'ete and a medley of I love you - What a Wonderful World arranged by American composer Craig Hella Johnson with Steephanie Onggowinoto as the pianist.
Also participating at the Tolosa Choral Contest were choirs from Norway, Taiwan, Lithuania, Columbia, Italy, Germany, Cuba, Spain, Hungary, Netherland, Latvia, United Kingdom and Sweden.
The Tolosa Choral Contest is dubbed as one of the toughest competitions in the world as a part of the European Grand Prix (EGP) in Choral Singing. Other competitions affiliated with the EGP are the International Guido d’Arezzo Polyphonic Contest (Arezzo, Italy), the BélaBartók International Choir Competition (Debrecen, Hungary), the International Choral Competition Gallus (Maribor, Slovenia), the Florilège Vocal de Tours (Tours, France), and the International May Choir Competition ‘Prof G. Dimitrov’ (Varna, Burlgary). Winners of the EGP-affiliated competitions will perform at the grand final of the EGP next year.
Back in 2001, BMS won the Free Program category at the Florilege Vocal de Tours di France. In 2012, BMS came out as the overall winner at the International May Choir Competition 'Prof G. Dimitrov'.
BMS is a choir consisting of experienced singers with various ethnic, religious, age and occupational backgrounds. Some of them are housewives, marketing managers, teachers, IT programmers, students and others. They practiced at the Resonanz Music Studio, a music school founded by Avip Priatna at Jalan Kertanegara No. 28, Jakarta.