From October 23 to 28, BUAA Chorus took part in the CANTA AL MAR International Choir Festival held in Calella, Spain and won the Gold Prize in the Category A1, the one of the highest difficulty level. Ms. Yang Lele, their conductor, was awarded the Conductor Prize.
As soon as they arrived in Spain on the afternoon of October 22, the chorus members started their rehearsal at the hotel in spite of fatigue and jet lag. Meanwhile, preparations for the festival were also carried out busily. On the afternoon of October 24, BUAA Chorus attended the opening ceremony of the festival. Together with other three choruses from Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, BUAA Chorus joined the welcome parade on behalf of China. They said hello to the scenic coastal town with their high spirits and beautiful singing and were warmly received by the locals.
The competition began on the morning of October 25. As the first one to appear on stage in the Category A1, BUAA Chorus performed Love of Maple Leaves, Jubilate Deo, Gloria! and May Cicada. As part of the cream of Chinese and Western chorus art, these pieces covered both the grand major harmony of Western chorus and the harmony known as the fifth that showed Eastern glamour, producing an impressive contrast between different styles. The wonderful performance won recognition from both the audience and other world-class competitors from America, Latvia and Sweden, and some of the audience said that “I have never heard such a voice from a Chinese chorus”.
There was also an episode during the performance. While the chorus were singing Gloria!, a sudden power outage hit the hall and the accompaniment played by an electric piano stopped abruptly. Instead of being influenced, the chorus members cooperated well to complete the song without accompaniment: Ms. Yang did not stop her conduct and gave a sign of going on, Yang Jiayi produced right notes with a pitch pipe, and then other students continue the performance in the normal rhythm. This episode bespoke the good teamwork, tacit understanding, excellent resilience and outstanding professional skills of BUAA Chorus developed through countless rehearsals.
In the evening, the chorus participated in a friendship concert held at a local city square, performing four songs—The Song of Mani, Jubilate Deo, May Cicada and Nyon Nyon—for choral music lovers from all over the world again. After the concert, some overseas Chinese who live there talked with the students cordially and excitedly.
At the award ceremony on October 27, many chorus members cried in excitement when they heard “Gold Prize Level V, BUAA Chorus”, and Ms. Yang was announced one of the two winners of the Conductor Prize. The triumph at this competition is not only the fruits of their unremitting efforts but also a present from BUAA Chorus to Beihang University in celebration of its 66th birthday.
Reported by Liu Boyuan
Photographed by Liu Boyuan, Yuan Chenguang and Fu Dahai
Reviewed by Zhi Yuanyuan
Edited by Jia Aiping
Translated by Li Mingzhu