From 7-10 July 2016, the 34th edition of the International Choral Festival was held in Preveza city, Greece, with the participation of 18 choruses from several countries. Two choral groups of Romania participated in this edition of the contest: “Te Deum Laudamus” Orthodox Men’s Choir from Bucharest, conducted by Rev. Lecturer Dr. Zaharia Matei, and “Trison” Choir of Brăila, conducted by Maricica and Stefan Lupu.
“Elefteria” Youth Choir from the Republic of Moldova, conducted by Corina Mirza, has also participated in the contest festival.
The event began Thursday, 7 July 2016, at Giabbis Ristos summer theatre in Prevenza, where every choir participant in the contest performed a short artistic programme.
“Te Deum Laudamus” Orthodox Men’s Choir was awarded the gold medal at equal voices category, receiving the largest number of points in the entire contest. The choir has also been awarded the silver medal at chamber choirs’ category. The festival’s surprise was the special prize of the jury for the best Orthodox chant in the contest entitled Lord, my lips (Prayer), by Sabin Dragoi, with Rev. Fr. Narcis Trifu and young theologian Cristian Paraschiv as soloists.
Although the musical choral activity of Greece is much more recent than in other countries, the contest of choral music organised by Harmony Choral Association of Preveza city had a rather high level. The jury consisted of five distinguished university professors of music and choral conducting, internationally recognised, who estimated the performance of every chorus quite exactingly. This is the first participation of Te Deum Laudamus choir in a contest festival. This participation opened new artistic perspectives for the choir who was invited to participate, in the future, in new international festivals and contests – Rev. Fr. Zaharia Matei, conductor of Te Deum Laudanum chorus said.
Both Trison choir of Braila and Elefteria choir of Chisinau were awarded the bronze medal at mix choruses’ category.
The award festivity took place Sunday, 10 July 2016, in the Roman Odeon amphitheatre of the old city of Nikopole. Besides the participant choirs, the local authorities and Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Nikopolis and Preveza attended the festivity.
Te Deum Laudamus Orthodox Men’s Choir conducted by Fr. Zaharia Matei enjoyed a very warm reception both on behalf of the contest’s jury and of the audience.