Mon, Jul 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Puzangalan choir awarded five medals in Florence

Staff writer, with CNA

Members of the Puzangalan Children’s Choir and two of their leaders on Saturday display the awards the group won at the Leonardo Da Vinci International Choral Festival in Florence, Italy, on Friday.

Photo taken from the Puzangalan Choir Facebook page

The Puzangalan Children’s Choir from Pingtung County’s Majia Township (瑪家) has won five awards, including a gold in the children’s choir category, at the Leonardo Da Vinci International Choral Festival in Florence, Italy.

The choir emerged as the big winner of the Da Vinci festival, held from Tuesday to Friday, among the 18 teams from around the world, including competitors from Hungary, Australia, Ukraine, the Philippines and Austria.

It also won a silver medal in the “popular, folk, gospel barbershop, jazz and modern ensembles” category and three special prizes: Grand Prix finalist, Best Female Soloist and Best Choreography.

The choir, which was founded in 2008, is made up of children from the Paiwan community and is led by conductor Muni Takivalji.

“Puzangalan” means “hope” in the Paiwan language.

Choir executive director Tsai Yi-fang (蔡義方) on Saturday said that the children had been helped by the confidence boost they got by winning gold medals in the children and youth choir categories at the Musica Eterna Roma International Choir Festival in Rome, which was held from July 5 to July 9.

Tsai expressed his appreciation for all of the choir’s fans in Europe, saying they always turn out for the choir’s performances.

He said that one of the highlights of the choir’s stay in Florence came outside the actual competition events.

The choir was invited to perform the Paiwan version of Republic of China’s national anthem at the festival’s opening ceremony, and when it sang the anthem, some Taiwanese expatriates in the audience were almost moved to tears and the performance got a big ovation, Tsai said.

The choir was founded to help encourage young Paiwan children’s interest in studying by taking part in musical competitions, Tsai said.

To fulfil the group’s dream of singing to more people, it is going to concentrate on recording its first album instead of overseas tours, Tsai said.

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