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University Singers University Singers

The Syracuse University Singers, the most select choral ensemble at the University, will travel to Varna, Bulgaria, May 12-15 to compete in the European Grand Prix, a prestigious international choral competition. Only six choirs in the world are invited to compete.

In addition, the University Singers will present a free public concert in New York City on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave. Syracuse University alumni and friends are invited to a free reception immediately following the concert to celebrate the Singers’ accomplishments and wish them well in Bulgaria. Alumni and friends must R.S.V.P. to the reception by Friday, Feb. 12.

The winners of each of six annual European festivals compete for the European Grand Prix. In May 2015, the University Singers competed in France at the Florilège Vocal de Tours, one of the six festivals, and won both the top Grand Prix de la Ville de Tours and the Prix du Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication, in addition to qualifying for the Grand Prix.

The Singers perform under the direction of John F. Warren, associate professor of music and director of choral activities in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music.

“Travelling to France in 2015 with the University Singers was a thrilling opportunity made possible by a generous donation,” says Warren. “We performed in stunning venues such as La Madeleine in Paris and the Chartres Cathedral, as well as in Strasbourg where Syracuse University has so many connections. In Tours we competed and interacted with choirs from Finland, Hungary, Macedonia and Sweden. My goals were for us to belong on the international stage with these outstanding choirs and for the students to feel they did their absolute best. To win surpassed my dreams and hopes. It was truly the experience of a lifetime to share it with 35 wonderful students.

“We are so grateful for all the support this year to make the trip to compete in the European Grand Prix. The students and I are committed to representing our school, college, university and country in the best possible way.”

Support for the University Singers’ trip to Bulgaria is being provided in part by Chancellor Kent Syverud and his wife, Dr. Ruth Chen; the VPA Council; and the members of the Singers. Additional fundraising is needed from alumni and friends of VPA and the Setnor School. For more information about making a gift to the University Singers, visit the University’s secure giving website or contact the VPA Office of Advancement at 315.443.7095, or Karen Spear, executive director of regional advancement, at 315-443-2410, or

For nearly 50 years the University Singers have upheld a rich tradition of excellence in choral singing characteristic of the most select vocal musicians of the Setnor School of Music. The choir has been invited to sing for multiple conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, including its appearance at the 2014 Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore. Additionally, the ensemble has toured throughout the east coast of the U.S. and Canada as well as in France.

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