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Oakwood’s Aeolians win awards in world choir competition

Adventist group takes top honor in spiritual category, three gold metals total

Oakwood’s Aeolians win awards in world choir competition

The Aeolians of Oakwood pose after winning in the World Choir Games category of “Spiritual” songs. Fifteen other choirs competed in the category, and more than 360 choirs entered the international competition. [photos courtesy Oakwood University]

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Student singers from the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Oakwood University, located in Huntsville, Alabama, took home three awards from the world’s largest choir competition last week.

At the 7th World Choir Games, the Oakwood Aeolians won the Championship Trophy in the “Spiritual” category, besting 15 other choirs for the honor.

The 42-member Aeolians also won one of several gold medals in two other categories: “Music of Religions” and “Musica Contemporanea.”

The international event was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, from July 4 to 14. The Aeolians were the only Adventist representatives at the event.

“The Aeolians rose to the challenge and on their debut at the World Choir Games … and made a great impact,” said Aeolians Director Jason Max Ferdinand.

Oakwood University is an institution that is directly affiliated with the Adventist Church’s world headquarters.

Earlier in the summer break from school, the group practiced new songs for the competition individually. They later held group rehearsals remotely using Google Plus. All 42 members met for a final rehearsal at the university campus the weekend before the competition.

The World Choir Games, sponsored by the Interkultur Foundation in Germany, is the world’s largest choral competition and is held every two years. Interkultur’s website says the goal of the event is to “[bring] people of all nations, cultures and ideologies together in peaceful competitions and songs.”

More than 15,000 Choristers in 362 choirs competed in 23 musical categories.

The City of Cincinnati (@CityofCincy) tweeted following an Aeolians’ performance during the week: “The Aeolians of Oakwood University from Huntsville, AL, lifted our souls and the roof at the Cincinnati Masonic Center!”

The next World Choir Games will be held in Riga, Latvia, in 2014.