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Indigenous children's choir from Taiwan shines in Florence

2017/07/15 21:01:35

From Chou Shih-lun's Facebook page

Taipei, July 15 (CNA) A choir from Taiwan comprised of indigenous children won five awards, including a gold in the children's choir category, at the Leonardo Da Vinci International Choral Festival in Florence held from July 11 to 14.

The Puzangalan Choir (希望兒童合唱團), which means "hope" in the Paiwan language, emerged as the big winners among the 18 teams from around the world, including strong competitors from Hungary, Australia, Ukraine, The Philippines and Austria, taking part in the competition.

They 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.

Tsai Yi-fang (蔡義方), the executive director of the choir, said the children were helped by the confidence boost they got after winning gold in the children and youth choir category at the Musica Eterna Roma International Choir Festival last week.

Tsai expressed his appreciation for all of the choir's fans in Europe, saying that they always turn out whenever the choir performs at a European country.

One of the highlights of the choir's appearance in Florence came outside the competition when it was invited to perform the Paiwan version of Taiwan's national anthem at the opening ceremony.

When the choir sang the anthem, some Taiwanese expatriates in attendance were almost moved to tears, and the performance got a big ovation from the audience, Tsai said.

The choir was aimed at stimulating children's desire to learn by taking part in musical competitions, Tsai said, and to fulfill its dream of singing to more people, it will now concentrate on the goal of recording its first album.

(By Sabine Cheng and Lilian Wu)