The Vocal Arts Ensemble of San Luis Obispo presented an “three choir festival” on
July 5,6 & 7, 2013, with just three international choirs performing without a competition
element. These choirs were from Potsdam, Germany, Yekaterinburg, Russia, and
Hannover, Germany. The host choir, the Vocal Arts Ensemble performed as well. The
Festival organizers plan to hold a similar scale festival without competition July 6th
through 10th, 2016. Three of the very best choirs from overseas will perform for our
enthusiastic California audience. For tickets to our “three choir festival”or to volunteer
or to house visiting singers, please visit or contact Gary Lamprecht,
Music Director at
The Festival will house and feed our guest choirs from overseas at no cost to them. They will
perform at the popular Farmer’s Market, The Old Mission of San Luis Obispo, at local church
services and at the Cuesta College Performing Arts Center. The fifth concert and finale of the
Festival will feature each choir performing music of their choice. Then after intermission, the
combined choirs will sing four pieces written by Eric Whitacre, a renown American composer
and “This Is My Song”, the Festival piece.
Judging from audience attendance and response to our past Festivals, we firmly believe that this
event has a viable place in our community and state. We pledge to make every effort to see that
once again people from all over the world will come and share their songs and culture so that
you can be part of this magical and inspiring event.
-The Steering Committee of the California International Choral Festival & Competition


San Luis Obispo, CA-  Audiences stood on their feet cheering the top rated choirs as they competed for prizes in the third California International Choral Festival & Competition held in San Luis Obispo on June 24 , 25, 26, 2011. This three-day festival and competition took place in the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly campus to full houses. Riverside City College Chamber Singers took two first places, one second place and the People’s Choice Award. The event was hosted by the San Luis Vocal Arts Ensemble, directed by Gary Lamprecht.

The choirs were accepted to participate in the Festival on the basis of their submission of an audition CD evaluated by Gary Lamprecht, Artistic Director of the Choral Festival & Competition.  Audiences heard the best works from each of the five choirs who competed.  They were judged in three categories.  The first was the Required Pieces Competition where each choir performed the same two pieces of music.  The second was a Folk Song Competition when each choir performed music of their country in costume, and the final competition was Choir’s Choice in which the choirs sang a fifteen minute program of their choosing. First place winners were given a $500 cash award. Three judges adjudicated the event.

The Awards


Required Pieces

1st Place: Riverside City College Chamber Singers, Riverside, California  • John Byun, Director

2nd Place: The University of Redlands Chapel Singers, Redlands, California • Jean-Sebastien Vallee, Director

3rd Place:  Christ the King Church Choir, Kampala, Uganda  • Stephen Oloka, Director


Folk Song Competition

1st Place: The University of Redlands Chapel Singers, Redlands, California • Jean-Sebastien Vallee, Director

2nd Place: Riverside City College Chamber Singers, Riverside, California  • John Byun, Director

3rd Place: Soli Deo Gloria, Fresno, California  • Julie Carter, Director

Choir’s Choice Competition

1st Place: Riverside City College Chamber Singers, Riverside, California  • John Byun

2nd Place: The University of Redlands Chapel Singers, Redlands, California • Jean-Sebastien Vallee, Director

3rd Place: Soli Deo Gloria, Fresno, California  • Julie Carter, Director

People’s Choice Award: Riverside City College Chamber Singers, Riverside, California  • John Byun, Director

Judge’s Special Award: Prime Note Ensemble, Philippines• Novem Cabios, Director



The 2011 California International Choral Festival & Competition

June 24-26, 2011

In 2007 and 2009, energetic and accomplished singers came from every corner of the world to San Luis Obispo to compete for the coveted awards.  They brought with them a remarkable diversity, not only in their home of origin, but also in their style, language, musical dynamics and interpretation.

Finland, Uganda, Spain, Macedonia, Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, and the United States were represented.  They sang songs that reflected their homeland, their history, their folklore, and beliefs; songs of hunting and fishing, love and loss, joy and mysteries, and renewal. In this, those in attendance experienced and understood the universal language of music.

Audiences packed the houses -many of them sold out-  sitting quietly so the judges could hear every nuance, standing and cheering in appreciation of the exceptional music, showmanship, choreography and energy; misty-eyed when all the voices were raised at the finale to sing This is My Song from Finlandia.

Join us for the 2011 California International Choral Festival & Competition.

It’s all there waiting for you – again.

New This Year

“Opening Night Bash”

The brand new Vocal Arts Concert that opens the Festival will be preceded by a party in the lobby of the theatre.  It’s a chance for you to meet and mingle with fellow concert-goers and chat with the visiting Choral Directors

“Ready-Set-Sing!” is the new name for the Opening Concert.  The show begins with the introduction of the visiting choirs who will sing a patriotic song from their country.  Then Vocal Arts Ensemble performs a  lively new program of American music, ending with a welcome song in each choir’s native language.

“Festival SuperFan” is a new package that will allow you to have fun with the choirs from the Opening Night Bash through the post-Festival party.

Here is what others have said about the California International Choral Festival & Competition :

“Of the many arts events we’ve been to, the Choral Festival is by far the most memorable, both exciting and moving.  You’ve set the highest standard in SLO for professionalism and class and pure joy.  We’ve been telling everyone we know about it.”

-N. Bruno

“I found myself moved to tears, to laughter, and to sheer amazement by the performances this year.”

-M. Lange

“I try to notice organization, inspiration, dignity and enthusiasm.  You did it all.  I have to think this was the event of the year in SLO…I can’t think of anything at CICF 2009 that wasn’t boffo!”

R. Briner (Los Angeles)

“I would like to thank you for excellent organization, hospitality and kindness which made our visit to San Luis Obispo and Festival one of the best experiences.”

– Letka Dimovska-Polizova, Director, Zlata Meglenska Choir, Macedonia
“My students and I have never had a better time anywhere in the world
as far as concert and performance experience is concerned.”

– John Tebay, Director, Fullerton College Concert Choir, California
“Unbelievably well planned… the attitude toward participants and audience was very upbeat and positive.”

– Bill Hatcher, Judge
“For me this Festival has been the best in my life, and I’m conducting choirs since 16 years.”

– Iñaki Tolaretxipi, Director, Landarbaso Abesbatza Choir, Spain


Prime Note Ensemble, a Filipino choir based in Southern California will be participating in the 2011 California International Choral Festival & Competition on June 24, 25, and 26 in the Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo. Pat Harris, Executive Director of the Festival said, “We are very happy that Prime Note Ensemble is going to be able to join us.  They were a very popular choir, full of energy and fun when they participated in the 2009 Festival.”

Prime Note Ensemble has competed in two world Choir Games, one in China in 2006 and the other in Austria in 2008 where it won Silver and Bronze medals in the male chamber category. This year, they won Gold in the Folklore Category and two Silvers in the Male Chamber and Pop Categories respectively at the American International Choir Festival & Competition held in Reno, Nevada. The Ensemble participated in the 2009 California International Choral Festival & Competition.

Because Prime Note is an all-male choir, they will not compete in the Required Pieces Competition, but will compete in the Folk Song Competition and the Choir’s Choice Competition.  The Required Pieces Competition is geared for mixed (both male and female) voices.



The University of Redlands Chapel Singers, Redlands, California • Jean-Sebastien Vallee, Director The Chapel Singers is an advanced chamber ensemble composed of undergraduate and graduate music students.  Founded in 1965, the choir is the University of Redlands premier choral group.  They perform concerts, church services, and educational workshops across California.  The Chapel Singers were selected to perform for the 2010 California Music Educators Association convention.  They have toured nationally and internationally and this year, celebrate their 45th anniversary of sharing music with many audiences.

Christ the King Church Choir, Kampala, Uganda  • Louis Sekyewa, Director Christ the King Church Choir, in the service of Christ the King Parish, has sung the morning Mass every Sunday for 75 years.  They perform the music of African composers as well as Bach, Mozart, Handel and other classic composers.  The choir has performed for His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, King of Buganda Kingdom and for other special guests including the Chief Justices, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda, ambassadors, ministers and members of parliament.  They have been invited to sing at music festivals in Kenya, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Rwanda, and Oregon, and participated in the 2007 California International Choral Festival.


Pektoral, Kyiv, Ukraine  • Andriy Karpinets, Director This chamber choir is part of the City House of Teachers in Kiev.  It brings together young singers, most of whom have received higher music education. Pektoral’s creative energy focuses on the study and performance of masterpieces taken from religious and national choral music.  Its repertoire includes treasures of Ukranian vocal music and works by international composers. The choir has participated in festivals and competitions both at home and abroad, and have given guest performances in Norway, Slovakia, Estonia and Lithuania. Pektoral has recorded and released two CDs of their music.

Lembaga Karsa Cipta Indonesia,  • Gita Menaka Kumentas, Director Lembaga Karsa Cipta  is dedicated to introducing, promoting and preserving the cultural wealth of Indonesia. It provides an opportunity for young people to channel their artistic talent and the choir hopes in these efforts to strengthen friendships between countries.

Soli Deo Gloria, Fresno, California  • Julie Carter, Director The all-women’s chorale derives its name from the practice of Johann Sebastian Bach who inscribed many of his compositions with the Latin phrase, Soli De0 Gloria which means “to God alone be the glory.”  Committed to excellence in the performance of diverse and challenging classical and contempory choral literature for women’s voices, the chorale delights audiences in the Fresno area.

Riverside City College Chamber Singers, Riverside, California  • John Byun, Director The Chamber Singers are a select group of vocalists who perform a wide range of music.  They participate in many collegiate invitational festivals and tour every year.  Past tours included New York, Hawaii, San Francisco, Seattle and Europe.  In 2009, they participated in the Eisteddfod Choral Competition in Llangollen, Wales, where they garnered prizes including 1st in the Mixed Competition.


Bangelus Choir, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo • Jaebets Bakala, Director


“The Angels” is the translation of “Bangelus” and the choir sings of love, peace, charity and spirituality equally among all people. They sing in French, English and local languages such as Lingala, Kikongo, Lari and others.  They have won prizes from the Arts and Cultural Ministry in Brazzaville for their performances. They are always in demand for special events, cultural activities and music festivals.  Bangelus has been invited to perform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Cameroon and Angola.

*Because of possible visa and travel difficulties, the participation of all international choirs is subject to change.



Choirs that participated in the 2009 Festival

The Prime Note Ensemble, Saudi Arabia Novem G. Cabios, Director The Prime Note Ensemble is the first Filipino a cappella choir in Saudi Arabia. Its members are part of a group called Overseas Filipino Workers and in its ranks are representatives of nearly every trade and profession. The choir performs two concerts every year with proceeds benefiting different charities in the Philippines. Since 2001, the group has given numerous performances in Saudi Arabia and gained international exposure by winning the Bronze Medal in the 4th World Choir Games in China and winning the Silver Medal and Gold Certificate in the 5th World Choir Games in Austria in 2008. The group was recently ranked as one of the top 50 Male Choirs in the world by Musica Mundi. Fullerton College Concert Choir, California USA John Tebay, Director This 70 voice ensemble has performed throughout the West, Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast of the United States as well as Canada, Mainland China, the United Kingdom, and Italy. They have been a featured choir at American Choral Directors Association Conventions. The choir has competed at the International Eisteddfod Music Festival Competition in Wales, and the Seghizzi International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy.

Saint Zlata Meglenska, Republic of Macedonia Letka Dimovska Polizova, Director The St. Zlata Meglenska Women’s Chamber Choir exists as a part of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and it is the first of its kind in Macedonia. They most recently took the Grand Prize at both the 2008 Rimini International Choral Competition in Italy and the 2006 National Multicultural Festival in Canberra, Australia. A first place prize was awarded at the 2007 International Choral Festival of Popular Singing in Barcelona. The choir has competed in Festivals in the United Kingdom, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Yugoslavia and other European countries.

Sikama Choir, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo Elisabeth Makosso, Director Following a year of civil war and serious political turmoil, Makosso Safou created this singers’ group in 1994 to represent the unity of all Congolese people regardless of origins, and to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Composed of 30 members, Sikama Choir stands for a group of Christians who are always ready to act and react for love, fraternity and unity throughout the world by the means of traditional/folk gospel songs. The choir has traveled to the cities of Luozi and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Central Africa.

The University of Santo Tomas Singers, Philippines Fidel G. Calalang, Jr., Director The choir is made up of a blend of singers who are students and alumni representing the different colleges and faculties of the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. In the course of 16 years, the UST singers have completed 15 concert tours in Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico and Asia, and have earned more than 45 top prizes in various international choral competitions. In 2002, the choir won five Gold Prizes in five categories at the Mundi Cantat Festa Musicale in the Czech Republic and in 2004, it earned the “Excellence Avec Distinction” having earned the highest score in the mixed choir category at the Montreux International Choral Festival in Switzerland. The choir has sung for Pope John Paul II, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, Luciano Pavarotti and four Philippine Presidents.

Cuesta College Chamber Singers, California USA John Knutson, Director The Cuesta Chamber Singers, Cuesta College’s premier choral ensemble, perform a wide variety of choral works to excellent critical acclaim. Since its inception in 1997, the ensemble has toured extensively through the Western United States. In the summer of 2005, the Chamber Singers toured the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, performing consistently to packed houses and standing ovations. The Chamber Singers returned to Europe in 2008 to perform in Spain, and at the Festival International en Provence in France.