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Georgia Southern Chorale participating in international competition in Germany

Georgia Southern Chorale poses in front of Sweetheart Circle. The Chorale will be traveling to Germany to participate in an international choir competition.

The Georgia Southern Chorale, a choir of 30 students from Georgia Southern University, is preparing for a 14-day trip to Germany that begins on July 4. While there, the students will participate in the “Sing Berlin!” international choir competition, featuring professional, university and community choirs from around the world. The choir qualified thanks to success in previous international competitions.

“When I came to Georgia Southern about 10 years ago, one of the things that I really wanted our choral program to do was represent our university on a national and global scale,” said Shannon Jeffreys, D.M.A., director of Choral Activities. “One of the ways we could do that was through these international choral contests, and our students get a better world view and see art and architecture from all over the world.”

This competition continues a Georgia Southern legacy of connecting its students to international markets. For some in the group, this trip creates unlikely bookends for their collegiate careers.

Jackson Murray, a senior with a double major in music education and vocal performance, competed in the Chorale’s competitions in Austria and southern Germany during his freshman year. They won a gold diploma in their category that year. Murray said he’s looking forward to capitalizing on what he missed during his first time in the country.

“I focused too much on the competition,” he said. “Then if things didn’t go our way, it affected me more. I think this time, while I’m going to have fun for the competition, I’m here to enjoy my last summer as a college student before real life kicks in.”

While in Germany, the Chorale will visit Leipzig, the center of Bach’s activities in the early 18th century, following the footsteps of Felix Mendelssohn through Dresden and Berlin. In addition, they will visit Martin Luther University in Halle, the birthplace of Händel. The trip will end in Hamburg where the Chorale will perform at the Harbor Festival with the German Federal police in Lübeck. 

Unlike previous years, students didn’t have to ask themselves if they could afford such an experience. Thanks to a grant from the Halle Foundation and financial support from the Georgia Southern Student Government, all members of the Chorale will travel at no cost. 

“It’s really a life-changing trip,” said Murray. “Now that money is not the problem, I don’t know if there’s a word to describe it. I’m just forever grateful for the Foundation and for our student government association. It’s one of those feelings of pride that our university is able to do something like this for our students.”

Jeffreys’ husband is German, and in the coming weeks, she’s excited to explore a country dear to her heart with her students. She is also eager to showcase the musical ensemble’s exemplary abilities.

“I look forward to putting the student’s talents and hard work on the international stage for Georgia Southern University,” said Jeffreys.

The Southern Chorale will perform a Competition Send-off Concert on Thursday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carol A. Carter Recital Hall on the Statesboro Campus.


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