Choral music at Portland State University now includes six choirs with over 300 singers. Man Choir and Vox Femina are two auditioned ensembles founded in the fall of 2011. These choirs combine regularly with the Chamber Choir to perform works such as Barber’s The Lovers in 2015, Mozart’s Requiem in 2013, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Oregon Symphony in 2013 and 2014.
The Portland State Chamber Choir was founded in 1975. Since then, the Chamber Choir has performed and competed in venues across the country and around the world. In 2014, the choir became the first American choir to win the Adult Mixed Choir competition at the International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, Canada. In 2013, the Chamber Choir competed in the Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing in Gorizia, Italy, where they earned 15 separate awards and became the first American choir to win the Grand Prize in the competition’s 52-year history. In 1999 and 2005, the Chamber Choir won four medals at choral competitions in Martkoberdorf, Germany. This November, the Chamber Choir was invited by the government of Spain to compete at the Tolosa International Choral Competition where they performed to standing-room-only crowds in venues throughout northern Spain. The Chamber Choir appeared at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association in 1985, 1997, 2003, and 2014.
In November 2003, the choir recorded the choral music of Margaret Garwood on the Hildegard Label, and in 2006 the choir recorded the first English-language recordings of the choral music of Veljo Tormis, at the request of Tormis himself. In February 2011 the Chamber Choir collaborated with Portland-born composer Morten Lauridsen, who described their singing as “an absolutely top-notch superb display of choral artistry.” The Chamber Choir’s recording A Drop in the Ocean was favorably reviewed and featured in both Fanfare and Stereophile magazines and was a finalist for the 2012 American Prize in Choral Music. Their newest cd, Into Unknown Worlds, was released in 2014 and was named a “Recording to Die For” in Stereophile magazine. The Chamber Choir has recorded on the Albany Label and the music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and cdBaby. You can learn more about psu choirs, including Man Choir and Vox Femina, or join the mailing list at psuchamberchoir.com.