30th Edition International Songwriting Competition

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The Amadeus Choir celebrated the 30th edition of its International Songwriting Competition for the 2016 concert season. The competition presented a unique opportunity for composers of all ages and levels of experience to create new repertoire for the Canadian choral songbook. The competition was designed originally for the creation of songs celebrating the stories of Christmas and Chanukah. To mark the 30th anniversary of this competition, in addition to Christmas and Chanukah songs, we invited applicants to submit works based on texts reflecting universal goals of peace, inclusion, understanding and generosity of spirit.

The competition is open in even-numbered years (2016) to children and youth only and, in odd-numbered years (2017), to composers of all ages and levels of experience. For our anniversary year, we accepted applications from children and youth up to 20 years of age from around the world!

2016 Amadeus Choir Competition Winners:

Antonia Dragomir, Toronto
Antonia Dragomir is a grade five student at Fairmount Public School in Toronto. She has performed with Bach Children’s Chorus under the direction of Linda Beaupré since 2012. Antonia has studied piano since she was three years old and wrote her first music piece at four. Her compositions have been awarded 1st place in the Amadeus Choir Seasonal Song-Writing Competition in 2014 and 2015. Antonia also plays guitar, ukulele, recorder, and harmonica and is an avid reader and tennis player. Antonia is absolutely delighted to hear her piece “Ring Out, Wild Bells” performed by the Amadeus Choir!

Titus Menezes, Toronto
Titus is a lively, thoughtful and empathic young boy who attends Grade 4 at Saint Bonaventure Catholic School in Toronto. He initially experienced the Bach Children’s Chorus (BCC) performances when he was three years old and commenced singing with them at the age of six. He is taking formal training in piano, but also enjoys playing by ear.

Titus enjoys riding his bike, rollerblading, playing “make believe” hockey, reading and drinking hot chocolate. But his greatest joy is animals, especially horses and farm animals, with whom he can interact for hours.

Titus thanks his parents, his sister Priscilla, his music teachers and especially Linda Beaupré for their love, encouragement, guidance and support, which have been instrumental in his musical development. More importantly, Titus thanks Jesus for the many gifts and blessings that he has received. His wish to all this Christmas is for the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the joy of peace…world peace. He is delighted to hear his composition performed during the Winter Lullabies concert on Sat, Dec 17, 2016.

Charlie Ruff, Ottawa
Charlie Ruff was born in Gloucester MA in 2006. He likes composing for piano in mainly classical styles. He performed his first original composition, Mountain of Gebalon, at the Firefly Spring Recital in June 2016. Now he lives in Ottawa where he is in Grade 5 at Hilson Ave. Public School and does piano lessons at Alcorn Music Studios. Outside of music, Charlie enjoys sketching, math, reading, and canoe camping.

Isabelle Weigel-Mohamed, Toronto
Isabelle is a grade 11 student in the International Baccalaureate program at Victoria Park C.I. in Toronto. She has always loved to write poetry, short stories and songs. In 2011, she performed an original song to raise awareness about mental health at the TDSB PRISM event. Isabelle is driven by a strong sense of social justice and believes that we should all come together to celebrate joy and love. She plays a bit of cello but her main passion for music lies in the piano and singing. Some of her many other interests include make-up, cats, and fashion. She would like to thank her two piano teachers, Joannie Ing and Vladimir Dounin, for fostering her love and passion for music, and her family, for always supporting her and nurturing her silly sense of humour and joy for life.

Honourable Mentions:

Francesca Fortino, Toronto

Kathryne Lai, Toronto

Faith Lum & Imogen Sloss, Toronto

Matthew Miller, Richmond Hill

Ryan Miller, Richmond Hill

Jonathan Wong, Mississauga

Kimberly C. Yang, Thornhill