August 3, 1998
Columbia Choirs represented the U.S. at the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Spain.
by Diana K. Kaufman
Having qualified to represent the United States at international competition, over 80 young Columbia Choir singers, two accompanists and their conductor boarded planes armed with their music and their newly pressed uniforms headed for a hamlet in northern Spain to compete in the four-day Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros.
Translated, that's the International Music Festival of Cantonigros, which since 1983 has drawn world-class choirs from dozens of countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S.A.
Because of the number of applicants for the Cantonigros Music Festival, this is an "Invitation Only" event. A choir must go through the rigors of qualifying before it can even hope to attend.
Last year, Conductor Steve Stevens (also choral director at Woodinville High) mailed tapes of his choirs to the qualifying committee in Spain. Word came several months later from festival officials that all three Columbia choirs had made it.
Columbia Girls Choir was awarded first place in the Cantonigros Female Choir Division. Another Western Washington choir, the Northwest Girl Choir placed third in that division.
The Columbia Boys and Girls Concert Choir placed second in the Cantonigros Children's Choir competition.
Singers in the Columbia Choirs from the Northshore area include: Marin and Sarah Anderson, Rick Bockovich, Anneliese Bodding-Long, Christopher Borm, Tyler Byers, Heather Carlyle, Lynn Dubose, Lea Dunn, Veronica Gledhill, Aleah Greene, Betsy Hall, Shawna Hanson, Vicki Harrell, Eric Heye, Neil Jackson, Jennifer Johnson, Sean Jones, Ben Krow, Mary Kunz, Chad Lampe, Marshalla Shanti, Greg Mason, Andrew McDonald, Abby Mitchell, Jennie Nichols, Brian Orr, JJ Osteyee, Scott Portman, Andy Robinson, Devon Swafford, Stephanie Swain and Andrea Wallis.