San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

10 Years of Café Chorale Celebrated

N celebration of the 10th anniversaryof the Café Chorale choir group, membersof the Chorale Institute will perform a“Ten Years of Gold” concert in theNational Auditorium Sunday at 5 p.m.The production will include performancesby members of the youth chorus,followed by an intermediate chorus presentingvarious examples of music genresspanning from the Renaissance era to present-day gospel and jazz.“The second half of the show will featurethe highly acclaimed talents of theCafé Chorale. A collection of 35 members,with 65% of the participants being professionalmusicians,” said David Ramírez,founder of the Chorale Institute.The Café Chorale represents the mostadvanced division of the Chorale Institute,and is composed of 35 members, 90%Costa Ricans and the other 10% from theUnited States, Germany, Columbia andother countries.THE Chorale Institute was founded as aplace to teach and introduce children andyouths to choral music (also known as choirin other parts of the world). In an effort tobroaden horizons and provide a wide spectrumof opportunities, the institute alsooffers classes in voice, classical guitar, basicguitar, piano and various other instruments.Ramírez selected the name whilestudying and performing in the UnitedStates. There he had the opportunity towork with famous conductors includingRoger Wagner, whom Ramírez considersto have founded the concept of chorale.When starting the institute, “I chose tocombine chorale with a spontaneous placewhere people go to relax and enjoy listeningto music. This is how the name CaféChorale came about,” Ramírez said.DURING the last 10 years the CaféChorale has produced four compact discs –three containing Latin rhythms and oneclassical. Members have made a televisionprogram in Costa Rica and a radio show inSwitzerland. These efforts have helpedestablish and raise awareness of choralethroughout Costa Rica.“The goal is to bring other chorusgroups into Costa Rica to generate a newmovement,” Ramírez said.The Café Chorale has won countlesscontests and received a myriad of awardson both national and international stages.They have captured eight medals inEurope, represented Central America in the2000 ACDA Western DivisionCompetition, took first place in a field representedby 54 countries in competition inGermany in 2003, and won the highestrecognition of the arts in Costa Rica, theNational Music award in 1999 and 2003.RAMÍREZ founded the ChoraleInstitute in Costa Rica in 1994. Since then,the institute has grown and received anincreasing amount of recognition.From 20 members in the beginning to35 now, available spots are few and highlysought after. At the beginning of each yearauditions are held, and individuals from allover the world vie for a chance to earn oneof the rare one or two spots available ineach section.“Not only have the programs grown,but the individuals as well. Seven membersof the Café Chorale started out 10 yearsago as members of the youth chorus,” saidRamírez, teacher and conductor of theCafé Chorale.The children’s division has 40 membersand the youth section includes 30members.The Café Chorale is preparing to representCosta Rica at the InternationalHarmony Festival 2005, in Limberg,Germany where 60 countries will participatein a competition featuring the finestchoruses from around the world.The National Auditorium is located indowntown San José on Ave. 2, next to theCultural Plaza. For more info or reservations,call 263-5509 or 393-8312.

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