Concert ZieMASKAsvētki or ChristMASKAs

Celebrating the year’s brightest holiday, Mixed choir MASKA and its conductor Jānis OZOLS invites everyone to concert ZieMASKAsvētki (in English – ChristMASKAs) that will take place on 20th of December at 18:00 in Riga New St. Gertrude church. The concert will bring the audience a beautiful combination of instrumental and vocal sounds that shall create new and unheard-of musical nuances, which will definitely create a warm feeling right before the holiday.

Foto: Kaspars Teilāns
Foto: Kaspars Teilāns

In this year’s concert choir MASKA will be accompanied by young guitar master Gints SMUKAIS, who is playing his guitar in the style of finger percussion guitar play that expands the sound of a single instrument into polyphonic sound.

Gints’ guitar play will be heard in several solo compositions as well as together with the choir in the new masterpiece written specially for choir MASKA by beloved Laura JĒKABSONE /Latvian Voices/ meant for a mixed choir, guitar and soloists – Xmas Medley. The composer describes the upcoming first performance as follows: It will be like a musical trip around the world in Santa’s sleigh, visiting France, Ukraine, Venezuela, Israel, South Africa, England, eventually coming back to Latvia, having collected the most beautiful solstice songs from all the nations.

Also a very special moment will be the first performance of a new composition for mixed choir and soloists “Doma iet…” written by SHIPSI (Jānis ŠIPKĒVICS) /Instrumenti/. This a capella piece is also written specially for choir MASKA with lyrics by one of greatest Latvian poets – Rainis. Jānis Šipkēvics is known not only for his participation in group “Instrumenti” and a performance of popular music, but also for the fact that his musical journey started by getting a degree in academic music and conducting, which has always had a place in his heart. A combination of all his experiences can be felt in the new composition.

The concert program also includes compositions of world’s masters of choral music, as well as well-known and loved local composers, including Andris SĒJĀNS, Kristaps Šoriņš and Laura JĒKABSONE.

Tickets are available in all “Biļešu Paradīze” sales points and www.bilesuparadize.lv

See you in ChristMASKAs!


MASKA will take part in III kokle music festival “Gaismas ceļā”

At the end of 2014 third kokle (traditional Latvian string instrument) music festival “Gaismas ceļā” will take place in several locations around the state. Festival will bring different sounds and colors to the Advent season, bringing concerts to regions – Aizkraukle and Babīte and closing the festival in Riga – the Great Guild.


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Youth choir MASKA is very proud to have been invited to be a part of such a wonderful project that will bring together 360 kokle players from all around the country that are from different age groups but together will create a magic sound. The festival also has involved well-known composers who have created compositions specially for kokle.

MASKA will joining 360 kokle players in the performance of a 5-part-composition Advent Story that was created specially for choir MASKA and Kokle ensemble BALTI from Babīte by vocal group’s Latvian Voices leader and MASKA’s choir master Laura JĒKABSONE.

The concerts will take place on:
30th of November at 17:00 in Babīte Center of Cultural Education
7th of December at 18:00 in Riga Great Guild

See you in the concerts!





MASKA’S concerts in Basque country are received with ovations, High 2nd place is taken in 46th Tolosa Choral contest

MASKA’S concerts in Basque country are received with ovations, High 2nd place is taken in 46th Tolosa Choral contest

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From 25th of October till 6th of November MASKA was in Spain, where it gave several concerts in cities all over Basque country, as well as we took part in the 46th Tolosa Choral contest, which is one of six European Choral Grand Prix events. After two contest stages, first of which was Polyphony, and second – Folklore, Youth Choir MASKA took the 2nd place. We lost only to Female Choir of Kiev Glier Institute of Music. 3rd place went to female choir Aurum from Spain. It’s significant that both mixed choirs and choirs of equal voices were evaluated in the same competition – such system exists in the contest only for the second year. It means that MASKA achieved the highest evaluation in the mixed choir competition.

Tolosa Royo - Coro de Letonia 2º premio polifonía 13 (1)MASKA’s artistic director Jānis Ozols comments on choir’s achievements: “Overall I am happy with the choir’s performance in the competition. Of course, 2nd place is always a bit painful experience, because it means that there was only something very little missing to get the win! However, looking back at other Latvian choirs’ experience in this competition, I have to admit that our performance has been very successful, since not always the best Latvian choirs have ended up winning the Tolosa contest. And considering the mixed choirs in the contest – MASKA was the best of them, and I am very pleased with that!”

Before and after the contest MASKA gave in different cities and towns all over Basque country, including Tafalla, Zumaia, San Sebastian, Pamplona, Getxo and Bera, which turns out to be the widest concert tour in choir’s 15-year-history. Concerts in churches and concert halls were well attended. The auditory especially appreciated Basque songs that MASKA performed however also Latvian choral music and traditional “Pūt vējiņi” in the conclusion of the concert were received with standing ovations.

MASKA expresses gratitude to everyone for the support and love that we felt from the supporters at every moment. There are several concerts planned till the end of the year. We kindly ask you to follow the information in our webpage www.korismaska.lv, Facebook profile, Twitter and other social media. See you very soon!

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MASKA on it’s way to European Choral Grand Prix

Kora MASKA koncerts 24.10.2014

Youth Choir MASKA has spent the end of summer and beginning of autumn preparing for the 46th Tolosa Choral Contest, which is one of only six European Choral Grand Prix competitions. MASKA will be competing in two categories – Polyphony and Folklore – performing a variety of Latvian, Lithuanian, English and Basque choral compositions. In additions, MASKA will perform concerts in six cities around Basque country, where the choir shall present the contest repertoire, supplementing it with compositions that have become MASKA’s proven values.

Before leaving for Spain, our conductor JĀNIS OZOLS and Youth Choir MASKA invites everyone who enjoys choral music to see us before this utmost important contest, as well as to experience our new home – Babīte Center of Cultural Education (Babīte Music School)* that was opened only on 1st of September.

We will be delighted to see you on 24th of October at 19:00 in the Great Hall of Babīte Center of Cultural Education.

* Address – Jūrmalas iela 14A, Piņķi (click to open a map)

If you are active on Facebook, let us know that you are coming to the concert.


MASKA become Champions of the 8th World Choir Games

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 Foto:Kaspars Garda
 

8th World Choir Games took place from 9th till 19th of July in Riga. Also Youth Choir MASKA participated in these games, taking part in two competition categories. In total 460 choirs from all around the world were competing for the prizes.

At first MASKA had the chance to participate in Mixed Choirs Category (C9), where MASKA received a Gold Medal, took honorable 2nd place in the Category and got the best-ever result out of any Latvian choirs that had participated in World Choir games – 96.88 points.

A week later MASKA participated in the Folklore Category (C28), where we won and were named Champions of 8th World Choir Games. We also received a Gold Medal and got 92.38 points. Once again it was proven that Latvians are able to show their folk songs in such manner that the audience from any place in the world could feel it and understand it.

We express our gratitude to Riga2014 who were the ones that presented us the opportunity to participate in these Games. Great thanks also go out to the organizers of the event, because they made it possible to see the choirs and music from so many different places here in Riga.

Of course the biggest thank you goes to our supporters, fans, friends and families. To everyone who believed in us and supported us – THANK YOU!


 

YOUTH CHOIR MASKA IN THE 8TH WORLD CHOIR GAMES

Postkarte_MASKA_LV14-LV085_WCG Riga 2014
This year the 8th World Choir Games take place in Riga, which is European Capital of Culture in 2014. Youth Choir MASKA will participate in these Games that will take place from 9th till 19th of July. In total 460 choirs from 73 countries will be competing in different categories and participating in several concerts.

Youth Choir MASKA is looking forward to showing our best performance in two categories – Mixed Choirs Category (C9) that will take place on 11th of July at 11:45 in the Great Guild and Folklore Category (C28) that will take place on 18th of July at 19:00 in Riga Stradiņš University Great Hall. There is no entrance fee, so everyone who is interested can join see the contest.
2013 was the year of great Latvian Song Celebration. Choir Wars are an important part of the Celebration, where MASKA obtained the 1st place together with a special prize from Riga2014 – invitation to participate in the Champions’ Category in the 8th World Choir Games.
One of the 8th World Choir Games will be Sacred Music concert that will take place in the Old St. Gertrude Church. The best Latvian choirs will be participating in this concert – State Academic Choir “Latvija”, choirs “Sõla”, “Balsis”, “Kamēr…” and Youth Choir MASKA. We are really proud to have been invited to participate in this concert together with the best Latvian choirs.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Latvian. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Šajā nedēļas nogalē aizsāksies Pierīgas koru koncertu mēnesis – Skan kori Pierīgā! Arī mēs būsim daļa no tā-  jau šo sestdien, 26. aprīlī koncertā Mārupes mūzikas un mākslas skolā. Par visiem Pierīgas koru koncertiem uzzini te!

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Latvia Sings!

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Foto: Kaspars Garda, Riga2014

On the evening of 9 March best Latvian amateur choirs – “Maska”, „Sōla”, „Balsis”, „Maska”, „Emīla Dārziņa jauktais koris” – met in a contest hosted by Latvian Television to  compete for the honor to represent Latvia at a concert of the greatest European choirs in Vienna on the 9th of May.

Each choir performed  2 songs – a Latvian folk song and an original composition. Us, youth choir  “Maska”, performed Latvian folk song “Dindaru dandaru”, music composed by our conductor assistant and leader of the vocal group “Latvian Voices” – Laura Jēkabsone. The other composition “Solanum Tuberosum” is also composed by Laura Jekabsone and is a hymn devoted to potato, as Latvians own the record of potato consumption among all Europe countries.

Whole contest can be watched on Latvian Television archive. Youth choir “Maska” performs starting 6’47. Pictures from the contest are presented on Riga2014 home page.

The winning choir – choir “Sola” was determined by the grades given by jury and by voting of TV audience.

Concert ZIEMA

This year winter solstice is expected to be a very special event – youth choir MASKA and conductor Jānis Ozols will await it in Riga St. Gerturde New Church with a concert ZIEMA (WINTER).  It’s binding, that the concert will start exactly at the time when winter begins –   at 7:11 pm.  Traditionally the choir collaborates with the best Latvian musicians and this concert will be unique in building new harmonies and hues of sound.

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This time choir will be accompanied by the best kokle ensemble in Latvia – BALTI and two beloved soloists – Ieva Kerēvica and Jānis Strazdiņš. New sounding of instrumental and vocal music will unfold in composition written by Laura Jēkabsone -”Advent Story”. It will be a premiere of a musical story telling about winter – from its very beginning and Advent time till the birth of Christ. It is music full of contrasts made by the diversity of performers, acoustics of the church and rhythm percussion.

Youth choir MASKA and its conductor Jānis Ozols is a creative and attractive unity, which stand out with a unique musicality and daring to be innovative by creating new interpretations and collaborations with other musicians. MASKA is one the best mixed amateur choirs in Latvia, achieving high results in competitions in Latvia and abroad. They gained first place in the contest of mixed choirs in the XXV Latvian Song Festival and was the only choir invited by the World Choir Games 2014 to participate in the Champions Category.

 Laura Jēkabsone is known as the leader and one of the singers of the world-known a cappella group Latvian Voices. She is author of many arrangements and original compositions performed by the vocal group.  Latvian Voices are the official symbol of Riga as the culture capital of 2014 as well as of the World Choir Games 2014 which will take place in Riga.

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Tickets of the concert are available at “Bilešu paradīze” box offices, online: www.bilesuparadize.lv and at the concert venue.

XXV Nationwide Latvian Song Celebration

Koru kari 2013

Participating in the XXV Latvian Song Celebration youth choir MASKA spent an intense time full of excitement, joy and emotions.

Being one of choirs in Latvia that reached the highest evaluation in the regional choir contest, MASKA was invited to participate in the so called “choir wars”, which took place on 29 June, gathering 23 best mixed choirs from Latvia. In the contest MASKA performed the obligatory piece „Augu Nakti” by Valts Pūce, „Rūķīši un mežavecis” by Jāzeps Vītols and „Readymade Alice” by Pertu Happanen, for which MASKA gained special prize for the best interpretation in the IV International Harald Andersen chamber choir competition in Helsinki, 2012, as well as the Grand Prix. In the competition among 23 best mixed choirs MASKA obtained the 1st place ranks among the best mixed choirs in Latvia. (See all results here.)

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In the news portal diena.lv musicologist Inese Lūsiņa described the performance of MASKA as “the greatest surprise of the last Song Celebration “choir wars””,  telling: “Conductor Jānis Ozols and youth choir MASKA from Babīte dared to show a surprising, unexpected and challenging performance of ballad Rūķīši un Mežavecis by Jāzeps Vītols interpreting it as a humoristic, theatricalized bilingual show.”

See the performance of choir MASKA here (starting 96:00).

MASKA was also recognized by organizers of World Choir Games, which will take place in Riga, 2014, and got the invitation to participate in the champion contest of mixed choirs.

MASKA also had the honour to give a performance at the concert dedicated to the 150 year anniversary of Jāzeps Vītols (see here starting 35:00).

Further events of Song Celebration took singers of MASKA as well as 15 000 participants to Mežaparks open-air concert place where rehearsals and the Gala concert were held.

noslegumsMany thanks to all friends, fans and families for emotional support and special thanks to Biruta Grīnfelde and Babīte Municipality for inexhaustible help during all the time of Song Celebration!

We are truly happy for so many singers in Latvia and Latvians abroad used the opportunity to learn the recorded parts of repertoire of the mixed choirs from choir MASKA home page.  And a special thanks to the Australia Latvian choir “Atbalsis” for their donation as a gratitude to the contribution of choir MASKA.

(Latviešu) Aicinām atbalstīt kori MASKA muzikālas ieceres radīšanā

Iecere par dziesmu ar iemīļotā latviešu dzejnieks Imanta Ziedoņa vārdiem aranžēšanu korim un solistiem diriģentam Jānim Ozolam radusies jau pirms pāris gadiem.

Idejas pamatā ir tautā jau iemīļotu un mazāk dzirdētu dziesmu iedzīvināšana jaunā skanējumā, aicinot dažādus māksliniekus radīt jaunas aranžijas korim un solistiem – gan dziedātājiem, gan instrumentālās mūzikas izpildītājiem.

Mūzikas albumā tiks iekļautas dziesmas, kas veidos dažādu mūzikas stilu buķeti – no tautas mūzikas, a cappella izpildījuma un garīgās mūzikas līdz gospeļiem un populārajai mūzikai.

Dziesmu aranžiju radīšanā piedalās gan pats idejas autors – diriģents Jānis Ozols, gan vokālās grupas Latvian Voices dziedātāja, dziesmu autore un kora Maska kormeistare Laura Jēkabsone, gan kora Maska vokālais pedagogs Jānis Strazdiņš, kā arī citi Latvijā un pasaulē zināmi un atzinību guvuši mūziķi.

Dziesmu izpildīšana tiks uzticēta jauniešu korim Maska – gan a cappella izpildījumā, gan kopīgā skanējumā ar populāriem solistiem, grupām un instrumentālās mūzikas pārstāvjiem.

Kādu laiku lolota, šī ideja savu ceļu pie klausītājiem aizsākusi šogad. Diemžēl šis ir arī gads, kad no izcilā dzejnieka atvadījāmies. Tādēļ jo vairāk vēlamies iedzīvināt Imanta Ziedoņa vārdus jaunā skanējumā, godinot dzejnieka atstāto mantojumu.

Song Celebration 2013

Foto_Līga Štrausa

Youth choir MASKA presents the opportunity to learn the parts for the mixed choir songs of XXV Latvian Song Celebration closing concert.

With XXV Nationwide Latvian Song Celebration approaching, youth choir MASKA and conductor Jānis Ozols bring an opportunity for each and every mixed choir singer to learn the songs included in the Song Festival closing concert program.

“We wished to make our contribution, in order for our nation’s mighty festival to resound even more convincingly, with an even higher quality. There are more and more possibilities constantly appearing in our modern, technology-loaded world, yet there is less actual time, therefore it makes me believe that the singers would be happy to listen and learn their parts, and that these recordings would also help many conductors with their tasks.” – quoted, Jānis Ozols.

Jānis Ozols’s idea for creating the recordings with the voice parts arose during his work with different Riga county choirs, fulfilling his duty as the lead conductor. Although there is no argument about how well-prepared the choirs are, many singers, both local and foreign individually have expressed their interest in having a possibility to learn the songs independently, outside the rehearsals.

The conductor says that this kind of learning process is already familiar to his choir and not only it lets the singers learn the repertoire independently, but it also saves time at the rehearsals, allowing to focus and work on the artistic aspects and musicality. This year it is of special importance in view of the approaching choir shows and the competition for access to the “choir games” of the Song Celebration.

Choir MASKA expresses great gratitude to the Babīte Municipality, which has always supported cultural processes in the region and is also the supporter for the current project as well.

All the voice part recordings are available free at the choir MASKA website www.korismaska.lv, under the section – Dziesmu svētki 2013.

Awake in Christmas II

Choir  “Maska”, “Latvian Voices” and “Xylem Trio” invite you to the concert – “Awake in Christmas II”, on the day after the end of the world.

What do you plan on doing on the day after the acocalypse? We have great news for you: For the second year around Babite youth choir “Maska”, conductor Janis Ozols and composer Rihards Zalupe invite you to the most bright and hearty concert of the year – “Awake in Christmas II” at Riga Dome Cathedral, December 22nd.
At this year’s concert, youth choir “Maska” will be accompanied by the champions of World Choir Games – the a capella vocal group “Latvian Voices” and the outstanding “Xylem Trio”. In the artist performance list: World premieres for original compositions and arrangements created for this Christmas, as well as a brand new sounding to traditional melodies. Conducted by Janis Ozols the vocals of “Latvian Voices” and  choir “Maska” shall fuse with the heavenly instrumental tunes of “Xylem Trio”, waking every listener’s heart to open it for the coming Christmas. A blink of peace, a moment of thought and the infinity in music…
Tickets available at “Bilesu paradize” box offices, online: www.bilesuparadize.lv and at the concert venue.

Youth choir Maska gains a sensational victory

 

Youth choir Maska, led by its conductor Janis Ozols had gained a sensational victory at the IV International Harald Andersen Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki (Finland). Outperforming and surpassing many professional choirs Maska had won not only the first prize, but also obtained the jury special prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory piece.

Conductor of Latvian Radio Choir Kaspars Putnins, who himself had been a member of the jury at the Harald Andersen Chamber Choir competition, believes this contest to be one of the biggest challenges for any choir, as in contrast to, for instance, the European Choral Grand Prix, here even professional musicians may take part. Moreover, the chance to participate in the contest is determined by a strict jury selection, where choir records, as well as previous success in international competitions are taken into account.

The artistic director of choir Maska Janis Ozols considers this victory to be the choir`s greatest accomplishment, as well as the peak of his own professional career so far. ‘For an amateur choir to win such a competition is really quite an event, because rarely would we have the chance to compete against choirs of such high quality. I am also very happy that in this event, besides us, Latvia was represented by two other great choirs – ‘Rāte’ and Swedbank choir.’

The chairman of the jury – Jonathan Rathbone acknowledged that true musicality and emotion was what distinguished choir Maska from others in the competition, while the interpretation of the compulsory piece made it possible to evaluate the brilliant technical skills of the choir and its conductor.

This year there were twelve choirs competing for victory and the prize of 15 000 Euro. Nine countries were represented in the competition: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines and Colombia. Previously no prize had ever been won by a Latvian choir in the nine years history of the competition.

Babite youth choir Maska was founded in 2000. Maska won the Grand Prix at the ‘Europe and its Songs competition in Barcelona (Spain) in 2011, two gold diplomas at the Seghizzi Choir Competition in Gorizia (Italy) in 2010, and two gold diplomas at the Venezia in Musica competition in Venice (Italy) in 2008.

MASKA invites to concerts in September

Youth choir MASKA and its conductor Jānis Ozols invites each and every choir music  lover to three upcoming concerts in Latvia before the great challenge – the 4 th Internation Harald Andersen Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki.

The competition is held every three years and 12 pre – selected choirs will participate in the high – quality competition. The main emphasis of the contest is a capella singing.  The competition will be held on 21 -22 September in the Helsinki Music Centre. The programme for the contest includes the compulsory work, Readymade Alice commissioned from Perttu Haapanen.

You have the chance to hear this peculiar piece of music in the concerts of youth choir MASKA as well as the greatest pieces of early music and contemporary music written by Peteris Vasks, Peteris Butans, Arvo Part, Janis Liepins and others. The choir is especially proud to perform a piece written by the assistant conductor Laura Jekabsone – “Dindaru dandaru”.  A lot of time and effort has been devoted to prepare this progamme during regular rehearsals as well as in the yearly choir camp, therefore we are now ready to share this musical experience with you.

 

Youth choir MASKA concerts in September:

14 September at 20:00 – Babītes vidusskolas concert hall;

15 September at 19:00 – Aizkraukle culture centre;

16 September at 13:00 – Umurga culture centre. A special atmosphere will be added by actors Marija and Andris Berzini who will enrich the concert by poetry written by Imants Ziedonis and Knuts Skujenieks.

Choir “Maska” performs at the talent show “Latvijas Zelta talanti”

After the last year’s warm and affectionate concert in December youth choir “Maska” has started a new season and is preparing to face various upcoming events. Quite a work still has to be done, yet the choir is always responsive and open to participate in local events, parallel to the main targets. Last weekend the “LNT” channel aired the second semi-final of the talent show “Latvijas Zelta Talanti” where “Maska” staged a beautiful and positive guest performance, moving every viewer and listener. Maska – Dvēseles dziesma

“Angels over Latvia”

For the fourth year in a row a special charity event takes place in Latvia – “Angels over Latvia”, which calls for support to children with special needs. This year choir “Maska” had the opportunity to take part in the event at the final concert in Latvian National Opera, December 18th, where the choir, accompanied by singer Annija Putniņa gave the children a truly touching performance. Maska – Panis Angelicus

“Maska” wakes the people of Riga

Choir “Maska” went to wake the people of Riga last weekend, inviting them to the brightest concert of the year – “Awake in Christmas”. This was also the first official flashmob conducted by a choir in Latvia. The customers at the Riga’s biggest supermarkets were struck by a sudden and unexpected performance, causing both surprise and sincere joy of the spectators. With this little musical greeting “Maska” and conductor Jānis Ozols invited people to the concert in Riga Dome cathedral, December 21st. Maska – Vindo

Rihards Zaļupe and conductor Jānis Ozols invites to wake up in Christmas

The award-winning youth choir “Maska” and its conductor Jānis Ozols together with soloists Annija Putniņa, Laura Jēkabsone, the vocal group Latvian Voices and Jānis Strazdiņš from the group Cosmos invites to experience the brightest concert of the year, with musical accompaniment of Kazanova orchestra on December 21st at 19:00, in Riga Dome Cathedral.

Every year Christmas arrives together with the joy of gift-giving, which often makes everyone struggle seeking tangible things to put under the Christmas tree, making people get lost in the supermarket crowds. Instead of all that Babite youth choir “Maska” and conductor Jānis Ozols calls to give oneself and beloved ones the most beautiful holiday experience of the year in the concert “Awake in Christmas”!

The concert will feature a variety of Christmas tunes, as well as the world premiere of the most affectionate and hearty of compositions by Rihards Zalupe “Awake in Christmas” – a lovely story about a teddy bear, who awakes from his brumal sleep right in the Christmas evening and sees…

After the spectacular victory in the international choir – singing competition in Spain, with unprecedented results in Latvian choir history, youth choir “Maska” continues its collaboration with the composer Rihards Zaļupe, giving listeners a festive atmosphere together with the Kazanova orchestra, conducted by Toms Rēķis.

Conductor Jānis Ozols takes part in an international jury commission in Gorizia

After “Maska’s” successful participation in “Seghizzi” choir singing contest last year, where Janis Ozols was nominated as the best new conductor, he was invited to join the jury of the contest this year to judge the performance of the competing choirs alongside with well known professionals of vocal music, such as Simon Carrington – the founder and singer of the vocal group „King’s Singers”, Harald Jers choir conducting and musical acoustics research professor, Alessandro Kirschner – the promising Italian composer and others.

During the work in the jury Janis Ozols gave a presentation lecture on Latvian choir and “a capella” music and its present development, as well as introduced the listeners to creations of Latvian composer Rihards Zalupe. It is fitting here to mention that after the successful cooperation with Rihards Zalupe and “Xylem Trio” in 2010, choir “Maska” has expressed a wish to contionue to engage in new joint projects.

„Maska” still represents itself as one of the best choirs in Latvia!

On the Labor day – May 1 ”Maska” took part in Tukums region choir competition in order to take a step closer to the Riga 810th birthday and the nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival in 2013. Three women choirs and eight mixed choirs from Tukums, Kandava, Jaunpils, as well as from Babite district and Jurmala participated in the competition. Chief conductors Romāns Vanags, Ivars Cinkuss and Ārijs Šķepasts represented the jury.

Choir ”Maska” performed very well, gaining the highest score of the jury’s assessment – 46 out of 50 points and recieved special recognition from the chief conductors, thus ”Maska” represented itself as the best mixed choir in the competition. The performance of Tukums teachers choir ”Vanema”, which also is led by Jānis Ozols was rated high as well.

The work does not end with this achievement as ”Maska” will actively prepare for other events including the upcoming small towns and rural choir competition – festival in Mazsalaca which will take place on June 11.