The first edition saw choirs from nine different countries compete to be the first winner of the title Eurovision Choir of the Year.
Côr Merched Sir Gâr from Wales came second and Latvia’s Spīgo were placed third.
The event was broadcast by participating EBU Members ORF (Austria), RTBF (Belgium) DR (Denmark), EER (Estonia), MTVA (Hungary), RTVSLO (Slovenia) and S4C (Wales) and host broadcaster LTV (Latvia). WDR (Germany), who also took part, will air the show in the coming weeks.
Eurovision Choir of the Year was also broadcast live on eurovisionchoir.tv and in Serbia (RTS), Albania (RTSH) and on Arte Concert in France.
The nine competing choirs performed a six minute piece which reflected, in part, their national or regional character in front of an audience of around 5,000 people.
They were then judged by a jury composed of British choral composer John Rutter, internationally renowned Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and Swiss choral conductor Nicolas Fink. The jury was asked to score on the artistic personality of the choir, their faithfulness to the musical score, the quality of their sound and intonation and their general musicianship.
Carmen Manet performed Scarf and And So We Dance in Resia conducted by Primož Kerštanj.
Carmen Manet is a female chamber choir founded in 2011 and is made up of the best singers of past and present generations of the Gimnazija Kranj Girls Choir. Despite its young age, the choir has already achieved excellent results at several international competitions including the In Canto sul Garda (Italy 2011), the 50th Montreux International Choral Competition (Switzerland 2014) as well as the Xinghai Prize International Choral Competition in China in 2012.
In September 2013 the choir released their first CD. The Song of the Northern Wind is a collection of compositions for female choirs, written by composers originating from Northern Europe
As well as the title Eurovision Choir of the Year, the winning choir, Carmen Manet, receives a prize of 10,000 euros donated by the City of Riga.
EBU Head of Live Events Jon Ola Sand congratulated the winning choir and praised the production: "Carmen Manet truly deserve to be the first winners of Eurovision Choir of the Year. Tonight we have seen the joy and passion of choral singing broadcast live across Europe. This new addition to the Eurovision Family of Events shows, once again, that public service media is uniting audiences by providing unique high-quality entertainment and a platform for the most talented singers from across Europe.”
“The EBU congratulates the whole team from Latvian Television who created a wonderful production and thanks our partners Live Riga, the City of Riga and Interkultur who helped make Eurovision Choir of Year possible,” he added.
The show was hosted by Latvian TV presenter Eva Johansone and Grammy-winning US composer and conductor Eric Whitacre who performed his work ‘Fly to Paradise’ and ended the show by leading a performance of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ ‘My Song’, uniting over 500 performers on stage, the full audience at Arena Riga and TV viewers at home.
Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017 was a co-production between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Member Latvian Television (LTV). It took place within the popular international competition European Choir Games, organized by German-based INTERKULTUR, the world’s leading organizer of international choir competitions and festivals in collaboration with LIVE RIGA.
The full list and profiles of participants for the Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017, along with high resolution photos, can be found on the official website, eurovisionchoir.tv.
Absolute Tormis - a collage of six pieces by Veljo Tormis (Music: Veljo Tormis / Lyrics: Viivi Luik)
In the Seraglio Garden (Music: Wilhelm Stenhammar / Lyrics: J.P. Jacobsen)
Like a Child: I. Lullaby (Music: Per Nørgård / Lyrics: Adolph Wölfli)
In the Troop (Music and lyrics: Raphaël Passaquet)
Together (Music and lyrics: Pierre Rapsat, arr. by Philippe Favette)
African Call (Music and lyrics by Klaus Frech and Bertrand Gröger)
Palette (Music and lyrics: Roger Treece)
Scarf (Music: Katarina Pustinek Rakar / Lyrics: Traditional)
And So We Dance in Resia (Music: Samo Vovk / Lyrics: Samo Vovk, Ljoba Jenče, Matej Šekli, Barbara Grahor, Silvana Paletti)
Songs from Karad (Music: Zoltán Kodály / Lyrics: Traditional)
O, Mountain, O (Music: Otmar Mácha / Lyrics: Traditional)
Mil harddach (Traditional Welsh Lullaby) (Traditional music and lyrics / arr. by Islwyn Evans)
Wade in the Water (Arranged by Norman Luboff, adapted by Islwyn Evans)
Ave Maria (Music: Anton Bruckner) I Do What I Want (Traditional music and lyrics)
Vegetables, No. 3 Rah! (Music: John Muehleisen / Lyrics: Joanne Gunnerson)
A Resplendent Sun in the Sky (Music: Raimonds Pauls / Lyrics: Inese Zandere)
I’m a Daughter of a Gypsy (Traditional music and lyrics, arr. by Līga Celma-Kursiete)