- [...] The entire Festival was brimming with excitement from start to finish and the organization and opportunities were all superb. I understand how much incredible work went into the organization so that everything ran like clockwork without a hitch. Every single person who greeted us or looked after us was so polite, helpful, kind and happy. [...]
And the opportunities were out of this world! – playing in the hallowed Golden Hall of the Musikverein, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the MuTh and at the beautiful town of Ybbs where we were treated like kings (as we were throughout the Festival) and had the privilege of playing for the little children from Chernobyl. It was so moving to see their reaction with our students after the concert and especially as our leader is Ukrainian and could chat with them in their own language.
The workshops were amazing – imagine working with a guru of Viennese waltzes in Vienna! (Christoph Ehrenfellner) and such an experienced musician as John Stanley. The feedback of our performances was so kind and generous, the opportunity to hear so many other magnificent orchestras and choirs was wonderful, the sightseeing was eye opening and mind blowing, the accommodation first rate and the food absolutely delicious! [...]
Hearty congratulations and enormous thanks to every single person involved in the Festival – how could anything be organized in such a magnificent way?! We will certainly be immediately starting to save our money for a return visit!
Lynley Bramble, Huntingtower String Orchestra (Australia), 2014
- Wir haben selten eine so perfekt organisierte und so liebevoll vorbereitete Veranstaltung erlebt! Die kleinen Details, die es uns ermöglichten, uns einfach voll und ganz auf die Musik und das Zusammentreffen mit den anderen Orchestern einzulassen, weil wir uns ganz und gar umsorgt fühlten. [...] Auch Ihre Mitarbeiter bei allen Veranstaltungsorten waren kompetent und liebevoll, und haben sich immer bemüht uns jeden Wunsch zu erfüllen. [...]
Besonders erwähnenswert ist auch, dass vorgegebene Zeitabläufe eingehalten wurden. Bei dem Umfang und der Größe so eines Events eine wahre Meisterleistung! Die Veranstaltungen des Festivals waren sehr auf die Bedürfnisse der Jugendlichen zugeschnitten. [...]
Eine furiose Idee waren auch die Konzerte im Wiener Umland- oder noch weiter! So konnten wir auch Menschen erreichen, die nicht die Möglichkeit hatten nach Wien zu kommen. [...]
Die Workshops an der Wiener Musikhochschule waren ein ganz besonderes Highlight für uns [...] Dass wir als Preisträger im Konzerthaus spielen durften, wird für uns alle immer ein hoch emotionales, unvergessliches Erlebnis bleiben! Die rauschende Party danach im Wiener Rathaus konnten wir so richtig genießen, und da war auch Gelegenheit mit den Ensembles Kontakt aufzunehmen, die nicht bei uns im Hotel gewohnt haben. Viele Fotos wurden gemacht, Visitenkarten und Adressen getauscht, man fühlte sich wie in einer großen Familie, die sich zu besonderen Anlässen trifft. [...] Das ist immer auch der Zeitpunkt Kritik anzubringen, aber ich suche und suche... und finde nichts!
Frau Ulli Büsel, Jugendkammerorchester Violinissimo (Germany), 2013
- For our choir - Zoltán Kodály Children's Choir of Marosszék - it was a special unique experience in our life which we will never forget! Thank you for the possibility that we could take part on this wonderful festival through your - and your sponsors' - generosity. Through this whole experience - during the period of preparation together with the days we could spend in Wienna - our choir took a big step toward artistic level and community building. We are especially happy and grateful that with the motivation of your wonderful festival beautiful choir sounding was born and some beatiful pieces of choral literature started to exist.
What we enjoyed in SCL Festival - beside the wonderful places where we had the chance to sing, to celebrate, to eat - the very human organization. First we enjoyed the accurate organization - and at the same time your freedom, opennes, your rediness for any changes. This told us about your very human attitude. Than we found valuable for your efforts to create a good feeling for all the participants, not only on the area of circumstances on every places but also connected with the competition. We found that all the children and young musicians went home with the best feelings after the Rathaus-party and the results did not build a wall between essemles, peoples, everybody could experience their own value - and this fits to art-competition.
We learned from your great patience which we could see through the whole prepration period and the whole festival events, we always got an answer to our questions and the answer was always kind and empathic and full of patience.
Eva Vera Nagy and Gabriella Czakó / Zoltán Kodály Children's Choir of Marosszék (Romania)
- It was my first time participating in it and my choir and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. For me, it had been the best festival I have ever attended. It was highly professional and the pacing was just right. Another kudos to your organisation was the fact that even though we were a children's choir, we were treated with equal dignity and respect.
Ms Bee Na Lim, Cconductor / The St Margaret’s Primary School Choir (Singapore)
- We thank you and your team for the great effort and the support for the campaign LICHT INS DUNKEL.
According to the motto: "Everyone Euro counts" we welcome any donation, regardless of its amount. But above all we are very happy that time and again people as motivated as yourselves reach out to us, and work with dedication for the good cause.
Christine Tschürtz-Kny, Managing Director of "Licht ins Dunkel", Austria's largest humanitarian aid organization
- Dear Festival organizers,
I wanted to thank all of you and all the other people who helped you, for the special experience in Vienna.
The orchestra's players enjoyed very much the atmosphere, from the big halls, and were inspired by the other delegations from around the world. We know it wasn't an easy task to arrange this "Musical Olympics" and so we admire you for being so successful in that. We were honored to take part in the festival, and hope to come back again with our choir.
All the best
Zohar (on behalf of our conductor, the team and the kids)
Zohar Dayan International Relations coordinator / The Galilee String Orchestra
Jezreel Valley Center for the Arts, www.musicalvalley.co.il
- “The Confidence of Children”
This past summer I had the privilege of being there when The Georgian Bay Children's Choir competed and experienced the Summa Cum Laude Music Festival in Vienna. As can be imagined the experience was indescribable in many ways, but I remember one moment above all others. Our group had the opportunity to go to Kapuvar, Hungary.
We performed with 2 other choirs for a local community in an old church. When our choir sang that day the outcome was incredible. After each piece the crowd applauded with such zeal, the effect were blatantly visible on our small younger group.
They received standing ovations, and loud boisterous cheering that young people so often express. As a parent, I was brought to tears at seeing such an obvious transformation. An experience that could never have been contrived or duplicated. I know that the effects of that day moved each of our kids in a way that will last a lifetime, ….
Leslie Hallman - GBCC Choir Parent
- The concert yesterday was amazing! We were able to see the festival winners and it was really great! The atmosphere was splendid and also the artistic features. Your festival is really high-level, the organization and also the artistic part. You had it good prepared, mainly the concerts also the Opening Celebration in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. The interaction word and music was just excellent. There was no stagnation point. Also the final concert in Musikverein had good increasing gradient!
Janka Rychlá Conductor / Pressburg Singers
- Wir sind alle noch ganz berauscht und schwelgen immer noch in einem Glücksgefühl. Es war ein ganz wunderbares Festival (und das nicht nur wegen unseres Erfolges!) Alles hat gut gepasst! Vielen Dank für alles und herzliche Grüße auch an die vielen freundlichen Helfer!
Ursula Bischof Organisation / Puchheimer Jugendkammerorchester
- Es war insgesamt ein sehr beeindruckendes und nachhaltiges Erlebnis - das Spielen im goldenen Saal, die Kontakte und der Austausch mit anderen Gruppen, das Hinzufiebern auf das Wertungsspiel, die schönen Örtlichkeiten, die weiteren Konzerte usw. usw. Die Organisation war sehr gut und professionell, dabei stets souverän und freundlich. Wir haben uns immer sehr gut betreut gefühlt, alles lief hervorragend. Dass wir so gut abgeschnitten haben, war für uns dann natürlich die absolute Krönung! Wir sind Ihnen und dem gesamten Organisationsteam sehr dankbar und wünschen, dass das Festival weiter blüht und gedeiht. Hoffentlich haben wir in Zukunft mal wieder die Gelegenheit, nach Wien zu kommen!
Peter Michielsen Dirigent / Puchheimer Jugendkammerorchester
- Congratulations to a wonderful and successful SCL 2010! I am so happy I finally got to see, feel, experience and taste the true spirit and atmosphere of the SCL Festival… Both the workshops and the Gala Winners Concert were wonderful. The reception in City Hall was lovely too! The flawless execution and complete organization is impressive to say the least. Again, my sincere congratulations on a job so well done!
Bram Majtlis IMTC Concerts
- Die musikalische Qualität, die Farbenpracht und die vielen fröhlichen Gesichter - wir sind so richtig aus dem Alltag gekippt.
Waltraud Wolf Director of the Vienna Tourist Board
Excerpts of the TIYO Blog (The kid’s eye view):
- Being in Austria has been so much fun so far. I had lifetime experience musically playing in the Golden Hall and learning from world famous musicians, but the overall atmosphere has been the best part! The plazas, the massive market for classical music, and the obsessive people watching is a lot of fun. The small villages and the big city are equally interesting, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!
- I’m having a great time. I got to wave to a bunch of Chinese people, and tomorrow I’ll go to talk to them. We’ve been playing Mao and listening to music and talking to people from Holland at our hotel. The contest was fun and everything here is beautiful. It’s great being here with my friends.
- Many people claim our American culture has taken over the world, placing McDonalds at every street corner in every country imaginable. While there are McDonalds in Vienna, it is uplifting to see a city, and an entire country with so much culture, history, and unique importance in the world. Vienna holds some of the last remnants of nobility, aristocracy, and most importantly, a culture based on classical performances every day of the week. Stepping outside in a city and hearing the music surrounding us is uplifting and inspiring. It is a joy to know that globalization has refused to take away the music in the world.
- My favorite day was the 4th of July when we played in the most acoustically wonderful hall in the world, the Musikverein. It will remain in my memory forever.
- I have been a professional musician for 30 years, and I finally know how to play a Viennese Waltz! Thank you Summa Cum Laude Festival!
Diana Anderson (Musical Director)
- A great group of young musicians, a great group of chaperones, and a city that is proud to place it’s amazingly rich culture and history above much of what is mistakenly considered “progress”. To hear the middle section of “Ellis Island” played in the Golden Hall on the 4th of July, and better yet, to watch my much- loved son and other, all bright, beautiful faces perform it, was a life-forming, transcendant moment.
Marty Morrisey (Vice-President)
Das Festival war für uns eine ganz tolle Sache, inhaltlich, organisatorisch, atmosphärisch. Gratulation zur und Dank für Arbeit des ganzen SCL Teams.
Hermann Ostendarp Dirigent / Il Mosaico
- Enthusiastische Musikgruppen, tolle Stimmung vor, im und nach dem Konzert, ein Augen- und Ohrenschmaus, eine völkerverbindende Veranstaltung - Gratulation an alle, die dazu beitragen, Musik als die internationale Sprache des Herzens zu etablieren. Über die einzelnen Darbietungen hinaus beeindruckte mich, wie der Dirigent, Herr Ronald Smart, alle Anwesenden zum mehrstimmigen Singen der Summa Cum Laude-Hymne, zum gemeinsamen Klingen und Schwingen brachte. Danke, dass ich dabei sein durfte!
Lucia Ammerstorfer Häuser zum Leben
- Es war super, echt genial. Das ganze Ambiente und die vielen Musiker waren umwerfend... Gratulation! Das Summa Cum Laude-Lied war den ganzen Abend lang ein Ohrwurm!
Veronika Sutterlüty Haus der Musik