Jussi Chydenius (FI), Sara Brimer​​​​​​​, Karoliina Kantelinen (FI), Michael McGlynn (IE), Paul Phoenix (GB)

Jury of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles 2019

Chairman Jussi Chydenius (FI).
Sara Brimer Davey (US)
Karoliina Kantelinen (FI)
Michael McGlynn (IE)
Paul Phoenix (GB)

Jussi Chydenius is a highly versatile musician: a bass singer, drummer and composer. He began his musical career as the drummer of Don Huonot, one of Finland’s most popular rock groups in the 1990s, and remained with the group until 2001. He is a founding member of the Rajaton vocal ensemble, which was established in 1997 and won the Contest for Vocal Ensembles in Tampere in 1999. He has written music for Rajaton and for choirs in Finland and abroad. He has been a member of the jury of the Contest for Vocal Ensembles since 2003.

Sara Brimer Davey was born in East Tennessee and studied Music Education and Music Performance at East Tennessee State University. In 2018 she received a “Distinguished Alumni” award from her university for work she has done across the globe. Since moving to London to join The Swingles as high soprano in 2009 she has worked on the Sky TV show Sing: Ultimate Acapella, she has sung on the backings of over 30 films including Wonder Woman and the Hunger Games, and she has workshopped and coached vocal groups and individuals worldwide. After leaving The Swingles in 2018, Sara has continued singing and coaching and is currently living just outside of Cambridge enjoying the English village life. (Photo © Nedim Nazerali.)

Karoliina Kantelinen is a singer and ethnomusicologist specialising in folk singing styles of various nations. She is currently completing an artistically oriented doctorate at the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy while also appearing as a solo performer and in various ensembles such as Värttinä, Suden aika, Ketsurat, No-One’s Land, Set’Akat and the Paul Taulor OrCHestra (Switzerland). In addition to her international performig career, she teaches ethnic singing at the Sibelius Academy, gives lectures on folk music and gives workshops for choirs and vocal ensembles in Finland and abroad. (Photo © Seppo Samuli.)

Michael McGlynn’s love of traditional Irish song and the literary culture of his homeland led him to create the group ANÚNA in 1987 and he is currently the Composer/Artistic director for the ensemble. His compositional language combines elements of modality fused with jazz-tinged chordal clusters and a melodic awareness influenced strongly by traditional Irish singing (sean nós). Ireland has no indigenous history of ensemble singing, so he used the creation of Anúna as an opportunity to create a fresh new understanding of the art form. His thirty year career as a composer has traversed many genres - from Noh Theatre to Chanticleer, from Elvis Costello to Sheryl Crow. (Photo © Nejc Rudel.)

Grammy Award winning singer Paul Phoenix has extensive knowledge and experience in a variety of vocal styles and numerous languages. He was a member of The King’s Singers for 17 years until 2014. He now coaches choirs, ensembles and individuals internationally through ‘PurpleVocals – Perform & Engage’, both an online and personal consultancy. It is important to Paul to pass on the many skills he learned not only as a King’s Singer, but as a performer with 40 years of experience. The last few months have seen Paul working in several countries, among them Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Colombia, the USA, Hong Kong and China.