The student singers will represent the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) at the May 26–31 summit. ACDA is one of the collaborators for the event.

The summit will be a cross-cultural exchange of U.S. and Cuban composers, directors and students that showcases the distinct choral music styles of Cuban tradition and American genres.

The 33-student ensemble is the only performing group from the United States at the event and will take part in the opening and closing sessions. Besides performing at the summit’s gala concert with Cuban choirs, the students will tour Havana and nearby areas in addition, according to director Kent Hatteberg.

“Although the group has had the opportunity to perform and experience cultures in Europe and Asia, most students are unaware of what life is really like in Cuba, only 90 miles or so away,” Hatteberg said. “They will have the opportunity to witness first-hand the Cuban culture, the fabulous Cuban choral tradition, the difficulty of life for Cubans and better understand the political climate of U.S./Cuban relations.”

Last month INTERKULTUR, an organization that reviews international competitions around the globe, reported that the Cardinal Singers ranked first among the top 1000 groups in the choral world based on their competition results since 2000. They also were ranked first in the mixed choir group and number six in the pop, jazz and gospel category.