Phoenix Chorale’s “Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo” has been named Best Classical Vocal Album of the Year on iTunes’ Best of 2012.

“I’m thrilled that Phoenix Chorale’s Northern Lights album featuring my choral music is the iTunes 2012 Classical Vocal Album of the Year. The dominance of digital downloads is no longer the future; it is already here,” said composer Ola Gjeilo. “And with iTunes being the world’s number one music outlet, this is such a great honor. I have been a huge Apple fan for years.”

This recognition comes on the heels of last week’s news of two Grammy nominations awarded to Charles Bruffy, artistic director of the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale.

“Sometimes reality even exceeds our dreams,” said Bruffy. “It’s so remarkable to have the Kansas City Chorale’s ‘Life and Breath’ with a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Choral Recording’ and then to turn around and have the Phoenix Chorale’s Northern Lights named iTunes Classical Vocal Album of the Year. I knew we were onto something special with composers René Clausen and Ola Gjeilo and I’m so honored to have been a part of bringing their music to life. It is profoundly gratifying to receive this acknowledgement by our colleagues and the industry for our work.”

Northern Lights is still the top selling title for Chandos Records in the United States for the year, climbing industry charts and coming in at #4 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart and climbing to #5 on the United Kingdom’s Gramophone Specialist Classical Chart.

“Chandos Records has built up a reputation over the years for releasing many fine recordings of choral music,” said Ralph Couzens, managing director of Chandos Records in the U.K. “With choirs possessing the incredibly high standard of the Phoenix Chorale combined with the sort of imaginative repertoire found on their Northern Lights album, this legacy – which both inspires and is inspiring – continues.”

On February 28, 2012, Chandos Records released the first ever recording of choral works by young Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (Yay-lo) titled Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo.  Performed by Charles Bruffy, the Phoenix Chorale, The Harrington String Quartet, saxophonist Ted Belledin and the composer himself, Northern Lights contains five world premiere recordings and three pieces which were either commissioned, composed, or dedicated to the Phoenix Chorale.

“All of us here at Naxos of America knew from the very beginning that Northern Lights was a very special release, the fact that iTunes has chosen it as vocal album of 2012 is not only AWESOME but also confirms how special this recording truly is!” said Collin Rae, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Naxos of America, the North American distributor for Chandos.