"We had a wonderful time. I was very impressed with the organization and outcome of the whole event. It was truly thrilling to be a part of this worldwide choral experience."
8th World Choir Games
The 8th World Choir Games 2014 brought the international flair of the Choir Olympic idea to one of the most traditional singer regions world-wide: the Baltic States.
After the amazing success in Cincinnati 2012, the world's most impressive and innovative choral event returned to Europe, in the European Capital of Culture 2014, Riga.
27 000 active participants from 73 countries were involved in these Games. There was an estimated 10.460 minutes of performances – the equivalent of more than seven days of uninterrupted singing – in concerts and competitions. A total of 229 Gold, 174 Silver and 16 Bronze Medals were awarded by the international jury. The Medal tally of the 8th World Choir Games is led by Latvia with 54 Medals, followed by China and Hong Kong / SAR with 53 medals, Russia with 46 medals, USA with 32 medals and Indonesia with 28 medals.
The World Choir Games 2014 also included performances and appearances by several Headliners: The King’s Singers (GB), The Real Group (S), Morten Lauridsen (USA), Eriks Ešenvalds (LV), and Javier Busto (E).
Unforgettable highlights were the Great Celebration Concert of the 8th World Choir Games that took place in the Mežaparks – the Song Celebration grounds - where 10,000 of Latvian and 5,000 international singers united in song as well as the emotional Closing Concert in the Arena Riga, where the international Festival Stage Choir performed both classical and famous international songs and hits under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiss, Johan Rooze and Fred Sjöberg.
The World Choir Games invites all non-professional choirs of the world to participate. Choirs have the chance to choose from 29 different competition categories, to be evaluated and learn from respected international conductors and jury members, perform with choirs from around the World in Friendship Concerts or in an international massed festival stage choir or attend the workshops and seminars that will be offered during the Games.
"The Champions Competition" is for choirs that have corresponding international competitive experience and have already proven their ability in concerts and international choral competitions. Choirs competing in The Champions Competition are by the decision of the artistic committee.
In the spirit of the World Choir Games, "Participation is the highest honor", "The Open Competition" gives all choirs the chance to get valuable experiences in an international competition regardless of their present artistic level of achievement.
Both competitions are held in 29 different categories the participating choirs can choose their most suitable from:
|The Champions Competition:||The Open Competition:|
|C1 Young Children’s Choirs||O1 Young Children’s Choirs|
|C2 Children’s Choirs||O2 Children’s Choirs|
|C3 Youth Choirs of Equal Voices||O3 Youth Choirs of Equal Voices|
|C4 Young Male Choirs||O4 Young Male Choirs|
|C5 Mixed Boys’ Choirs||O5 Mixed Boys’ Choirs|
|C6 Mixed Youth Choirs||O6 Mixed Youth Choirs|
|C7 Mixed Vocal Ensembles||-|
|C8 Mixed Chamber Choirs||O8 Mixed Chamber Choirs|
|C9 Mixed Choirs||O9 Mixed Choirs|
|C10 Female Vocal Ensembles||O11 Female Vocal Ensembles|
|C11 Female Chamber Choirs||O11 Female Chamber Choirs|
|C12 Female Choirs||O12 Female Choirs|
|C13 Male Vocal Ensembles||O13 Male Vocal Ensembles|
|C14 Male Chamber Choirs||O14 Male Chamber Choirs|
|C15 Male Choirs||O15 Male Choirs|
|-||O16 Senior Choirs|
|C17 Musica Sacra a cappella||O17 Musica Sacra a cappella|
|C18 Musica Sacra with accompaniment||O18 Musica Sacra with accompaniment|
|C19 Music of Spirit and Faith||O19 Music of Spirit and Faith|
|C20 Musica Contemporanea (contemporary music)||O20 Musica Contemporanea (contemporary music)|
|C21 Jazz||O21 Jazz|
|C22 Gospel||O22 Gospel|
|C23 Spiritual||O23 Spiritual|
|C24 Barbershop Quartets||O24 Barbershop Quartets|
|C25 Barbershop Choirs||O25 Barbershop Choirs|
|C26 Popular Choral Music||O25 Popular Choral Music|
|C27 Scenic Pop / Show Choirs||O27 Scenic Pop / Show Choirs|
|C28 Folklore||O28 Folklore|
|C29 Scenic Folklore||O29 Scenic Folklore|
A detailed description of the competition categories can also be found in the booklet available for download:
Participant Information(1.9 MB)
These participation opportunities are for all choirs, competing or non-competing, that would like to receive comments and advice on such elements as interpretation, sound quality and presentation and get new artistic ideas and impetus. Participate in an Evaluation Performance or an Individual Coaching.
Evaluation Performance for competing choirs:
Prior to World Choir Games competitions, choirs may register to present their competition programme before a highly qualified, experienced international jury. This is an INTERKULTUR tradition which provides a rich source of inspiration through the sharing of diverse opinions and approaches. Choirs who take advantage of this opportunity will receive comments and advice on such elements as interpretation, sound quality and presentation. The experience will have no effect on subsequent competition evaluation. Evaluation Performances for competing choirs will be planned for July 8 & 9 and 14 & 15, so choirs need to arrive in Rīga accordingly.
Evaluation Performance for non-competing choirs:
This level of participation is available to choirs who choose not to be placed in competition, but seek to be part of the international experience of the World Choir Games.
Choirs will sing a programme of three pieces for a maximum performance time of 15 minutes before a panel of international experts.
At the conclusion of the programme there will be a brief internal consultation of the panel of choral experts. Finally, the programme is discussed with the choir in an open and amicable atmosphere. Performance coaching and recommendations will be given for future participation in international competitions. The choirs will receive an official World Choir Games certificate of participation.
All participants, whether taking part in the competitions or not - choirs are given the opportunity to participate with their choir in a session with a noted international choir director.
Procedure of Individual Coaching:
Choirs interested in making use of this opportunity are required to prepare one piece of choral music. An internationally respected choral music expert will then rehearse the piece with the choir to provide new artistic ideas and impetus.
Choirs not participating in the competition are presented a certificate and a recommendation for their future participation in international choral competition.
In addition to their competitive or non–competitive participation, choirs may perform in a friendship concert with other choirs in public venues in and around the city of Rīga.
These free public concerts provide opportunity for each choir to present musical traditions and costumes of their native land.
Choirs, instrumental groups, and dance companies not participating in any other category may also register to participate solely in multiple friendship concerts.
The World Choir Games feature large-scale events staged in world class venues capable of televised and live stage production.
These shows feature massed stage choirs singing a wide-spectrum of music ranging from great choral-symphonic works to pop music. The artistic committee has final approval on selection of choirs who must rehearse independently and arrive prepared for massed rehearsal.
In Rīga, two different Festival Stage Choir-Projects are being offered to the choirs:
Mežaparks - July 13, 2014
This concert will be a highlight of the 8th World Choir Games. Under the direction of Romans Vanags, the Latvian Artistic Director of The Games, thousands of Latvian singers will converge with choirs from around the world to raise their voices in harmonious unity in the huge grounds of Mežaparks, a stage normally used to celebrate the Latvian Song and Dance
Celebration. The traditional songs of Latvia will be featured along with national vocal music from as far away as South Africa, Indonesia, China and Latin America. Even the audience will be invited to sing along, echoing the World Choir Games slogan “Singing together brings nations together.”
Closing Ceremony - July 19, 2014
In the Closing Ceremony, as flags of the participating countries are assembled and the colors of the World Choir Games are handed to the Mayor of the next host city, the Rīga Arena will become a stage for choral fireworks. A massed choir, especially for the event, joined by soloists and orchestra will perform choral symphonic highlights from Handel‘s Hallelujah Chorus to arrangements of current hits. This grand finale is a World Choir Games tradition featuring the “Medley of International Songs”, “Jazz Hallelujah” and “We are the World”.
The World Choir Games will also offer workshops and seminars. During these workshops, choirs, conductors, and individuals will be introduced to international choral literature, singing styles, and performance practices. Mixing with other singers, getting instructions from the expert and performing together might open the eyes and ears of the choristers to new choral experiences.
On each competition day of the World Choir Games 4 workshops will be offered in the following categories:
|SINGSPIRATION||Singing beautifully, singing with your body, singing in different styles, singing in different age groups|
|HEADLINERS||We proudly present our specially invited composers and legendary ensembles!|
|CULTURAL SHOWCASE||Learn about choral traditions and sing music from all corners of the world!|
|MODERN TIMES||Singing jazz, singing pop, singing spirituals, singing gospel – famous choral directors lead us along.|
Headliners are the specially invited renowned artists Morten Lauridsen (USA), Javier Busto (Spain) and Eriks Ešenvalds (Latvia) as well as the legendary vocal ensembles “The Real Group” (Sweden) and “The King’s Singers” (Great Britain).
"They have made a superhuman effort, everything was perfectly organized and a smooth running of the competition was guaranteed. I have the greatest respect for this! With this outstanding organization you have offered a great platform for all choirs to celebrate und experience our greatest passion, singing. We owe you our sincere thanks and we wish you the motivation to continue as up to now, as you are creating unforgettable moments."
"[Congratulations to] the entire Interkultur for the huge success of the 8th World Choir Games held recently at Riga, Latvia. We are really happy to be part of this global movement of uniting the whole world through choral music and also achieving excellence in singing."
"The 8th World Choir Games were truly great. I was very impressed by the artistic level of the participating choirs and by how well the event was organised. I also greatly enjoyed the concerts and the choir contest. It was an excellent experience for me personally as well as for the Latvian choir conductors, singers and their audience."
"This event was the one of the best activities since our last Song and Dance Celebration Festival. So many people and me personally have been remembering and thinking of the excellent time, atmosphere and so happy, smiling and singing people during the WCG."
"Thank you very much for these wonderful WCG! To my opinion the artistic level was the highest I have experienced in the three WCG I have attended as juror!"
This event lies in the past!
You are interested in participating in this event series? Then have a look right now at our overview, which provides information about when the event will be held the next time. There you can also find further dates and destinations of our events taking place worldwide.
The Rīga 2014 Foundation
supported by the Rīga City Council and numerous national and international committees and organisations
Honorary Presidents of the World Choir Games
Dr. Walter Scheel (Germany), Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany
Prof. Eric Ericson (Sweden) in memoriam, Honorary Artistic President
Morten Lauridsen (USA), Honorary Artistic President
Mikis Theodorakis (Greece), Honorary Artistic President
President INTERKULTUR and World Choir Games
Günter Titsch (Germany)
National Organising Committee
The Rīga 2014 Foundation
Žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende (Latvia), Minister of Culture
Nils Ušakovs (Latvia), Chairman of the Rīga City Council
Diāna Čivle (Latvia), Director of The Rīga 2014 Foundation
Assoc. Prof. Romāns Vanags (Latvia), Main conductor of Rīga choirs
National Project Management
Līva Čudere (Latvia)
Inta Šoriņa (Latvia)
Liene Treimane (Latvia)
Lauris Goss (Latvia)
Evija Kukuvasa (Latvia)
Günter Titsch (Germany)
Wang Qin (China)
Stefan Bohländer (Germany)
Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiß (Germany)
Artistic Committee of the 8th World Choir Games
Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiß (Germany)
Christian Ljunggren (Sweden)
Assoc. Prof. Romāns Vanags (Latvia)
International Project Management
Jelena Dannhauer (Germany), Director
Best of World Choir Games 2014
We congratulate all singers to their great results! All in all 85 golden, 116 silver and 10 bronze diplomas were awarded in the Open Competition such as 229 gold, 174 silver and 16 bronze medals in the Champions Competition. Many thanks to all choirs and ensembles for participating!