Regional Meeting of the World Choir Council, Screenshot © INTERKULTUR

World Choir Council meets again: First Regional Meetings 2022

Nearly 100 participants from around the world took part

World Choir Council

On March 30 and 31, 2022, three regional meetings of the World Choir Council were held, bringing members together to discuss current issues in the international choral scene online.

In total, nearly 100 participants from around the world took part in the regional meetings, including members of the World Choir Council and invited guests.

The focus of the regional meetings in March 2022 was primarily on a presentation by a guest speaker and the subsequent mutual exchange in discussion rounds to allow the diverse voices and opinions of all World Choir Council members to be heard. Together, new ideas were discussed and participants learned from the broad expertise represented in the World Choir Council.

The guest speakers, presentations and topics were different for the different regions, which opened up the possibility for participants to attend all three meetings. The big overall theme for all was “Let the Dream come true”.

In the first regional meeting on March 30, Maria Guinand from Venezuela was the guest speaker. She spoke in her presentation about choral music in Latin America today and the impact of the Corona Pandemic. For the discussion session, she had prepared, among other things, the questions of how the participants see the choral meetings and festivals in the future and whether for the choirs in their respective regions will be allowed to travel again. The discussions were led by Carrie Tennant (Canada) and Julio Morales (Mexico).

Karen L. Grylls (New Zealand) was the guest speaker for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regional meeting. She focused on exchange and collaboration during her presentation, including a report on the development of the choral scene in New Zealand. The panel then discussed, among other things, the questions of how people develop vocally and in choral work in their country and what are the best qualities of successful singers and choral directors. The leaders of the discussion here were Iris Huting Byrd (China) and Dr. Ryan Goessl (USA/Republic of Korea).

The third and final meeting was with members from Africa and Europe. The guest speaker here was Tove Ramlo-Ystad from Norway. Her presentation probably had the biggest connection to the main topic, as in her presentation she raised and answered the question if we can still dream.

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During the panel discussion - chaired by Iris Huting Byrd (China) and Bernard Krüger (South Africa) - one of the questions discussed was whether the Norwegian trend of less male singers and more young female choirs is continuing in other regions of the world.

All members of the World Choir Council who attended the meeting were pleased to have the opportunity to exchange with other choir experts, especially with regard to cultural differences, commonalities and different measures and approaches in working with choir singers.

INTERKULTUR hopes to continue the exchange in the future and to use the results to tailor future projects even better to the needs of the choral scene.

The next Regional Meetings will take place on November 16 and 17, 2022. The planned General Conference, which was supposed to take place during the 12th World Choir Games in Gangeung (Republic of Korea), in July, will now take place with a different concept, due to the postponement of the World Choir Games to 2023. Further information will be provided at a later date.