Parade of Nations at WCG 2018 © Nolte Photography

Singing is the key back to our normal lives

International choral events are bringing hope to a troubled world

International Choral Scene

Singing is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It is healthy and makes people happy – whether as a singer or a listener. Without a song, the world would be silent.

Music and especially singing have always been a comfort to people in the darkest times. Be it the many spirituals describing the hardship of slavery, the Singing Revolution in the Baltic States, and, most recently, the many songs sounding from balconies in neighbourhoods all over the world at the beginnings of the current pandemic.

There are an estimated 37 million choir singers in Europe alone, with millions more scattered all over the world. All have been suffering from restrictions since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but at the same time it quickly became obvious that the choir singers not only handled the given circumstances with high responsibility, but also got immensely creative in keeping their community alive: choirs were among the first to create fun and emotional virtual music videos when social distancing started to become the name of the game.

And especially this high spirit of hope and confidence among the choral community will be the key to get out of the current situation. INTERKULTUR, as the world’s largest organizer of international choir competitions and festivals all over the world, comprises a strong network of choir singers, conductors and musical institutions all around the world. Its events are an experience of international communication – connected through the universal language of music. Whether in Hoi An (Vietnam), Barcelona (Spain), Princeton (USA), Vienna (Austria), or Guangzhou/Canton (China), at more than 230 international events in the last 30 years INTERKULTUR has brought people together from 107 countries, regardless their origin, religion or world view. And every two years at the world’s largest international choir competition in different cities on different continents, the World Choir Games, known as the Olympics of Choral Music.

Three World Choir Games editions are already in preparation, holding the spirits among the choral community high during an ongoing global low. The outlook on celebrating the World Choir Games in Flanders, Belgium (2021), Gangneung, Republic of Korea (2022) and Auckland, New Zealand (2024) are exciting goals to approach with new motivation.

And there is hardly any other event that visualizes so clearly why arts and culture are sorely needed here, in a deeply troubled world.

Anyone who has witnessed a World Choir Games event on site will immediately understand how this unique event for this special group of people is able to inspire an entire city and an entire community with an unprecedented spirit of music, culture and international community. The World Choir Games is an occasion to experience the most beautiful sounds and emotions of humanity: listening to music from all over the world, watching singers in traditional costumes presenting their individual cultures, and meeting people from countries one could barely visit in a lifetime. Together, all participants, residents and visitors are celebrating a great festival of music, song and joie de vivre – all at one single place, in the World Choir Games host city.

An unforgettable experience for all involved and especially for the host city itself! Let's keep our hope high and continue to stand together with the prospect of a near future full of singing, coming together and traveling!