"The World Choir Games offer unique musical and cultural experiences and in the evaluation of competitions, workshops and other educational activities a professional international expertise at the highest level."
9th World Choir Games
Sochi 2016: On the way to new records
From 2000 onwards the biennial World Choir Games have brought together cultures and nations from all over the world to meet and sing together – meanwhile the event has established as the world’s largest international choir competition.
The biggest World Choir Games in the event’s history happened in 2014 in the Latvian capital Riga. A total of 27,000 participants from 73 nations came together to sing and celebrate a feast of choral music. The next World Choir Games 2016 will be held in the Russian Olympic City of Sochi and invite singers to experience original Olympic atmosphere in the Olympic Village from 2014.
All amateur choirs of the world are invited to head for a 11-day journey through the whole world of choral music at the World Choir Games 2016 and to perform in the competitions, in Friendship Concerts and to perform together on stage for huge singing projects.
The World Choir Games offer once-in-a-lifetime musical and cultural experiences as well as a professional, high-quality international expertise at competition evaluation, in workshops and further pedagogical offers. Benefit from those professionals and support the further development of your choir!
The World Choir Games in Sochi invite all non-professional choirs of the world to participate. The Games offer fair and realistic competition to experienced competitive choirs as well as choirs with relatively little international experience and participation opportunities in 29 different categories.
The World Choir Games offer The Champions Competition and The Open Competition. These two competitions allow choirs to participate at the appropriate level.
Choirs that do not want to participate in the competitions have the chance to perform with choirs from around the world in Friendship Concerts, in an international festival stage choir, to be evaluated and learn from respected international conductors, or to 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 University- and College Choirs||O7 University- and College Choirs|
|C8 Vocal Ensembles (all line-ups)||O8 Vocal Ensembles (all line-ups)|
|C9 Mixed Chamber Choirs||O9 Mixed Chamber Choirs|
|C10 Mixed Choirs||O10 Mixed Choirs|
|C11 Female Chamber Choirs||O11 Female Chamber Choirs|
|C12 Female Choirs||O12 Female Choirs|
|C13 Male Chamber Choirs||O13 Male Chamber Choirs|
|C14 Male Choirs||O14 Male Choirs|
|C15 Senior Choirs||O15 Senior Choirs|
|C16 Musica Sacra a cappella||O16 Musica Sacra a cappella|
|C17 Musica Sacra with accompaniment||O17 Musica Sacra with accompaniment|
|C18 Music of Spirit and Faith||O18 Music of Spirit and Faith|
|C19 Musica Contemporanea (contemporary music)||O19 Musica Contemporanea (contemporary music)|
|C20 Jazz||O20 Jazz|
|C21 Gospel||O21 Gospel|
|C22 Spiritual||O22 Spiritual|
|C23 Barbershop||O23 Barbershop|
|C24 Pop Ensembles||O24 Pop Ensembles|
|C25 Pop Choirs||O25 Pop Choirs|
|C26 Scenic Pop / Show Choirs||O26 Scenic Pop / Show Choirs|
|C27 Folklore a cappella||O27 Folklore a cappella|
|C28 Folklore with accompaniment||O28 Folklore with accompaniment|
|C29 Scenic Folklore||O29 Scenic Folklore|
A detailed description of the competition categories can also be found in the booklet available for download:
Competition Information(2.5 MB)
BI – 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 program of three pieces for a maximum performance time of 15 minutes before a panel of international experts.
At the conclusion of the program there will be a brief internal consultation of the panel of choral experts. Finally, the program 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.
BII – Evaluation Performance for competing choirs:
Prior to World Choir Games competitions, choirs may register to present their competition program 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 5 & 6 and 11 & 12, so choirs need to arrive in Sochi accordingly.
BIII - Individual Coaching
All participants, whether taking part in the competitions or not - are given the opportunity to participate with their choir in a rehearsal session with a noted international choir director.
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.
According to the World Choir Games tradition choirs may perform in a Friendship Concert with other choirs in public venues in and around the city of Sochi in addition to their competitive or non–competitive participation.
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 productions. 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.
Great Celebration Concert - July 10, 2016
The first part of the World Choir Games will conclude with a Great Celebration Concert on July 10 where hundreds of singers from all around the world will come together to unite in song.
Closing Ceremony - July 16, 2016
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 event venue will become a stage for choral fireworks. Under the title "CHORAL FIREWORKS", a massed choir, especially put together for this event – joined by soloists and orchestra – will perform a number of folk songs from all continents, popular songs, and traditionally the "Jazz Hallelujah" and "We are the world" where everyone can sing and dance along and conclude the brilliant evening.
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.|
THE WORLD CHOIR GAMES THROUGH YOUR CONDUCTOR LENS
Book yourself a seat at the world’s biggest choral event and get a front-seat experience of all the choral magic one can only witness at the World Choir Games - tailored just for You!
Here are some of the awesome things this unique opportunity offers:
- A chance to meet choral directors and choirs from all over the world
- Attend workshops, competitions and concerts
- Learn more about adjudicating and evaluating choirs
- Attend the World Choir Council conference “The World of Young Singers”
- Enjoy the unique exciting atmosphere of the World Choir Games
- A chance to join the World Festival Singers’ tour to St. Petersburg and Moscow
- Get a special Diploma for taking part in our program
The World Choir Games team will prepare a personal schedule for you including the categories and the events of your interest.
Schedule and Rates(311 KB)
Registration Form(1 MB)
"The decision for Sochi to be the host city of the 9th World Choir Games is reasonable and confirms the Olympic spirit of peaceful competitions. In Sochi you'll have the chance to perform in the best concert halls during high season in vacation period and to make the audience familiar with your skills. Further, you can experience the best folklore groups, children's and university choirs as well as professional singers from Russia - the new center for choral music from around the world.
Come to Sochi and become World Champions of Singing!"
"A new view on diversity of choral cultures of our time, old and new music, traditional and modern genres – this is what the WORLD CHOIR GAMES bring to the international choral stage. The event’s general idea of exposing the best choirs and presenting different trends in music is wonderful!
The competitive spirit has got an unusual dimension here - choirs and ensembles gladly sing next to each other and exchange their music experience, the conductors are discussing and exploring new artistic ideas and competing becomes a real feast!"
"The World Choir Games is a unique happening in the world. Through its basic idea it has made an unmeasurable contribution to the get-together of people from all nations. What sometimes politics could not reach has constantly been realized here - through music and singing together. People don't sing against but along with each other. Sochi is a place that has already been connecting the world once. Especially in these times this region needs good will and support. Coming to Sochi is a valuable contribution to peace."
"Since Russia is one of the neighbors of China, which played important roles in the development of choral music history in the 1950s, the significant impacts to China as well as the first-time host in Sochi are essential aspects that attract my attention. Additionally, more and more Chinese children's choirs have participated in the event recently whom not only won the rewards, but also gained great experiences and friendship during the process. The positive impacts and learning process are important reasons why I think choirs should join this event."
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.
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Subject to change!
If you are interested in individual excursions please send an email to travel(at)interkultur.com.
Government of the Russian Federation
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Administration of the Krasnodar Region
Sochi City Administration
supported by numerous national and international committees and organizations
Honorary Presidents of the World Choir Games
Dr. Walter Scheel (Germany), Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany
Morten Lauridsen (USA), Honorary Artistic President
Mikis Theodorakis (Greece), Honorary Artistic President
President INTERKULTUR and World Choir Games
Günter Titsch (Germany)
INTERKULTUR Executive Committee
Günter Titsch (Germany)
Wang Qin (China)
Stefan Bohländer (Germany)
Dr. Christoph Wirtz (Germany)
Prof. Dr. Ralf Eisenbeiß (Germany), Senior Artistic Director
Christian Ljunggren (Sweden)
Johan Rooze (Netherlands/Republic of Korea)
Fred Sjöberg (Sweden)
Assoc. Prof. Romāns Vanags (Latvia)
Jelena Dannhauer (Germany), Project Director International
Organizers are INTERKULTUR Management GmbH and the Sochi City Administration.