Gangneung Delivers a Message of Peace that Transcends Nations hosting the World Choir Games
324 choirs from 46 countries and regions to participate in the global choir event
The World Choir Games (WCG), the largest global choral competition and mega music event, are being held in Gangneung, South Korea, from July 3 to 13, 2023.
The event is taking place with participants from around the world, with an estimated 324 participating groups and participants from a total of 46 countries and regions including jury and the World Choir Council members live on site. Furthermore, more than 100 representatives from more than 96 countries and regions will have a discussion and exchange about the future development of the international choir culture at the General Conference of the World Choir Council, which will take place as a hybrid event on July 8 at Gangneung City Council.
The WCG 2023 Gangneung will feature a range of events, including choral competitions, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Parade of Nations, General Conference of the World Choir Council, and workshops held at various locations in Gangneung, such as the Gangneung Arena and the Gangneung Art Center.
The World Choir Games 2023 Gangneung will also welcome special guests, including Ukraine's Girls Choir "Vognyk." Established in the 1970s, "Vognyk" has toured worldwide. Olena Solovei, the conductor of "Vognyk," expressed her intention to participate, stating, "I want to sing for peace, touching the hearts of people around the world, especially in South Korea, the only divided country in the world." The visit of "Vognyk" to South Korea is made possible through the joint efforts of the WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee and the Joint Action Committee for Supporting Ukraine.
The WCG 2023 kicked off with the Opening Ceremony at the Gangneung Arena on July 3 at 7:30 pm. The ceremony featured the entry of participating countries, the performance of the official 2023 theme, a bell-ringing performance, and the theme performance titled 'Harmony of Peace.' This theme performance, unique to the host country, incorporated the voices of nature in Gangneung and people from around the world. The Opening Ceremony thrilled this audience with an audiovisual presentation combining traditional sounds and images of Gangneung's nature, accompanied by live music arranged and composed by renowned composer Woo Hyo-won. Special appearances by some famous Korean artists such as Go Young-yeol, the vocalist of 'RabidAnce,' Lee Dong-gyu, the world's most acclaimed countertenor, next-generation soprano Park Hye-sang, Korean pop stars Kyuhyun and Gummy, further enhanced the performance. The Gangneung City Choir, Wonju City Choir, and Chuncheon City Choir accompanied the performances, led by the Gangneung City Symphony Orchestra.
The Closing Ceremony, which marks the conclusion of the WCG 2023 Gangneung, will take place at the Gangneung Arena on July 13, starting at 7:30 pm. The ceremony will commence with a parade of participating countries, symbolizing the 11-day journey shared by people of different races and nations, united in their pursuit of peace. Alongside the announcement of the next host country, this grand occasion will showcase the pinnacle of global choral singing.
The Korean people have also actively participated in the success of WCG 2023. In March, the WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee selected 531 volunteers from across the country. Among them, 118 volunteers are now responsible for guiding and interpreting for choir group members in about 20 languages. They will also support events such as flag bearers for participating countries and competition emcees, as well as assist at event venues and tourist sites.
Huh Yongsoo, President of the WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee expressed: "WCG 2023 Gangneung will be a significant event where we recall the message of peace left by the 2018 Winter Olympics and once again sing together with people from around the world, expressing everyone's aspiration for peace in one voice."
Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR is delighted by the strong efforts the WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee has made so far: “I believe that our Korean partners will deliver a highly successful, flawlessly organized, and truly unforgettable event for all attendees. From our perspective, the collaboration with the local team over the past years has been nothing short of exceptional.”
Tickets for the Closing Ceremony can be purchased through YES24, and the competitions, Award Ceremonies, and Friendship Concert can be attended free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the venue. For more detailed information about the event, please visit the official website at www.wcg2023.com.