World Choir Council Group Picture © Choi Yongbin

Music and Culture united: General Conference of World Choir Council at World Choir Games 2023

The meeting of the World Choir Council took place as a hybrid conference in Gangneung on July 8

World Choir Council

The General Conference of the World Choir Council took place during the World Choir Games 2023, bringing together representatives from up to 96 countries and regions. The conference was organized as a hybrid meeting, with participants joining both virtually and in-person in Gangneung, South Korea.

The conference began with a warm reception where the international guests were treated to delicious and artistically arranged South Korean delights. To set the mood, the "Kholwa Brothers," a participant from South Africa, delivered a wonderful performance of South African music and dance to the audience, adding the real taste of World Choir Games atmosphere to the conference.

During the Opening session, Günter Titsch, the President of INTERKULTUR and the World Choir Council, emphasized the Council's role in providing valuable advice and guidance to INTERKULTUR in navigating the world of choral music and to engage for the quality and development of INTERKULTUR’s work. He stressed that the World Choir Council serves as a unique entity in the choral world, offering advice, criticism, and suggestions for improvement to ensure the highest standards of artistry and pedagogy in the world of INTERKULTUR events.

In recognition of their contributions, several Council Members were honored during the conference for having contributed to the World Choir Council for ten years and more. Further, Maarten van Ingelgem, the Artistic Director at the World Choir Games 2021 and of the World Choir Games 2023, was appointed as new member of the World Choir Games, where he will contribute to the further development of the World Choir Council.

As a representative of the host country, Mr. Shin Hwa Park, Artistic Director of the World Choir Games 2023, gave all participants an insight into the history of Korean Choral Culture, highlighting the development of Korean choral music throughout the decades and presenting some of the most important choirs in the country.

To provide an up-to-date overview of current developments in the worldwide choral scene, World Choir Council representatives from Uruguay, Mexico, Belgium, and New Zealand shared their current experiences and challenges in choral singing and education in their countries. They reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their respective choral communities and highlighted the resilience and adaptability of choirs worldwide.

An exciting moment came with the presentation of the next host of the World Choir Games 2024, Auckland in New Zealand. The presentation of the Artistic & Games Director of the World Choir Games 2024, John Rosser, delved into New Zealand's music history, cultural influences, and the unique mix of Maori culture and Western musical influences. Auckland, known for its ethnic diversity, was highlighted as one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a multitude of ethnic choirs representing various cultures and traditions – making it the perfect place for hosting an event like the World Choir Games.

In the afternoon the members of the World Choir Council were divided into various smaller seminar and discussion groups, where they exchanged new ideas and discussed the future of the international choral scene and of the World Choir Council.

More information about the World Choir Council and its representatives around the world is available here.