INTERKULTUR NEWS en INTERKULTUR Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:58:57 +0200 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:58:57 +0200 news-2306 Wed, 27 May 2020 11:20:00 +0200 “We will come out of this period even stronger than we were before” Interview with Tim Sharp, Executive Director of the ACDA The Corona Pandemic has now been keeping the world in suspense for months and has led to a standstill in public life. Thousands of people have already become infected with covid-19. Among them are our colleague and long-time friend Tim Sharp, member of the World Choir Council and Executive Director of the ACDA, and his wife Jane. Tim knows only too well the restrictions on choir life caused by the crisis. In an interview with INTERKULTUR he explains his experiences with the current situation, his expectations and hopes for the future of choral music.

A few weeks ago, you shared a post on Facebook dealing with your personal battle against COVID-19, which attracted international attention. So, first of all: How are you doing today? How is your family?

Thank you for your kindness in asking this question. Both my wife, Jane, and I had covid-19. She had to be in the hospital for 10 days, while I was not sick enough myself to be admitted to the hospital. Jane contracted pneumonia, but did not have to go on a ventilator. My symptoms were the same as hers: high temperatures, body aches, headaches, dry cough, and the loss of the sense of taste and smell.

I am humbled and grateful to say that we both recovered from the virus, and we are now doing much better. We know first-hand how serious and painful this virus can be to our health, and we are in great reverence for the care of doctors, nurses, and other caregivers. We have learned a lot about giving control over to others, and about doing our part to help others recover.

The current crisis caused by the pandemic and the related restrictions affect all areas of our lives. How is the ACDA as an organization affected by this? What difficulties, but perhaps also opportunities, have arisen for you?

I wrote recently in The Washington Post about this topic. Most immediate are the logistical challenges. Choral music is, by definition, a group activity.

It is not clear when we will be able to gather again. In my capacity as director of the American Choral Directors Association I facilitated a recent webinar on what science tells us about the future of singing: the medical experts we spoke to explained that speaking and singing produce aerosols that spread the virus, and that cannot be fully contained by masks.

The leaders and singers in the choral community responded to these revelations with passion and a tremendous sense of loss. Yet even now, we’ve been able to learn from each other’s individual voices.

We have worked with a software company to develop a program that allows singers to sing their part of a choral score into their computer or phone; the software evaluates whether or not they are singing the right pitch and rhythm. As choral directors, we can assess their progress and speak directly to the spots where they need help.  We are also creating "virtual choirs" where individual singers record their part in a video, and directors edit those files into an overall mix. While the result isn’t a substitute for real choirs, these programs do allow us to hear each singer individually, and to coach musicians on how they fit into the overall performance even when they can’t hear their fellow singers.

But there is a more emotional question before us: How can we find the spirit to sing in times like this?

Over the past 12 years, I have witnessed the steady growth of choral singing in the United States, not just in our educational system, but also in refugee choirs, homeless choirs, hospice choirs, prison choirs, Alzheimer’s choirs, and a plethora of other unlikely places. Their example reminds me that singing gives something not just to the listener, but to the singer as well. Singing requires us to use our bodies and connects us directly to our emotional lives. Every aspect of the singing process is visceral. And while the experience of singing is highly individual, choral singing blends and balances those individuals sounds into a community.

Next March the ACDA National Conference will take place in Dallas, Texas. Who can join the conference?

We are planning our National Conference right now, and we are very excited about this event that happens every two years. Our ACDA National Conference will take place in March, 2021, in Dallas, Texas, a fantastic cultural city in the American Southwest. The date of the Conference is March 16-20, 2021, and Dr. Andre Thomas is the Chair of our Planning Committee for this event. We will feature over fifty choirs from the USA in every category of choral music: children, youth, college and university, community, and more. We welcome attendees from the United States and guests from around the world to our conferences. Registration for the Conference will begin in October of this year, and will be available at:

What are the main topics in 2021? Can you already unveil some of its special highlights?

We will celebrate choral diversity in this particular conference, and we will welcome visiting choirs from Cuba, Taiwan, and other international locations. Of course, since covid-19 has had such a devastating impact on our communities and on the economy, we will also turn our attention to the topic of finding meaning and relevance for the choral art in the age of the pandemic. But, first and foremost, we will celebrate the human choral expression through our performances and sharing of our resources.

Will there be any changes in terms of subjects or organization of the conference due to the current pandemic?

At this time, I am planning for various possibilities. Our greatest hope is that we are able to offer the Conference just as it is planned. But of course, I will be working with our Committee and our staff at ACDA for other possibilities if we find that we have to make adjustments. I will be going to Dallas next week to look at other ways of presenting our conference, if there is a need to make an adjustment. We are naturally looking at ways of offering virtual presentations, but truthfully, we were already planning on exploring ways that we could present some of our programming online. The current situation simply added more reasons for me to explore virtual presentations for the future more intently. We all pray that we will find ways of working in community as we continue to look toward a vaccine and other treatments that can mitigate the risks involved in people gathering together. We share this hope with all of humanity at this time.

How do you estimate the effects of the current crisis on your national choir scene? Will digital space/tools continue to become more attractive for choral work or is it rather a current means to an end?

The effects have simply been devastating to all of us in the choral world, and the USA is just as devastated as other countries. We are finding great hope in our membership and in each other as we create new online tools for rehearsing, for ear-training, for singing together online, and for communicating. We hope to use these tools even when we return to singing together again. I feel strongly that we will come out of this period even stronger than we were before, and we will have learned how to teach and communicate with new tools that are appropriate for choral music education, performance, composition, and advocacy. I am so proud of the choral community for their resilience, as well as for their empathy for each other and for the singers we have the joy of working with.

World of Voices International Choral Scene
news-2304 Mon, 25 May 2020 12:02:12 +0200 Historical Schubertiade meets Social Media Virtual celebration of Schubert's works Already during his lifetime Franz Schubert had numerous followers who liked to come together for performances of his compositions in private settings, e.g. at house concerts. These events were called "Schubertiade", and at the first of these events Franz Schubert himself played the piano while baritones sang his songs. 

The current situation would make a traditional Schubertiade impossible - but to lift the spirits of choir and Schubert fans until we can all hopefully meet again in November, we celebrate Schubert's music together via social media: For in order to shorten the long time of waiting for the popular Franz Schubert Choir Competition in Vienna/Austria, which will take place from November 11-15, 2020, INTERKULTUR has created its own virtual Schubertiade. On Facebook, recordings of choirs performing Schubert's works will be posted regularly.

Your choir has also sung works by Schubert? Then send us your recordings through our new website INTERKULTUR.TV!

The virtual Schubertiade on Facebook can be found here.

Competitions & Festivals Franz Schubert Choir Competition
news-2302 Tue, 19 May 2020 16:02:16 +0200 Singing ON STAGE in 2022 On Stage Festivals in international capital cities The Early Bird…sings on the most beautiful stages! The INTERKULTUR event series On Stage has already fixed numerous destinations for its singers around the globe for 2022 in Israel, Italy, Albania, Portugal and the Czech Republic. Thus choirs can already start planning their next trip now and have enough time for the necessary planning and detailed preparations.

The first event will be On Stage in Israel, from March 9-13, 2022, where Israel, as a melting pot of different religions and cultures, represents the perfect place for the international choral community to come together. The second (On) Stage will then open its portals in the land of Verdi, Vivaldi and Puccini: From March 24-27, 2022, Verona, Italy, invites choirs to sing together and explore the city of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. 

On Stage will linger in Italy when, from May 19-22, 2022, choirs travel to the world capital of the Renaissance - Florence - to give concerts, discover the city and take part in a workshop. From Italy the journey continues to the capital of Albania, Tirana. From June 8-12, 2022, singers will have the opportunity to enter a choral world off the beaten track here and, for example, get to know Albanian choral singing, an "immaterial cultural heritage of mankind" (UNESCO).

Next stop of the On Stage Tour is Lisbon, Portugal, from September 9-12, 2022. The city on the seven hills is one of the most charismatic and lively metropolises in Europe and this spark will also be sensed by choral singers from all over the world. The choir tour with On Stage will finally end in 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic, when choirs will gather in the former capital of the Bohemian Kingdom from November 10-13, 2022 to tune themselves and their audiences into the upcoming Christmas season.

More information about the On Stage Events and impressions of past events can be found at! For further updates follow On STAGE on Facebook!

Competitions & Festivals ON STAGE
news-2300 Fri, 15 May 2020 16:31:12 +0200 Enjoy choral music – discover Belgium Tour options during the World Choir Games 2021 Belgium’s cities are closely connected with the country’s eventful history. Therefore a half/ whole day excursion to Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen or other spots is the ideal way to connect with the Belgian joie de vivre of the present and the remarkable facets of the past. Several individual tour options offer your choir a wide range of choices to explore the Kindgom’s most significant cities:

The first one is a tour to the Castle of Ooidonk: Embedded in a great landscape, which inspired Flemish artists, it is home to the majestic moated castle Ooidonk. This fortress in the Renaissance style inherits an eventful history due to the country’s medieval religious wars worth visiting.  The second option takes you to Bruges: It is considered the most enchanting city of Belgium and is protected by UNESCO as cultural heritage of humanity. With its wealth of stunning old buildings and picturesque canals, Bruges still retains a medieval air also due to its remarkable state of preservation.

The third city which awaits you is Ghent: You will discover this historic city by foot and see a.o. the St. Bavo Cathedral (a majestic building of brick and granite), the belfry (symbol of the city’s independence) and enjoy an enthralling boattour along the waterways of the medieval centre. The impressive town of Mechelen represents the fourth tour option: Since the 16th century it has been the spiritual capital of the region as the seat of the Archbishop and features the only carillon school in the world. Furthermore its decisive politic and economic role during the Burgundian era is still visible throughout the city.

Brussels, the fifth excursion possibility, owes its cosmopolitan character to its position as the capital of Europe. In addition to that, a rich cultural heritage, splendid guildhouses on the Grote Markt, the Art Nouveau in the streetscape, the Atomium as a landmark of Belgium and a unique piece of architecture reward all those who stop by. The sixth option is Antwerp, the city of Rubens, Van Dyck and Plantin Moretus. You can see some sculptures and paintings from these famous masters in the largest Gothic Cathedral on the market square. During a guided Brewery tour you will get a detailed insight into Belgium’s culinary hallmarks.  Apart from all these tours, different city sightseeing walking tours are also available – check out for more information!

Choir Games World Choir Games 2021
news-2298 Thu, 14 May 2020 16:02:45 +0200 ZOOM in, let’s have Tea! INTERKULTUR online meeting with choral fellows from all over the world One of the most important aspects of any of our INTERKULTUR events is the personal connection that singers, managers and choir conductors from all over the world get to experience with like-minded people during Friendship Concerts, Singing together events and other festival activities. Friendships emerge, that often develop and last much longer than the competition or event itself.

Luckily, we do not have to forego this kind of connection completely, even during Covid-19, thanks to the internet! As part of our ongoing online-series we would like to offer you four possibilities to meet other international choir conductors, singers and managers via Zoom, to simply get to know each other or discuss one of these following topics:

May 22, 2020, 14:00 CEST: Open talk: Get to know other choristers!

June 5, 2020 14:00 CEST: Rehearsal Techniques: How do you deal with choir rehearsals during and after the current pandemic?

June 19, 2020 14:00 CEST: Performance across the globe: What is your secret of a successful choir performance? 

July 3, 2020 14:00 CEST: Repertoire around the World: Present a favorite song from your country and get to know pieces from other countries vice versa!

Registration is free but since we only have limited spots available, we ask for your understanding if we cannot give you a spot in more than one workshop. Please state the order of your preference for attending on the registration form. All meetings will be held in English.

We look forward to meeting you online and hearing your choral stories! Register here! 

INTERKULTUR News Latest news
news-2289 Thu, 14 May 2020 08:00:00 +0200 INTERKULTUR’s first Online Choir Competition INTERKULTUR Video Award for the best Virtual Choir Video The creativity of choirs worldwide in dealing with the contact bans due to the current Corona pandemic currently has no limits: New technologies are being explored, new ideas for online rehearsals are implemented and even innovative online concerts have already taken place.

INTERKULTUR wants to encourage this new choral creativity, give singers a worldwide platform to perform and present their skills – and say thank you to all the singers who, despite the current great challenges, continue to keep alive the hope and anticipation of the "time after" for all of us. The INTERKULTUR Video Award is supposed to be a motivation for choirs from all over the world, not to give up and stay strong until we all will finally meet again on a real, big stage.

Until June 30, 2020 existing amateur choirs can hand in a yet unpublished virtual choir video with a song of their choice, which will be presented on the new platform INTERKULTUR.TV then. 

The Award will be given in the categories “Choirs a cappella” and “Choirs with accompaniment” and the winners will be published on July 15, 2020. An additional Special Prize will be awarded for the best interpretation of the INTERKULTUR motto “Singing together brings nations together.“ The main evaluation criteria for all competition entries will consider choral performance, production and creativity.

The guidelines for the INTERKULTUR Video Award are available for download here:

Guidelines_INTERKULTUR Video Award (PDF, 104 KB)

The registration form can be found here:

Registration Form_INTERKULTUR Video Award (PDF, 87 KB) 

A folder with a summary of the project and some additional information can be downloaded here: 

Folder_INTERKULTUR Video Award (PDF, 64 KB)

All submissions should be send via WeTransfer to video-award(at)

Regular updates about the INTERKULTUR Video Award will be published on the INTERKULTUR official Facebook page and on

news-2293 Tue, 12 May 2020 09:08:29 +0200 Important Information about ON STAGE in Albania 2020 COVID-19 pandemic affects the event To ensure the safety of all participants and the audience, all registered choirs were informed about the situation on site and were offered a rebooking to another event. In the meantime, all registered choirs have decided to either rebook or cancel their participation.

news-2291 Thu, 07 May 2020 17:56:06 +0200 A conversation with Simon Halsey: „Sing Along Lounge LIVE“ on May 10 Live talk on YouTube after the final performance of the Sing Along Concert ONLINE Since May 4 thousands of choral singers from all over the world are meeting every day at 19:30 CEST through the YouTube channels of INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin to sing together the Requiem by Johannes Brahms – conducted by the Honorary Conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Simon Halsey.

A big final performance is on the program for Sunday, May 10: Then the singers of the Rundfunkchor Berlin will also be present in the performance - also from home - and together with fellow singers from all over the world they will sing the 4th movement of the Brahms Requiem: "Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen"
The organizers still call on all singers to record themselves during the final meeting performing at home in concert dress and to share the videos or photos in the social networks with the hashtag #SingAlongConcertOnline, so that the joint experience becomes visible and audible.

Directly after this virtual final perfomances the Artistic Director Simon Halsey as well as some of the singers of the Rundfunkchor Berlin will come together live for a final conversation, the Sing Along Lounge LIVE. Viewers can watch a live stream of this event on May 10 starting at 19:50 CEST on the YouTube channel of  INTERKULTUR. During the live stream viewers can use the live chat on YouTube to ask questions to Simon Halsey and the singers or share their feedback on the "Sing Along Concert ONLINE" project.
The rehearsals of the Sing Along Concert ONLINE are still running until May 9. All interested singers can still join in, all rehearsal videos are available anytime on the YouTube channels of INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. 

Further information on the Sing Along Concert ONLINE and the Sing Along Lounge LIVE can be found on the websites of the Rundfunkchor Berlin and INTERKULTUR.

Competitions & Festivals Sing Along Concert ONLINE
news-2287 Tue, 28 Apr 2020 19:39:25 +0200 INTERKULTUR.TV: Singing, memories and emotions Relaunch of INTERKULTUR’s video platform on May 4 INTERKULTUR’s video platform gets a new design and a new name: INTERKULTUR.TV. But that's not all, the name change comes along with a number of innovations that will put the choirs of the world in the spotlight even more in the future, and bring the festival world of INTERKULTUR on screen.

INTERKULTUR.TV will launch on May 4  together with the recently announced “Sing Along Concert ONLINE” of INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin under the direction of Simon Halsey (find more information here).

In addition, INTERKULTUR.TV will continue to show the highlights of its International Choir Competitions and Festivals of recent years on video, and in the future it will be enhanced by selected live streams of INTERKULTUR competitions for a cheering from home! In addition, the offer is complemented by virtual and interactive workshops with international choral experts and exciting in-house productions!

But INTERKULTUR.TV is not only about SEEING, but also about BEING SEEN: Each choir is invited to submit videos of their own concerts and activities and thus to present themselves on an international video platform for choirs in a perfect manner.

INTERKULTUR.TV preserves the experience of INTERKULTUR's international choir competitions and festivals for a long time to come: Choir singers will find an extensive archive of the memories and emotions of their own international choral experiences at the various events of INTERKULTUR.

INTERKULTUR News Latest news
news-2284 Tue, 28 Apr 2020 10:14:15 +0200 No sitting back but diving in the South-African choral sounds Interactive workshop with Bernard Krüger in Magdeburg From October 7 – 11, 2020 the capital of Saxony-Anhalt and home city of Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, Magdeburg, will become once again host city of a great international choir event: The Internationales Chorfest Magdeburg. Apart from well-known and popular activities such as Friendship Concerts, Competitions, Individual Coachings or a „Long Night of the Choirs“, singers also have the possibility to participate in a stirring workshop held by Bernard Krüger.

The Artistic Director of the renowned South African Drakensberg Boys Choir will give an insight into South African Choral Performance for non-African Choirs. As African choral music (has become increasingly popular with choirs from all over the world, this workshop will focus on issues such as appropriate music for drummers, suitable choreographies and an authentic choral sound. Bernard Krüger will give advice and examples of various aspects related to the performance of South African songs in a choral setting, such as pronunciation, movement, call & response, etc. Keep in mind that this will be no „Sit back and Relax“ workshop: Attendees must be ready to sing, move and participate, but no previous experience is needed. 

Bernard Krüger and the Drakensberg Boys Choir are also currently facing the challenge of having to master the choir and Covid-19 at the same time: "...Our boys are scattered all over the country, they are at home with their parents and they miss the school and are all eager to come back."  For this reason the choir, like many other groups worldwide, initiated virtual choir rehearsals: "We have started with rehearsals over the internet and we are engaging with the boys face to face on those platforms." And this is what it sounds like when all the voices come together in the South African Drakensberg mountains.

Further details about the event in Magdeburg and Bernard Krüger's workshop can be found here. For further updates keep following the event's Facebook page

Competitions & Festivals Internationales Chorfest Magdeburg
news-2282 Mon, 27 Apr 2020 12:42:30 +0200 Sing Along Concert ONLINE: How Lovely Are The Sounds From Our Dwelling Places International Online Sing Along Project with Simon Halsey and the Rundfunkchor Berlin Music is the thread that connects people. In a time when concerts in front of an audience and joint rehearsals in the same room are impossible, INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin still want to sing, rehearse and perform together with interested singers – in view of the current situation - from home! 

From May 4-10, 2020 INTERKULTUR and the Rundfunkchor Berlin will therefore bring together all interested singers in a large international online singing project, including a joint rehearsal phase.

On the rehearsal schedule: "Ein Deutsches Requiem" by Johannes Brahms. The rehearsal phase with choirmaster Simon Halsey will start on Monday, May 4 and culminate in a huge virtual final meeting on Sunday, May 10, where - also from home - the singers of the Rundfunkchor Berlin will join as well. Together with fellow singers from all over the world, they will perform the 4th movement of the Brahms Requiem: "Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen", under the artistic direction of Simon Halsey.

The schedule of the Sing Along Concert ONLINE is as follows: Starting on Monday, May 4 there will be a daily 30 minutes evening rehearsal for the fellow singers from all over the world, starting at 19:30 h CEST via the Facebook event "Sing Along Concert ONLINE" and the YouTube accounts of the Rundfunkchor Berlin as well as INTERKULTUR. The rehearsals will be directed by the honorary conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Simon Halsey, who – also from home – will give valuable advice on the choral parts. The rehearsal schedule includes one new movement from "Ein Deutsches Requiem" on every day of the week. The engagement with this masterpiece of choral literature will culminate in the virtual final meeting on Sunday, May 10, together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin. All fellow singers are explicitly requested to record themselves at home in concert attire for the final meeting and to share the videos and photos under the hashtag #SingAlongConcertOnline in the social networks in order to make the common experience visible and audible.

Regular updates will be posted in the next days on the Facebook pages of the Rundfunkchor Berlin and INTERKULTUR, as well as on their respective Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Competitions & Festivals Sing Along Concert ONLINE
news-2277 Mon, 27 Apr 2020 08:41:22 +0200 Important Information about On Stage in Florence 2020 COVID-19 pandemic affects the event To ensure the safety of all participants and the audience, all registered choirs were informed about the situation on site and were offered a rebooking to another event. In the meantime, all registered choirs have decided to either rebook or cancel their participation.

news-2273 Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:28:51 +0200 Important information about the „Fest der Chorkulturen“ in Berlin Continuance of the COVID-19 measures in the Federal Republic of Germany affect the event Corresponding with the decision concerning the continuance of the COVID-19 measures in the Federal Republic of Germany by the federal government and the federal states from April 15 the Fest der Chorkulturen, which was scheduled from April 29 to May 3, 2020 cannot take place. Due to the once more confirmed measures for the containment of COVID-19 and their extension from April 20 until May 3, 2020 it’s impossible to realize the organization of the Fest der Chorkulturen as originally planned.

INTERKULTUR and the Berlin Radio Choir are working together to find an alternative date for the event and will publish it as soon as possible.

news-2271 Wed, 15 Apr 2020 21:16:10 +0200 Victoriam - victory of compassion, victory of life Musicians and singers support the foodbank in Germany Love, humanity and solidarity are vital values which have become especially essential in current times of the Coronacrisis. The initiative #CoronaCare aims to bring these virtues to life in order to make our whole community care for those who are affected severly by this crisis – people who depend on food donations. They receive help from the food banks, a charity which provides thousands of people in need with free food every day through its nationwide network.

But this help is at risk: On the one hand, many of the volunteers belong to the corona risk group due to their age, and on the other hand the number of food donations has drastically decreased.  At the same time, more and more people need the services of the Tafel foodbank: People who have lost their jobs but still have to provide for a family. People who, due to the drop in donations, can now take home considerably less food. People who were able to survive until the outbreak of the Corona crisis thanks to donations from passers-by and restaurants. Therefore, the campaign #CoronaCare supports these institutions with the song "Victoriam" by donating the proceeds of downloads from music portals to the work of the food bank.

Victoriam misericordia - victoriam vitae - omnia speramus (The victory of humanity, of compassion, is the victory of life that we all wish for) - this message resonates and shot the song to the top of the iTunes Charts last Friday. The German composer and producer Christoph Siemons produced the track as part of his album "Sinfoglesia" with more than 100 musicians and singers as a collaboration between choir and classical orchestra. Watch here the video for the song of the #CoronaCare initiative, "Victoriam":

World of Voices International Choral Scene
news-2265 Thu, 09 Apr 2020 15:45:53 +0200 Important information about the International Choir Competition Kyiv COVID-19 pandemic affects the event The COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting all aspects of public life, is also impacting the choral world and the realization of events. As a result, we regret to inform you that the International Choir Competition Kyiv 2020 must be cancelled and unfortunately cannot take place as planned.

Due to cancellation of the event by the Kyiv City Council, it is not possible to hold the event at the appointed time as all powers are needed for containment and ramifications of the Corona-virus in Ukrainian economic and health sectors. We very much regret this step, but it is inevitable in the interest of the health of participants and population.

INTERKULTUR thus follows the instructions of the Kyiv City Council, but is also working with the Kyiv Tourism and Promotion Department to find an alternative date, which will be published at the earliest convenience.

news-2256 Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:32:00 +0200 10 things singers can do at home when there’s no choir to go to Tipps by Chris Rowbury There are many reasons why you might not be able to get to choir and have to stay home. How can you keep your choral and musical interests alive? Here are 10 ideas.
It’s not just during a pandemic that you might not be able to get to choir.

  • there’s the long summer break 
  • when you’ve got a nasty cold and don’t want to infect anyone
  • if you can’t afford the choir subs or travel costs to get to rehearsal, or
  • when you move to a new area without any choirs, or
  • if you break your leg or arm, or
  • when you have to stay home to care for someone, or
  • if your choir leader quits or has to cancel rehearsals.

I’m sure there are plenty of other situations you can think of. In these circumstances, how can you keep your love of music and choral singing alive?
Here are 10 suggestions.

1. revise your parts

If you’ve ever been in a choir you probably have loads of teaching resources and choir recordings. This is a great opportunity to go back over the repertoire, check that you’ve really nailed your part, and sing against the other parts or whole choir recording.

2. keep your voice in trim

Professional singers will make sure they do a daily warm up. Just because you’re not at choir doesn’t mean that you have to let your voice go. Simply do the regular warm ups that you can remember from your own choir rehearsals.
For variety, there are plenty of warm up videos online. For example:

3. tidy up

If you use sheet music, I’m sure your music folder and song archives could do with sorting out. If you have lots of recordings and other learning resources, it’s a good time to create a system to put them in a sensible order.

4. learn a different part

When going through your choir’s teaching and learning resources, why not try learning a different part to a song you already know? Don’t strain your voice, but you might be surprised that you can sing higher or lower than you thought. It’s also a good brain exercise to be able to switch between the two parts!

5. develop your skills

This is a great time to get down to learning that instrument you’ve always meant to, or develop your voice by trying out different vocal techniques from different cultures, or tweaking your vocal range a little. Maybe it’s an opportunity to start to learn how to read or write music notation. Or even learn SolfegeCurwen hand signals, or shape notes.

6. listen to choir recordings

A chance to listen back to recordings of your own choir (either live concerts or maybe you have some choir CDs), recordings of other choirs in your music collection, or hunt down new stuff on YouTube. Compare and contrast familiar repertoire or discover new genres.

7. research social media resources

There are loads of interesting groups and organisations to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Time to click on plenty of links, go down the rabbit holes, and start to follow people.

8. discover new music

It’s not that easy to stumble across music that you might not be familiar with. Most online algorithms keep us in the same bubbles that we’re used to. But it is possible to keep following suggested videos on YouTube for example, and end up somewhere really strange and unexpected. Don’t forget to bookmark your interesting discoveries.
Ask random friends who are in different kinds of choirs from yours to suggest recordings.

Pop over to my YouTube channel. I have a playlist there called Originals. These are recordings of many of the songs I’ve taught over the years, but from the cultures they originated from.

You might also like to check out a couple of series on my blog:

9. read about choirs and singing

I’m sure you have some books on your bookshelf that you’ve been meaning to get around to reading. Now is the time! But there’s also loads of stuff online: blogs, podcasts, tutorials, etc. You can also sign up to my Monthly Music Roundup which comes out on the 1st of each month (8 articles about singing/choirs/music plus song of the month), or Like (and visit) my Facebook page: I post two interesting music/choir/singing snippets each weekday.

10. sing online

There are plenty of opportunities (at the time of writing) to become involved in online singalongs and virtual choirs (see How to sing together in times of isolation). Your own choir may well have set something like this up. 
There are also plenty of singing teachers out there who offer online lessons.

nothing can replace choir

Of course, nothing can ever replace the feeling of singing in a group with others in the same physical place at the same time, especially in harmony.

Stay safe, and keep singing!

This text was published first at

World of Voices Your Voice
news-2262 Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:25:56 +0200 Important Information about "Helsingborgs Körfestival" Travelling and event restrictions in Sweden affect the event The COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting all aspects of public life, is also impacting the choral world and therefore we have to inform you that the Helsingborgs Körfestival 2020 must be cancelled and unfortunately cannot take place as planned. Due to restrictions imposed by the Swedish government, it is not possible to hold the event. We very much regret this step, but it is inevitable in the interest of the health of the participants and the population. 

INTERKULTUR, in consultation with the local partners in Helsingborg thus follows the instructions of the Swedish Government but is also working with the local partners in Sweden to find an alternative date, which will be published very soon. 

news-2260 Wed, 08 Apr 2020 16:13:05 +0200 “Thank you” To “Angels in Life” Song dedicated to all who are battling the pandemic in the world China, like many countries around the world, have been battling the COVID-19 and as of today, facing the aftermath of the pandemic. As the pandemic rapidly spreading around the world, we are all facing a disruption in our lives, financially and emotionally.

Making music and enjoying music is very important to get through life, whether in good times or bad times. Thousands of songs have been made during the time and one Chinese original piece stood out. “Angel” is dedicated to all who are battling the pandemic in the world, especially medical staffs and supporters at the front line. INTERKULTUR came in contact with the lyricist of the song Zheng Xing and was touched by the pure and loving message the song sends out.

The lyrics of "Angel" are kept simple and yet have a deep meaning. "Your love accompanies me all the way where no words are necessary... Angel of life, you bring hope to the world." Singers and the audience can interpret the word "angel" metaphorically or as someone very close to them in life. The intention was that everyone should be able to see the text in the way they need to. Everybody can be an angel for someone else or you yourself have been an angel for someone else without having noticed it yourself.

The most important angels in these times are currently found in the hospitals of the world: doctors, nurses and other staff members raising their voices - some of them join together and even sing their messages out into the world. They are supported by thousands of people all over the world who clap their hands making music and encouraging them from their balconies and out of their windows every day. Here we can see: Angels are all around us right now, we just have to open our eyes.

INTERKULTUR’s Artistic Director, Johan Rooze, who also made the choral arrangement of the song hopes the song will bring comfort to everyone experiencing the difficult situation, “I just hope people sing it and feel this song and this arrangement in a way that brings them closer to each other and find some support from each other, for them to know that they are not alone. There is always an angel to sing with you and watch over you.”

Shenzhen Star Bright Choir was the first choir to sing the song, their Artistic Director, also World Choir Council member, Chen Guanghui explains the initiation and difficulties the choir faced during the recording, “Our choir was very excited to have the opportunity to sing this meaningful song. We all hope to do our part in bringing people power and love… but as we all had to stay home and do the recording individually using our phones, it was not easy to keep the same tempo. Our members recorded many times hoping to have produced a wonderful piece.”

The INTERKULTUR team supports this special project and has contributed to it in the firm belief that we can overcome these difficult times if we stand together and do everything in our power to make this world a better place - through singing together and choral music:  It has been the mission of INTERKULTUR for over 30 years to bring people of all nations together in peace. With this new action we not only want to show how important it is to stay together, but also to appreciate what we have and not to lose hope. The most important thing is that we do not forget what we have experienced during the difficult times and that we keep love and peace in our hearts all the time. Our new video calls on everyone to look forward with warm-heartedness and optimism and to protect our earth, nature and our global community and be there for each other.

World of Voices International Choral Scene
news-2258 Sat, 04 Apr 2020 17:10:22 +0200 IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the International Choir Competition & Festival Bad Ischl Postponement of the event to March 2021 The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 is accompanied by numerous, long-term travel and exit restrictions in almost every country in the world.

In order to ensure the health and safety of the international choirs and visitors, INTERKULTUR, in consultation with the local partners in Bad Ischl, has decided to postpone the 15th International Choir Competition & Festival Bad Ischl to 2021. The new event dates are from March 4 to 8, 2021.

All choirs already registered have been informed about the possibility of rebooking to the new date, but new registrations are still possible for 2021. 

Further information can be found at

news-2241 Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:26:00 +0200 Our plan of action and flexibility Commitment and responsibility towards the international choral scene Thank you for your continued loyalty and trust in these uncertain times! INTERKULTUR's commitment and our responsibility towards the international choral scene have never been stronger as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our commitment to already registered choirs, free cancellation options as well as a postponement of our registration dates for INTERKULTUR events in fall, we're trying to offer the most possible action and flexibility and to adapt the preparation for our future events to the existing situation in the best manner: 

Our plan of action
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have formed crisis response teams and work every day to adapt the security concepts of our events. All of our event partners were comprehensively informed about important preparatory and preventive measures. These range from hygiene measures including an increased cleaning and disinfection frequency to the different guidelines of the local authorities.

Our flexibility
The INTERKULTUR team is currently in remote working as well. Thanks to many years of experience in various events worldwide, all of our colleagues have fully functional remote work opportunities and are available to answer your questions from everywhere. Flexible dates apply to all program details, sheet music and other registration documents that choirs must send to INTERKULTUR at these days. All ensembles concerned can contact directly their contact persons at INTERKULTUR to find the best solution for them.

Thank you for your ongoing trust in good times and especially in these particularly challenging times!