The World Choir Games
Every two years since the year 2000 INTERKULTUR has invited the world to the Olympic Games of choral music: the World Choir Games.
Each time hosts like Austria, Korea, Germany, China, the USA, Latvia, and Russia brought a new and unique atmosphere to this largest international choir competition in the world.
The idea of the World Choir Games is supposed to inspire people to experience the power of music as a universal language. In July 2014, the power of song brought 460 choirs and 27,000 participants from 73 nations to Riga, Latvia.
At the Great Celebration Concert, one of the highlights of the 8th World Choir Games, 40,000 people sang “O Happy Day” together in the city’s culturally rich Mežaparks. A superlative musical experience!
The World Choir Games feature large-scale events staged in world class venues capable of televised and live stage production. These spectacular shows create an unforgettable atmosphere for singing a wide spectrum of music ranging from great choral-symphonic works to pop music.
THE PARADE OF NATIONS
A lively, colorful Parade of Nations through the streets of the host city opens the second part of the event and welcomes all participants. Choirs sing and dance their way through the streets of the host City, turning it into an international, peaceful stage.
In Friendship and Celebration Concert multiple choirs from different countries and/or categories are united for 60-90 minute shows. Friendship Concerts are free performances in city squares, public venues, parks, streets or malls whereas Celebration Concerts are ticketed events with top-class international choirs in special concert venues.
Choirs may earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Diplomas or Medals. The gold-medal winning choir in The Champions Competition with the highest point total from an international panel of judges will be named Champion of the World Choir Games in its specific category. The Champions will come to the stage, their country’s flag will be raised and they will sing their national anthem.
These are the World Choir Games
As the world’s biggest choir competition, the World Choir Games shall inspire people to sing together. Participation alone is important and the greatest honour. The World Choir Games are organized for amateur choirs from all over the world, no matter which continent they come from or which musical genres they represent or which artistic ambitions they have.
To experience this festival of choirs from all over the world means to participate, to contribute one’s own performance, to compare to others and to experience the enthusiasm of singing together. Every two years, choirs from all parts of the world come together to celebrate the World Choir Games. Together they are celebrating a great festival of music, song and joie de vivre.
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POSITIVE CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS FOR THE HOST REGION
Due to the number of approx. 27,000 singers, the World Choir Games gain the significance of a lasting promotion for the local and regional economic development of the respective host city and/or region, especially for the hotels, catering services and the retail trade. There will also be a lasting positive effect on the organizations of non-professional music of the host country. Local, regional and national choir associations will be involved in the planning of the World Choir Games and can make use of the various opportunities this international event offers them.
There will be intensive advertising and promotion for the World Choir Games before the event. Mailings to more than 120,000 choirs, choir associations, ministries and institutions world-wide will ensure that the presence of the World Choir Games is felt by all potential participants. In doing so, the cooperation with the respective National Organizing Committee as well as with the marketing departments of the cities will be part of this campaign.
The new Eurovision competition format is inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest and the World Choir Games – celebrating choral singing and bringing together the most popular singing competition in Europe and the largest international choir competition in the world. The biannual show, organized by EBU and INTERKULTUR is an addition to the Eurovision Family of Events led by the well-known Eurovision Song Contest. INTERKULTUR has co-developed the concept of the show based on its artistic expertise and long-term experience with international choral competitions. Accordingly, the show is traditionally held within the leading international competitions Grand Prix of Nations & European Choir Games, organized by INTERKULTUR.
In this spirit the EBU and INTERKULTUR have established a fantastic partnership to underline the strength of human voice and singing together.
The philosophy of the European Choir Games is based on the Olympic ideal of “Participation is the highest honor”. Amateur choirs from all over are invited to take part, to compete in a peaceful competition, learn from each other and celebrate the joy of singing and the treasures of choral music. EUROVISION CHOIR showcases choral singing as the most natural way to make music together and show what is possible when combining little more than human voices. Top-class amateur choirs present their outstanding singing skills to a Europe-wide audience. Participating EBU member countries will send choirs to represent their nation and to compete for the title “Eurovision Choir of the Year” and broadcast the show live to their respective host countries.
“Music helps us transcend the borders that we’ve built in our thoughts and actions. The young singers show us what it means to be human and to focus on what strengthens society.”
– Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR –
“Let the World Choir Games 2014 sound far beyond the borders of Latvia, as it is said in a Latvian folk song: ‘I was born singing, I was raised singing, I lived my life singing, too!’”
– Andris Bērziņš, Former President of Latvia –
“Thank you so much for a wonderful festival. I was very pleased to be a part of it and hope you will want me back for future events. Your festival organization was pristine, and I felt very well-taken care of throughout my week in Riga. My workshop was very well attended, and everybody in your staff was fantastically helpful.”