The IFCM project Conductors Without Borders organised sessions in three Latin American countries during the past three years.
In July 2018, the First International Choral Festival in Guatemala took place in Guatemala City. As part of this festival, IFCM’s project Conductors Without Borders (CWB) had its first workshop In Latin America. This festival was organised by the Guatemalan organisation “Proyecto Corodemia” and their leaders Fernando Archila and Julio Edgar Julián, in connection with CWB’s coordinator for the Northern Region, Ana Patricia Carbajal, and guest clinicians Maibel Troia (Venezuela) and Susie Wilson (Costa Rica). During this festival, theoretical and practical workshops were given on subjects such as conducting techniques, the choice, the preparation and the analysis of scores, the structure of rehearsals based on the chosen repertoire, vocal and choral techniques. A forum to learn how the National Choir System developed in Venezuela inspired Guatemalans to continue building and improving the quality of their work.
As part of the agreement between the Argentine Federated Organisation of Choral Activities (OFADAC) and IFCM, OFADAC launched the Conductors Without Borders (CWB) programme in the framework of its 3rd Argentinean and 1st Latin American Choral Congress held in Tandil (Province of Buenos Aires) in May 2018. A public and open call for choral conductors in Argentina was launched and two regular conductors and three alternatives were selected to carry out the project in two locations in October 2018: Miraflores, in the region of the El Impenetrable National Park in the Province of Chaco, and the Huilque Menuco area located in the Andean region of the Patagonia Province. The objectives of the programme have been largely fulfilled and steps have been taken to ensure the ongoing running of this expressive space through local institutions.
From September 24 to 28, 2018, the Foundation Schola Cantorum de Venezuela organised, from Caracas, Venezuela, a virtual international workshop in collaboration with IFCM’s project, Conductors Without Borders, and the Company Mega Sala Virtual Movistar. The international session leaders were Anton Armstrong (USA), Pearl Shangkuan (USA), Elisenda Carrasco (Spain), María Guinand (Venezuela), Silvana Vallesi (Argentina), Ana María Raga (Venezuela), Jan Schumacher (Germany), Isabel Palacios (Venezuela), Miguel Astor (Venezuela) and Cristian Grases (USA/Venezuela). Each conductor gave an online work session on specific pieces that they chose and had the opportunity to demonstrate their technique with their own choir: Elisenda Carrasco with her Children’s and Youth Choir of San Cugat used choral work for children’s choirs. Pearl Shangkuan together with the Calvin College Women’s Choir introduced to the participants an important piece dedicated to women’s choirs. Silvana Vallesi together with the University Choir of Mendoza offered a session on the work of the sound space in Latin American Choral Music. Isabel Palacios gave an interesting session on the use of the voice for singing, especially for choral singing. Ana María Raga shared her knowledge on the analysis of scores and the strategy of rehearsals for a most effective performance of the selected repertoire. Jan Schumacher from Germany presented the European repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. Gospel and Negro Spiritual throughout history were the central theme of the conference given by Anton Armstrong, accompanied by Saint Olaf Choir. María Guinand and Cristian Grases offered to discuss with the participants the theme of joining together and creating choral networks. This discussion motivated some directors who are already working on the organisation of some new choral networks in Venezuela and nearby countries.
You can read the complete report of these three Latin American sessions at:
Edited by Karin Rockstad, USA