In the past three years, the IFCM Asian-Pacific office has been supporting choral music education in Asian countries, especially in developing countries. We created various projects to help young singers and conductors promote cultural exchange and enhance friendships.
Asian Pacific Youth Choir (APYC) Project
After being quiet for two years, in 2018, the APYC restarted and was brought to Kaili, China for China Qiandongnan International Folk Song Choral Festival and IFCM Voices Conference. The choir rehearsed and performed there with about 3000 singers together.
In 2019, the APYC visited and performed in Hong Kong and Macau. This year, it was planned to go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, the plan was postponed to 2021 due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19.
Now, in comparison to the beginning of this choir project, a greater number of singers, conductors, and young musicians from more countries in the Asian-Pacific region joined the choir and they enjoyed the interaction by sharing choral music.
SCOC Youth Choir Project
The SCOC Youth Choir, as a new international music project, was initiated in 2018 and its first establishment session was at the end of June and the beginning of July 2019. Following a week of rehearsal, the choir performed at the International Choral Week in Hohhot and later the choir presented itself at the World Garden Expo in Beijing,China.
The SCOC Youth Choir united young singers from 18 Eurasian countries including Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Armenia, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.
Artistically, this special choir offered a unique experience for young singers to develop their musical and vocal talents by performing international repertoire and interacting with world-class conductors. The choir also provided a remarkable educational and social experience, allowing new generations of singers to break the barriers of different cultures, people, and traditions, and deepen the understanding of friendship.
In 2020, the choir was supposed to perform in St. Petersburg, Russia. Regretfully, the event was cancelled by the global pandemic. However, we will keep working on this choir project to enhance the promotion of peace and cooperation through choral music in the Eurasian region in the future.
Colorful Voices Online Project
In 2020, because of the negative changes in our life caused by the pandemic, we have no choice but to seek more innovative approaches and online possibilities to make music. We developed a WeChat applet called Colorful Voices. With the launch of this applet, an online music education project, International Choral Academy, was established.
The purpose of this online education project is to create academic content on choral music. The content is targeted to the communication between Chinese choral fans and renowned international experts all over the world. So far, we have invited many distinguished contributors to give video lectures, interactive workshops, Zoom seminars, and masterclasses both live and digital. Meanwhile, this applet is also playing a role in promoting IFCM membership.
Edited by Shekela Wanyama, USA