Participating in the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music

3-10 August 2011, Puerto Madryn, Patagonia, Argentinia





Virginia Bono, Argentinean choir conductor




Why would I participate in a World Symposium?

I have been asked to write about my views and my experiences in a Symposium on Choral Music. What I have to say is very simple: a World Symposium on Choral Music is a space of unlimited growth, a meeting with colleagues working under conditions similar to and yet different from ours, an opportunity to listen to choirs of excellent musical standard, an opportunity to collect ideas and acquire a willingness to develop new projects, the springboard for many dreams and healthy ambitions; it offers the advantage of meeting great maestros and the most outstanding workshop-leaders, full-time auditions, learning and masses of choral music (which we love so much and which summons us)  to one place for one event..  

When I took part in a Symposium, I experienced something similar to an explosion of events, all at the same time and non-stop. It is true, it is so much in such a short time, but the enthusiasm it generates and everything we receive keeps us moving, going from a concert to a conference, from a round table to a choral gala, from a meeting of international confederations or regional associations to an informal chat with known colleagues or colleagues unknown for us until that moment. In my eyes, the most remarkable fact is what comes after a Symposium. In an encounter of this type, several realities converge to trigger a double opening: on the one hand, being an international event, the Symposium allows us to get into contact with and listen to musical ideas from all over the world through the numerous choirs performing in concerts and workshops as well as through conferences and debates about different issues related to choral music, conductors, composers and cultural agents that attend it and share their knowledge, ideas and projects with us. It is a culture shock in some way, an injection of international experiences; and we all know that this kind of exchange opens our minds. On the other hand, a Symposium allows us to reflect on the space we have in that choral world, it opens our minds to new ideas, proposals and dreams that can come true because we have seen that they have been possible in other places, or because they are new and clever. Any initiative that enriches, musically and chorally, the society in which each one of us lives, benefits ourselves and those who sing with us and put their trust in our knowledge and actions.

I am convinced of the fact that this double opening is a marvellous thing, due to the amount of music and information exchanged in a symposium. I am talking from my own experience and from what many colleagues have experienced after taking the highly beneficial decision of investing money in order to participate in a symposium. Receiving what is going on in the world and revitalising our willingness to do our best is the most valuable gain from such an event. I strongly recommend it.

In the 2011 Symposium, we will have the opportunity to enjoy listening to choirs from all continents in concerts and conferences of their own choral traditions, choral conducting master classes with different repertoires, with pilot choirs led by prestigious maestros of conducting, pedagogues, composers and arrangers in conferences, round tables, federation meetings, news about programs and projects on choral music and so much more. Imagine …






Translated from the Spanish by Maria de las Mercedes Zavala Tello, CIC Foundation’s Secretary

Revised by Irene Auerbach, UK