World Choral Day: Short Project Summary 2017–2020
In the past 3 years, World Choral Day has increased its visibility as well as its geographical range, the registration has become more user friendly and its action is continuously becoming better included into the worldwide choral network.
In 2017, following the tradition of the previous years the World Choral Day celebration took place on the second Sunday of December (10 December) with amazing choral concerts and events organized in 39 diﬀerent countries. There were in total 139 events registered with Italy as the strongest representative of all countries (25% of all events came from Italy).
In 2018 the World Choral Day project reached the largest representation of diﬀerent countries in the history of the project with a total of 396 events registered from 69 countries, having 15 completely new countries participating. The 2018 edition was special, because it celebrated the centenary of the end of WW1. Therefore, the timeframe was extended, from 11 November to 16 December. This extension ensured a great opportunity to keep up the exceptional attention for more than a month and to make this project and IFCM even more visible on the global choral scene.
Moreover, World Choral Day got a new website, adding to a fresh layout an easier event submission process, a search engine and a separate page for each event with all information and sharing buttons to increase visibility through social media.
Two further highlights in 2018 were the VoxPopuli virtual choir and the World Choral Day gala concert.
IFCM collaborated in a global initiative connected to World Choral Day, commemorating the end of World War I. IFCM and Fundación Aequalis invited all singers from all over the world to be part of the VoxPopuli Virtual Choir which performed the winning composition of the 2018 “Alberto Grau” International Choral Composition Competition [https://www.ciccag.org/en] : “Nada Te Turbe” by Carlos Alberto Cordero. Fundación Aequalis compiled the recordings and a ﬁnal video was produced, and released on 7 December. This cooperation was a great opportunity for linking more projects with similar aims and missions to World Choral Day in order to make each other stronger and more visible.
On 30 November 2018, IFCM organized its ﬁrst World Choral Day gala concert in Lisbon, Portugal. Five local choirs joined: The Youth Choir of the University of Lisbon, Jasmim Molihua, Ricercare, Musaico, and Cantares de Evora, conducted by Fernando Costa. The IFCM Executive Committee, present at the concert, was honoured by the presence of the Ambassadors in Portugal of the People’s Republic of China, Guatemala and Israel. This event was truly a peak point in the life of World Choral Day, right in the middle of the project period.
The project also led to intense further communications for several weeks, using and sharing all the photos and videos we received from the concert organizers.
In 2019 World Choral Day was again celebrated on the second Sunday of December, but with the option to join with choral events during the entire month of December to enhance visibility. We intend to keep this one-month period in the future, which also allows those countries to join who might have their holidays and thus their concerts organized a little earlier or later.
In 2019 altogether 344 events took place from 67 countries; among these were concerts from countries participating for the first time (i.e. Jordan, Lebanon and Vietnam). Four new languages were added to the oﬃcial proclamation document that is read and announced at every event.
For the ﬁrst time in the life of World Choral Day Alberto Grau, initiator of the project, composed especially for this year a hymn “Cantando” that could be heard worldwide at numerous events sung by the participating choirs. Besides, some of the concerts were broadcast live through social media from several countries such as Switzerland, Portugal, Madagascar, Syria, Venezuela, Finland, along with IFCM’s very own event, organized in the beautiful Palacete dos Condes de Monte Real, new IFCM Headquarters in Lisbon.
Thanks to the kind contribution of the concert organizers we could keep up attention on this great project for few more months by sharing amazing videos and photos taken at various World Choral Day events.
In 2020, despite all types of choral events being cancelled due to the current pandemic crisis, IFCM deliberately announced the planned date for World Choral Day 2020. Based on the decision of the IFCM Executive Committee and matching 2019, World Choral Day took place on the second Sunday of December but also during the entire month of December. There were four ways to participate: through a traditional in-person concert, a virtual concert, a virtual choir project, or previous recordings. The total registration was 147 and included 28 traditional concerts, 34 virtual concerts, 29 virtual choir videos and 56 edited videos from previous performances.
Seeing new countries joining in every year is the best feedback we can receive, something on which we can build new ideas to improve this wonderful project. World Choral Day has a really wide range of participating choral events from traditional Christmas concerts in little village churches, through ﬂash mobs in supermarkets to big festivals with more than 1000 singers performing on stage.
Edited by Irene Auerbach, UK