European Choral Association Newsletter

Dear choral lovers,
We would like to express our worries about the outcome of the Brexit Referendum. Since 1960, we are striving to bring people together and make them feel that they ultimately belong to a shared European cultural continuum. We'll never give up fighting for a Europe that shall be united through its shared cultural heritage like choral singing. We hope Britons will change their minds and whatever the next years shall bring, choral actors from this stronghold of vocal culture will continue participating in our activities!

So here are the June news from the choir world. Please forward this newsletter to your singing friends, if you work in a choral association, forward it to your members or translate the news which you find essential into your own language.

With best wishes

Sonja Greiner, Secretary General 
on behalf of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat

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Die deutsche Übersetzung wird später erscheinen. Aktualisieren Sie Ihr Profil, um sie später zu erhalten


Support us: Donate!

Choirs are the best “Friends of Choral Music”

The “Friends of choral music in Europe”, the association that supports the development of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat, launched its 2016/2017 fundraising campaign.

This year, in addition to the traditionnal call for donations and their own fundraising ativities, the “Friends” are asking choirs all over Europe to do what they do best: to Sing!

Choirs are invited to organise fundraising concerts (or any other event) for the benefit of ECA-EC during their next season of activity, to help make a difference on the European continent, and foster the development of singing across all ages and origins.

So if you are conducting, or singing in a choir, you may want to check out the website where you will find useful information and material to download if you want to take part in this campaign!

Download the 4 page guide on organising a fundraising event!

The World Youth Choir is in Europe - and will sing in Bonn!

Summer concerts in Belgium and GermanyWorld Youth Choir

13 July - 2 August 2016

This year, the World Youth Choir will unite 42 young choral singers, age 19 to 27, from 26 different countries to perform along a tour of 6 concerts a mixed sacred and secular repertoire, under the artistic direction of world-renowned conductor Filippo Maria Bressan.

The World Youth Choir is a genuine educational and social experience drawing from diverse vocal traditions, aiming for the highest artistic level, with an emphasis on music education, a professional artistic approach and multicultural social interaction and exchange.

The Summer Session 2016:World Youth Choir

23rd July | Weikersheim, Germany

25th July | Mainz, Germany

26th July | Cochem, Germany

27th July | Brussels, Belgium

29th July | Bonn, Germany
Organised by ECA-EC in cooperation with Bonner Schumannfest and with the support of the City of Bonn | 17.00 Singing in front of Schumannhaus | 20.00 Concert in Trinitatis church

31st July | Wolfenbüttel, Germany

If you are interested in attending one of the concerts make sure to follow our social media channels and website for the latest updates!


EUROPA CANTAT 2018 | Music Commission in Tallinn

The ECA-EC Music Commission is actively working on the next edition of the festival EUROPA CANTAT. They met in Tallinn this month to check the venues in the city and define the main lines of the programme. The festival 2018 will include an event on the famous Song Celebration Grounds under this huge concert shell!

We’ll keep you updated.

From left to right: Raul Talmar (EE), Jim Daus Hjernøe (DK), Ágnes Erdélyi (HU), Jean-Claude Wilkens (FR), Kaie Tanner (EE), Jan Schumacher (DE), Burak Onur Erdem (TR) and Carlo Pavese (IT).

Meet the members!

Ung i Kor from Norway

Every month,we will present one of our member organisations and the choral context in which they work! Let's start with Ung i Kor in Norway.

The choral life in Norway?

Norway, with a 5 million strong population is often ranking high in development indexes. And, with an estimation of about 7500 active choirs gathering 5% of the population, it shows also a quite positive involvement in collective singing. We have three member organisations in the country: Norges Korforbund, Norsk Sangerforum and  Ung i Kor, that we wil present below:

Ung i Kor
A member of ECA-EC: "Ung i Kor"

Ung i Kor is the Norwegian federation for children and youth choirs with 300 children's, youth and student choirs and approximately 10.000 members in total in the whole of Norway.

Ung i Kor works for:
- Strongly advocating musical development
- Supporting members of the organisation, both financially and logistically
- Educating members in democratic work and process

Ung i Kor organises courses for singers, conductors and young managers as well as festivals, workshops and summer schools. Additionally, Ung i Kor manages the Norwegian National Youth Choir - the premium choir for talented young singers in Norway. The organisation is also currently running the project “Children sing” with the goal of fighting poverty among children and youths and using singing as a tool for inclusion and integration.
Ung i Kor
Ung i Kor is a member of the Nordic Association for Children and Youth Choir organisations, Norbusang, and the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat. The organisation is also a member of the Norwegian Music Council and the national organisation for children and youth organisations in Norway: LNU.
Ung i Kor
pb 47390506 Oslo
Trondheimsveien 2, Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47 22005640

Find out more about the Choral world in Norway

Kristina Veerde joins the Youth Committee of ECA-EC

If you were in Pécs for the EUROPA CANTAT festival in 2015, you may recognise Kristiina on the right practising her Hungarian language skills.
Kristina Veerde joins the Youth Committee on behalf of the Estonia Choral Association, organiser of the next EUROPA CANTAT festival! We hope she will teach us a lot of complicated Estonian words too!

A report from the field...

Alle Menschen werden Brüder, the spirit of the European Music Festival for Young People

Neerpelt (Belgium), 29 April – 1 May 2016. A report by Ruben Smits (ECA-EC Youth Committee)
Note: the Neerpelt festival recently became member of ECA-EC
The skies are announcing the arrival of summer. Down below, the streets of Neerpelt are filled with the same friendly spirit. This is the 64th European Music Festival for Young People (EMJ).

EMJ 2017The EMJ is held every year, alternating between a vocal and an instrumental edition. This year, children’s and youth choirs from all over Europe and beyond came together to celebrate diversity, kindness and music during this renowned festival. Shortly before the festival, on 22 March, Brussels was hit by terrorist attacks. Rutger Nuyts, president of the festival, commemorated the attacks, and called out not to give in, to continue embracing other cultures through love and friendliness: “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” – immediately sung and followed by a big empowering applause.

I am really glad that the EMJ creates an opportunity for today’s young people to experience a celebration of diversity. Being in Neerpelt, looking at and listening to the great variety of choirs (one of which premiered an arrangement I wrote for them), I experienced how singing creates brotherhood and friendship. For three days at least, the EMJ created peace on earth. Let’s hope singing and the vocal arts will never seize to do so.“ Ruben Smits (ECA-EC Youth Committee)

News from the European / International
Choral Network

IFCM June Newsletter

Read the news selected by the International Federation for Choral Music in June:
In English | In French - en français | In German - auf Deutsch
In Spanish - en español | In Italian - in italiano

And the registrations for the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music that will be held in Barcelona, from 22nd to 29th July 2016 are open.

News from the European / International
Culture Network

European Music Council Statement

Chairman Ian Smith: Statement on the UKs EU Referendum

Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,
I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday's referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.
The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.  
We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion.
Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC


Culture Action Europe statement

on the European Union Youth Orchestra case

Context: Upon an ad-hoc resolution of the EU  Commission, the EUYO received a special funding outside of the regular legal framework of the Creative Europe programme. CUlture Action Europe reacted with a clear statement:

Culture Action Europe acknowledges the relevance of the EUYO’s work and its uniqueness.

Nonetheless, we express concern at the manner in which this matter is being handled. It leaves a bitter taste of doubt to how funding decisions can be made and does not address the limits of the Creative Europe programme. Moreover, any negative impact of the case on the Creative Europe Culture budget would be unacceptable.

Other high quality organisations and networks have had to close down or are struggling with minimal budgets following negative funding decisions. They however did not receive such support from the Parliament and Commission. The decision to find a “creative solution” in this case is being viewed as highly unfair and bears the risk of reflecting negatively on the perception and trust in the impartiality of culture funding at an EU level.

The EU project needs the contribution of culture to overcome its dramatic challenges and to help promote a positive image in a phase of growing skepticism towards the Union’s institutions.

If and when ‘bureaucratic procedures’ do not adequately serve the ‘interest of our citizens’ the legislator is in called upon to assess and subsequently reform policy and procedures, not limiting interventions to a particular case.

We therefore call upon the institutions to guarantee the independence and transparency of the decision making process, indispensable for building confidence in equal opportunities for all, involving the sector in a through assessment of Creative Europe and its implementation.

Read the full CAE Statement here.


Get inspired

A quick collection of links you may find interesting... if you care about vocal music!

Lessons in Ancient music, from a bathtub

Click here

How an old forgotten songbook brings back children songs to Afghan families...

The French National Youth Choir wins "Florilège Vocal de Tours" prizes

Multiple prizes awarded to the choir which will join the International May Choir Competition next year.

A blog often worth reading: Chris Rowbury

Often interresting contributions:

"The intelligent choir", a presentation by Jim Daus Hjernøe

A nice four minutes video produced by PFI (FR), with a member of our music commission.
European Choral Association - Europa Cantat
Weberstr. 59a - 53113 Bonn (DE)
Tel: +49 228 9125665
Friends of Choral Music In Europe
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European Choral Association - Europa Cantat
Weberstr. 59 a
Bonn 53113

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