Once every three years, the world’s premier festival of choirs is held in a major city around the world. The World Symposium on Choral Music is the peak global event of the International Federation for Choral Music – its own ‘Olympics’ and world congress rolled into one.
Drawing together the leading choirs, conductors, composers and administrators from all over the planet for a superlative experience of concerts, seminars and workshops, the Symposium has also come to be a public showcase for the best the choral world has to offer.
And for just the third time ever, the WSCM will be held in the Southern Hemisphere, in one of the most-loved tourism destinations in the world – New Zealand.
Recharge yourself, meet your fellow choral practitioners, hear and learn and experience new viewpoints and approaches and the work of some of the best choirs in the world.
24 of the world’s finest choirs
At WSCM2020 you can hear around 24 of the world’s finest choirs and over 30 distinguished choral practitioners in an eight-day ‘feast’ of concerts, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions. Surrounded by all that musical splendour and choral wisdom, you realise you don’t work in isolation but are part of an exciting global movement. You learn what’s ‘trending’ and return home full of inspiration and new ideas.
And if that’s not enough reason to come to WSCM2020, there’s the stunning host country to consider! New Zealand has a world-wide reputation for its clean, green and beautiful landscapes of mountains, countryside, lakes and beaches and its safe and friendly cities, delicious food, wine, coffee and craft beer! So there’s no better time to come!
Theme: People and the Land
The connection and tensions between people and land, between urban life and the natural world.
The expression tangata whenua (literally ‘people of the land’) is the name the indigenous Maori of New Zealand use of themselves and a concept that sits at the heart of NZ culture. The tangata whenua are guardians of our natural resources, environment and sustainability – values and priorities shared by all New Zealanders, regardless of race.
In WSCM2020 we want to explore through choral music the relationship humans have with the land that supports them: the sense of identity they derive from it and the tensions that arise out of it. We believe this is a theme that touches all of us in some way, calling to mind such notions as family, nurture, identity, place, community, culture, celebration, nationalism, colonialism, dispossession, alienation, partnership, freedom, development, interconnectedness, environmentalism, urban living, the natural world, the seasons, stress and healing, beauty, nostalgia, utopia… to name but a few!
It is a theme that we hope will be interpreted freely and with flair by participating choirs, encouraging them to draw from a broad range of repertoire and styles in their programming.
Who WSCM is for
The Symposium is for choral professionals. It’s for conductors, teachers and academics who run or work within established school and university choral programmes, and for those who lead and inspire chamber, civic, community and church choirs … from exacting, auditioned ensembles to willing groups of all-comers.
The Symposium is for singers – from trained vocalists who perform in top ensembles to ordinary choristers who enjoy singing at their own level but would like to broaden their horizons, or just see what other, excellent, choirs are doing.
The Symposium is for composers keen to see what choirs want and what they can achieve, for choral managers, administrators and accompanists who want to swap ideas with their peers … and of course for concertgoers – people who just want to consume a veritable banquet of varied choral treats.
The Symposium is for anyone who loves choral music and wants to share that enthusiasm with many others who feel the same way. A WSCM doesn’t happen very often, so you can’t afford to miss it when it does!