Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, New Zealand is to host the 13th World Choir Games in 2024, according to Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR, which runs the Games.
The early announcement provides a ray of light after a year in which many choirs have been unable to perform. Over 50 nations and thousands of choristers are expected to attend, bringing an unparalleled breadth of cultural influences to the event.
‘In times of great uncertainty for choral music around the world, it’s my huge pleasure to already announce the World Choir Games 2024 and provide the choral world with the best possible planning dependability for the future,’ says Titsch. ‘The 13th World Choir Games in New Zealand will give singers from all over the world new confidence and an exciting goal to approach with new motivation. In 2024 we will break new ground and look forward to bringing our event to this unique region of the world, which is known for its breathtaking nature and impressive Māori culture.’
Carmel Sepuloni, the new Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage in the New Zealand Government, offered the world a typically manaakitanga (warm Māori hospitality) welcome in a YouTube video about the announcement:
She said, ‘I am proud that we will be showcasing the diverse Māori, Pacific and European singing traditions of Aotearoa to an international community that shares our love of singing. At a time when global travel remains disrupted by COVID-19, it is exciting to consider an international celebration of song, and to know that New Zealand audiences will experience the unique sound of choirs from over 50 nations. Music is a language that crosses all boundaries, creating harmony both real and symbolic.’
Her thoughts were echoed by Juliet Dreaver, Chair of the New Zealand Choral Federation: ‘The New Zealand Choral Federation is excited to welcome the international choral community to Aotearoa New Zealand for the 2024 World Choir Games. New Zealand is a singing nation with a thriving choral scene and we are proud to showcase our vibrant, diverse singing cultures to the world, including the powerful Māori tradition of kapa haka and the captivating choral styles of the Pacific. We look forward to a rich cultural exchange as thousands of singers from around the globe lift their voices together in song on our shores.’
The World Choir Games is regarded as the Olympic Games of singing and is based upon the Olympic spirit and ideals, connecting the cultures and nations of the world through song. A bi-annual event since 2000, this year’s games hosted by Flanders in Belgium had to be postponed until July 2021 but will return to the scheduled dates for Gangneung in South Korea (July 2022).
The website of the 13th World Choir Games Auckland 2024 has been recently launched with more details at www.wcg2024.com.