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IFCM NEWS (April 2024)

Updated: Apr 13

IFCM Secretary General Iva Radulović has left her position

After almost five years of dedicated service to IFCM, our Secretary General Iva Radulović has left her position at the end of March 2024 to pursue new professional opportunities. Our board and team are sorry to see Iva go. We would like to thank her very much for her significant contribution to the development of our association, including its organizational structures and its projects and collaborations. We will miss Iva and wish her all the best in her new endeavours! The board is using this transitional period as a strategic opportunity to review the mission and work of the association and to refine our collective vision for the future. During this time, IFCM remains committed to serving the global choral community and to ensuring the continuity and success of our programs and services.

Iva introducing the Gala Concert of the World Choral EXPO 2022

The International Choral Magazine has a new website

The International Choral Magazine is launching its new website which features all recent publications. In April 2022, the name of IFCM’s publication was changed from International Choral Bulletin (ICB) to International Choral Magazine(ICM). It was only natural for IFCM to create a new website that reflects the updated name and current trends. As with the ICB website, the new ICM website is accessible to both IFCM members and non-members, allowing the entire choral community worldwide to benefit from the interesting articles published in the magazine. Access to past issues of the ICM/ICB (from 2003 on) is available on the IFCM website.

Report on the Webinar on the pentatonic mode in African choral music

At the initiative of African Confederation of Choral Music (ACCM) and Africa Cantat Festival, a webinar was organized on March 16, 2024, around the theme "The pentatonic mode in African choral heritage".

This was a great opportunity to cross the views of African specialists, based on practical cases, on the pentatonic mode, so characteristic of authentic African music, to a large extent, and its use in African choral music. This panel discussion examined practical cases in the light of presentations by choral conductors, teacher-researchers and musicologists from East, West and Central Africa.

Member choir Chœur La Grâce receives national award

On 15 December 2023, the Chœur La Grâce was honored by DR Congo’s Chancellery of National Orders as the official representative of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its conductor Ambroise Kua-Nzambi Togo has himself won several awards.

Founded in 1985 and IFCM member since 2000, the Chœur La Grâce has become one of the best known choirs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Africa, having performed in 113 cities and taken part in 40 international festivals, including two IFCM World Symposia for Choral Music, Kyoto 2005 and, most recently, Istanbul 2023. The choir has also sung at official meetings such as summits of heads of state, at conferences of the Economic Community of Central African States and the Southern African

Chœur La Grâce and conductor Ambroise Kua-Nzambi Toko honored by DR Congo's Chancellery of National Order

American Choral Directors Association announces its 2025 convention

Dallas, Texas, will be the host city of the 2025 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association: Celebrating the Choral Art: Past-Present-Future (18–22 March 2025). The calls for interest session submissions and the participation of performing choirs open on 1 February 2024 and will close on 17 April 2024. ACDA welcomes submissions from all around the globe.

2024 World Youth Choir Session, Weikersheim, Germany

The international jury for the World Youth Choir session 2024 met in Berlin, Germany, in January 2024. After many hours of listening to the numerous recordings and evaluating the more than 160 applicants, the jury finally chose 93 singers from 45 countries to be part of the World Youth Choir 2024 session (18 August – 8 September 2024). With the rehearsal session in Weikersheim, Germany, the tour will include concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Austria. We are thrilled to announce the results of the selection process and introduce you to the World Youth Choir 2024! Discover the full list of singers here:

World Youth Choir Alumni Session 2024, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, 29 June – 4 July 2024

Meet the selected singers for the World Youth Choir (WYC) Alumni Session 2024 at HarbourVOICES International Festival of Collective Singing Traditions!

Applications were received from 57 WYC alumni representing 37 nationalities. After listening to all the recordings and evaluating the applicants, the international jury selected 32 singers from 24 countries for the session. The 2024 choir, under the direction of Cecilia Rydinger (Sweden), will join 45 international and Canadian singing groups and choirs for an innovative, six-day celebration of diverse singing traditions from around the globe.

IFCM Members Online Café: Participants delighted by the session with Joel P. Navarro

In the latest IFCM café, Joel P. Navarro presented a brief history of the evolution of conducting and rehearsal techniques based on his personal and collegiate experience and training, in particular, within the Philippine cultural context. Joel also gave an overview of Martin Behrmann's conducting technique, including preliminaries, the stance, the manual apparatus, the signal domains, and the music applications.

Elements of Behrmann’s sample teaching content in his conducting classes were explored: beat and sound, signals of conducting, upper arm positions, forearm positions, positions of the touch, functions of the rooms, velocity of the beat, and domains of the signals. Joel played several sample videos of Asian conductors conducting Gapas by Eudenice Palaruan, a Filipino composer, and compared the variations in time duration of the performances which were influenced by the gestures used. Joel also provided an overview of Behrmann's rehearsal technique, which is divided into four phases. The session concluded with strategies for achieving success and building a positive choral culture. Watch the recording.

"Dr Navarro's presentation was a great introduction for young up-and-comers, but at the same time a refresher for more established and accomplished conductors. Although focused on his expertise and experiences with Philippine choirs, his insights are transferrable and can be universally applied to other cultures as well. It felt great being an audience to Dr Navarro's session which was also attended by some of choral music's biggest names, including Robert Sund and Maria Guinand. It was a great learning experience and opportunity to revisit and reflect about our art and profession."

Arjay Viray, Editorial Board member of ICM

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