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Message from the President, Emily Kuo Vong (April 2024)

Updated: Apr 10

Dear Friends,


I am thrilled to share with you two significant choral events that are returning this summer!


From the 15th to 19th of July 2024, the 17th China International Chorus Festival (CICF) and the World Choral Education Conference will be re-staged in Beijing. As the sole international partner, IFCM has invited three choirs to participate in this marvellous festival: a Chamber Choir from Singapore conducted by Ai Hooi Lim, the academic choir Collegium Musicum from Serbia conducted by Dragana Jovanović, and the Choir of the Maritime University of Szczecin from Poland conducted by Sylwia Fabiańczyk-Makuch.


CICF was founded in 1992 and has welcomed more than 3,000 choirs from over 90 countries and regions, with a total of over 120,000 participants over the past 30 years. It has already become one of the largest and most prestigious choral events in the Asia-Pacific region and the only state-level international chorus festival in China.


In the last in-person event in 2018, more than 15,000 participants in 308 choirs from across the globe participated in 263 choral music events, including charity concerts, workshops, and courses at the 14th CICF. In particular, nine children’s choirs from developing areas sang on an amazing stage. This year, CICF will bring more vibrant choral events to people, providing the best platform for global choir enthusiasts to exchange skills and exhibit talents, and significantly reshaping the history of choral music in China and around the world!


After the 17th CICF, another attractive event – the China Qiandongnan International Folk Song Choral Festival and IFCM Voices Conference will be held from the 20th to 25th of July in Kaili, Guizhou Province.


Kaili is famous for the Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group: multi-part singing performed without instrumental accompaniment or a leader, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. A popular saying among the Dong people in Guizhou Province in Southern China has it that 'Rice nourishes the body and songs nourish the soul'. Their tradition of culture and knowledge is exemplified in the Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group. The repertoire includes a range of genres such as ballads, children’s songs, songs of greeting, and imitative songs that test performers’ virtuosity at mimicking the sounds of animals. In addition to disseminating their lifestyle and wisdom, the Grand Song remains a crucial symbol of Dong's ethnic identity and cultural heritage.


2018 China Qiandongnan International Folk Song Choral Festival and IFCM Voices Conference

Grand Song is performed widely today, with each village boasting various choirs. With the IFCM Voices Conference, folk song choirs from around the world will gather in Kaili. They constitute an encyclopedia of folk songs, narrating people’s history, extolling their belief in the unity of humans and nature, preserving scientific knowledge, and expressing feelings of romantic love. Around 5,000 singers from 69 choirs representing more than 20 countries participated in this festival in 2017 and about 3000 singers in 2018. I hope we will have an innovative China Qiandongnan International Folk Song Festival this year!

And finally, with the development of communication technology, more and more traditional publications are trying out digital forms. IFCM is concerned with protecting the environment and nature, treating it with a significance equal to choral music and education in the world. We have therefore decided to publish the April issue of our International Choral Magazine only online. This attempt is a result of ongoing strategic developments within IFCM and our faith in maintaining the quality and integrity of the International Choral Magazine. We would like to provide more for the younger generation and adapt in a world where how we receive information is changing.

Therefore, we will undergo a period of transition from traditional printing to a more innovative form of online reading. We appreciate all our friends’ continued support for IFCM and the International Choral Magazine, as well as your understanding and patience during this transitional period. In the meantime, we will continue to welcome all ideas and proposals for items and subjects that you would like to see in the magazine.

Edited by Elizabeth Tauroza, UK

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