This June newsletter of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (which will actually reach you during the first days of July due to the late arrival of some information) is a special one: Since we can now share with you the results of the three year VOICE project including the Singing Europe research and the Singing Sofa game, we have decided to enlarge the readership of our newsletter and send it to all our contacts – members, participants of our past events, those who have shown interest in our work, partners and friends, not only those who have subscribed to our newsletter. Thus, if you would not like to receive our newsletter in future, please reply to this e-mail with the word “unsubscribe” in the title line.

Are you already a “friend of choral music in Europe”? If not, you should read news item 2 below and learn more about what you can do to support our work in future, by joining the friendship association, donating, attending the fundraising lunch on August 1st in Pécs or organising a fundraising activity yourself.

Further on you will find the results of the International Competition for Young Conductors in Turin, news on the World Youth Choir Foundation, news on different European cooperation projects and much more.

Our next Newsletter will be a July/August issue and will be sent out just before our festival in Pécs, then we will take a summer break and will be back to you in September.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Pécs soon,
With best wishes

Sonja Greiner, Secretary General 
on behalf of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat www.EuropeanChoralAssociation.org

Traduction française >> ici
Deutsche Übersetzung >> hier

01 Happy Birthday – Hansruedi Willisegger
02 Help us to support ECA-EC
03 VOICE Results and Reports
04 Competition for Conductors – Results
05 REMINDER: Conference and GA 2015
06 EUROPA CANTAT Pécs approaching
07 Meet our Youth Committee in Pécs
08 World Youth Choir Foundation news
09 The Inclusive Power of Collective Singing
10 Partners in The Baroque Experience
11 Report on EMC Forum in Riga

Happy Birthday – Hansruedi Willisegger

Although he already turned 80 on April 22nd 2015, Hansruedi Willisegger celebrated his birthday in June with a special performance of the Swiss Youth Choir, a choir founded upon his initiative in 1994.

Hansruedi has been one of the key figures from Switzerland in the history of our federation. In 1973 he was one of the founders of the Swiss Federation Europa Cantat (SFEC) whose President he became between 1989 and 1996.

He was a member of the Board and partly the Music Commission of the European Federation of Young Choirs, later Europa Cantat, from 1973 until 1991. In 1979 he was the Artistic Director of the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Lucerne (the only festival in Switzerland so far), together with Eugen Fabel who was the Administrative Director. It was during this festival that the foundation of the International Federation for Choral Music IFCM was decided and then officially founded 3 years later in Namur. 

In the following years Hansruedi brought back different activities of the European Federation to Lucerne, several International Singing Weeks between 1977 and 1991, a concert of the European Youth Choir in 1996, and the General Assembly of Europa Cantat in the anniversary year 2003 (40
th anniversary of Europa Cantat and 30th anniversary of SFEC).
Many Happy Returns!

Help us to support ECA-EC

Become a Friend of Choral Music in Europe
Our Federation, ECA-EC, is everywhere, spinning its networks across Europe and beyond. Sonja Greiner and her small team are always in action to develop projects together with the thousands of volunteers in their respective countries.

You can personally support this fantastic work. Join the ECA-EC support association, Friends of Choral Music in Europe plc. As a member you pay a small (or larger) contribution annually. You can also take part in our activities, e.g. our fundraising lunch in Pécs on 1 August 2015. Or give us a donation with money raised by your choir. You can do so at any time.

Please contact us at:
Do it now! We look forward to hearing from you!

Friends of Choral Music in Europe – here to help ECA-EC.

Jeroen Schrijner, chair; Markus Schuck, dep. chair; Reijo Kekkonen, treasurer; Brigitte Siebenkittel, Activities; Gerd Wenmeekers, membership.

VOICE Results and Reports

On May 31st 2015 the three-year project VOICE – Vision on Innovation for Choral Music in Europe came to an end, though its results will live on and the project can be considered a turning point in the history of choral life in Europe. Through this first-ever major cooperation project supported by the European Union, bringing together 15 choral organizations, institutions and universities in 11 European countries, new doors were opened, new partnerships were started, and new bridges built between the choral world and the world of music pedagogues. 14.600 singers, conductors, managers and composers across Europe and beyond attended activities, meeting peers from other countries, learning new music and being trained in different fields. Read more about the results of VOICE in the special issue 1/2015 of ECmagazine.

Other tangible outcomes of VOICE which will exist beyond the project and may constitute a starting point for new, future cooperations are:

- the Singing Europe Report >> here
- the Singing Sofa Game  >> www.thesingingsofa.eu
- the results of the research of York University >> here
- the inspirational guide >> here
- many video and audio files as well as other documents on www.thevoiceproject.eu

We would like to thank our project manager Côme Ferrand Cooper for the enormous reporting work he did on the VOICE project and for his skilled and successful management of the project! 
And we are happy to report that  we will be able to employ him until spring 2016, thanks to a small crowd-funding effort among projects partners, so that he can prepare a 2nd application for “Choral Upgrade in Europe” and support us with other fundraising activities.

Competition for Conductors – Results

It was great to return to Turin after the 2012 EUROPA CANTAT festival, this time for a small though important event – the 8th International Competition for Young Choral Conductors, organized by Feniarco and the Piemont Choral association ACP.  

From around 60 applications, 18 young conductors between 18 and 35, coming from 15 different countries were selected and passed several rounds conducting choirs from Turin and the great Italian Youth Choir.

Three young men and three young women made it to the finals where they had the opportunity to work with the wonderful
Zürcher Sing-Akademie.
The jury chaired by Robert Sund had a difficult task to decide on the following winners.
Our congratulations go to:
Delgadillo Espinoza (Bolivia) - 1st prize
Zoltán Kocsis-Holper (Hungary) - 2nd prize
Petra Grassi (Italy) - 3rd prize
(all three also won several special prizes).
As well as to:
Valter Soosalu (Estonia) - special prize of ECA-EC (assistant conductorship at EC-Festival 2018) and Rahela Duric (Slovenia) - scholarship of Noël Minet Fund.

For the full result list including special prices, see website.


REMINDER: Conference and GA 2015

Make sure to mark the dates in your calendar:
Helsinki, November 12th or 13th to 15th 2015
Conference “Sharing the Benefits of Singing” and GA 2015

The official invitation will be sent out in July 2015, but here is a reminder of what we will be offering in Helsinki. A new feature is the “Membership Day” on Friday, November 13th before the official start of the conference. The Board of ECA-EC has decided to introduce this additional day in order to offer the members of the association the opportunity to discuss the future of the association and bring in their ideas. In addition members will be offered the possibility to present their own projects during two poster presentation rounds in the afternoon. If you wish to participate in this member’s day you should plan your arrival to Helsinki on Thursday, November 12th in the evening. The conference “Sharing the Benefits of Singing” will start on Friday late afternoon and will continue on Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning is reserved for the General Assembly of ECA-EC with elections – the official call for candidates will be sent out with the invitation in July.


EUROPA CANTAT Pécs approaching

Get ready!
EUROPA CANTAT XIX Pécs 2015 is here in less than one month.

You can still be part of this special event because applications are now open for the daily flexible programmes - and with our flexible application system you can even join spontanously during the festival! Check the timetable of the Conductors’ and Composers’ Programme and the Discovery Atelier sessions. If you make your choice in advance we can guarantee you a place in the session of your choice.

Come and discover
our renewed official website showing the rich and diverse programme of the festival! You can attend concerts of famous performers such as Singer Pur, Rajaton, Nederlands Kamerchor, TENSO Chamber Choir, Schola Juvenil Venezuela, African Youth Choir, Hungarian, Croatian and Serbian Radio Choir, Slovenian Chamber Choir, Jazzation, and different orchestras and instrumental ensembles. Be part of the grandiose Opening Ceremony, with Michael Gohl, Robert Sund and Aurél Tillai, who will present his new piece written especially for this occasion! Experience the unique Night of Choirs’ with many choir concerts in one night at unexpected venues of Pécs. Your children won’t be bored either, they will love the musical play of a puppet theatre of Pécs.

The city of Pécs offers more possibilities – plan in some time to visit its breathtaking sights. Get the 
Hung(a)ry for Pécs touristic package which includes free public transport plus free entry to the city's TOP 10 museums and exhibitions.

Meet our Youth Committee in Pécs

While we enter the summer, the Youth Committee is temporarily meeting less frequently and taking some time off for holidays. In the meantime, it waits for results of its recent Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership application. Leading up to the EUROPA CANTAT festival in Pécs, procedures for selecting the new youth committee are being formulated.

World Youth Choir Foundation news

At the last Board meeting of the World Youth Choir Foundation in the Haus der Kultur in Bonn, a new Executive Board was elected. According to the principle that the Presidency should be rotating between patrons every two years, Daphne Wassink, member of the Board of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, was appointed President of the Foundation as successor of Hakan Wickström (IFCM - 2013 – 2015) and Blasko Smilevski (JMI – 2011 – 2013). Hakan Wickström was appointed Vice-President, Rob van Waaijen (JMI) became Treasurer and Rudolf de Beer, new representative of IFCM on the World Youth Choir Board, was appointed chair of the Artistic Committee.

The Inclusive Power of Collective Singing

Unfortunately our application for funding under the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union for the project “The Inclusive Power of Collective Singing” has not been successful. With 440 projects submitted and only 23 selected, chances of being among the few chosen were not very high. However, the project idea will not be lost and we will look into other opportunities for funding this project for the promotion of the benefits of singing.

Partners in The Baroque Experience

The European Choral Association – Europa Cantat is a partner in the project „The Baroque Experience (Kultur für alle Sinne – Barock Festival in der Europaregion Donau-Moldau), coordinted by Tourismusverband Linz. The project has received EU funding from the COSME project and is starting in June 2015, leading up to a cross-border baroque festival in the Danube-Moldau region.


Report on EMC Forum in Riga

The European Forum on Music in Riga, Latvia, which was organized by the European Music Council in cooperation with the Latvian Music Council in the middle of June was focused on the subject of digital access to music. The choral world was very well presented at this forum, with several member organizations of the European Choral Association represented and two choral projects presented in the project presentation session (the Carus Music App and the Doewap online platform developed in the frame of “a  Voice for Vocal Training” within the VOICE project, see above). In addition Secretary General Sonja Greiner was invited to chair a Round Table discussion on the role of modern concert halls during a session hosted by the Cesis concert hall opened in 2014. As usual the forum was also a great opportunity to network, strengthen existing links and build up new connections. At its Annual Meeting the European Music Council presented its rich programme for the coming years and announced the next European Forum on Music which will take place in Wroclaw, one of the Cultural Capitals of Europe, May 19th to 22nd 2016.


The European Choral Association is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, by the German Ministry of Youth (BMFSFJ) and the City of Bonn
German Ministry of YouthCity of BonnCreative Europe


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