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11th International Choral Festival opens in Beijing


12:54, July 17, 2012

For choir members from all over the world, the International Chorus Festival makes for a chance to celebrate and meet new friends.

The biennial China International Choral Festival is right now celebrating its 20-year anniversary and 11th edition. The festival kicked off on a high note Sunday night at the Mastercard Centre in Beijing.

For choir members from all over the world, the International Chorus Festival makes for a chance to celebrate and meet new friends. They don't seem to mind showing off a bit in front of the camera too.

The Young People's Chorus of New York City lead the global festival opener along with five other choirs - each representing the musical and cultural heritage of a different continent.

Francisco J. Nunez, founder & director of Young People's Chorus of NYC, said, "These are regular New York City children, they go to regular school. They're in high school and middle school, and they're starting to go to college. But music has become such an important part, cause New York City is unique, we have so many cultures in New York City, so they get to come together. We blend our voices, and blend our cultures."

Backstage, choir members from Zimbabwe said the all-African nature of their show would be very appealing to Chinese audiences. They would later stage their own solo concert of music indigenous to the African continent.

Rachel. C. Jera-Chigwanda, Deputy Director of Zimbabwe College of Music, said, "We really have all the culture, the traditional music showcasing Zimbabwe."

Thomson Gweshe, musical director of Zimbabwe College of Music, said, "We're going to perform acappella. Some are traditional, mainly acappella in the African drums, sometimes with the soloists leading the group."

The costumes, arrangements and choices made by the performers are really adding up to a surprising series of performances, even beyond the obvious talents for harmonizing on display.

The organizers hope the power of song will help all those present bridge cultural difference to together appreciate the force of music as something that runs well beyond national boundaries.

The week-long festival also features The World Choral Summit of the International Federation of Choral Music. That will feature a series of master classes and choir workshops on top of the performances.


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