The 2017 China (Qiandongnan) International Folk Song Choral Festival and IFCM Voices Conference was held in Xiasi Ancient Town and Kaili City, Qiandongnan state, Guizhou province from August 8-12. The festival was co-sponsored by the Qiandongnan government and IFCM.
Over the course of five days, 69 excellent choirs and ensembles from more than 20 different countries and regions showcased their cultures’ traditional choral folk song music.
These included performances by The Chuck Nation Band and Kentucky Harmony (USA), Voz en Punto (Mexico), Assalam (Morocco), The Barents Ensemble (Sweden), and Dalinda (Hungary). Other choirs included those from Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Mongolia Republic, Taiwan, Macau, and more.
The festival’s grand opening ceremony was held at Xiasi Ancient Town, with a beautiful natural backdrop of the glowing lights of Xiasi reflected in the clear river and set against the night sky. IFCM President Emily Kuo Vong, former IFCM President Michael J. Anderson, and Qiandongnan state government’s Secretary Huang Qiubing gave remarks, noting especially that this festival marked the first time in IFCM’s 35-year history that the IFCM Voices Conference was held in Asia and China. It was also the first time that IFCM held an international folk song festival in Asia, introducing the folk songs of China’s Dong and Miao ethnic groups to the international stage.
IFCM’s Festival Artistic Director, Philip Brunelle, selected the international choirs and ensembles while Chinese Festival Artistic Director, Gan Lin, selected the Chinese choirs. Together, both conducted the IFCM anthem, “The Song of Friendship and Peace,” sung by all the choirs at the opening ceremony.
Masterclass lectures were given by Tim Sharp, Allen Henderson, Karen Brunssen, Sylvie le Bomin, Samir Bahajin, Marta Sebestyen, Gan Lin, and Mou Wen Hao. The choirs also received special professional coaching from Allen Henderson, Karen Brunssen, Jonathan Miller, and Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng.
During these five days, the participants shared their cultures, made friends and colleagues, and spread the love of choral folk songs to people around the world.
The China (Qiandongnan) International Folk Song Choral Festival will be held again in 2018 in Kaili City, Qiandongnan state.
Following the festival in Kaili, the 14th China Inner Mongolia Grassland Culture Festival and International Federation for Choral Music “Sound From the Silk Road” Choral Festival was held, co-hosted by the Inner Mongolia Bureau of National Art Troupes and IFCM from August 17-19 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.
The festival included performances over three days with the selected international choirs as well as Inner Mongolia’s talented Mongolian Youth Choir. The opening and closing ceremonies were both held in Inner Mongolia Bureau of National Art Troupes’ Wulanqiate Theater.
After the festival ended, all the choirs were invited to experience the authentic culture of the region by viewing the nearby grasslands and a special historical horse show tied to Inner Mongolian culture.
We would like to give a big thank you to the organizers and more than 150 volunteers who made the success of these two festivals possible.
A few pictures...
China (Qiandongnan) International Folk Song Choral Festival Closing concert, 12 August 2017
Emily Kuo Vong, IFCM President, with a participating choir
From left to right: Michael J. Anderson, Former IFCM President, Patricia Chen, Francesco Leonardi and Andrea Angelini