Two weeks ago, on July 11, we were going to welcome the choral world to Auckland. That afternoon you would have picked up your bag and lanyard at registration, learnt how to use the conference app, and oriented yourself in the main Symposium hub. You might also have strolled around the city and the harbour – and yes, it was a mild, sunny day! Later that day, you would have been treated to a spectacular, theatrical opening concert that was to showcase Aotearoa New Zealand in song.
It's been hard coming to terms with the fact that WSCM2020 will now not happen. From your messages it’s clear that many of you – performers, presenters, and delegates alike – have felt the same, and we remain hugely disappointed that we couldn’t put on the show we’d planned.
But that disappointment pales into insignificance against what most singers and would-be audience members are still experiencing as the pandemic continues to rage. We’ve stayed in touch with old and new friends from all over the globe and feel desperately sad for choirs who are still months away from being able to meet again in person. The clever, creative, collaborative solutions people have come up with to make choral connections possible are truly astounding, but of course there’s no real substitute for singing together in the same room.
While New Zealand is now in the hugely fortunate position of being able to hold rehearsals and concerts again, we certainly don’t take it for granted and realise it is only made possible by keeping our borders closed – not something Kiwis enjoy. Our domestic ‘reopening’ has coincided with the country’s celebration of Matariki, the reappearance of the star cluster of that name that heralds the beginning of the Māori New Year and harvest festival. It’s a time to rejoice, reflect, and contemplate our dreams and desires for the year ahead. WSCM2020 was to feature a groundbreaking new multi-choir-and-composer choral work for Matariki. We still intend to perform the work this time next year to celebrate with tangata whenua (the people of the land), to remember our Symposium, and to look toward the future.
We haven’t given up on our dream to host the choral world here in Aotearoa. One day, not too far away, we’d love you to accept our invitation again!
Ngā mihi maioha
Official magazine of the International Federation for Choral Music, the International Choral Bulletin is published quarterly in the four official languages of IFCM: English, French, German and Spanish. It is distributed in more than 80 countries on the five continents and is the official voice of choral music around the world.Read more
Our focus at the moment is to unite the choral calendars of international choral organisations. Meanwhile please consult the calendar of choral events published by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat here.Read more