General info 20th Anniversary
Celebrating 20 years! World Youth Choir Anniversary Celebration
“There is no greater task then to support somebody’s development; help the human being in its striving!” Ivo Andrić, Nobel prize winner From the book of thoughts ’’Signs beside the road’’
The World Youth Choir, a genuine educational and social experience drawing on many vocal traditions aiming at the highest artistic level! For 20 years the World Youth Choir is building bridges between young singers from diverse cultures. Many articles, reports, were written about this project, many stories told, many video and audio files recorded and presented to the world in past 20 years. As well as the philosophy of the ensemble, its value in the choral world from artistic, social and human side! Everything is already told, written, shown! So, there is always a question how to present various projects and events of this wonderful human, social and professional choral experience. How to present the project itself and its current role? How to describe this “child” born in 1989, by group of choral lovers and enthusiasts, led by the ideas of equality and historical quest for multicultural diversity! Diversity is our soul peace. Inner legacy, given to all of us by birth, to be found during our short lives, as balance of ourselves outside and deep inside. Diversity is a “land” of the World Youth Choir for 20 years! This “land” is in all of us who lived in it in past 20 years, as big as more than 1000 young souls all over the globe, with more than 1000 names of singers, conductors, organizers, choral enthusiasts, with borders of dreams and beyond dreams and with the language of the cultural simplicity of each of us. And there it is! Simple lives of each of us, singers, conductors, fans, audience… during past decades, in our personal corners of the globe should be the written word! This is the World Youth Choir after two decades! Our dreams, hard work, constant believe, artistic professionalism and enormous enthusiasm for remarkable idea. We and our lives before the dream, and now, when we are still dreaming! For 20 years the World Youth Choir has been the meeting point for young singers from around the world. More than 1000 individuals have taken part and left an indelible mark on the ensemble, imbuing it with their unique talent, personality, creativity, warmth and humour. From October 18-25, 2009, for the first time in the history of the ensemble, over 200 former singers, conductors and organizers throughout the globe were reunited in order to celebrate the choir’s birthday! Anniversary celebration; simple in its greatness, as a best human present to the World Youth Choir! “Happy birthday, World Youth Choir”, it was said so many times!
“Happy birthday to YOU all” people were saying to each other! One simple sentence, so innocent and thousands of existential memories for all of us! And then, singing, laughing, moments of choirs history visible on almost yellowish pictures taken during late 80’es, singers walking with their families, little children running around, people hugging…remember this, remember that…conductors stories, emotional moments while explaining the quality of a performance 1989, 2000, 1999…concert uniforms, remember him….remember her…and so on for 10 days and nights. World choral beehive! This is how the celebration gathering started, thanks to the collaboration of the International Center of Choral Music and Swedish International Choral Center, Orebro, the organizers of the Anniversary celebration together with the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) and Europa Cantat (EC), World Youth Choir patron organizations. All organizations were proud to present a week of celebrations in Sweden, first host country of the World Youth Choir. On the stage of social, intercultural, and above all, friend’s reunion, the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the World Youth Choir was musical universe at concerts of the: · World Chamber Choir anniversary ensemble, gathering singers from 22 world countries, under the baton of Mr. Nikolaj Znaider, accompanied by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, performing two works by Johannes Brahms; · “World Sings for you show”, international showcase presenting past and present World Youth Choir members, soloist, instrumentalist, vocal groups: Kaori Tsushima, Japan; “Jazz trio” presenting David Izard, piano, Ryan Andrews percussions and Zachary Lane, double bass, all from USA; Hildegunn Coucheron, soprano, Norway; “Cherry Blossoms” vocal group Japan; “VOXTET”, Czech jazz vocal group, founder Martin Mikes former WYC member; Fabiene Carlier, France, solo voice, piano and accordion accompanied by violinist Radoslaw Pawel Stawarz and “Witloof Bay”, jazz vocal ensemble, Belgium. · “GALA” Anniversary ensembles and tutti ensemble gathering more that 200 singers from 45 world countries, conducted by world renowned Mrs. Maria Guinand, Venezuela; Mr. Nobuaki Tanaka, Japan; Mr. Fred Sjoberg, Sweden; Mr. Sidumo Jacobs, South Africa and Dr. Steve Zegree, USA, presenting choral music and traditions of five continents, the “world on stage”! Whoever was with us in Orebro, could have felt the joy of gathering. Generations of singers from 1989 to 2009, made it happen! They have made a huge effort for building a unique international group of people with special musical and personal communication, people so different in their sound, lives, minds but so similar when expressions, human and musical emotions are main actors on the stage. World Youth Choir was celebrated! After 20 years the result of this global project can be measured only by levels of human, emotional, musical and educational development of each participant, group and repertoire itself, in its history, together with quantity of human beings awaken in the awareness of multiculturalism, humanity, mutual respect, richness of international music language, memories and tradition! If you were not with us, there is no better way, to feel and hear how big impact this project and its 20th Anniversary celebration have had or still has on their lives, then simply to read the lines written by founders, organizers and singers of first summer session 1989.
(More than 20 singers from the first summer session were present). Impression about the moment of their life! All of them caught in a dream, beyond all dreams! Simplicity of a human being! Everywhere the same, at every corner of the globe! Simplicity as the face of diversity, the face of the World Youth Choir! The anniversary 2009 will be one more “legacy stone” in the fundament of the World Youth Choir for future generations, as an investment for all of us! For next 20 years!
Vladimir Opačić, Serbia WYC singer 1999-2004, WCC singer 2004, 2009 World Youth Choir project manager 2004/05-current Conductor, music teacher