World Choir Games in South Africa | Sunday Observer

World Choir Games in South Africa

1 July, 2018
Sri Lankan choristers
Sri Lankan choristers

The World Choir Games will be held in Tshwane, South Africa from July 4 – 14, 2018. Representing Sri Lanka will be the Soul Sounds Academy with around 33 students. The Soul Sounds Academy was set up by its Music Director, Soundarie David Rodrigo, one of Sri Lanka’s well known musicians and also founder of Sri Lanka’s premiere female ensemble Soul Sounds in 2000.

The World Choir Games is based on the personal experience of choir singers from all over the world who pick up and pass on human ideals through song. It contributes to people overcoming conflicts and setting, through their social interaction, an example for other people. Music is the common language of the world and serves as a link between cultures and nations.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer Rodrigo said that Music students taking part in such an international competition is going to be a learning experience for them. “I always had the dream of having a music academy and I want to promote Music in Sri Lanka,” she said. The Soul Sounds Academy Children’s Choir is conducted by Dinushka Jayawickrema and Amandhi Caldera. The accompanists are Ramya de Livera on Piano, Ravi Bandu Vidyapathy on Traditional Drums and Jerome de Silva as Artist Director.

The Soul Sounds Academy was set up with the objective of creating space for young children the opportunity to excel in music, with opportunities to perform both locally and internationally. Classes are conducted by Soundarie David Rodrigo along with a panel of experienced teachers of voice, piano, violin, guitar, special needs as well as theory of music and Musical Theatre.

The Academy believes in a performance oriented approach to music, where the child is given guidance and training in active performing, and thereby further enhancing personality growth, with attention to confidence boosting, music appreciation, time management, and team work. Following the success of Soul Sounds, the first choral group in the country to venture internationally and be placed at an International Competition in Wales 10 years ago, the Academy encourages young students to appreciate all genres of music, whilst learning the basics in Classical Music.

Choral singing, one of the most popular classes at the Academy, has classes for all ages, from as young as 4 to 25. The Soul Sounds Academy Choir, the junior body of the award winning Soul Sounds, Sri Lanka’s premiere female ensemble, brought glory to the country, when they were awarded with two Gold Diplomas at the Asia Pacific Choir Games in Indonesia in 2013.

Individual and group classes are conducted for the piano, violin, theory, musical theatre, guitar, as well as Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs. Students are sent for the ABRSM exams conducted by the Royal Schools of Music London, as well as the Trinity College of Music, London Examinations. Children are exposed to many a performing opportunity from a very young age, both locally and internationally.

To experience this festival of choirs from all over the world means to participate, to contribute one’s own performance, to compare to others and to experience the enthusiasm of singing together. Every two years, choirs from all parts of the world come together to celebrate the World Choir Games. Together they are celebrating a great festival of music, song and joie de vivre.

“Participation in the World Choir Games alone is important and the greatest honour,” says Rodrigo. The idea to create an event like the World Choir Games is based on the Olympic ideals, which aim to peacefully unify people and nations connected by song in a fair competition. This idea is supposed to inspire people to experience the power of interaction by singing together. Unrelated to artistic levels, this approach challenges personality and team spirit likewise. The World Choir Games are an international choir festival taking place every two years on different continents.

The idea of the World Choir Games originates from the effort to bring together people and nations, who are united through singing, in peaceful competition. This way, the coming together of nations also in arts, can be effectively and illustratively demonstrated and continuously challenged.

As the world’s biggest choir competition, the World Choir Games shall inspire people to sing together. The World Choir Games are organized for amateur choirs from all over the world, no matter which continent they come from or which musical genres they represent or which artistic ambitions they have.

In 2016 the 9th World Choir Games were held in Russia. The 2014 Winter Olympic City of Sochi welcomed 283 choirs and 12,000 participants from 76 nations in the Olympic Park and the inner city. In times of global political challenges the 9th World Choir Games were an important platform of intercultural exchange, a unifying power between all peoples and a symbol of peace for all countries on earth.

INTERKULTUR organized the World Choir Games 2016 in close cooperation with the ministry of culture of the Russian Federation, the region of Krasnodar and the city of Sochi. Renowned choral experts from 28 different nations are going to evaluate the competition performances at the World Choir Games 2018 in Tshwane, South Africa.