Love Singing, love the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival!

One of many choirs from China and South-East Asia performing at the World Youth & Children's Choir Festival 2019 © Chili Production
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Chorally was Official Media Partner for the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival (WYCCF) 2019. Editor, Cathy Clethero, describes a choral experience to warm the cockles of your heart!


It was an honour and a privilege to attend the recent World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival (WYCCF) 2019 on behalf of Chorally.

Organised by the World Youth & Children’s Artists Association (WYCCAA), the Festival ran from 13-18 July 2019 in Hong Kong, China. The Chorally team and I were bowled over by the friendliness, enthusiasm and professionalism demonstrated by everyone – organisers, Jury members and visiting choirs – who took part. We were able to hear choral singing of the highest standard – both at the Starry Concerts we attended (featuring Festival Artists, The King’s Singers, Hamilton Children’s Choir and Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir) and during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies – and to take part in the bringing together of lovers of choral music from across the world.

Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival © Chili Production
Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir © Chili Production

‘A platform for every choral music lover’

WYCCF aims to ‘build a platform for every choral music lover and professional to exchange music and ideas and to celebrate peace and cultural diversity’. This message was demonstrated everywhere we looked (and, more importantly, listened!) in the spontaneous bursts of joyous choral singing that filled the corridors of the various Festival venues and in the heartfelt performances that took place on the stages of the Festival auditoria.

With the simple motto, Love Singing, emblazoned on programmes and T-shirts, WYCCF positively zinged with bonhomie but nowhere was this more apparent than in the International Choral Competition which lies at the Festival’s throbbing heart.

This annual event has nine categories:

  • Category A1 – Children’s Choirs (aged 12 or under)
  • Category B1 – Youth Choir, SA voices (aged 29 or under)
  • Category B2 – Youth Choir, TB voices (aged 29 or under)
  • Category B3 – Youth Choir, SATB voices (aged 29 or under)
  • Category A2 – Children’s Choirs (aged 16 or under)
  • Category G – Adult’s Choirs
  • Category D – Folklore
  • Category E – Show Choirs
  • Category F – Ensemble Choirs

Although the Competition is open to choirs and vocal groups worldwide, in practice, it is dominated by groups from China and South-East Asia. With generous cash prizes and trophies donated by WYCCAA, choirs flew in from all over the region to take part, transforming Tsuen Wan, where the Festival is based, into a place of beauty and wonder.

Sumptuous traditional costumes

Not only were our eyes and ears delighted but also our hearts as we witnessed the extraordinary costumes of the various choirs and vocal groups – primary schoolchildren dressed in silks and velvets with diamanté jewellery that sparkled in the stage lights; young women dressed as Parisian chanteuses in high-waisted trousers and cream berets; young men transformed into Sinatra-like crooners in dinner suits and ties; children and adults wearing the sumptuous traditional costumes of Thailand, Indonesia, China and the Philippines.

One award-winning group – Dalian Children’s Choir from Liaoning, China – sported orange-flowered silk pantaloons and Mandarin tops and told a Chinese folk tale in song and dance. Grandpa had a grey wig and drawn-on wrinkles while Grandma had a long pipe and glasses. There was also a yellow silk palanquin and a donkey – marvellous!

Dalian Children's Choir at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival © Chili Production
Dalian Children’s Choir © Chili Production

Competition was fierce and although standards fluctuated – with jurors reminding choirs that vocal quality must take precedence over choreography – no one could doubt the passion of the participants as they waited patiently to deliver their choral programmes, sang their hearts out on stage and applauded their fellow competitors.

The World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival Closing Ceremony and Finalists’ Night

Everything came together at the Closing Ceremony and Finalists’ Night, which took place at Tsuen Wan Town Hall on 17 July 2019. Prizewinners had been announced earlier in the day and the Hall was packed with Finalists and their teachers and conductors. Each winning choir performed one song and it was wonderful to see the crème de la crème of WYCCF 2019 gathered in celebration of choral music.

While the Jury retired to consider their overall verdicts, the audience was treated to a stunning performance by Hamilton Children’s Choir, conducted by Professor Zimfira Poloz. This youth choir has performed all over the world – including as a Showcase Choir for the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM) World Symposium in South Korea (2014) and at the Toronto Pan American Games Closing Ceremony (2015) in Canada. The choir’s performance at WYCCF looked and sounded effortless – highly polished, note-perfect yet with a warmth and simplicity that spoke of true connection – and was an inspiration to the choirs waiting to hear the final results.

Hamilton Children's Choir at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival © Chili Production
Hamilton Children’s Choir © Chili Production

Finally, the trophies were carried onstage and it was time to announce the overall winners of the World Youth and Children’s Choir Festival 2019 International Choral Competition! The atmosphere was electric and, as each category winner was announced, the auditorium exploded into tumultuous applause as delighted choir members took to the stage to receive their awards from Jury members and WYCCAA President and WYCCF Artistic Director, Professor Leon Shiu-wai Tong.

And so to Hangzhou!

The Closing Ceremony ended with a symbolic handing over of the WYCCF 2020 flag by Professor Leon Shiu-wai Tong to Xie Shui-tu, Representative of Zhejiang Radio & Television Group (ZRTG), from the city of Hangzhou, China, which will host next year’s festival and competition.

Professor Leon Shiu-wai Tong (r) handing over the WYCCF 2020 flag to Ms Xie Shui-tu (l), Representative of Zhejiang Radio & Television Group (ZRTG), from Hangzhou, China, at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival
Professor Leon Shiu-wai Tong (r) handing over the WYCCF 2020 flag to Ms Xie Shui-tu (l) © Chili Production

This will be the first time WYCCF takes place outside Hong Kong – an exciting development. Here at Chorally, we are hugely looking forward to a repeat of what has been a truly heartwarming experience. Roll on 2020!


榮譽大獎及現金獎 WYCCF 2019 International Choral Competition Grand Prizes and Cash Awards

Grand Prizes and Cash Awards for the WYCCF 2019 International Choral Competition were as follows:

世界青少年合唱藝術家協會──世界合唱團大獎 World Youth and Children Choral Artists’ Association – The Choir of the World Trophy

港幣HKD 40,000

PSM蛙之聲合唱團(印尼)
PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

*

評審團大獎 Jury’s Prize

港幣HKD 20,000

Signo(中國香港)   (Hong Kong, China)

*

最佳演繹大獎──李嘉琦先生紀念盃 Best Interpretation – Mr. Ka-ki LEE Memorial Trophy

港幣HKD 10,000

Signo(中國香港) (Hong Kong, China)

*

最佳民歌大獎──費明儀女士紀念盃 Best Folk Song Performance – Mdm Barbara FEI Memorial Trophy

港幣HKD 10,000

大連市童聲合唱團(中國遼寧省)Dalian Children’s Choir (Liaoning, China)

*

最佳指揮大獎 Outstanding Conductor Award

港幣HKD 5,000

PSM蛙之聲合唱團(印尼): 盧卡斯・拉卡西威
Lukas Rakasiwi, PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival © Chili Production
PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta © Chili Production

*

最佳舞台效果大獎 Best Stage Effects

港幣HKD 5,000

大連市童聲合唱團(中國遼寧省)Dalian Children’s Choir (Liaoning, China)

*

最佳無伴奏合唱大獎 Best A Cappella Performance

港幣HKD 5,000

Signo(中國香港)(Hong Kong, China)

*

美樂牽觀眾大獎I Musica Connection Audience Award I

PSM蛙之聲合唱團(印尼)
PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

*

美樂牽觀眾大獎II Musica Connection Audience Award II

大連市童聲合唱團(中國遼寧省)Dalian Children’s Choir (Liaoning, China)

*

組別冠軍 Category Champions

A1 組別冠軍 Category A1 Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

蕪湖市少年宮合唱團(中國安徽省)
Wuhu Children’s Palace Choir (Anhui, China)

*

A2 組別冠軍 Category A2 Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

俄羅斯葉卡捷琳堡兒童愛樂爵士合唱團(俄羅斯)
Jazz-choir of Sverdlovsk State Children Philharmonic (Russia)

Jazz-choir of Sverdlovsk State Children Philharmonic at the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival © Chili Production
Jazz-choir of Sverdlovsk State Children Philharmonic © Chili Production

*

B1 組別冠軍 Category B1 Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

聖保羅男女中學初級組女聲合唱團(中國香港)
St. Paul’s Co-educational College Treble Girls’ Choir (Hong Kong, China)

*

B2 組別冠軍 Category B2 Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

中國科學技術大學學生合唱團(中國安徽省)
University of Science and Technology of China Student Chorus (Anhui, China)

*

B3 組別冠軍 Category B3 Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

PSM蛙之聲合唱團(印尼西亞)
PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

*

D 組別冠軍 Category D Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

PSM蛙之聲合唱團(印尼西亞)
PSM Swara Wadhana Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

*

E 組別冠軍 Category E Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

大連市童聲合唱團(中國遼寧省)
Dalian Children’s Choir (Liaoning, China)

*

F 組別冠軍 Category F Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

Signo(中國香港)
Signo (Hong Kong, China)

*

G 組別冠軍 Category G Champion

港幣 HKD 3,000

廣州Sing悅女聲合唱團(中國廣東省)
Guangzhou SingYue Female Choir (Guangdong, China)


Chorally was Official Media Partner for the World Youth & Children’s Choir Festival (WYCCF) 2019.

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