By Olivia TenHuisen
In 1990, Helsinki became an epicenter for choral music when the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) approved an initiative put forth to set aside the second Sunday in December to celebrate choral music each year. Alberto Grau from the Latin American Vice-Presidency of the IFCM, proposed World Choral Day because of the strength and connection choral music can bring to a divided global community.
“It is time to show, with more power and strength, that our choral family contributes, through music to break down the artificial barriers product of politics, different ideologies, religious differences, and racial hatred that separate human beings. We must be able to show that music, the divine art, is more than the mere search of formal perfection and interpretative beauty, music should serve to extol the values of solidarity, peace, and understanding.”Alberto Grau
Since its approval, millions of singers around the globe have been involved in World Choral Day concerts, festivals, or other events. In 2018, World Choral Day events were held in 69 different countries. Of these, 15 countries had never previously held any events to honor the holiday.
This year, World Choral Day falls on the 8th of December and to help you celebrate the choral arts, we’ve gathered a short list of favorite choral pieces from the WDAV staff! Links to these selections on ArkivMusic are also provided should you want to purchase the music for yourself.
Gregorio Allegri, Miserere
“This piece blew my hair back the first time I heard it; it’s so beautiful.”
– Rachel Stewart, Associate Content Director & Host of Biscuits and Bach
Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture, Op. 49
While not all versions include the choral part, Rodger notes that it makes for a wonderful addition to the piece.
Eric Whitacre, Water Night
Whitacre’s Virtual Choir project began in 2009 and involves singers from around the world uploading recorded videos of their singing. These videos are then “Synchronised and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir.” More information on the Virtual Choir project can be found here.
– Rodger Clark, Director of Philanthropy & Special Projects
Olivia TenHuisen is a student assistant at WDAV and majoring in psychology at Davidson. Olivia sang as an alto in the Davidson College Chorale and leads a worship team for an on-campus organization. Music has been important to Olivia throughout her life and she continues to find ways to incorporate it.