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World Choir Games - Gangneung 2023, will be held from July 3rd to 13th

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 9:56 pm
  • ACROFAN=Jae-Yong Ryu
The World Choir Games(WCG), the largest choral festival, will be held in Gangenung from July 3 to July 13. The event is hosted and organized by Gangwon State, Gangneung City, Interkultur, and WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee.

The World Choir Games is hosted every two years. The 1st WCG took place in Linz, Austria in 2000, and this year marks the 12th edition of the event. Under the theme of “Peace and Prosperity for All,” the global festival seeks to transcend borders, race, and generations. The WCG will bring people together and deliver a message of peace and hope to the world. Based on the Olympic ideals, the event values the importance of taking part rather than winning and losing.

Gangneung competed with cities from 36 countries and won the bid in April 2020 to host the World Choir Games. Gangneung’s excellent facilities and experience in hosting a large-scale international event, regarded as the legacy of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, contributed greatly in winning the bid. The 12th WCG was originally scheduled to be held in 2022, but it has been postponed by a year to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The event will now be held from July 3 to July 13, 2023, for 11 days with participants from all over the world. Around 8,000 participants and 323 teams from 34 countries will come together in Gangneung and take part in various events, such as competitions, the opening and closing ceremonies, the parade of nations, the general conference of the World Choir Council, and workshops, held in venues including Gangneung Arena and Gangneung Arts Center.

As the World Choir Games Gangneung 2023 seeks to transcend borders and race, any non-professional groups, regardless of their artistic level of achievement or music genres, are eligible to participate. Participants can take part in various activities, including the competitions and non-competitive evaluations. The competition is divided into two parts: The champions competition and the open competition. The champions competition is for choirs with international competitive experience or comparable credential, whereas the open competition is for all choirs regardless of the present artistic level of achievement. There are 28 categories in both competitions, and each category has a champion or a winner. Under the slogans of “Participation is the highest honor” and “Singing together brings nations together,” the WCG unite the international choral community.

The opening ceremony that marks the start of the WCG Gangneung 2023 will be held on July 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Gangneung Arena. The ceremony includes a fanfare, the marching in of the national flags of participating countries, the singing of the official song for WCG 2023, a bell-tolling ceremony, and a performance organized by the host city. The performance includes a video of traditional sounds and the beauty of nature of Gangneung. Music composed and arranged by a well-known composer Woo Hyowon will be played live. Artists including a pansori singer Ko Yeong Yeol, a member of RabidAnce that finished runner-up in the TV singing audition show named Phantom Singer 3, will join the performance. Joint Gangwon-do Choir, composed of Gangneung Civic Chorale, Wonju Civic Chorale, and Chuncheon City Choir, will also sing on the stage with Gangneung Philharmonic Orchestra.

The closing ceremony that marks the finale of the WCG Gangneung 2023 will be held on July 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Gangneung Arena. The ceremony begins with the marching in of the national flags of participating countries, followed by an introduction of the next host city, and will end with a festival stage massed choir performance.

Five celebration concerts, sponsored by Samsung, will be held between July 4 and July 11 in Gangneung Arts Center Saimdang Hall. Concerts by the National Chorus of Korea, Gangwon Provincial Dance Company, Gangneung Civic Chorale, and top international choirs of WCG Gangneung 2023 will take place.

Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, and celebration concerts can be booked from May 31 on Yes24 and Gangneung Arts Center website, respectively. Ticket price for the opening ceremony is 20,000 KRW, but it will be paid back in full with a Gangwon gift certificate on the day at the venue. The tickets for the closing ceremony and celebration concerts are free, but they need to be booked in advance. Two ticket can be booked per person. Competitions, awards ceremonies, and friendship concerts are free and the seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The WCG Gangneung 2023 is a timely and meaningful event, which once again will spread the message of peace from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and bring people together to sing peace with one voice,” said President Huh Yongsoo of WCG 2023 Gangneung Organizing Committee.