International Center for Choral Music
ICCM general report 2005-2008
● Activities description p.2
● Some statistics p.4
● Development plan for 2009-2013 p.11
Since 2005, ICCM activities have been choir’s tours, the World Youth Choir summer/winter
sessions and the World Chamber Choir, the festival, Songbridge, the library and Musica.
1. Choirs tours.
Within four years the International Center for Choral Music organized 50 concerts (cf. table)
in Belgium and in the surrounding countries for 7 choirs.
During the concert tour, public/school concerts and workshops have been organized in
collaboration with Jeunesses Musicales of the French Community of Belgium, cultural centers
Thanks to wonderful specialized invited conductors and choirs, workshops for singers and for
conductors took place in the Province of Namur.
2. World Youth Choir – summer and winter session - World Chamber Choir
Every year, the ICCM organizes a summer session (Israel, Italy, South Africa and China) and
a winter session in Namur. In total 55 concerts took place with at each session more than 20
The WYC plays its role of education giving masterclasses for conductors, teaching singing to
children and to choirs. The administration task done in Namur for the WYC and the presence
of the choir reinforce the reputation of Namur as the international place for organizing choral
festivities and as being the capital of choral singing.
3. Organisation of the festival « Namur en Chœurs »
The ICCM organizes on regularly basis festivals. The year 2007 was the celebration of the
20th anniversary of the International Federation for Choral Music in collaboration with the
Theater of Namur, Europa Cantat, A Cœur Joie Belgium and the Choral Center of the French
Community. If the festival is juridically organized by Europa Cantat Namur, it’s
nevertheless the ICCM which ensured the whole management of the festival.
It’s in October, in Namur that the event took place with Belgium and foreign choirs, amateurs
and professionals one. This meeting allowed singers, conductors and music lovers to discover
different style of music and to register to musical workshops given by specialized musicians
coming from different countries
Next to the rich foreign musical program, the audience had the pleasure to listen to, an accent
has been placed on French choral works for mixed choir, on arrangements done by musicians
from the French Community of Belgium and on productions of Belgium composers.
4. The Library
The librarian reaches now the number of 18.928 input scores. Nearly 700 collections, that
means more than 35.000 songs. The library has more and more CDs (1500), many books
dedicated to composers, to the history of music, articles on music, voice, instruments,
The librarian is still working on « Musica » to increase the number of scores in the databank
(more than 150.000). He participates to several Musica sessions.
Since Musica is on internet (April 2007), it’s now possible to work online. In one year 600
scores have been inserted in the database. The librarian is also at the disposal of visitors to
guide them in their research.
In the database, the structure of each file describing the score is composed by more than 100
types of information (composer, arranger, title, editor, style, difficulties, type of choir,
language, epoch, instruments, etc.).
The databank is multilingual (French, German, English and Spanish). In 2007, 60.000 notices
have one or more multimedia link: 160.000 links in total (sound extract, image, text,
translation, pronunciation, etc.).
The ambition of Musica is to become the first virtual world choral library where all what is
linked to the pieces will be accessible. The library is for the conductor as essential as a
6. Recordings of the World Youth Choir
To assure the diffusion of the WYC pieces given during the concert, recordings have been
made during each session. A collection of 6 CD with the best performances have been edited
and sorted by style of music (folk, contemporary, jazz, orthodox, …).
Songbridge managed by the ICCM and patronized by Unesco is a project involving
composers and children choirs to work hand in hand with committed composers to create,
though the medium of choral music, new messages and new models for the worldwide
movement of children’s and youth choirs.
World Youth Choir – summer session
Origin Conductor Number of concerts and places
28 countries represented Aharon Harlap, Israel x 8 Israel
Fred Sjöberg, Sweden Tel Aviv, Carmiel, Kfar Blum (Galilée)
28 countries represented Peter Broadbent, UK x 9 Italy
Gunnar Eriksson, Sweden Varese, Como, Lecco, Chiavenna,
France: Nancy, Belgium: Rochefort,
Namur (B), Germany: Mainz
27 countries represented Peter Dijkstra, the Netherlands x 11 South Africa: Cape Town
Sidumo Jacobs, South Africa Stellenbosch, Tuinedal, Summerstrad,
Universitas, Miederpark, Rustenburg
World Youth Choir – winter session
Origin Conductor Number of concerts and places
21 countries represented Frieder Bernius, Germany x 7 Belgium, France
21 countries represented Bob Chilcott , United Kingdom x 7 Belgium, France
20 countries represented Theodora Pavlovitch, Bulgaria x 8 Belgium, France
During 6 winter and summer sessions, the World Youth Choir gave 55 concerts for
approximatively 38.500 auditors. These figures show the success of the WYC in the different
World Chamber Choir
Origin Conductor Number of concerts and places
12 pays représentés Patrick Baton, Belgique x 2 Belgique : Stavelot, Roisin
The « World Chamber Choir » is a choir composed exclusively by former WYC singers aged
between 18-26 years old. This choir meets punctually to perform musical projects of high
level. The members are young professionals or students coming from all over the globe.
They are invited on the basis of musical and vocal skills but also of their human qualities.
The World Chamber Choir is an important step before entering the professional world as
singer or soloist.
Festival « Echo »
Essence of Joy USA, Pennsylvania
Trio Idocèle Belgium, Wallonia
Ishango Belgium Wallonia
The artistic collaboration with festivals allows to program not only foreign choirs but also
choirs from Belgium. Seven WYC singers have participated as conductor, soloist or singer
during festivals programmed by ICCM.
Collaborations with the « Hierscht » festival of Heiderscheidt (Luxemburg), « Echo » of
Saint-Ghislain (Belgium) and « Echo2 » (France) are yearly planned.
Festival « Namur en Chœurs » - organization
Voces 8 Great-Britain
Ishango Belgium Wallonia
Real Group Sweden
Witloof Bay Belgium Wallonia
Polyphonia Belgium, Wallonia
La Grâce Congo
Terpsichore Belgium, Wallonia
Voces Nordicae Sweden
Ottavina Belgium, Wallonia
Ellipses Belgium, Wallonia
Crécelle Belgium, Wallonia
Fugato Belgium, Wallonia
Hodie Belgium, Wallonia
A Piacere Belgium, Wallonia
Chœur à chœurs Belgium, Wallonia
Cantemus Belgium, Wallonia
Sateline Belgium, Wallonia
I Quattro Elementi Belgium, Wallonia
Marlagne Belgium, Wallonia
Voix-ci voix-là Belgium, Wallonia
Spivïmo Belgium, Wallonia
The festival consists of concerts, amazing artistic meetings, discovery workshops, and an
« off » stage with new talents.
Five days to discover choral art under all its facets, the most traditional in the most current.
Five days made of Namur the capital of the choral singing, the best place for every singers !
Five foreign choirs and seventeen choirs of the Walloon part of Belgium shared and
exchanged musical repertoires and vocal techniques.
Musical repertoire of the festival « Namur en Chœurs »
During the festival, not only foreign pieces have been sung but also pieces from the French
part of Belgium. A special effort has been made to present arrangers and composers of
Works composed by Belgium artists living in the French part of Belgium
Chicons au gratin Benoît Giaux, Mathilde Sevrin
La cigale et la fourmi Joseph Jongen
Les danses de Lormont César Franck
Guirlande Robert Ortman
Philosophie Robert Ortman
Arrangements done by musicians of the French part of Belgium
Mr Bip bip Brice Homs / Michel Fugain
Un homme heureux William Sheller / William Sheller
Va vers le soleil Claude Lemesle / Michel Fugain
La puerta L.Demetrio arr JC Wilkens
Walk in Jerusalem Arr. R.Ortman
Au clair de la lune Harm : JP Romain
N’aie plus peur Y. Duteil /Harm. : D. Schmit
La chasse aux papillons G. Brassens/Harm. : D. Schmit
Les uns contre les autres L. Plamandon/M. Berger – Harm.: G. Massart
Toute la pluie tombe sur moi Teze/B. Bacharach – Harm. : D. Schmit
Ballade irlandaise (Un oranger…) E. Stern et E. Marnay – Harm. : D. Schmit
Bille de verre M. Rivard /M. Leforestier – Harm. : D. Schmit
Francophones works :
Les djinns G. Fauré
Madrigal G. Fauré
Salut printemps C. Debussy
Cantique de Jean Racine G . Fauré
Messe à 3 voix, a cappella André Caplet (1878-1925)
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Madrigal op. 35 G. Fauré
Romance du soir op. 18 C. St Saëns
Calme des nuits C. St Saëns
Ca sert à quoi tout ça ? M. Le Forestier - harm. P. Huwiler
Syracuse H. Salvador - B. Dimey - Harm. J. Jourdan
Faut rigoler H. Salvador - B. Vian - Harm. J. Jourdan
Dans la troupe Arr. R Passaque
Les tricoteuses Robert Mermoud
O vous tous César Geoffray
Chantefleurs Etienne Daniel
Les boîtes à musique Guy Lafargue
Ah si mon moine voulait danser Folklore canadien
Les Comédiens Ch. Aznavour et J. Plante - Arr. Fr. Terral
Au clair de ma plume J J Goldman - Harm. S. Tardy
La ballade Nord Irlandaise Renaud Sechan - Harm. J C .Oudot
L’amour brille sous les étoiles E. John - Harm.J C Oudot
Né quelque part M. Le Forestier - Harm.J C. Oudot
Humana L. Fabian - Harm.C.Turcotte
Reception Palais Provincial
School Concerts -
Choir Origin Public concerts - places places Auditors
Trio Isocèle Belgium, Wallonia x 1 France 150
Cenart Mexico, Mexico x 3 France, Luxemburg x 5 Belgium 500
Essence of Joy USA, Pennsylvania x 7 Belgium, Luxemburg, France x 10 Belgium 1.500
Witloof Bay Belgium, Wallonia x 1 France 200
Voix au Chapitre Belgium, Wallonia x 1 France 250
La Grâce Congo, Kinshassa x 13 Belgium, France, Luxemburg x 6 Belgium 4.035
A collaboration with Jeunesses Musicales of the French Community as well as other cultural
actors allow the choirs to perform serveral times in schools for a total of several thousand
children and young people.
Choers Origin Places Repertoire Participants
Cenart Mexico, Mexico Belgium (Namur) A capella music from Mexico Conductors and singers from Wallonia
France Conductors of Germany, France,Belgium,
Essence of Joy USA, Pennsylvania France Gospel Conductors of Germany, France,Belgium
La Grâce Congo, Kinshasa France Traditionnal music from Congo Conductors of Germany, France,Belgium
Voces 8 Great-Britain Belgium (Namur) Introduction to choral singing Singers from Belgium and abroad
The Real Group Sweden Belgium (Namur) découverte du Jazz/pop vocal Singers from Belgium and abroad
Consono Germany Belgium (Namur) combinaison between repertoire Singers from Belgium and abroad
La Grâce Congo Belgium (Namur) African songs and rythms Singers from Belgium and abroad
Voces Nordicae Sweden Belgium (Namur) Choral singing and improvisation Singers from Belgium and abroad
World Youth Choir Winter and summer The Netherlands Choir conducting Choir conductors
Sessions France Discovery of the repertore Conductors of Germany, France,Belgium
South Africa Discovery of the repertore Children from 4 to 10 years old
Most of the invited choirs give us not only the pleasure to discover their music but offer us
one or several days to organize a workshop in choral singing or choral conducting.
Open to everybody, beginners or accomplished musicians, workshops are the opportunity to
receive adapted training to the paticipants. These workshops are given by professional
musicians who share the same approach of the music.
The very wide choice of music presented during the various workshops allows amateurs to
find their own musical style. Workshops are organized outside concerts either as part of a
festival or other musical events, so that everybody shares joy and pleasure to sing together
whatever their talent is great or modest.
International Day of Choral Singing.
The International Day of choral singing was celebrated on the second Sunday of December
2007 with the collaboration of 59 countries coming from five continents. Proclamation was
translated into 15 languages. Each organizer is free to choose the type of event he wants to
organize for that special day. Most of the concerts given during festivals took place on open-
air stage or on streets during religious celebration. The event was in some countries
broadcasted by the television and the radio.
Number of countries represented x 59
Number of choirs x 298
Number of participants x 1.000.000
Date Place Event
2005 Hong Kong (China) International Children Festival
29 July./3 August 2006 Mainz (Germany) Europa Cantat XVI Festival
1-8 October 2006 Lund (Sweden) International Choral Festival
1-07 April 2007 La Havane (Cuba) America Cantat Festival
15-20 May 2007 Basel (Switzerland) 6th European Festival of Young Choirs
4-10 May 2008 Szczecin (Poland) International Festival of Szczecin
19-26 July 2008 Copenhagen (Denmark) World Symposium on Choral Music
6-11 August 2008 Wakayama (Japan) Children Choir Festival
Songbridge gathered during 4 years in great festivals more than 24 children choirs from
Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania, North America to make discover their own folklore
and more than twenty new choral compositions during concerts.
Guangzhou Children’s Palace
Sino-Foreign Children’s Gala
Development planning for 2009-2013
Following the reorganization of various IFCM centers, the role of ICCM in Namur may
change in connection with the management of the IFCM programs. On the same way, most
of the IFCM administration could be operated (mostly on own IFCM budgets) from the
Concerning specific ICCM projects, here are the new developments.
A. International Programmes
- World Youth Choir
- World Choral Day
- Schumann Choir
B. Coordination and development of the international choral network
- Maintenance and development of the data base for Musica
- The Library
- Website of the World Youth Choir
- Visibility in the International specialized press
- World Youth Choir recordings
D. Specific actions in the French Part of Belgium
- Development assistance to the international projects of the local actors
- Organizational Partnership of the festival « Namur en Chœur »
- Presence in Belgium of various groups related to the IFCM
- Organization of training in our buildings
- Meeting center in our premises
- Organization of concert tours and workshops
A. International programmes
- World Youth Choir - 2008 China / 2009 Belgium / 2010 Armenia
A hundred young singers aged from 17 to 26 years old constitute one of the most original and
important choir which currently exist. Year by year the number of participating countries
increases. Approximately thirty-five nationalities are present in the choir, ensuring a
representation of all the continents. Human and musical qualities of the singers guarantee a
perfect artistic cohesion and a spirit of fraternity. This project recognized by UNESCO as
« artist for peace » is this summer invited in China thanks to the collaboration with Hong
Kong Treble Choir Association. Next summer, the WYC will be hosted in Belgium for a
rehearsal session in Ghent and concerts in Belgium and the bordering countries. Armenia will
welcome the choir in 2010.
- The World Choral Day
This is an annual international choral event which commends the values of solidarity, peace
and mutual comprehension. This day takes place the second Sunday of December. More than
one million voices sing together. Since its creation in 1990, the World Choral Day gathered
in a common song more than 450.000 singers, coming from 12.857 different choirs.
- Schumann Choir.
The European Institute of Choral Singing of Lorraine - France (INECC) wove bonds with
INECC Luxemburg, the Choral Center of the French Community of Belgium (CCC) and the
Landesmusikrat of the Saar in order to jointly lead projects intended to the development of
vocal practices. This collaboration gave birth to the choir Robert Schumann, composed by 48
young people coming from Luxemburg, Wallonia, the Saar and Lorraine. On proposal of the
CCC, the ICCM could take this partnership over from them and ensure the part falling on the
French Community of Belgium for the transborder project.
B. Coordination et development of the world choral network
- Maintenance and development of the databank Musica
The database proposes with any federation, university, institution, foundation, musical library,
editor wishing to promote the diffusion of the choral repertoire, to adhere to Musica
International and to participate to the constitution of the virtual library. Musica is a choral
documentary research tool and at the same time an education tool at the disposal to the
conductors, musicologists, academies, music schools, musical federations, musical library,
stores of music, etc. but also at the disposal of amateurs.
This tool is appropriate for the management of a musical library. It is also intended to
become as essential for conductors as his tuning fork.
The databank which is multilingual (in French, German, English, and Spanish) contained in
April more than 151.000 references, which represents ten years of work.
CDs, books and scores arriving at the ICCM library are each day completing the ranks of our
shelves. We hardly count on publishers to send more and more copies of their publications.
- WYC website
The World Youth Choir website make it possible to the net surfers to obtain information on
the projects in progress and on the procedures to take part in the events.
- Visibility in the international specialized press
Each event organized by the federation and the ICCM are announced and reported in the
reviews and international sites specialized in the choral music field.
- World Youth Choir recordings
ICCM will go on with recordings of the World Youth Choir. This is not only a nice souvenir
but it is also an instrument for conductors who want to perform some pieces with their own
choir. Scores may be consulted at the library and ordered at the « Musical documentation
Center » of Namur. This is another kind of collaboration with Belgium actors.
D. Specific actions in the French Community of Belgium.
- Development assistance to the international projects of the local actors : A Coeur
Joie (ACJ), Centre de Chant choral de la Communauté Française de Belgique (CCC)
As usual, ICCM joins in a punctual way with ACJ in order to bring to the conductors and to
the singers of the French Community the possibility of taking part in master classes and
ICCM brings to the CCC a tool, which can be a choir for the discovery of musical repertoire
and the training of choral singing in schools.
- Organizational Partnership of the festival "Namur en Choeur"
The organizational partnership with ACJ, CCC and the Theater of Namur makes it possible
for them to maintain their autonomy while sharing their own forces in order to carry out an
international festival. In this way, each partner gains advantages from the partnership and
keeps its own specificity. The cultural relationship between the various organizations have in
common the training and the discovery of the international and French choral music. The
partners make a point of implying themselves in the organization of such a festival which
gathers in Namur more than 3.000 auditors.
- Presence in Belgium of the various groups related to the IFCM : World Youth
Choir, Songbridge, etc...
On the artistic level, these groups formed of international young musicians but also of French-
speaking singers constitute a unique opportunity, for the young people to develop their
musical and vocal talents with internationally well-known conductors as Denis Menier,
Robert Janssens, Florian Heyerick (B) and within a professional frame. On the social side,
the WYC contributes to the emergence of new generations of « Citizens of the World ». By
the joint work and life during one month each summer and winter session, by the mixure of
about thirty nationalities and cultures, by the international network, these young adults take
over the relay by becoming soloist like Céline Scheen, Sophie Karthauser, Barbara Menier,
Séverine Delforge, Benoît Giaux, Céline Vieslet (B) or conductors like Geoffray Degives,
Benoît Giaux (B) or by organizing in their turn choral activities.
- Organization of training in our buildings.
The ICCM welcomes for several years now, young people coming from schools of Namur
and singers of the WYC in order to follow a training in cultural management.
- Meeting center in our premises.
As ICCM is managing international projects, it’s in Namur, at the ICCM office that
conductors being part of artistic committees, people in charge of choral organization,
conductors and teachers coming for the library, students wishing to take in an active part in
the organization of festivals are meeting.
- Organization of concert tours.
Organization of concert tours allows music lovers from the City and the Province of Namur to
discover a high musical level performances but also various folklores and musical traditions
coming from all over the world. Not only public concerts are organized in collaboration with
various cultural actors of Wallonia but school concerts are also given in collaboration with
Jeunesses Musicales. Those concerts are for children from 4 to 12 years old and for teenagers
in order to discover various music and to give the taste to start singing or playing an
instrument. Workshops for conductors and singers from the French speaking Community are
set up in order to exchange the repertoires between guests and local choirs, to learn a new way
of conducting, to discover other forms of choir singing.