June 29 – July 4, 2024
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador CANADA
An anchor event for the Newfoundland and Labrador 2024 Year of the Arts
HarbourVOICES! International Festival of Collective Singing Traditions is imagined as a six-day ocean wave of singing, songs, stories, and sharing. HarbourVOICES! features exciting performing events, innovative workshops, presentations, musical/cultural exchanges, collaborative choir/group gatherings/performances, and so much more!
Our focus is on celebrating diversity and inclusion through the sharing and experiencing of our global wealth of musical traditions and cultures. At the same time, we will highlight the musical culture and singing traditions of our own beautiful home – Newfoundland and Labrador. We named our festival HarbourVOICES! as it reflects ‘harbours’ as places of safety, shelter, or refuge for people, ships, and boats, as well as being places of rest and replenishment – physically and spiritually. HarbourVOICES! is imagined and created as a ‘harbour’ where individual and collective people’s voices are welcomed, protected, and amplified. We hope to celebrate together the many and diverse traditions and powers of the human voice as shared through singing and song.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Guest Singing Groups/Choirs
Guest Singing Groups/Choirs have been extended an invitation by HarbourVOICES! to participate in the Festival. Selection is based on their ability to embody a wide range of cultural diversities, encompassing international, Canadian, and local contexts, as well as various collective singing traditions and genres. As part of the Festival, these guest groups will present two distinct concerts: a 25-minute evening performance and a 45-minute afternoon presentation. Additionally, they will actively engage in various components of the Festival (workshops, collaborations, cultural exchanges, seminars, roundtables, the HarbourSING! event, opening ceremonies, and the Grand Finale concert). The roster of the Guest Singing Groups/Choirs will be announced soon!
HarbourVOICES! will also include 12 Invited Participating Singing Groups/Choirs. Each group will present a 25-minute individual concert in the Festival schedule and participate in the HarbourSING! event and/or the closing Grand Finale concert. Invited Participating Singing Groups/Choirs will have access to workshops, collaborations, seminars, and roundtables. These groups will be selected through an application process that will enable a wide range of representation (e.g., regionality, genre, cultural context). We strongly encourage applications from diverse voices, especially groups that have not been included historically in traditional choral settings/festivals. We will also prioritise groups that are interested in collaboration and the reciprocal sharing of collective singing traditions. HarbourVOICES! is committed to representation from and within our province, our country, and our world. Applications are still being accepted.
An integral feature of HarbourVOICES! is the inclusion of Collaborative Singing Projects, which provide a unique platform for singing groups/choirs seeking to engage in a collective experience that celebrates and honours shared singing traditions. The purpose of these projects is to foster connections and harmonious interactions among participating groups. The Collaborative Projects Singing Groups will have the opportunity to convene for two hours each afternoon. During the first hour, the experience of singing together will emphasize a collaborative environment that encourages spontaneous singing without the expectation of pre-prepared music. During the second hour, Collaborative Projects Singing Groups will have the opportunity to learn and prepare joint music and participate in massed group performances during the HarbourSING! event and/or the Grand Finale concert. Registrations are due April 1, 2024.
HarbourVOICES! welcomes individuals (singers, conductors, choral enthusiasts, musicians, and professionals alike) to join the Festival and share in the opportunity to attend all festival events (e.g., workshops, presentations, cultural exchange sessions, collective singing projects, afternoon/evening concerts, opening ceremonies, HarbourSing! event and Grand Finale concert). Registration is now open. The Early Bird deadline is January 31, 2024.
- Main Festival Events / Components. The HarbourVOICES! Festival will feature many options and opportunities for singing to be celebrated from all corners of the world. In the mornings, we will feature workshops, presentations and collaborative sessions in smaller groups and environments. In the afternoon amongst rehearsals, we will host multiple concert options. After supper, there will be 2-3 options for evening “highlight” concerts that all can attend. Festival events such as workshops, lectures, and presentations will be included in the festival passes. All concerts however, will be ticketed events. You do not need a festival pass to attend a concert.
- Opening Ceremonies – June 29. Come out and celebrate our kick-off event with singers from all over the world!
- Special Concert – July 1. Come and enjoy an exciting evening concert with special guests.
- Gala Concert – July 2. Join us for our Gala Concert at Mary Brown’s Centre where we celebrate collective singing with performances by guest and participating groups, including massed performances of two commissioned works.
- HarbourSING! Event – July 4. Enjoy an outdoor concert at one of our many celebrated harbours in the downtown core of the city. This event will feature multiple performances, multimedia presentations, and an opportunity for all to sing along!
HarbourVOICES! Festival is presented in partnership with The Singing Network, Celebrate NL, MusicNL, and Shallaway Youth Choir. We are proud to be an anchor event of 2024 Year of the Arts. We look forward to building additional partnerships and collaborations in the making and presentation of this unique international festival.