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VOICE : Training the next generation of Choral Managers

The choral world is more than singers and conductors. It needs people to organise concerts, manage festivals, set-up initiatives and projects. With the future in mind, the VOICE project dedicated some funds to projects that help train the managers of tomorrow.

The Young Event Management Programme (Torino - Italy)

During the Festival EUROPA CANTAT in Torino 2012, ECA-EC offered the second edition of YEMP, a training program for young active and skilful people. It’s a two-week choral management course that includes lectures and field practice. 25 young people from different countries around the world get the opportunity to attend a weekend of study and training on issues related to management, to fundraising, to communication and production of major cultural events, complemented by practical activities and simulation tests. The programme then continues with the ”field practice“ where the YEMPers, fully integrated into the organising team, get to test themselves in different roles of responsibility in the various offices of the festival, under the guidance of two coaches.

Iva Radulovic, one of the YEMPers, describes her experience like this:

“When I first heard about YEMP I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about choral festivals and how things work inside of them. I went to Torino with the idea to learn as much as possible about organizing a big event such as EUROPA CANTAT. But I didn’t expect to get so much more than that! The two weeks spent in Torino in the festival within the YEMP program was unforgettable for me! Not only did I learn everything about how the big festival organization works, and what you need to do and think about when you are planning a big event, I also made friends for life.

Through the YEMP I learned a lot about myself and how I react in crises and how I need to act in different situations, but I also learned a lot about human relationships. Through YEMP I made great friends, I met a lot of people, I learned to work in a big group of people, even if we speak different languages, I learned about the problems that you might have if you are planning a festival, and a lot more. The YEMP program in Torino was so much more than just a program to me. If I need to describe what YEMP meant to me and how I feel about it now when I look back it will be: great time, great opportunity, lifelong experience and of course GIORNI FELICI!”

Victoria Liedbergius and Iva Radulovic


Elena – Italy - EUROPA CANTAT 2012 / YEMP

EC certainly helped me having a broader understanding of the music world in Europe, also learning different repertoires. It was great seeing how many pieces go beyond borders and are well-known everywhere. The experience at EC was important and it allowed me to challenge myself in a multicultural and very busy environment, planning and managing music events with people coming from all over Europe and beyond.

Katalin – Hungary - EUROPA CANTAT 2012 / YEMP

It was a very good experience. I learned a lot of things about managing, people and multicultural work. I think YEMP is a really useful programme I am glad to have had the possibility to participate.

The Choral Art Management Programme (Saint Lô - France)

Happy Campers

The CAMP – Choral Art Management Programme– is a unique training programme specifically addressing the specifics of international choral events organisation. A joint effort of the Polyfollia festival and the ECA-EC, its second edition took place between the 29.10.12 and the 04.11.12 during the Polyfollia festival in Saint Lô (France).

Fifteen managers with an age average of 30 attended the CAMP. Gathering active choir managers and event organisers coming from Canada, Philippines, South Africa, Armenia, Argentina, Poland, Finland, etc., this international group was displaying an impressive array of significant professional experiences and skills.

The aims of the CAMP is to provide the trainees with an additional professional coaching by sharing the experience, work tools and methods developed by the Polyfollia Festival team over 10 years of activities in the field of international choir music. Every session is lead by a team member who presents and discusses work methods and their underlying concepts. Through the applied case of this large event (50 concerts, 164 mini-concerts and workshops, 37000 tickets sold), the CAMPers discover practical, effective and field-tested solutions. The covered topics are split into modules, and theory is always intertwined with concrete examples as the CAMPers are sent on the field to witness and participate in the Festival itself. Simultaneously welcoming and catering for 14 professional ensembles and 74 amateur choirs, managing a large audience and over 130 visiting professionals (venue, festival, federations or theatre directors, journalists, experts, composers...), there is always something to do. But the programme also covers the creation and management of an international artistic committee, the importance of technical issues when considering artistic choices, the building and animation of a network of local partners to organise decentralised concerts, the art of managing volunteers, etc. All this aspects are being actively discussed during the work session, but also around a drink after the concerts, allowing for an in-depth knowledge sharing between the participants.

Last but not least, the CAMP is a unique networking opportunity for the participants. Under the wing of the members of the Artistic Committee, they can beef-up their address book through meeting the key persons of the choral world, as a lot of them are scouting the festival to discover the best emerging talents for the years to come.

Jacques Vanherle – Festival Polyfollia

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