Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China
The Songbridge Concept
Songbridge is one of the most exciting concepts to come to life in the world of international choral music. Founded by choral music icon Professor Erkki Pohjola of Finland as a logical culmination of his thirty-one year tenure as founder and conductor of the Tapiola Choir, the Songbridge concept brings together leading youth choirs and choral composers from around the world to further global peace and understanding in an artistically rich atmosphere.
Songbridge combines the commissioned choral compositions of prominent international composers with the world choral artistry of stellar choirs from their countries. Each year the Songbridge choirs are chosen by an international jury, from the seventy-country International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), and gather at a world choral symposium for 4-5 days. In that special setting young singers from different countries live, work and play together in community, learning about each others’ culture and music, developing friendships and mutual respect. After several days of intense rehearsal, they bring to joint performance their newly commissioned works and folk music from each culture represented in the Songbridge.Choirs are chosen not only for their artistic excellence, but also for their demonstrated understanding that music has the capacity to overcome divisions between people and nations.
In 2005, the four featured Songbridge choirs were the Saskatoon Children’s Choir (Canada), the Tapiola Choir (Finland), the University of Pretoria Jacaranda Choir (South Africa), and the Republic of China National Children’s Choir. Our commission, by Toronto composer Peter Tiefenbach, is entitled “Out of the Stars.”