In summer 2005 Kyoto
will become the "City of Chorus!"

The World Symposium on Choral Music takes place once every three years in a country representing a different geographical region each time. The first Symposium graced Vienna, the City of Music, for which 18 choirs from 13 nations were invited to participate, including the Kyoto Academy Choir (director: Hiroshi Kuwayama) from Japan.

Although there were choirs at this Symposium, a document at the time stated, "Hundreds of choral conductors from all over the world come together for seminars and concerts where they meet the best choirs of the world with their conductors and leading choral instructors," we know it as a symposium meant for choral conductors. We also heard that the official language was not fixed at the first and second Symposia and the languages used differed from one seminar to another.

From then, the International Federation for Choral Music, the organizer, made English the official language of the Symposium and incorporated practical workshops and many concerts into the Symposium to encourage a greater participation of both conductors and singers.

The Kyoto Symposium will feature 34 choirs and 30 lecturers, in 13 concerts and 41 workshops/ seminars. We expect 3,800 people from 60 countries/ regions of the world to take part, with an estimated gross participation of 32,000 persons in the concerts to be held during the Symposium period. In the summer of 2005, Kyoto will transform itself into the "City of Chorus."

International Federation for Choral Music
Established in 1982 to promote communication of choral musicians in the world. The organization engages in a number of projects, including the planning and organizing of the World Symposium on Choral Music, regional symposia, choral conducting master classes, the World Youth Choir, the choral database "MUSICA" and ChoralNet website. They also publish and distribute the International Choral Bulletin, the World Choral Census, and Cantemus, an international collection of choral repertoire. The IFCM has set aside a day to promote peace through choral singing - the World Day of Choral Singing; and is active as the organization officially representing choral music on the International Music Council of the UNESCO. To date, 79 countries/regions are members of the IFCM.

Japan Choral Association
The Japan Choral Association was established in 1948 as a nationwide body of amateur choirs and incorporated in 1970. Its members consist of prefectural choral associations across the country that comprise about 5,000 choirs, including those of junior and senior high schools, universities, workplaces,
mothers, juniors and the community. The number of choir members totals some 150,000. The Association engages in projects like chorus competitions, mothers' and junior chorus festivals on a nationwide scale. Also, the Japan Choral Music Center set up in 1979 is used by choir members as a library specializing in choral singing.