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Music is in the air

Lady Cove Women's Choir is participating in this year's Festival 500.


By David Sorensen

July is shaping up to be a month of music like no other. Festival 500 takes centre stage July 6-13, the eighth time the international choral festival has captivated music fans from all over the world in the capital city since its inception in 1997.

An integral part of Festival 500 is the Phenomenon of Singing international Symposium which goes ahead July 10-13, with more than 120 delegates, 90 presentations and workshops over the four-day conference.

As if that weren't enough, Memorial is also hosting the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) World Conference July 13-19. This conference also includes a festival component. SOUNDshift: A Time for International Music 
and Dance, features the finest music and dance from Newfoundland, Canada, and beyond.

Ki Adams from Memorial's Faculty of Education and School of Music is one of the organizers of Festival 500. He said having The Phenomenon of Singing symposium take place as a part of the choral festival fits neatly with the theme of connectedness of theory and practice.

"Conceptually, we like the idea of having both together," he said. "Most academic events will have few performance and festivals will have few opportunities for scholarly sharing. This idea brings people together in unique ways."

Another Festival 500 organizer, Dr. Andrea Rose from the Faculty of Education, said the confluence with ICTM is also fortuitous for audiences and scholars. The two conferences share one day on the calendar, and both conferences share a day together and a plenary session – Festival 500's closing and ICTM's opening talk. And delegates to both conferences can attend each others' events on Wednesday, July 13.

The Phenomenon of Singing Symposium has something for everyone from research papers to workshops, concerts and roundtable dialogues. It is not just for academics. All sessions are open to the public and organizers have made available day and session rates for those who want to sample some of the events.

"This makes the whole conference accessible to all," said Dr. Rose.
Also, during Festival 500 there are concerts occurring from July 6-13 throughout the city. With over 1,200 participants from around the world, this city will be alive with singing with afternoon and evening concerts in churches and hall as well as various "pop up" lunch time concerts around town.

The Grand Finale concert at Mile One Centre is July 13. This finale will feature a 1,000 voice youth and adult choir, the magnificent Indonesian Children-Youth choir, and Finland's Rajaton, performing its ABBA set with the NSO.

For all the details on Festival 500 and The Phenomenon of Singing Symposium see

Information about the ICTM conference can be seen at