• Antwerp International Spring Festival for Choral Music

    Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp International Spring Festival for Choral Music

Included in your festival packages
  • 3 nights in a 3*, 4* or 4* Superior Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 3-course dinner in your hotel on evening of arrival
  • Festival participation fees
  • Choir Directors Reception
  • Guided walking tour of Antwerp
  • Excursion to Bruges
  • Festival performance in Festival Church
  • Performance during Sunday Mass or Church service
  • Participation diploma
  • Closing ceremony
  • Guide assistance during your stay
  • Coaching as required throughout your stay

Costs are tailored to each individual choirs' requirements

Choir Directors Orientation Trip

CCI offer choir directors the opportunity to participate in an orientation trip in advance of each festival and competition to view the hotels, venues and restaurants and, for choirs with younger members, to perform risk assessments.

During the orientation trip, the director or representative of the choir has the opportunity to meet with the organisers and sponsors of the festival and to ask questions about all aspects of the trip. Choir directors can also discuss the choirs' unique requirements with the CCI representatives on hand. On the trip, CCI will answer directors' questions concerning such topics as instrumental accompaniment, size of stage, and performance information.

Please ask us about dates for the Antwerp Choir Directors Orientation Trip.

Competition Information & Rules

General information

  • Only amateur choirs may participate in the competition, although the conductor may be professional
  • Performance length is limited to 15 minutes. This includes getting on and off the stage
  • Competition performances must be sung "a cappella". However, one song can be accompanied by one instrument.
  • Choirs singing in the non-competitive category (Z) may sing accompanied by one instrument or use the piano, however one song must be performed "a cappella".
  • A piano is available for use on stage
  • Competition programmes must be approved by the event jury in advance

Song Selection

  • All music styles are permitted and allowed: secular and sacred music of all epochs, experimental music, contemporary music, popular music, folksongs, pop, jazz, swing, Blues etc.
  • Please note that there are no compulsory songs for the competitive element
  • Performances should include at songs from at least two different musical styles

The Jury

The jury consists of five judges, who will evaluate the quality of each performance, according to their professional viewpoint, in relation to technical performance and the artistic representation of the performance. The decision of the jury is final and will not be disclosed until the results are announced. Based on the quality of the performance the jury will divide choirs in individual categories into gold, silver and bronze and will determine the winner of each category.
  • Gold - Excellent performance
  • Silver - Very good performance
  • Bronze - Good performance

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria are based upon the following:
  • Technical presentation: intonation, rhythmic, faithfulness to the music score and pronunciation
  • Artistic presentation: timing, dynamic, text interpretation, faithfulness to the type of music. The parts of music which are performed by soloists will not be evaluated. Only the overall performance of the choir as a unity will be regarded for judgement.
  • For choirs performing in category Z (non-competitive) one member of the jury will analyse the choir performance with the choir director. Choirs performing in this category will receive a written evaluation.

Order of appearance

The order of appearance of the choirs` performances will be drawn by the organising committee.

Competition prizes

All participating choirs will receive a certificate of participation and a judgement sheet with remarks and notes by the jury. In addition, the winner of each category will receive a prize cup.

The overall competition winner will receive a prize cup and a monetary prize of €500. The jury may decide to award further special prizes such as for outstanding conducting or for the best song choice.

Registration Information

  • Please advise your choir category and forward your choral programme with song titles, names of composers and duration of each song
  • Upon registration, we require a short biography of the choir and of the choir director
  • Five original music scores of each song must be send to the jury in advance of participation for those participating in the competitive categories.
  • For those participating in the Festival category, one original music score of each song is required
  • Changes in song title are possible up to 6 weeks before the festival begins once approved of by the jury

Group Song

At the end of the awards ceremony, all choirs join together to perform the song "Alleluja" by W.A. Mozart (from the motette for sopran and orchester "Exsultate Jubilate".

Sample Itinerary

Below is sample itinerary for those attending the Antwerp International Spring Festival for Choral Music.

DAY 1

  • On arrival in Brussels, choirs are met by their tour assistant for private coach transfer to hotel in Antwerp.
  • Today is a free day for independent sightseeing.
  • This evening, choir directors attend a reception hosted by the city of Antwerp.
  • Choirs have a welcome dinner in their hotel restaurant where they can relax and meet with other choirs staying in their hotel.

DAY 2

  • This morning, discover the city of Peter Paul Rubens and learn why Antwerp is called the world centre for diamonds, as your choir is drawn into the city's rich history during a walking tour through the Old Town. Visit the Mas Museum aan de Strom, where magnificent views can be seen from the roof terrace. Weather permitting, choirs can partake in a spontaneous short performance in the Gardens at Rubens House and on the square in front of St.Carolus Borromeus Church.
  • In the early afternoon, join the other participating choirs for the official festival opening ceremony held at the baroque St.Carolus Borromeus Church. Here choirs receive an official welcome by city representatives, after which the festival performances begin. Performance duration is twenty minutes per choir which includes getting on and off the stage.
  • In the evening, choirs can choose to have a group dinner in the hotel or in one of Antwerp's local restaurants.

DAY 3

  • No visit to Belgium is complete without a visit to beautiful Bruges, just a short drive from Brussels. This morning, following a leisurely breakfast, meet your local guide and depart for Bruges, where, among other things, you can view the famous "Madonna with Child" by Michelangelo. See Bruges' Lake of Love, Beguinage, Our Lady Church, Market Square and Town Hall Square and more. For those interested, we can arrange for a visit to one of Bruges famous breweries or chocolate museums. Choirs return to Antwerp in the late afternoon for an afternoon at leisure.
  • In the evening, all choirs join together again for the festival closing ceremony which is held at the Antwerp Town Hall. The evening starts with the closing ceremony, after which participating diplomas are awarded to choirs.
  • At the end of the presentations, all choirs join together to sing "Ode to Joy" by L.van Beethoven.
  • The evening ends with canapes and a glass of sparkling wine.
  • Following the ceremony, choirs can choose to have dinner in one one of Antwerp's local restaurants or back in the hotel.

DAY 4

  • Choirs depart Antwerp. Depending on return flight times, we can arrange for choirs to sing during a local mass or church service.

***Please note that this is a sample itinerary only. Actual itineraries are tailored to individual choirs on departure.***

Flights and transfers

Flights

Choir Contact International experienced travel consultants are able to advise you on the most appropriate flight options and will advise best fares at time of booking.

Once you enquiry with CCI you will be given your own dedicated festival planner, and this planner will also assist you with the booking of flights for your group.

We use the most up-to-date modern technology for searching best fares including low cost carriers, allowing us to book you the best flights at the best fares for a fully co-ordinated service. We use both low-cost internet fares and our long-standing relationships with other carries to ensure that we can secure the best travel option for your choir.

We will advise you on luggage allowance and all details relating to your flight booking.

Airport transfers

CCI are happy to arrange airport-hotel-airport transfers for all choirs who have booked flights with us. Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange airport transfers where flights are not booked as part of the festival package.