The European Broadcasting Union have just recently launched a new event to be welcomed into the Eurovision family of events. The exciting new program will feature amateur choirs who will compete for the title of Eurovision Choir of the Year, as well as prizes including a record deal for the winning choir.
The first Eurovision Choir of the Year will take place at the Riga Arena in Latvia on the 22nd of July. Choirs from 7 different EBU member nations will compete in this competition, and the choirs will be required to perform a six minute unaccompanied set in a genre of their choosing. The judging will be done by a high-profile jury including British composer John Rutter and Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča. This year, the show will be hosted by Eric Whitacre, a Grammy winning composer and conductor, alongside LTV culture presenter Eva Ikstena.
Naturally, EBU Head of Live Events Jon Ola Sand has commented on the new addition to the Eurovision family of events, saying, ‘Singing in choirs is a healthy, social and artistic activity that anyone, young or old, musically experienced or not, can take part in – and one which is growing in popularity across the world. Eurovision Choir of the Year will showcase the vast possibilities of the human voice and aims to inspire new singers to get involved’
Latvia makes for the perfect host of this event due to the ‘abundant heritage of ancient choir traditions’ as explained by Ivars Belte, the Chairman of the Management Board at LTV. The event will also take place within the top international competition, the European Choir Games, which is operated by German promoter Interkultur in collaboration with LIVE RIGA. For this event, it is expected that 150 choirs will participate.
So who is participating in the first annual Eurovision Choir of the Year competition? Here are the participating broadcasters:
To keep up to date with all the news and to read more about the competition, you can head to Eurovisionchoir.tv