A celebration of Indonesian choral culture at the World Choir Games

'Dimana ada kemauan, di situ ada jalan.' 'Where there is a will, there is a way.' Breathtaking nature, great hospitality and memorable sights: Indonesia enchants not only with its God-given natural highlights but also with an outstanding diversity of culture, especially when it comes to music.

‘Dimana ada kemauan, di situ ada jalan.’ ‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’ Breathtaking nature, great hospitality and memorable sights: Indonesia enchants not only with its God-given natural highlights but also with an outstanding diversity of culture, especially when it comes to music.

In this melting pot of numerous ethnicities, singing and music are not only for entertaining, but express the joy of life, creating a bond and a feeling of belonging together. And where could you showcase this in a better way than at the World Choir Games, the meeting point of the worldwide choir community? Here, choirs from Indonesia have the best possibility to show the their unique and very own variety of choral traditions to the world in a most memorable way.

A cornerstone of Indonesian society

Music has always been an essential foundation of Indonesia’s culture and this is reflected in a flourishing music scene. It is part of everybody’s everyday life and hardly a day goes by without music being heard. Music is the Indonesian way to express thoughts, emotions and hardships and provides a way of coping with them. The richness and multitude of songs reflect the many different regions of the country.

But despite the many facets of Indonesian folklore, which conveys the abundance and richness of the country itself, this kind of choral music it fulfills one essential task, namely that of uniting even most different kinds of people.

‘Folklore’ is, therefore, one of most popular categories of Indonesian choirs when taking part in the World Choir Games or other international choir competitions. The groups present their culture and home country in refined and elaborate performances which earn them much recognition from the audience and the jurors alike. And although Folklore is often their most successful category, the singers from Indonesia also gain awards and appreciation in other genres such as Popular Choral Music and ‘Spirituals’.

Indonesian music traditions

The national music traditions receive strong support from the national government. The aim is to promote the choral culture not only nationwide but on an international level. And this support becomes visible in the widespread network of choral groups: the country features a comparatively large number of choirs even in small villages. And although the main task remains to make Indonesian culture come alive in everyday life, choral groups are also eager to compete on global stages. So far, eight choirs from Indonesia have fought their way to the choral world rankings and continue to defend their position among the INTERKULTUR Top 100.

The secret of success

Singing is implemented in the educational system right from the start. Indonesian children join a choir very early at school because singing is of high importance in Indonesian society. The choral routines pursue an intensive rehearsal program for professional and amateur choirs and aim towards participation in competitions at national or international level. One key element on which the rehearsals focus is to learn correct singing techniques. Hence, three- to five-hour rehearsals are not uncommon for Indonesian singers, as they also pursue another goal: mastering choral singing not only in the group but also on an individual level.

By participating in international choir competitions, many well-known Indonesian choirs such as the Batavia Madrigal Singers or the Resonanz Children Choir have set the foundation for their outstanding reputation. The numerous church, school and student choirs throughout the country follow the same objective and exceptional level of artistic skills. But the main driving force behind this desire remains to showcase Indonesian choral traditions to an international music scene.

Building bridges through choral singing – World Choir Games 2022

INTERKULTUR’s World Choir Games 2022 will take place in Gangneung/Gangwon-do in South Korea from 4-14 July.

This represents the next major meeting point for the Indonesian choral community. Top-class amateur choirs like the Diponegoro University Choir or the Vocalista Angels will raise the choral bar in the various competition categories, but of course this special event does not only focus on contests: as well as providing a platform for choral challenges, the Games also builds bridges between cultures and nations through choral singing.

A big welcome to talented singers and choral supporters from all over Indonesia at the World Choir Games and other events!