Training For Choir Conductors and Directors Event 2018

From the 18th to the 22nd March 2018, Fiestalonia will hold a special event for Choir Conductors and Directors! Come and participate in our workshops and seminars and learn something new! A great opportunity to spend time with fellow professionals from around the world and also to experience a behind the scenes look at our Festival The Golden Voices of Montserrat!

Here we have interviews with our Director and Mr Colin Touchin, who will be our instructor!

David Dzhaparidze – Managing Director Fiestalonia Milenio

Please tell us what makes festivals held under the brand Fiestalonia so popular.

– As an organiser of international choral festivals and competitions, Fiestalonia appeared as a result of our enthusiastic work, constant search for new ideas and the desire to replace the traditional festivals with more perfect and comfortable ones.

The exceptionally high quality of the festivals is guaranteed by the promise given by the team of Fiestalonia. Our company is strong thanks to our employees, each of whom is a highly qualified professional and a positive person. We create our festivals as stunning and emotionally charged events that invariably remain in memory as the most vivid life impressions.
– Fiestalonia festivals are known for their creativity and originality. How did you manage to achieve this? 
We realise that, as a flagship of the industry of organisation of festival events, we have the opportunity to influence the established models of festivals through the introduction of the highest standards and innovations. We focus on quality, we think it is the most important and intrinsic value. We have achieved the position that Fiestalonia festivals personify the refinement embodying the best traditions of international cultural meetings.
– What do you consider the most important thing in the organisation of international festivals and competitions?

Attentive attitude to every detail, from the quality of living conditions, transport services and food, to stages for performances, sound quality, educational programs and bright breathtaking shows – thanks to all this, our festivals are really exclusive. Each component, whether it be a hotel for the accommodation of participants of our festivals or technical equipment of the stage – undergoes a thorough selection process as it generates an overall impression of the festival. This guarantees excellent quality.

Mr Colin Touchin

– What challenges do you have when it comes to group performances involving Choirs of different nationalities? and what are the rewards?

Rewards are naturally plentiful: learning about each other’s musical ideas/sonority/tone/interpretation/repertoire, etc. and exploring how to blend unfamiliar tones together into a new and richer sound-world.

Challenges actually stem from exactly the same features! – with the natural boundless goodwill of international singers there is almost always a gradual process of acclimatisation, adjustment and mutual consideration which leads to something new and wonderful.

Of course, with only a couple of hours or days to work together in the Fiestalonia festivals, the process is rather too quick to achieve perfect results, but the exploration begins well and the journey of discovery of new vocal sounds can continue long after each choir returns to their homeland and develops with shared new ideas.

– What is the most important part of being a successful conductor and leading a Choir to success?

It’s not easy to find just one important part for either half of this question!  A good conductor has to be clear, efficient, expressive and effective with all the musicians they work with, which boils down to enabling the singers or players to feel confident to express themselves and their music in a coherent and cohesive manner with a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment.

For leading a choir to success you have to add to those personal skills awareness of all the individuals who constitute the group to encourage and motivate all of them to ever higher standards; you can do this by humour and personality as well as refined repertoire planning and considerate rehearsal scheduling.

Above all the conductor has to trust all the singers to rise to the challenges – musical and technical – whatever the event, and they have to trust the conductor to lead strongly, positively and, above all, perhaps, with love for the music-making process and all the humans sharing the experience, including the audience and adjudicators!

-How important is it for Choir directors to explore and learn new techniques and experience different choirs from all over the world?

We can all continue to learn every day so long as we remain open to new experiences and opportunities and not close ourselves into a self-reflective goldfish bowl or musical museum.  We must of course honour our individual cultural traditions and protect them against infection from too strong and too many external influences which could destroy or damage that heritage; but we should give every other choral sound a fair chance for appreciation and assessment by listening carefully and equally intently.  Assimilation of new techniques of tonal production and resonance, pronunciation, dramatic and dynamic expression, and adventurous compositions and arrangements can strengthen, broaden and enhance every choir’s development and programming. The Festivals organised by Fiestalonia are an ideal way to explore new techniques and get advice from different conductors of differing cultures. I am looking forward to passing on as much advice as possible at the Golden Voices of Montserrat Festival

– How do you set the bar for challenging your Choir and your audience?

Doing something relatively simple and conventional at a high level of concentration, commitment and technical skill sets the basis for adding more complex repertoire and stretching the individual singers as well as the whole ensemble; a balance of more manageable and more challenging repertoire can develop fluency and adaptability; some works might sit in rehearsal for a year or two before being shown off in a public performance – we learn at different rates and some pieces mellow over time to reflect and perfect while others can be relatively quick-study successes.

Audiences will always like well-performed musical events, even if the musical content is less familiar to them: they also like to hear strong, characterful performances of traditional repertoire which do not sound hackneyed or repetitive.  So presenting the singers and the listeners with a well-balanced diet is essential; then you set about adding finesse in presentation, the gloss of precision and the magic of the moment – unbeatable! I know, from personal experience, that the public and audiences of Fiestalonia Festivals are enthusiastic, encouraging and grateful for each and every choir performance!!

We look forward to welcoming you to this great event! Please click the link below for more information!

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