Music is our focus during the exchange program, which plays a role like a bridge. We organize the music concert – either in Europe or in Asia. The great surroundings, the beautiful music, the new culture will be unforgettable. The exchange program usually lasts one to two weeks. All participants experience a new form of music concert and have the opportunity to meet new people. And the younger artists from all over the world can make a new concert together.
If you want, you can still travel. We believe that the music concert will increase your interest in other countries. If you want to know more about the countries, just travel through the country and have a look at the landscape.
Our feedback from Nikolai Ott, conductor of the Kantorei der Karlshöhe
In the spring of 2017 I was able to travel to Beijing through the Volkskulturkreis e. V. to work with choirs and conductors on site. It was my first trip to Asia, and so alone at the airport I wondered what it would be like. In Beijing I was met by a very open-minded and dear host who immediately dispelled all my concerns. He then drove me to the hotel before he took me on a tour of a district. Beijing is simply impressive in every respect, a city of superlatives. On the second day the course began, my host picked me up at the hotel and brought me to school, where I could work about 3 hours a day with a choir: in the morning a choir, in the afternoon a second one. Besides the choir there were about 15 choir leaders from schools in Beijing present as course participants. Each choir brought one or two choir pieces with them, to which I was allowed to give some comments and tips, vocally, interpretatively and for the choirmasters also technically. Among them were well-known compositions by Fauré and Mendelssohn as well as popular music and folkloristic literature. I was particularly surprised by the high standard of the school choirs and also the sometimes very young répétiteurs, which is very rare in Germany. The whole course I held, because of my not existing Chinese knowledge in English and a very fit interpreter (even school musician) translated.
In the lunch break I was allowed to eat with the principal of the school, some teachers and official representatives, the school had organized a wonderful buffet on all three course days. After a short break in the hotel my host showed me many different places in Beijing, for example the Tiananmen Square or downtown Beijing and always organized a great dinner for us.
I like to think back to the week and would like to repeat that on occasion, to experience the Chinese choir culture so closely was a very special experience. I learned (again) that worries and concerns are not worthwhile at all and that music connects across language borders.