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SINGING BRIDGES

Novi Sad, Serbia

21-28 July

2024

Festival Homepage

About Festival

FESTIVAL IS FOR:

Adult, youth and children choirs and individual singers, conductors and vocal leaders, composers and arrangers, managers.

ORGANISERS:

Serbian Choral Association

After the first Singing Bridges Festival in Novi Sad in 2022, the Serbian Choral Association is organizing another edition in 2024, this time under the label of the European Choral Association.

In a town on the crossroads between East and West, North and South, a town that settled a few centuries ago on the river Danube – a large and long river and natural border between Central-Europe and the Balkans, a town with a long and rich heritage of collective singing, we build the Singing bridges – between music epochs and styles, genres and approaches, between generations, between professionals and music amateurs, a concert podium and the audience.

Everyone can find their place here: those who come prepared for high level of musicianship but also people without knowledge of music that can participate in collective choral experience. You will join other choirs and singers in ateliers with world-class conductors and work together towards the final concert. The ateliers all have specific themes and are for different age groups, with varying levels of difficulty and duration (3 to 6 days).

Other activities include Open Singing, Choir-to-choir concerts, Study tour for conductors, Programme for composers, Programme for young managers, as well as non-choral activities. The festival will offer limited accommodation in students’ campus and hostels, or you can book a hotel for your group.

Registrations are open!

Deadline for applications: 9/04/2024

Contact: festival@cxa.rs

Programme

After the first Singing Bridges Festival in Novi Sad in 2022, the Serbian Choral Association welcomes you to another edition in 2024, this time under the label of the European Choral Association.

Singing bridges is a non-competitive festival where everyone can find their place: those who come prepared for high level of musicianship but also people without knowledge of music that wish to participate in collective choral experience.

The festival offers wide range of ateliers for individual singers and choirs, special programmes for conductors, lots of music in concerts and spectacular Open singing events, and numerous additional activities such as reading sessions and presentations.

Our festival offers you the chance to:

  • attend differently themed ateliers for individual singers and choirs, varying in duration, difficulty level and age group
  • sing at the final concert of your atelier
  • join one-day discovery ateliers after your long atelier has ended
  • work together with leading choral conductors
  • sing and hear various vocal genres and discover new music
  • sing at beginner’s, average or advanced level
  • join the special conductors’ program
  • attend reading sessions, presentations, discussions...
  • take part in the daily Open Singing event with all participants and visitors!
  • perform with your choir in one choir-to-choir concert - share stage with choirs from other countries
  • listen to concerts of guest choirs, choir-to-choir concerts and final concerts of all ateliers
  • discover unique cultural heritage of Novi Sad and Serbia and sing at the river Danube banks
  • meet old and make new friends, colleagues and choirs, exchange thoughts, ideas and share music

Ateliers

The festival offers ateliers for singers lasting 3,4,5 or 6 days of rehearsals and ending with a public concert. It is possible to combine two 3-days ateliers or to stay on after your atelier (if it is 3,4 or 5-days long), attending some of the discovery ateliers, lectures/presentations and other programmes.

Or, you can just enjoy tourism after your atelier concert. Group and choir members can apply for and be divided into different atelier.

Singers (individually, with a family or a group of friends, or in a choir) can explore the versatile repertoire, different genres and vocal techniques in one of the many ateliers led by world-renowned conductors.

You must choose three DIFFERENT ateliers in the registration form. Our artistic commission will assign you one of them. We will do our best to meet your wish and assign you the atelier of your first choice, but in some cases that will not be possible, so we will assign you one of your other choices.

Applications with the same atelier selected as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice will be invalid, requiring re-application.
Only, if opting for the children's B1 or for A4 Atelier, you can select all three choices the same.

To attend two consecutive Ateliers (3+3 days), choose them as your first and second choices, and some other for the third. Specify in the Note section that you want to participate in two Ateliers.

To participate in a D atelier, please contact us on e-mail: festival@cxa.rs.

The levels of ateliers:

A - for everybody

B – for singers with choral experience

C – for good sight readers and singers who come prepared

D – for national and regional youth choirs, upon invitation and audition

Special atelier: Study tour for conductors

Study tour

Study Tour is a part of Conductors' Programme and only possible way to see Atelier rehearsals. Every day from 22 to 27 July the Study Tour, led by Jan Schumacher (DE) visits Ateliers all over Novi Sad to hear varied music and learn from different conductors.

Conductors’ programme offers a full curriculum for the whole length of the festival: morning warm-ups, the Study Tour, conducting technique sessions, presentations, reading sessions, lectures and round-table discussions.

Check here Ateliers page →

Flexible Participation

Staying 3 to 6 days with ateliers

By booking a “package deal” you can participate for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days (with your musical programme starting on 22.07. at 9.30 a.m. or on 25.07. at 9.30 a.m.)

The length of your stay chosen at registration must correspond to the number of days for your longest atelier of choice. Our Artistic Commission will assign the ateliers to all participants by 12.04.2024. and send you an e-mail. In case your assigned atelier will be shorter, you can change your length of stay until 30.04.2024.

  • The festival begins on Sunday 21.07. with check-in and welcome event.
  • Full participation is 6 days, from 22.07. to 27.07., with arrival on Sunday 21.07. and departure on Sunday morning 28.07.
  • Shorter package deals of 3, 4 or 5 days can only be booked with activity starting on 22.07. or 25.07. and in case you need accommodation, arrival is on 21.07. or 24.07. The departure date can vary, your earliest possible departure is after your final performance or – if you book accommodation – the morning after.
  • You can stay longer than the duration of your atelier and participate during your ‘empty’ days in discovery ateliers and other programmes.
  • The festival will offer limited accommodation in students’ campus and hostels, or you can book a hotel for your group. Accommodation booked through the festival is offered as packages.
  • Festival food (lunch and dinner) is offered as packages.

Day-by-day-participation with One-day ticket

If you just want to get the taste of the festival, you can also come for one or few days, attending discovery ateliers (from 25-27, July), Open Singing, festival concerts and other programmes. One-day tickets can be purchased in advance (from June 2024) or directly in the morning of your participation. Participants buying one-day-tickets must arrange their own accommodation and meals.

Important dates:

  • Festival Dates: 21 – 28 July 2024
  • Early Bird Registration and First Instalment Payment Deadline: 31 December 2023
  • Registration Deadline: 09 April 2024
  • First Instalment Payment Deadline: 09 April 2024
  • Second and Final Instalment Payment Deadline: 31 May 2024

Country group 1

Non-members  

6 days | 170€

5 days | 155€

4 days | 140€

3 days | 125€

ECA members ***

6 days | 150€

5 days | 135€

4 days | 120€

3 days | 105€

Country group 2

Non-members

6 days | 140€

5 days | 125€

4 days | 110€

3 days | 95€

ECA members ***

6 days | 120€

5 days | 105€

4 days | 90€

3 days | 75€

Country group 3

Non-members

6 days | 90€

5 days | 80€

4 days | 70€

3 days | 55€

ECA members ***

6 days | 80€

5 days | 70€

4 days | 60€

3 days | 45€

One-day ticket for a Discovery and all programs is:

25€ per day.

ECA members ***

Indirect members of the European Choral Association (members  of its member organisations) and members of the Friends of the European Choral Association.

Accommodation

Festival accommodation is offered for participants with arrival on 21.07. (with a stay of 4, 5, 6 or 7 nights) or 24.07. (for the 3-day atelier in the second half of the Festival, with a stay of 4 nights).

The festival offers the following accommodation options:
student apartment, breakfast included; 2-bed room with (renovated) bathroom.
hostels, breakfast included; 6 to 8 bed rooms with bathroom for each room.

A certain number of single rooms will be available for extra costs. Accommodation must be ordered at registration.

Alternatively, you can organise your own accommodation. If you prefer to stay in a hotel or apartment, you will be able to make your personal selection from a list of trusted partners at the end of this page and book the accommodation by yourself.

The cost depends on your country of residence. To find out which country group you belong to, check Country Groups menu or contact us!

Accommodation cost

For single room additional 10€ is charged.
All participants above 18 years old have to pay tourist tax 1.10 euros/person/night of stay. This price is subject to change according to decision of the Novi Sad City Council in 2024.

Country group 1

4 nights - bed & breakfast | 84€

5 nights - bed & breakfast | 105€

6 nights - bed & breakfast | 126€

7 nights - bed & breakfast | 147€

Country group 2

4 nights - bed & breakfast | 72€

5 nights - bed & breakfast | 90€

6 nights - bed & breakfast | 108€

7 nights - bed & breakfast | 126€

Country group 3

4 nights - bed & breakfast | 60€

5 nights - bed & breakfast | 75€

6 nights - bed & breakfast | 90€

7 nights - bed & breakfast | 105€

List of trusted partners:

Hotel Planeta Inn

https://planetainn.com/en/

Contact:

planetainnhotel@gmail.com

+38121421021

+381631421021

Queen Palace

https://queenpalace.rs/en/

Contact:

info@queenpalace.rs

+381668403307

Meals

Breakfast will be provided at your accommodation. You can order festival lunch and dinner in packages of 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. Lunch and dinner will be served in catering tents and halls in different spots of the city. Meals must be ordered at registration and changes will not be possible after 31.05.2024. Alternatively, you can organise your own meals.

The cost depends on your country of residence. To find out which country group you belong to, check Country Groups menu or contact us!

Festival meals cost

Country group 1

3 days - lunch & dinner | 60€

4 days - lunch & dinner | 80€

5 days - lunch & dinner | 100€

6 days - lunch & dinner | 120€

Country group 2

3 days - lunch & dinner | 48€

4 days - lunch & dinner | 64€

5 days - lunch & dinner | 80€

6 days - lunch & dinner | 96€

Country group 3

3 days - lunch & dinner | 36€

4 days - lunch & dinner | 48€

5 days - lunch & dinner | 60€

6 days - lunch & dinner | 72€

Payment & cancellation terms & conditions

After registering online, you will receive an email with payment details.
Please note that payment is requested in two instalments, with second one after your atelier assignment.

REGISTRATION deadline is extended from 15th March to 09 April 2024.

Your registration is valid only after the payment of the first instalment is completed (50% of the total amount). Therefore, new deadline for registration and first instalment is April 09 2024.

In case your first instalment is not completed by April 09 2024, your registration will be deleted.

The balance of the remaining 50% must be paid by 31.05.2024. In case your second instalment is not compleeted by May 31st, your registration will be cancelled.

Details about the payment method(s) will be included in registration form and sent to you by confirmation email after you complete the registration.

If you register after April 09th, we cannot guarantee the participation in the ateliers selected. Furthermore, we might not be able to provide you with an accommodation possibility for the duration of the festival.

If you cancel your registration or in case of late payment and cancelled registration, we cannot refund your previous payments irrespective of the reasons for cancellation.

We suggest you take out insurance to cover risks.

NOTE: By submitting the Festival Participation Entry Form, you hereby consent to receiving email notifications containing vital information regarding the festival. Your agreement to receive such communications is understood as an integral part of your participation in the event.

Frequently asked questions & answers

Is the festival suitable for all ages?

Yes, the Festival has an ‘open to all’ policy to encourage diversity, opportunity and equality. Both children, youth and adult choirs and individuals are able to attend. However, when choosing an atelier, pay attention to whether the atelier is open to all ages or whether there is a recommended age limit. At our Festival, all ages can find suitable options for participation.

Do I have to read music?

There is no requirement to read music if you are part of the A/B ateliers. Music reading is required for the C/D ateliers.

I do not have much choral experience – Is this for me?

Whether you are new to choral singing, a new choir, have been to workshops before or you are a 100-year old choir, this festival is designed for everyone and will offer something for everyone. It is a community festival bringing choirs together to learn, develop and perform. We recommend ateliers on A level for beginners.

I can come to the Festival only for a day or two. Can I participate in an atelier?

Yes, but not in the ateliers that have a final concert, where all atelier participants are expected to perform. And our shortest atelier is 3-days long. You may participate in one-day Discovery ateliers on Thursday, 26, Friday, 27 and/or Saturday, 28, July and attend many other festival programmes.

How can we get the music scores for the ateliers?

For some ateliers on A / B level scores will be available at rehearsals, but for some others the participants would need to provide them. For C level ateliers participants need to be prepared before the Festival, so they will get the scores before the Festival, or they will be instructed where to buy them.

My choir is not able to come to the festival. Is there a possibility for only several members of my choir to participate?

Yes, the festival is for choirs, but also for individual singers. You may register with your friends in the same atelier, or in several different ateliers, according to your wishes. If you come as a choir, you may also perform a concert. If you come as individual singer(s), you will perform at the final concert of your atelier.

What is the working language in the ateliers and the study tour?

The working language of the festival is English. If there happens to be too many local singers that don't understand English, we will provide a translator.

How do we get to Novi Sad?

The closest and largest airport in Serbia is Belgrade airport “Nikola Tesla”. Although you can use bus transport to get to Belgrade and then use bus or train to come to Novi Sad, the most practical way to get directly from the airport to Novi Sad is by taxi. There are numerous car companies that offer transfer to Novi Sad even for larger groups of people, with reasonable prices. If you need help, we will be happy to recommend a company or even help you with booking. If you are not coming to Serbia by plane, you can arrive to Novi Sad by bus. The railways are under construction, so coming by international trains is currently not an option.

In what time zone is Serbia?

Serbia is in the Central European Time (CET).

What is the deadline to register?

Registration deadline is 15th March.

Can I register after March, 15?

Yes, but we cannot guarantee that you will be assigned ateliers of your choice, since they might be full. Also, the festival accommodation might not be available after deadline.

Why do I have to choose three different ateliers in the registration form?

You have to choose three DIFFERENT ateliers, as each atelier has specific requirements for the number of participants, voices etc. Our Artistic Commission will try to meet your wish and assign you the atelier of your first choice. But sometimes that will not be possible. So, you will be assigned the atelier of your second or third choice.

Also, regarding the date of your registration, some ateliers may already be full.

Applications with the same atelier selected as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice will be invalid, requiring re-application.

Only, if opting for the children's B1 or for A4 Atelier, you can select all three choices the same.

To attend two consecutive Ateliers (3+3 days), choose them as your first and second choices, and any other for the third. Specify in the Note section that you want to participate in 2 Ateliers.

Why do I have to pay 50% first instalment payment and not the whole amount?

After submitting your registration, you will receive an automated email response with all the details regarding your participation and stay at the festival, and the cost breakdown with Total Cost calculated based on your longest CHOSEN Atelier.

After the Atelier assignment, you will receive another email/invoice with final Total Cost and the remaining balance for payment, calculated according to your ASSIGNED Atelier length and required participation.

You will be required to complete the first instalment payment that is 50% of Total cost (based on the longest Atelier of your choice) by 31 May 2024 the latest to keep your registration valid.

What happens if my assigned atelier doesn’t match the length of my stay in my registration?

You will be informed about your assigned atelier by March, 31. In case we assign you a shorter atelier, you will be asked if you want to choose a shorter stay than the one you put in the Registration form. You may change the length of your stay until April, 15.

You may also choose to stay at the Festival after your atelier and attend Discovery atelier(s) and other programmes. We will send you an invoice with a new calculation for your second payment, which is due to be paid before May, 31.

Note: 50% od the most expensive festival option is still less than the total sum of the cheapest.

I am a conductor. What are the festival options for me?

You may choose the Study Tour for Conductors (D2 atelier) or just sing in some of the ateliers on A, B or C level, depending on your preferences.

Do you offer vegetarian/vegan food?

Yes, we accommodate dietary needs. Please provide accurate information about the requirements in your application (registration form) and we will make sure to accommodate you accordingly.

Whom do I contact if I cannot find answers to my questions on the website?

If you have any questions not answered by the website, please contact the Festival Admin Team at: festival@cxa.rs

Is paying by bank transfer the only payment method you accept?

Yes. We are exploring other options, but for now, that is the only method.

Can we pay for the whole choir/group with one invoice?

Yes. If you are coming with a choir, the choir leader should send the request for an invoice on our e-mail: festival@cxa.rs

Do you offer refunds?

If you cancel your registration or in case of late payment and cancelled registration, we cannot refund your previous payments irrespective of the reasons for cancellation.

Should we exchange money to the local currency?

We primarily use Serbian dinars.You can exchange foreign currencies into dinars at exchange offices. Credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted.

Whom do I contact during the Festival should I have a problem?

We will have staff and volunteers available on-site throughout the Festival to answer questions you may have. Contact phone numbers for the duration of the Festival will be printed in the Festival book, that you will get upon your arrival in Novi Sad and the Festival.

How is the transport organized between the rehearsal and concert venues and accommodation & meals places/spots?

All participants will be able to use public transport (city buses). The information about that will be announced before the Festival.

What should I wear for a Festival performance?

If your atelier is looking for a specific dress-code for the final concert, you will be notified at least a month before the festival. If you are coming with a choir and perform at a “choir-to-choir” concert, you can wear your choir uniforms.

How can I become a Festival supporter?

For information on how you can support the festival or advertise in our programming, please send an inquiry to: festival@cxa.rs