About festival

The International Festival of Choirs "Gaude Cantem" will be held for the sixteenth  time in 2020. However, the history of this event is longer - it dates back to 1996. In those days "Gaude Cantem" was organised for the first time in Oświęcim, as the most important annual review of the choral groups assembled in the Department of the Polish Association of Choirs and Orchestras in Bielsko-Biała. This association together with the Regional Culture Centre in Bielsko-Biała have been the main organisers of "Gaude Cantem" from its beginning. The present name has been given to the festival to commemorate first years of the activity and, above all, to show respect to Kazimierz Fober, the late co-originator of the competition and the chair of the Bielsko-Biała Department of the Polish Association of Choirs and Orchestras those days. The first three editions (1996-1998) were held in Oświęcim. After that, the event was moved to Bielsko-Biała where it has been held till now.

Since 2005, when foreign choirs were invited to the festival again, after  some years of break, the competition has been gaining an international scope. 282 choirs from Czech Republic, Latvia, Macedonia, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Estonia, Cyprus and Poland have taken in the event so far.

The agenda of the festival includes: choirs workshops, seminars for conductors, choir competition, Review of Senior Choirs (dedicated to groups where at least 30% of participants are over 60) and festival concerts organized in Bielsko-Biała and in localities of  Bielsko, Cieszyn and Pszczyna districts.

Organizers would like this event not only to help to improve skills of the participating groups and conductors but also to be an opportunity for an artistic competition of choirs from children's till senior’s.

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