About Festival

About Festival

The International Festival of Choirs "Gaude Cantem" will be held for the nineteenth  time in 2024. 

This is the third edition that nominates the winner of the Grand Prix of the Festival to participate in the Stefan Stuligrosz Grand Prix of Polish Choral Music in Poznań.

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. 356 choirs from Czech Republic, Latvia, Macedonia, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Estonia, Cyprus, Greece  and Poland have taken in the event so far. 

The agenda of the festival includes: choirs workshops, seminars for conductors, choir competition and festival concerts organized in Bielsko-Biała and in localities ofBielsko district.

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.