Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the Idaho International Choral Festival?
The Idaho International Choral Festival is a triennial event held in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. It is not a competition but a festival designed to share and showcase a diversity of cultures and people from around the world.
Who can participate in the Idaho International Choral Festival?
A wide variety of choirs are encouraged to participate. Men’s, women’s, mixed and children’s choirs are welcome to be a part of the festival. The festival committee is particularly interested in attracting choirs from outside of the USA.
What type of music should choirs prepare to perform at the festival?
At some of the concerts, choirs may perform any music that they choose. Folk music of each choir’s respective culture is generally popular with audiences. All choirs will perform at a Gala Concert. At this concert, choirs are required to perform only the native music of the countries they represent. There will be at least one opportunity to perform outdoors as well as in concert halls, so choirs should have music prepared that will work well in a variety of environments.
How do I apply to be a participant in the festival?
Fill out the application found on the website under “Choir Application.” Be sure to include biographical information on the choir and the director. The application may be submitted online or downloaded and printed for mailing. If mailed, please note the additional materials that are required in order to complete the application process. These items are noted on the printable choir application. The application and materials may be sent to the following mailing address:
Idaho International Choral Festival
PO BOX 8489
POCATELLO, ID 83209
Photographs will be used for publicizing the festival in local and online media. Close-up photos that show faces with expression are usually more appealing. Photos and recordings will not be returned.
Is there an application fee?
There is currently no application fee to participate in the Idaho International Choral Festival.
How much will it cost us to be a participant in the Idaho International Choral Festival?
The largest expense for choirs is usually transportation to and from the festival. Foreign choirs are expected to pay and arrange for their own passports, visas, and transportation to and from the festival. Foreign choirs will have their food, housing, and local transportation provided for them for the duration of the festival while in Pocatello.
What kind of accommodations will be made for foreign choirs?
Foreign choirs are invited to stay in the homes of local residents. There are usually two choir members assigned to each home, but there can be more than two if the home owner feels he can accommodate more. The host family will provide their guests with a bed, most meals, and some transportation. The festival committee will provide some meals where all choirs can meet and mingle together as they eat. Some transportation will be provided by either Idaho State University or City of Pocatello buses.
What accommodations are available for domestic choirs?
Since domestic choirs do not generally have the same traveling expenses as their foreign counterparts, they are expected to pay for transportation from their airport of choice to Pocatello and more of their food and housing expenses. The festival committee makes every effort to make these accommodations as affordable as possible. Transportation for domestic choirs while attending the festival will be provided by the festival.
Dorm rooms on the campus of Idaho State University can be reserved for use by domestic choirs by simple submitting the online application on the Idaho State University website link. The festival staff will assist you with the reservation process if requested. The Domestic choirs are also invited to eat with the foreign choirs at the meals that the festival committee provides. Other meals are the responsibility of the individual choir members.
What venues are available for performances?
There are many venues for performance, beginning with an opening ceremony. This is not so much a concert as it is an official beginning of the festival. Choirs are introduced to the community and welcomed by city officials. Choirs should be prepared to perform one or two songs outdoors that represent the country that they came from and that demonstrate their pride for their country.
During the festival there will be some formal indoor or outdoor concerts on the campus of Idaho State University and at the Stephens Performing Arts Center. Each choir will be expected to perform at these concerts if scheduled by the festival staff. Choirs are welcome to perform music of their choosing at these performances.
At the Gala Concert, all of the choirs will perform. This concert is designed to showcase the variety of cultures that are at the festival. All choirs are required to perform only music that is native to their country. Since all choirs will perform at this concert, there will be a time limit for each choir’s performance. The finale at the Gala Concert will be the combined performance of all choirs singing Sing the World Together.
On Sunday mornings, choirs are invited to sing in church services of some of the local churches. This is not mandatory, and individuals who are uncomfortable with it should feel free to express their desire not to participate. The churches do love to have them come, and the festival always has more requests than there are available choirs.
In addition to these officially scheduled performances, individual choirs may be asked to perform at some other more informal activities.
What other activities are planned?
On the opening day of the festival, it has become a tradition to take festival participants on an outing to Pebble Creek Ski Area or Camp Taylor. Although there is no snow during the summer, festival participants have enjoyed the opportunity to ride the Pebble Creek ski lift or the mountain walks at Camp Taylor. In either case, lunch will be served. To participate in this activity, individuals will want to have appropriate hiking shoes and clothing to wear.
There will also be a parking lot dance for all festival participants and the host families of the international guests.
You will have the opportunity for free time you can share with your host families exploring the local area, gift shopping, or just relaxing.
On Sunday afternoon there will be a picnic/closing social at Ross Park. At this final group activity, the festival committee would like to include one more fun cultural exchange. Each choir is asked to sing and come prepared to perform their national dance in an informal setting at the park and, if appropriate, teach it to the other festival participants and host families. This gives all individuals the opportunity to share their traditions with one another. This is often one of the most enjoyable events of the festival.
Other activities may include the opportunity to go swimming or shopping. If festival guests are interested in participating in these activities, they will need to bring swim suits and spending money for shopping.
When is the last day that applications will be accepted?
No applications will be accepted after March 31, 2016.
What other nearby performance opportunities are available to the choir?
The International Choral Festival in Missoula, Montana is scheduled for the week before the Idaho International Choral Festival. Choirs may apply for the Missoula festival by visiting www.choralfestival.org.