About Festival 2015

The Golden Gate International Children's and Youth Choral Festival is an unforgettable week of rehearsals, public performances, friendly competition, and cultural exchange. From July 12-18, 2015, top American and international choirs will gather together under the batons of eminent guest conductors Maria Guinand (Venezuela) and Aarne Saluveer (Estonia), and world class adjudicators Judit Hartyány (Hungary) Elise Bradley (New Zealand/Canada) and Linda Tillery (San Francisco, CA) and with Artistic Director Robert Geary. During the week long voyage of musical discovery, the children will sing, learn, and live with their peers from far and wide, rendering the faceless into friends.

Camaraderie and Competition

One of America’s most celebrated gatherings of young singers, the Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Festival attracts choirs from all over the world to perform, compete, and build international friendship. Founded in 1991, the Golden Gate Festival is sponsored every three years by the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir in the San Francisco Bay Area. It remains the only opportunity for children’s and youth choirs to meet and compete on an international field in the United States. Since its founding the event has brought more than 3,000 young musicians from 19 countries together in friendship and harmony, performing for more than 50,000 audience members from throughout Northern California.

The Festival places special emphasis on building community among singers.  Daily rehearsals of the massed choirs, special events -  including a boat cruise of San Francisco Bay, and a dance following the final concert, provide opportunities for singers and adults to make friends and meet colleagues in a supportive environment.

For one week in July of 2015, the Tenth Golden Gate Festival will convene in Berkeley, California.  The two Festival Massed Choirs, Children’s and Youth, will meet and sing together throughout the week. Competitions will take place for choirs and soloists, and all will perform in community concerts. The jury for the Historical, Folk, Contemporary, Gospel and Spiritual Choral Competitions will be comprised of esteemed adjudicators from around the world. The week culminates in a closing concert featuring the first-place competition winners and the massed choirs. 

A hallmark of the Golden Gate Festival is the hospitality offered by the local community in the form of homestays for visiting international singers. We believe that sharing our homes with children from faraway cultures enriches our lives and theirs; it is an expression of goodwill that underlies the spirit of the Festival. 

“If we bring children together from distinctly different cultures, we can help them connect as real people to real people. We can sidestep social conditioning and create bridges of understanding that make it difficult to harbor ill will. These children have a genuine experience, beyond soundbites and newflashes; they have joy.” Robert Geary, Artistic Director

In a world filled with borders, the Golden Gate Festival offers a rare opportunity for children to build bridges. Join us.