VOICES OF SPIRIT – 6th International Choral Festival Graz

29 May – 02 June 2019

A Festival with workshops for Choirs, Individual Singers and Conductors and amazing concerts for the audience!

The festival “Voices of Spirit“ is known for excellent concerts and workshops with renowned speakers. We have the great pleasure to welcome the famous British ensemble VOCES8 as our Artists in Residence.
In addition to the vocal highlights, you will be charmed by the friendliness and Mediterranean flair of our city, located in the middle of the “green heart” of Austria.

Choirs, vocal ensembles, singers, choral conductors.
Individual singers may also participate in the choral and ensemble workshops. Prices can be found under “Packages” and the schedule under “Schedule”.

»The world-famous English ensemble VOCES8 as artists in residence
»Workshops for choirs and ensembles of various sizes
»Barnaby Smith, artistic director of VOCES8
»Paul Smith, who developed the VOCES8 method
»Carsten Gerlitz (Berlin), specialist in pop choral music
»Johann van der Sandt (Südafrika/Italien) renowned conductor and speaker
»Concerts from and together with VOCES8
»The event “Die Lange Nacht der Chöre” (“A Night of many choirs”)
»Your own performaces, flash mobs, “The Singing Street” & “The Singing Tram“
»Choir encounters and excursions in one of the most beautiful Regions of Austria

Workshops To Take Part

The festival Voices of Spirit offers four multi-day workshops held by the Artists in Residence VOCES8 and a multi-day course with Carsten Gerlitz. The participants, who either want to take part in a participant choir or as individual singers, choose ONE of these workshops, where they attend two days.

The relevant workshop times can be found in the program under „Workshops with VOCES8“ or „Workshops“. Additionally, depending on the workshop, dress rehearsals will take place on the day of the final concert.

Participation in the „Choral Morning“ is possible for all, unless they have to attend a rehearsal at the same time.

For choir conductors we offer also the masterclass for choral conducting.

Registration for all workshops by mail to:

HANDEL’S MESSIAH REIMAGINED. Led by Barnaby Smith (VOCES8, GB) together with VOCES8 and the baroque orchestra “Neue Hofkapelle Graz”, parts of Handel’s Messiah are modified in a new and exciting way. This overall concept will be presented with the brilliant “Halleluja” finale sung by all festival choirs.

Workshop for children choirs (treble voices) with Paul Smith (GB)
Paul Smith, creator and developer of the Voces8-Method, includes an assortment of songs ranging from early music to traditional African melodies to pop songs in this workshop. Advocating the foundation of traditional English choral music, this interactive session will also include rhythmic pedagogy such as body percussion. After exciting and intense rehearsals, the culmination of this experience will include a final performance together with VOCES8 in the Steiermarkhof.

The Art of Ensemble Singing with VOCES8 (GB)
Members of VOCES8 will coach your ensemble on two pieces from your own repertoire! In the end, participating choirs will sing a joint concert with VOCES8 in the breathtaking courtyard of Schloss St. Martin.

For groovin’ choirs, talented composer and arranger Carsten Gerlitz (Germany), will work with your choir and experiment with his own (new) compositions! This workshop will conclude with a concert in Steiermarkhof.

MASTERCLASS for choral conducting with Johann van der Sandt (South Africa/Italy)
A maximum of 10 choral conductors have the opportunity to individually work with well-known choral conductor and speaker, Johann van der Sandt (South Africa/Italy) as well as conduct the famous Vocalforum Graz (Franz M. Herzog) as their studio choir.
In addition, there is a Privatissimum with répétiteur for all participants.

Language of instruction: German and English


Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Steiermarkhof
15:00 preliminary discussion
16:00 – 21:00 Master class

Thursday, May 30, 2019, Steiermarkhof
09:30 – 13:00 Masterclass
15:00 – 18:00 Masterclass

Friday, May 31, 2019, Steiermarkhof
09:30 – 13:00 Privatissimum
14:30 – 17:00 Masterclass
18:00 – 20:00 Privatissimum

Saturday, June 1, 2019, Stadtpfarrkirche
10:00 – 13:00 Masterclass
16:00 – 17:00 Final concert

A cappella literature with works by Esenvalds, Iliya, Kreek, Lauridson, McGlynn, Praulins, Prinsloo, Whitacre, et al.
The exact program will follow shortly

Participation fee
€ 200, -, max. 10 participants
Passive participation € 20, –

With CV, high-resolution photo and conducting video (link)
Registration directly with the Choral Association Styria., Tel .: +43 (316) 829925 e-mail:
Information at https://voicesofspirit.at/internationales-chorfestival-2019/

Deadline 28th February 2019

Workshops and reading sessions with members of VOCES8, Carsten Gerlitz and Johann van der Sandt on Saturday
morning (3 hours). A ‘must’ for conductors, singers and pedagogues alike!


09:30-10:30 „Paul Smith and VOCES8 (UK)
Start the day with the warm-ups of VOCES8 and then sing along with the British exceptional ensemble.

10:40-11:30 „UKUTHULA“ with Johann van der Sandt (ZAF)
Experience the power of traditional choral music of his homeland together with the renowned South African conductor.

11:40-12:30 „LET’S GROOVE“ with Carsten Gerlitz (D)
Thrilling arrangements such as those by Nena’s „miracles have happened“ and compositions by the pen of Carsten Gerlitz complete the Choral Morning.

The grades for all workshops are available on site.

Participation fee: € 30, –

How can I participate ?

Submit your application with your biography or a description of your choir and a video / MP3 (if available and recorded within the past year) per email to . Individual participants are only required to submit a CV.

To reserve your participation, choir and ensembles must pay a deposit of € 200, – in advance. This amount will be deducted from the grand total. Individual participants can reserve their spot by directly wiring the full amount of the course.

Participation Fees & Packages

» Children € 255,-
» Students € 340,-
» Adult choir members € 365,-
» Adult individual participant € 390,-

Price for single room by request

Optional excursion packages can be organized (price by request )

» Children € 75,-
» Students € 100,-
» Adult choir members € 125,-
» Adult individuals € 150,-

Optional excursion packages can be organized (price by request)

» without accommodation € 200,-
» with overnight stay (double room), full board € 440,-

Price for single room by request

Optional excursion packages can be organized (price by request)

» Adult Choir Members € 70,-

Optional excursion packages can be organized (price on request)



»10:15 – 11:30 1st unit of special-workshop with Lehigh University Choral Arts in KUG-Aula
»12:00 – 13:15 2nd unit of special-workshop with Lehigh University Choral Arts in KUG-Aula
»15:00 Briefing Masterclass in Steiermarkhof
»16:00 – 21:00 Masterclass in Steiermarkhof
»18:00 Opening of the festival Voices of Spirit and the „Long Night of Choirs“ in Landhaushof
»ab 18:30 “Die Lange Nacht der Chöre” (Concerts of around 50 Choirs singing into the night) in the old town
»21:30 Final concert of the „Die Lange Nacht der Chöre“ with VOCES8 on Kasematten Stage (Schlossberg)
»09:30-13:00 Masterclass in Steiermarkhof
»09:30-12:30 Workshops with VOCES8
»15:00-18:00 Masterclass in Steiermarkhof
»15:00-18:00 Workshops
»20:00 Gala Concert „Lagrime“ mit VOCES8
Vocal gems around Allegri’s “Miserere“ and Monteverdi’s “Sestina”
»09:30-13:00 Privatissimum in Steiermarkhof
»14:30-17:00 Masterclass in Steiermarkhof
»09:30-18:00 Workshops with VOCES8
»18:00-19:30 Final Concert “JUST SING IT!“ Steiermarkhof/Steiermarksaal
»18:00-20:00 Privatissimum in Steiermarkhof
»21:00-22:30 Final Concert “CONSONARE“ of the Ensembles & VOCES8 Participants of the Workshops and VOCES8 Schloss St. Martin
» 09:30-12:30 “Choral Morning“ Workshops KUG-Aula
» 10:00-13:00 Masterclass St. Andrä Church
» 15:00-17:00 “Messiah-Flashmob“ And “The Singing Street and Tram“ I Herrengasse and Landhaushof
» 16:00-17:00 Final Concert of the Masterclass
Participants of the Masterclass, Studio Choir Vocalforum Graz, Johann van der Sandt
St. Andrä Church
Children’s Choirs participating the Festival and VOCES8, Conductor: Paul Smith
» 10:00 Mass for Peace composed by Anselm Schaufler (Premiere)
KUG-Chor, Conductor: Rahela Duric
» 12:00 Gala Concert „MESSIAH“
An reimagined story of Handel’s Messiah, Neue Hofkapelle Graz, VOCES8
Conductor: Barnaby Smith

Detailed Information:


Andrea Halsey | Sopran

Andrea began her career as part of the Royal School of Church Music’s youth programme and joined VOCES8 fresh from graduating with a Music degree from Cardiff University. Andrea’s ability to gain an angelic purity in her higher register has made her voice one of the most recognisable facets of the VOCES8 sound.

Eleonore Cockerham | Alt
Eleonore joined VOCES8 straight from her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Her love for ensemble singing developed during her years as a chorister at Knaresborough Parish Church, when she was also a finalist in the BBC Chorister of the Year.

Katie Jeffries-Harries | Alt
Katie started singing with the National Youth Choirs when she was 12 and has been hooked ever since. An alumna of Chetham’s School of Music, she went on to study Music at Oxford University with a choral scholarship to Somerville College. Prior to joining VOCES8, Katie spent two years freelancing and working with amateur choirs, including the award-winning Peterborough Sings! charity.

Barnaby Smith | Countertenor
Barney co-founded VOCES8 with his brother Paul. His musical career began as a treble in the choir of Westminster Abbey and he completed his studies in Specialist Early Music Performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he was taught by Andreas Scholl and Ulrich Messthaler. As Artistic Director of VOCES8, Barney has the pleasure of facilitating the group’s musical endeavours and is responsible for channeling eight people’s musical interpretations into one performance. As a conductor his past performances include collaborations with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

Sam Dressel | Tenor
Sam was a choral scholar with the choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and studied French and Spanish at the university. After graduating in 2011, he spent a year working in London as a freelance singer and linguistic coach before starting with VOCES8.

Blake Morgen | Tenor
Blake is a native of Detroit, Michigan where he studied both Classical and Jazz singing. After a very successful career in American A Cappella, singing with supergroups Chanticleer and Cantus, Blake moved to the UK to take up his position in VOCES8. When he isn’t indulging in madly improvised scat singing and barbershop tags, Blake’s serene and easy high tenor voice floats him into the hearts of the group’s audience.

Chris Moore | Bariton
Chris‘ love of singing began as a chorister in his local church choir and at school. He joined VOCES8 soon after graduating from the University of Cambridge, where he read music and sang in Trinity College Choir under Stephen Layton.

Jonathan Pacey | Bass
Jonathan began his musical career as a chorister at Winchester Cathedral under David Hill and Andrew Lumsden. He later read music at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar under Stephen Layton. He auditioned for VOCES8 while in his final term at university and debuted the day after he finished his degree.




BARNABY SMITH – Countertenor



CHRIS MOORE – Baritone


Choirs and ensembles can now register to participate at Voices of Spirit 2019! ! Registration at the Choir Association Styria +43 (316) 829925 or to

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