2024 CHORAL FESTIVAL
The 16th Annual Baha’i Choral Festival
Location: Baha'i House of Worship - Wilmette, Illinois, USA
Date: May 26th
Each year more than 200 singers from diverse backgrounds and faiths
come from around the globe to attend the Bahá’í House of Worship Choral Music Festival
Music of the heart offered as devotional prayer
Since its start in 2007, the Annual Bahá’í House of Worship Choral Festival has attracted singers and sacred music lovers from around the world. Each year nearly 200 voices soar in the 72-foot dome of the Baha’i House of Worship for the North American Continent, adding harmonies to the holy words of the world's religions, as audience members contemplate their beautiful, uplifting sentiments.
The multi-cultural programs include classical choral arrangements, new Bahá’í Gospel compositions, traditional sacred folk songs, and Negro spirituals. The concerts are sung entirely a capella, in four or more parts. Singers memorize their parts so that they can sing without sheet music, and be totally focused on the director, the music, and each other. The music is offered as sacred, devotional prayer.
The festivals provide opportunities for diverse singers to come together and share their musical experience, learn from one another, form fast friendships and to pray together. Some singers are accomplished, trained musicians, while others simply sing for the love of it.
In the weeks leading up to the festival, singers of all ages learn the pieces individually by way of video streamed rehearsals and pre-recorded parts. Participants then journey to the concert area and spend three days together in focused rehearsals where they fit all of their parts together. The weekend culminates with two free public performances that regularly draw delighted audiences to the 1,200-seat Temple auditorium.
The gatherings underscore the Bahá’í belief in the oneness of humanity. Many singers return year after year for the chance to raise their voices in praise of God in the rarified space under the dome of the Bahá’í Temple.