The International Choral Festival brings 13 world-class choirs to the Missoula July 13-16. Since 1987, this triennial choral festival has enticed 5,546 singers from 45 countries to Missoula. Choirs participating at the 2016 festival represent Hong Kong, Canada, Costa Rica, Estonia, Cuba, Poland, Georgia, The Philippines, and Kenya and the U.S. states of Washington, Iowa and Montana.
The 10th festival begins with free preview concerts on Wednesday, July 13, during Out to Lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Caras Park; 2:30-4 p.m. at Southgate Mall; and ending with an evening performance by youth choirs, 6:30-9 p.m. at Bonner Park. On July 14-15, concerts will be presented in the afternoon and evening, culminating in the Festival Finale Concert, which includes all choirs and a Parade of Nations, 7-9 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at UM’s Adams Center.
New this year is a Choir Crawl, 1:30-5 p.m. at various downtown venues, including Plonk!, the Red Bird, and Fact and Fiction Bookstore and the library; choirs perform for 15 minutes at each site (admission buttons required).
A concert button, which provides admission to all concerts, costs $20 and may be purchased online or at several Missoula locations. Children 12 and under are admitted free and can collect colorful wristbands at each event.
During festival week, choirs offer a flurry of public concerts while community supporters and festival organizers provide meals, social events, and local transportation. The event typically attracts thousands of audience members not only from western Montana but across the United States and Canada.
As a grassroots organization, ICF relies on more than 100 families to open their homes as hosts for international guests. The community also provides thousands of meals, and a team of more than 200 volunteers coordinates the festival.
“It truly is a phenomenal engagement on a civic level,” says executive director Anne Marie Brinkman. “The International Choral Festival is proud to be a part of a tradition that makes Missoula one of the best places to live.”
For more information, visit www.choralfestival.org.