The year is coming to an end – time to take a moment to reflect on the past months, the experiences and the lessons learned.

A difficult year is coming to an end, a year that has kept the entire world in suspense and presented humanity with numerous, unprecedented challenges. In many countries, public life remains largely at a standstill, while in other parts of the world people are just beginning to assess the consequences of the pandemic or to find a way to deal with it. In any case, the vaccine, that has been developed, further strengthens hope and confidence for the coming year.

The choral world, in particular, was hit hard by the numerous restrictions and bans worldwide. From one day to the next we were no longer allowed to travel, to meet with our friends, to sing together and we had to forgo the community of our choir. However, this enforced distance has also led to a new kind of closeness. The world, against the background of the all-encompassing threat, has grown closer and the solidarity of people has become stronger.

Despite the distance, music has always accompanied us and given us strength. It was a real ray of hope to see the numerous pictures of entire neighborhoods making music together, choirs and singers coming together virtually, and living rooms, balconies, sports fields or parking garages suddenly being transformed into concert halls.

I think it’s fair to say, that the challenges of this crisis have also shown us new ways, new possibilities, and given us beautiful moments and memories that we can accept and cherish with gratitude and positive energy. The enthusiasm and, above all, the creativity with which the choirs of this world have responded to the pandemic and all its limitations is truly admirable! And for this I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Even in dark times, the music will not dry up and our voices will only echo all the louder – I thank you all for your strength, your hope and your trust!

The world and also the choir world are changing visibly, they will not be the same as before, they will be different, but just as beautiful! The main thing is that together we will get through this difficult time in good health and we will be able to look to the future with hope! We are confident that this crisis will soon be overcome and that we will soon be singing together again on the stages of this world! Until then, I wish you all, your families and friends a blessed Christmas, joyous holidays and a happy New Year 2021!