Investing in the European Music Festival for Young People is investing in a better World.
Once again, for the 62nd consecutive year Neerpelt was the scene of one of the most important music festivals for children and youth in Europe : The European Music Festival for Young People. 90 choirs from 25 European countries and Japan, good for 3500 youngsters, appeared before the public with only one goal: establish a performance as good as possible before an international professional jury and an exquisite audience. The many jury- and other concerts as well as various other activities were attended by more than 30 000 spectators.
One of these guests was Flemish Minister for environment, nature and culture Joke Schauvliege. With her presence she underlined her great appreciation for the EMJ which only last year she awarded the Flemish Culture prize for Amateur Arts.
The many testimonials of various domestic and foreign participants show that the EMJ can count on a large appreciation, not only in Flanders, but also far beyond.
"The EMJ still brings us many "goose bumps" moments", "The EMJ is one of the best festivals in the world for children's and youth choirs "and" The entire North-Limburg region sympathizes with us and with the Festival ", are but a few of the many praising statements by participants.
Observers, jury members and conductors were flattering on the Festival. "The EMJ connects young people from all over Europe and offers them joy and friendship through singing and music for a few days. For all those young people Neerpelt is the miniature world at peace, the crossroads where countries, regions, cultures, religions and ideologies come together in harmony. So keep investing in the European Music Festival for Young People, for then you invest in a better world", they all stated.
The highlights during the 62nd EMJ were countless. However, the thousands of spectators will always remember the concerts of the Liverpool Signing Choir, consisting of young people with auditory limitations.
By inviting this choir to Neerpelt, the EMJ opens up for initiatives that involve people with disabilities into music.
But also the jury performances by Coro Mikron from Turin (Italy), Tienerkoor Villanella from Laakdal (Belgium), Vesna Children's Choir from Moscow (Russia), Radost Praha from Prague (Czech Republic) and Medvidata from Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic) appeal to the imagination. With a first prize summa cum laude, they achieved the highest score possible.
Some Belgian choirs also showed a highly qualified performance: Jeugdkoor De kleine Johannes from Blanden, Jeugdkoor Habanico from Borgerhout and Showkoor Rise Up from Neerpelt. They were awarded a nice first prize cum laude.
A remarkable trend is the leveling in quality, musicality and sonority. East European participants used to be outstanding. But according to the results, it now appears that Western European groups caught up and equal the Eastern Europeans in quality, and even surpassed them.