West-Balkan and Europe united, musical synergies for young artists

 A Creative Europe culture cooperation project

 webeunited met EU

About the project:

This section briefly explains the main goals of the 'West-Balkan and Europe United, musical synergies for young artists ' project, a Creative Europe culture cooperation project. For more detailed information you can always contact one of the WeBEUnited partners.

What's is WeBEUnited about?

The Creative Europe culture cooperation project, “West-Balkan and Europe united, musical synergies for young artists” (abbreviated to WeBEUnited), is a collaboration between the European Music Festival for Young People (Pelt – Belgium, EMJ), the Európa Jövóje Egyesület (Kecskemét – Hungary, EJE), Associazione musicale, Harmonia Gentium (Lecco - Italy, GZ) and Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciol Choru Kameralnego Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewieza (Poznan - Poland, UC). The EMJ is the project leader.

With the support of the European Community, WeBEUnited aims at achieving an exchange of culture between EU candidate states and current EU members. More specifically, we will try to achieve this goal by introducing West-Balkan music in the EU and vice versa. For this project, new music will be composed by compers in the Balkan states and the partners countries. These EU candidate countries are Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Including all new countries in just one festival would not be realistic, therefore the project has been spread over several festivals, from 1/9/2019 to 30/9/2022, at these festival music from the EU candidate countries and the EU countires will be performed. WeBEUnited lasts for 36 months giving the EU participants 2 vocal (2020 and 2022) and an instrumental (2021) EMJ festival edition, an EJE festival in 2021, a GZ festival in 2021 and a UC festival in 2022.

At the end of the project, we hope to have contributed in dissemintating culture from the West-Balkan and the transformation of the EU candidate countries into full EU members who will have found their way into the European creative and cultural sector. As such we expect to find them among the regular participants after this project’s end date – having achieved our goal of helping these countries getting more involved in the European community.

WeBEUnited Partners

logo emj vogeltjes


Within the WeBEUnited project, EMJ is the leader and responsible for managing the EU cooperation to a fruitful project. Since 1952, EMJ has organised 67 festival editions, welcoming 5.520 youth choirs and ensembles, over 200.000 EU young artists and roughly 1.200 professionals from over 25 countries. EMJ is successful in creating a fraternizing atmosphere between young and old, professionals and amateurs, participants and visitors, a valuable part of EMJ's task of their EU inclusion.

Logo Harmonia Gentium


Harmonia Gentium aims to help in creating and growing a qualified musical culture for all the population, with no discriminations and free of charge and to create opportunities for useful exchanges of experiences and co-operation within European and Worldwide, realizing the Harmonia Gentium´s pledge, in promoting through the musical art, the friendship between peoples. And more specifically to pay special attention to the young people, with the European Festival G. Zelioli for "Youth Cantores". The youth would make possible a best future by being involved, without barriers, in an atmosphere of peace and fraternity, mutually linked in the common love for music.

Logo Csipero

EJE has a history of over 175 settlements (exchanges), 16.000 EU youngsters from over 20 countries all of which makes EJE most appropriate to create an unbounded fraternizing atmosphere and to have their experience and knowledge shared. EJE focusses on workshops, educational, cultural and interactive programs, exchange programs, non-formal learning programs and discussions, guided by professional artists, teachers and cultural experts, all with the aim of helping EU youngsters towards a professional creative and social career. EJE succeeds in creating an unbounded fraternizing atmosphere between young and old, professionals and amateurs, participants and visitors, resulting in an expansion of EJE's opportunities for social inclusion.

LOGO universitas cantat


The International Festival of University Choirs UNIVERSITAS CANTAT promotes academic culture in the field of musical arts. More than ten university choirs and orchestral ensembles from all around the world are invited for the event to Poznań. Participants have the opportunity to present music of their countries in its full diversity. All of these activities create a space for an inspiring cultural and artistic exchange.

WeBEUnited compositions

Choral compositions were written especially for this project. Here you can find the compositions that have been written:

European Music Festival for Young People:
Me nji Lule (SATB), composed by Memli Kelmendi (Kosovo)
Hapi krahët (SATB), composed by Alban Dhamo (Albania)
Gorskog vijenca (SSA), composed by Marko Kovac (Montenegro)

Harmonia Gentium:
Laudate si, composed by PierAngelo Pelucchi
Adore te Devote, composed by Emir Mejeremic

Universitas Cantat:
Dodola, composed by Angel Spiroski
Iam sempet, composed by Jacek Sykulski

Future of Europe Association:
Hetes, composed by Deli Zsolt


WeBEUnited activities:

 Below you can read all about the activities that took place for the WeBEUnited project.


WeBEUnited Skype meeting on December 4, 2019

Pelt, December 4, 2019

As project leader, EMJ organised a Skype Meeting with all the partners in the project to discuss what everyone is doing for the project at the moment and what the next steps will be. It was a succesful meeting and it was nice seeing everyone again, even though it was through a webcam.

Foto Skype meeting 20191204

WeBEUnited Skype meeting on March 15, 2020

 Pelt, March 15, 2020

In March the EMJ organised a meeting with the partners to discuss the financial aspect of the project. We explained to the partners what their responsibilites and duties are. During this meeting we also answered questions that the partners had. Since two of them had no previous experience with these kind of cooperation projects we think is was important to inform them as well as we can and guide them through the process.

EMJ United @ home

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we were not able to host a real life choral festival. However, we wanted to let the choirs know that we did not foget about them and to give them a piece of our unique festival atmosphere. The entire EMJ team worked together to make a livestream show called "EMJ United @ Home". During this live show we already introduced them to the WeBEUnited project and had an interview with the Kosovar composer Memli Kelmendi. You can still watch the entire show by clicking here.

WeBEUnited Skype meeting on July 30, 2020

 Pelt, March 15, 2020

 The COVID-19 crisis had harshly impacted the event and cultural sectors. Many partners had to cancel or postpone their events. As project leader, the EMJ has concerns whether we would be able to complete the project before its end date (30/09/2021) because we could not foresee how the situation would develop. We requested a meeting with all the partners to discuss how they wanted to tackle things. We concluded that it would be a good idea to try and ask for an extension of our project timeline. The EMJ requested a meeting with our project officer and he eplained to us what needed to be done to be granted this by the Agency. We applied for the extension and were granted it! We were very pleased that we got more time to finsh the project as originally intended.

69th EMJ 01/05/2021 (online edition)

The pandemic still made it unable to bring people coming from many different countries together. The EMJ was determined to create a festival any way. The team decided to host an online edition of its festival that included all aspects of a regular festival. We had jury concerts, workshops and a few live performances. All of this could be followed on our online platform that was created specially for this online EMJ edition. In fact, this platform was a pilot case for the World Choir Games that were to take place later that year in Antwerp and Ghent who wanted to use this technology as well. We were so happy to be able to reach 100 groups, both choirs and instrumental ensembles, from 35 countries from all over the world to participate in this online event and even more people from even more countries watching the festival as an audience. We estimate that around 40.000 people have watched our online edition.
Duting this online festival we gave special attention to our WeBEUnited project by hosting workshops on the online platfrom with Kosovar composer Memli Kelmendi who taught his new composition "Me nji Lule" to the participants.
Participants of the online festival could also participate in the "Balkan Challenge". For this challenge we challenged them to study a new choral work written by our Balkan composers. Since choirs were not able to rehearse much or only online we were still very pleased that there were choirs that were more than happy to study these new songs. They recored themselves singing it and these videos were uploaded to our online plarform. 
EMJ banner 2021 ONLINE
Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205045 Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205053Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205120Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205135Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205201Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205212Screenshot 2021 05 10 at 205233

70th EMJ 29/04-02/05/2022

In 2022 we were finally able to once again host a real life choral festival. We were delighted to see all the young singers again in real life after such a long time. 45 choirs from 12 different countries came to Neerpelt to sing together and to get to know each others (choral) cultures. Albanian composer Alban Dhamo and Kosovar composer Memli Kelmendi came to Neerpelt as well and taught workshops ons the traditional choral music of their countries to the participants. During these workshops they also learned how to sing the choral works that they created for this project. 
During the Happening concert on Saturday, the participants all sang "Me nji Lule" together which sounded absolutely beautiful! You can rewatch the entire Happening concert here. This concert was attended by a live audience and livestreamed on our Facebook page for all the world to watch.
One of the choirs participating in the concert and our festival was the Kosovar choir Siparantum conducted by mister Kelmendi. They participated in the jury concert where they performed the song "Laudes Paschales" by Belgian composer Kristiaan Van Ingelgem. The jury awarded them with the 1st prize for their performance! You can find al the results of the jury concerts here.
For this festival we also invited all the project partners to discuss any problems they had and to keep up witht the current state of affairs of their part of the project. It was nice to see everyone again in real life after such a long time!
ImageAndTekst Original



The 14th Giuseppe Zelioli festival (02-04/07/2021)

In July 2021 Harmonia Gentium was able to finally organise their festival after it had to be postponed for one year because of the pandemic. Restrictions were still in vgior which is why only 2 of their 8 participating choirs were able to come to Lecco, Italy. The Italian ("Piccoli Cantori delle Colline Brianzole" and "Licabella Vocal Ensemble") and Bosnian ("Pontanima") choirs performed together in several concerts and holy masses. In these concerts they also sang the choral work composed by composer Emir Mejeremic "Adore te Devote". The other 6 choirs participated in online events that were livestreamed all across the world. These can all be watched on their Youtube channel.
During this festival they also included young refugees that live in Lecco. They designed and created wooden panels to be used as promotion and decoration for the 14th Giuseppe Zelioli festival. This way they became more integrated in the Lecco community and they were offered the chance to experience Balkan and Italian choral traditions.


Online event 2020

What was to be a choral festival in September 2020 had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was planned that a Serbian choir would performe here as part of the WeBEUnited project but it was impossible for them to com to Hungary. Instead they recorded a performance that was broadcasted on Youtube in the course of the Csipero online Advent event and the video went live on November 29. You can still watch the performance here.

Csipero choral days (6-9/7/2021)

In 2021 EJE was able to host a real life event. from 7 until 9 of July 2021 they welcomed young musicians from Hungary, Serbia, Italy and Romania. They performed in front of a real life audience and followed workshops were they were taught about Hungarian and Serbian choral traditions and were taugth how to sing the composition "Hetes" by Deli Zsolt which was created for the WeBEUnited project.
Because they could not welcome hundreds of youngster because of COVID restrictions, they did part of their festival online. You can still watch this here.
CSIPERO 2021 A3 D web

Workshops August 2021

Because their workshops in July were so succesfull and enjoyed by the participants they also organised more workshops one month later. For one week Hungarian and Serbian singers came together to discuss the similarities and differences of the cultural life in the two participating countries. Here they were also taught the composition "Hetes" by Deli Zsolt which was created for the WeBEUnited project.



The 15th Universitas Cantat (15-21/05/2022)

In May 2022 they welcomed 9 university choirs from 5 different countries in Poznan.All these choirs participated in concerts where they could experience each others singing and cultures. they also participated in workshops taught by Polish and North Macedonian musicians. During these workshops they were taught the Polish and North Macedonian choral compositions that were created as part of this project. Both these songs were performed during the final concert of the festival by choirs from Poland and North Macedonia. This concert can still be watched here.
An overview of each of the festival days can be found on their Youtube Channel.

Concert at the Bit Fest Summer Festival, Bitola North Macedonia (28/08/2022)

The Polish choir of the Adama Mickiewieza University in Poznan travelled to North Macedonia during the summer of 2022. Here it was their goal to get to know the culture of this country where most of them had never been to. Accompanied by Polish composer Jacek Sykulski they explored the country and sang the compositions that were created for the WeBEUnited project. Their first stop was at the Bit Fest Summer Festival in Bitola in the south of the country. Here they gave a performance together with the North Macedonian choir "Youth Female Choir – MKC". After a succesfull experience at the Bit Fest Summer Festival they continued their journey towards Skopje.

“Let’s celebrate together” festival, Skopje North Macedonia (02/09/2022)

As part of their visit to North Macedonia, the choir of the Adama Mickiewieza University Poznan travelled to Skopje at the beginning of September 2022, North Macedonia, to participate in the “Let’s celebrate together” festival. On September 2nd the Poznan choir sang together with the participating North Macedonian choirs (Dragan Shuplevski Choir, Youth Female Choir - MKC, AMU Chamber Choir, Gortinija Mixed Choir, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Children Choir, Menada Girls Choir) the Polish and North Macedonian compositions created for this project. They had learned to sing these songs a in course of the festival during workshops given by mister Sykulski and mister Spiroski. Eveyone enjoyed the festival and the Polish singers were happy to visit a new country and learn about its culture.

Europees Muziekfestival voor de Jeugd vzw
Toekomstlaan 7 bus 2, 3910 Pelt
+32 11/66 23 39