Having performed in more than 35 countries of the world both in acoustic churches and large concert halls, having released nine music albums and the audiobook "Sounds of Latvian Nature", the group Latvian Voices also established its own a cappella festival in 2017.
One of the best-known professional a cappella groups in Latvia, Latvian Voices, started in 2009 as a last-minute group of seven students of the Music Academy to sing at St. Lucia's Day in St. Michael's Church in Hamburg. Just two years later, Latvian Voices won Europe's most prestigious a cappella festival in Leipzig.
"We are privileged as a group to be in many places in the world and to see how such a cappella festivals take place," says Zane Stafecka, a member of the group. "For us, it has been an essential and important moment – a chance to socialize, to get to know the a cappella community, enrich ourselves, learn from each other, at the level of a dream, the idea had been there for a long time - we would like to have our own a cappella festival. There is a lot of choral music in this region, in the Baltic States events, but there are very few or even no such a cappella group competitions or festivals."
The first Latvian Voices festival was held in Salaspils, but since then Valmiera became its home.
"There are a lot of small, charming corners in Valmiera, the concert hall is, of course, the center of culture, and the Evangelical Lutheran church has also held concerts for several years - this time too - and also open-air acoustic events, we have had concerts in the castle ruins in other years as well – there is a place to express yourself!" says Zane Stafecka..
Both individual participants - music teachers and conductors from all over Latvia, as well as five domestic a cappella ensembles - will take part in the Latvian Voices master classes in Valmiera. In all there are expected to be around 80 participants.
Registration for the master classes closed long before the beginning of the festival, but the doors to the concerts are still open to the public. Full details are available at the Latvian Voices website and the festival Facebook page.