2019 CONFERENCE: Developing Amateur Orchestras: Models and Trends

PROGRAMME (download the programme in pdf format)

Friday 15 March
3.00pm – Registration at SNYO Studios
3.30pm – 5.00pm –General Assembly Preparation Meeting and Networking Session
6.00pm – Pre-concert welcome dinner for delegates (courtesy of WFAO) 7.30pm (optional) – SSO-SNYO side-­by-side concert with Andrew Litton and Ray Chen – Esplanade Concert Hall

Saturday 16 March
9.30am – 5.00pm – Conference: Developing Amateur Orchestras: Models and Trends
8.00pm (optional) – SCO-SNYCO side-­by-­side concert, Singapore Conference Hall

Sunday, 17 March
9.30am – Member presentations (10 mins each)
10.30am – 12.00pm – WFAO 2019 General Assembly
2.00pm (optional) – City Sights / Tour

CONFERENCE FEES* (in Singapore Dollars)
S$120 (for WFAO members) S$200 (for non-­‐WFAO members)
S$120 (for Singapore delegates attending conference on 16 March only)

  • The conference fee does not include concert tickets for 15 and 16
  • The conference fee includes lunch on the 16


* Concert ticket for 15 March: S$42 Concert ticket for 16 March: S$28
+ WFAO members who have paid the regular membership dues.


The official conference hotel is Mercure Bugis.

Please visit the website address at this link to find out about hotel reservation information.


Conference participants interested in presenting their orchestra model (not more than 30 minutes including Q&A) on 16 March will need to submit their presentation by 31 January 2019. There will be a framework given for the presentation in order to allow for a basis for comparison.

Member presentations (10-­15 minutes each) will be scheduled on 17 March.


Deadline for registration is 31 January 2019.

For further information, please visit www.snyo.org.sg/wfao2019 after 7 November 2018. You may also write to the WFAO 2019 Conference secretariat at wfao2019@sso.org.sg.

Hosted by

Supported by

WFAO is a member of

IMC is an NGO official partner of UNESCO (associate status)

Activities in Africa

– Under the title “Eclairages”, La musique symphonique en Tunisie, the renown musician and director Féthi Zghonda, outlines the history and the actual situation of symphonic orchestras in Tunisia. The text originally written in French, is also available in English.Presentations from Africa

– The executive director of the Accra Symphony Orchestra from Ghana, Korkor Armateifio, has dedicated a lot of energy in the African creative industry in general. She presents the exciting story of the Accra Symphony Orchestra.

Jessica Ester a superb young violin-player from Mozambique presents the unique Project Xiquitsi(http://xiquitsi.org.mz/).

Although we don’t have the full-presentation, we ought to give attention to the numerous orchestra activities in Kenya and their social impact, presented by Professor Duncan Miano Wambugu, Lecturer in the Department of Music and Dance at  the Kenyatta University in Nairobi. He is a also a famous performer, conductor and educator. You can find the abstract of his presentation and his short bio on our website.

I want also to mention that I had the pleasure to meet Brian O’Kepher, a young Kenyan musician,last year at the SICO-festival in Seoul. Although he was not present in Bergen I wanted to show his activities as an example of the many more musical talents in Africa.

All different stories from different corners of Africa. With one common line, their love to share playing music in an orchestra. Below I have listed some references videos on YouTube, which illustrates the inspired work. But, please, don’t limit yourself to my selection, there are many more videos to discover.

Presentations on activities in Africa

Féthi Zghonda, Tunisia

La musique symphonique en Tunisie (Francais)

Symphonic music in Tunisia (English)

Accra Symphony Orchestra, Ghana


Project Xiquitsi, Mozambique

Project Xiquitsi

Duncan Miano Wambugu – Kenya



List of illustrating videos from Africa

Here are some suggestions but if you take some time you can find many more.

From Tunisia:

Not only videos of well-known repertoire but also new original scores written by Tunisiancomposers, which makes it even more attractive to watch.






From Ghana and Accra Symphony Orchestra





From Mozambique:



From Kenya:

It is hard to make a selection of the videos from numerous orchestras in Kenya.

You can find work by the Nairobi Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya, the University of Nairobi Orchestra , the Safaricom Youth orchestra and Safaricom Choir.

Kenya National Anthem – National Youth Orchestra of Kenya, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB0azCnMWJI

National Youth Orchestra of Kenya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8VgnWV6RtU

National Youth Orchestra of Kenya performing Hifadhi by Kenyan composer Njane Mugambi , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x1zMDaSGcg

Rehearsal of Pole Musa directed by KNYO Deputy Musical Director Levi Wataka, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upn1GhI_WIQ

Safaricom Youth Orchestra presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqrSjUP0ZFs

Safaricom Youth Orchestra and Safaricom Choir https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgf6BawA7_c

University of Nairobi Orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAyFLrWD3Ao

Nairobi Orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD6IgIKLIT0

National Anthem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEErr_8Ck_Y

Mendelssohn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_zIitMPSfU

Strauss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6wjqDZpKqg

And some extra videos with Brian O’Kepher, as a prove of his talent.

Brian O’Kepher with Ivan Fischer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBzq1FHaPLo

My life conducting an orchestra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k8BtNumxmI

Dvorak 9, 2nd movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV3cLSAdUBw

Bergen Conference Time Table

Friday, May 11, 2018
09:30 Register and first introduction. Welcome by Daniel Kellerhals and Alex Van Beveren
10:00 Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries (session 1)
Orchestra activities in Nepal, Alex van Beveren and Carl Ninian Wika
Music for democracy and Women Empowerment in third countries, Vilma Misiukoniené
Orchestra Activities in Kenya, Duncan Miano Wambugu
12:00 Visit to workshops
13:00 End of session 1

15:00 Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries (session 2)
Orquesta Filarmónica De Río Negro (Argentina), Martin Fraile
Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, Juan Andrés Rojas Castillo
Developing the Orchestra in Each Rehearsal. Conducting Strategies to
develop Youth and Semi-Professional Orchestras, Diego Barbosa-Vásquez
18:00 End of session 2

Saturday, May 12, 2018
09:30 Presentations on youth orchestras and exchange programs
Bejing Philharmonic Culture Exchange, Quingdao-festival, Liu Zheng and Teng Dandan
Singapore National Youth Orchestra and amateur orchestras in Singapore, Siu Yuin Pang
re:SOUND Collective Chamber Orchestra (Singapore), Olive Kan
European Spirit Youth Orchestra and Youth
Orchestra of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Igor Coretti-Kuret
Vilnius Symphony Orchestra (history/activities), Vilma Mislukoniené
Estonian Nat Youth Sy and Estonian Sy Orch Association, Tönno Piigli
Jugend Sinfonie Orkester Konservatorium Bern (Switzerland), Gerhard Müller
Crypto Economy for Arts & Media Promotion, Vilma Mislukoniené
12:00 Visit to workshops or Visit to Grieg museum at Troldhaugen

16:00 Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries (session 3)
Music Fund, support music activity in conflict areas, Lukas Pairon
Syrian Expat Orchestra, Raed Jazbeh
18:00 End of session 4

Sunday, May 13, 2018
09:00 Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries (session 4)
Recapitulation of presentations on the main theme
10:00 World Federation of Amateur Orchestras 20 years, Kikuko Morishita
10:30 Future plans
11:00 End of Conference

Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries

The World Federation of Amateur Orchestras – WFAO will,
in collaboration with Norwegian Federation of Youth Orchestras – UNOF
& Norwegian Federation of Amateur Orchestras – NASOL

and in the frame of the 11th European Orchestra Festival of EOFed organize an International Conference as an

‘Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries’

The seminar will consist of 2 parts:
“Introduction to Orchestra activities in developing countries”
Presentations by invited guests with follow-up discussion

“Presentations by the participants of their own activities”
Representatives of orchestras or orchestra-organisations will have the possibility to present their orchestra-activities


Download the flyer here


AIMA (Associazione Italiana Musicisti Amatori – Italian Association of Amateur Musicians) was formed in Milan in 2012 to give amateur musicians the chance to play music together and to meet other people interested in doing the same and now is the biggest amateur music association in Italy. To celebrate its 5th birthday, Saturday 3 March 2018, AIMA will run an important event, open to all amateur musicians: VIVERE LA MUSICA (LIVE MUSIC, with live to be read as the imperative).

The event is divided into two parts: a round table on amateur music and a concert open to all musicians in the city, with special guest. There are three fundamental characteristics:

  • The initiative will take place with the collaboration and participation of the Culture Department of the City of Milan, which has agreed to endorse it.
  • VIVERE LA MUSIC will celebrate AIMA’s first five years of activity (aimamusic.it) and its surpassing the goal of 150 members now affiliated with the association.
  • 3 March 2018 is also World Wide Play In Day, an international day of music making launched by the American association ACMP – Association of Chamber Music Players.

VIVERE LA MUSICA will take place on, and will be subdivided into two parts:

ROUND TABLE – in the course of the day, professional musicians, amateurs and people who work in the sector, moderated by music journalist and critic Luca Ciammarughi, will address various topics connected with amateur music: from its cultural and social role to public relations and relations with professional musicians, to implications for music education. See the table below:

OPEN CONCERT (PLAY-IN)– A special guest will compose a piece of music ad hoc for he event. The piece must be of such a nature that musicians who come in order to play or those who show up at the spur of the moment will be able to play it. One of more of the participants of the round table will also be involved together with the special guest to train a core ensemble to help with the improvisational aspects of the event.

This initiative has two main objectives:

  1. Set aside a day dedicated to music, dialogue and debate on the role of amateur music today in Milan, musical capital of Italy. More and more schools of music for adult non-professionals are springing up, as are courses, orchestras and ensembles. However, in the city (and more generally speaking, throughout Italy) there has not really been a debate on the functions, places, objectives, effects and limits of amateur music.
  2. To underline the fundamental benefits of what amateur music is all about: it encourages relations between different generations; it draws vast audiences to the use of classical music; it valorizes action on the part of citizens and e – last but not least – figures among the various social and musical manifestations and events in the city.

Moreover, AIMA will run this year two workshop, one for symphonic and one for chamber music playing, open to all amateur musicians from all over the world.

  1. 3rd Italian Federation of Amateur Orchestras Festival. The Festival will take place at Fossano (CN) from the 1st to the 4th of November 2018. The Artistic Director of the Festival is Julius Kalmar. The workshops will be calibrated on different levels. All amateur orchestras and/or individual musicians are welcome
  2. The Cambristi-Milano annual Chamber Music Workshop will take place on July 14th and 15th, 2017 at Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi of Como. This workshop aims to offer to amateur musicians from Italy and from all over the world the possibility to study and play together in Italy under the guide of renowned international professionals.