Welcome to the SCL Festival, Austria´s Premier Global Youth Music Festival for Choirs, Bands and Orchestras!

Music is the language we all speak and the SCL Youth Music Festival gathers young talents from all over the world in Vienna, the capital of music, to perform together on some of the world´s most famous stages. Taking place every July in Vienna’s two main classical concert venues, the Golden Hall of the Musikverein and the Wiener Konzerthaus, the festival offers a truly international environment where a thousand young musicians speak the universal language of music, enjoy intercultural exchanges and build bridges that span continents.

Being one of the few festivals designed for choirs, bands and orchestras at the same time, the SCL Youth Music Festival offers a variety of options: Ensembles may participate either in the Competition or in the non-competitive Celebration. In addition to the competition or celebration we offer workshops within the SCL Academy. Top professionals form the international juries in the Competition and teach our Academy program at the Vienna University of Music. Follow the link Categories to see all the details that apply to you whether you are a choir, a band, an orchestra or a special performance group.

Enjoy interactive workshops and educational lectures, additional concerts with local audiences, and pre-and post-concert tours in Europe.

Here are the dates for our next festivals:

11th SCL Festival: July 7-12, 2017

12th SCL Festival: July 6-11, 2018

13th SCL Festival: July 5-10, 2019

 

The SCL Festival Offers a Competition, a Celebration and the Academy:

  • Competition

    Competition or Celebration? It´s up to you! You can choose if you would rather participate in the competition or the celebration of the Festival. Either way the Summa Cum Laude Youth Music Festival offers you the unique opportunity to perform on Vienna´s most magnificent stages.

    The competition will be held in the prestigious Golden Hall of the Musikverein and judged by a selection of top music professionals, all well-respected and well-known internationally. On the last day of the Festival - as one of the highlights - the participating groups selected by the jury will perform their best work before an international and local audience in the Musikverein or in the Konzerthaus.

    For the competition ensembles have to present certain compulsory music pieces. You will find all the necessary information on the page "Categories".
  • Celebration

    Competition or Celebration? It´s up to you! You can choose if you would rather participate in the competition or the celebration of the Festival. Either way the Summa Cum Laude Youth Music Festival offers you the unique opportunity to perform on Vienna´s most magnificent stages

    The SCL Celebration offers ensembles the opportunity to take part in the festival without having to compete in the competition. The non-competitive program will culminate with a concert in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. Ensembles participating in the Celebration will experience the same spirit of the festival and will also interact with ensembles of the competition.

    You will find all necessary information for your group on the page categories.
  • Academy

    The SCL Academy offers all performing groups the opportunity to participate in unique workshops held in Vienna’s University of Music. These workshops offer an inspirational occasion where individual groups as well as combined ensembles may qualitatively enhance their musical knowledge under the tutelage of distinguished lecturers. All participating groups will take part in two interactive workshops. For the choirs, these will be held together with other groups if possible. The workshops are conducted by members of the festival’s jury. Participants will have the chance to study new pieces and will receive musical and technical advice from the experienced teachers.

    Orchestra and band workshops
    All orchestras and bands are required to prepare music pieces which will be praticed during the workshops. All participants must therefore bring their own instruments. The workshops are held by members of the festival’s orchestra and band juries.

    Choir workshops
    The pieces that will be studied during the workshops need not be prepared by the choirs beforehand. The workshops are held by members of the choir jury.

    Both the orchestra and the choir workshops will have a length of approximately 45 minutes each. All participants will receive a diploma for the classes they have attended.

Find here a short overview of the festival program:

+ Festival program



Festival Day 1: Friday
Afternoon Opening Ceremony for all participants at St. Stephen´s Cathedral
Conductor´s Kick-Off Meeting (all conductors)


Festival Day 2: Saturday
All day Competition and Celebration at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein for Choirs, Orchestras, Bands and Special Groups
All day Individual concerts and performances in Vienna and around Vienna (all groups)


Festival Day 3: Sunday
All day Competition and Celebration at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein for Choirs, Orchestras, Bands and Special Groups
All day Workshops at the University of Music in Vienna for Choirs, Orchestras, Bands and Special Groups
All day Individual concerts and performances in Vienna and around Vienna (all groups)


Festival Day 4: Monday
All day Workshops at the University of Music in Vienna for Choirs, Orchestras, Bands and Special Groups
Visit to the Haus der Musik*, an interactive sound museum
All day Individual concerts and performances in Vienna and around Vienna (all groups)


Festival Day 5: Tuesday
Morning Individual city exploration of Vienna*
Lecture, preparation for Gala Winners’ Concert and group photo at the Wiener Konzerthaus (all groups)
18:00 Evening Gala Winners' Concert (winners of the Competition on stage, all other participants in the audience) at the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus
20:30 Award ceremony, farewell reception at the Rathaus - Town Hall (all participants)


Festival Day 6: Wednesday
Departure from Vienna, further European concert tour where applicable


* details as per individual group itinerary Program subject to change

Application

Application to the SCL festival is open to young musicians of all nations below the age of 26. A maximum of 10% of the participants may be between 26 and 30 years of age. Conductors and piano players accompanying the choirs are not subject to the age limit.

The following steps are necessary for a successful application:

  • Application containing all required materials (see below) and payment of the registration fee
  • Acceptance to the Festival within 2 weeks after receipt of all materials required by the 15th of February
  • Deposit payment of the package fee within 4 weeks after acceptance

 

+ Until 15th of February of the festival year:

  • Application form and music repertoire filled out completely
  • CD, DVD, mp3-files or links to recordings (live or studio) of the performing group with a minimum of 3 works, not older than 4 years
  • Short biography (in English) of the performing group and the conductor (max. 1 page/ Word file)
  • High resolution colour photos of the performing group and the conductor (Tiff, Bitmap or Jpeg)

+ Until 15th of April of the festival year (latest):

  • Seven original conductor scores each of the works performed in the Competition
    (Note: Scores of the required pieces are already available and do not have to be included in your sending)
  • Data sheet for the individual participants
  • Stage Plan indicating the location of all instruments and all group members

+ Form of submission

The materials required within the registration deadline (15th of February) as well as photos, stage plan and data sheet may be sent electronically (application form by fax).
All other materials (seven original conductor scores) are to be sent via postal mail. Promotional material (i.e. logos) is welcome but not compulsory. Please note that apart from six conductor scores (of the selected works), documents will not be returned.

For details on the musical program and the compulsory pieces please see the program for choirs, bands, orchestras and special performance groups.

Applications and materials are to be sent to the artistic office of the SCL Festival:

CONCERTS-AUSTRIA
Artistic office of the SCL Festival

Columbus Ihr Reisebüro GmbH & CoKG
Universitätsring 8 / D2
A-1010 Vienna
Austria

+ Costs and Services

The registration fee per group and category is € 250.-. This amount is due on registration and is non-refundable.

The participating group will subsequently be presented with a package fee, which includes all services as shown below. For payment of the package fee until the 31st of October an early bird fee applies. The total early bird package fee contains a reduction of € 30.- per participant.

Please note that due to organizational reasons the participants are required to cooperate with the authorised festival travel partner.

The package fee includes the following services:

  • Travel, board and lodging for the 5 days of the festival
  • Organization costs for the following festival services, that are not subsidized by public or private sponsors:
    • Opening ceremony in St. Stephen’s Cathedral
    • Two workshops at the University of Music and one additional lecture
    • Two additional concerts in and around Vienna
    • Competition only: one performance before the jury in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein or in the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus and possibly (the best groups only as selected by the jury) a performance during the Gala Winners’ concert in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein or in the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus
    • Celebration only: one performance in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein or in the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus
    • Closing ceremony in the Town Hall by invitation of the Lord Mayor of Vienna
    • Diplomas for every participant for the workshops attended at the University of Music
    • Online presentation of the biography of the group and the exact Festival program
    • Printed Festival program for every participant and conductor
    • Participation certificates for every group and every participant

 


This video sums up the individual steps of the application process:

  • "It was my first time participating in it and my choir and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. For me, it had been the best festival I have ever attended. ... Another kudos to your organisation was the fact that even though we were a children’s choir, we were treated with equal dignity and respect."

    Ms Bee Na Lim (Conductor / The St Margaret’s Primary School Choir, Singapore)

  • "The concert yesterday was amazing! We were able to see the festival winners and it was really great! The atmosphere was splendid and also the artistic features. Your festival is really high-level, the organization and also the artistic part."

    Janka Rychlá (Conductor / Pressburg Singers, Slovakia)

  • "I have been a professional musician for 30 years, and I finally know how to play a Viennese Waltz! Thank you Summa Cum Laude Festival!"

    Diana Anderson (Musical Director)

  • "I wanted to thank you for an incredible experience that our choir had in Vienna! It is hard to express the joy, excitement, sense of accomplishment and pride our children felt after we left Vienna."

    Rita McLeod (Saskatoon Children's Choir, Canada)

  • “It was an incredible night, and it was amazing to be amongst choirs and orchestras all performing at the Golden Hall because they love to play and sing."

    Jonny Robinson (Choir Member / Wesley Institute Choir, Australia)

  • "My favorite day was the 4th of July when we played in the most acoustically wonderful hall in the world, the Musikverein. It will remain in my memory forever."

    Rob (Excerpt of the Blog of the Toledo International Youth Orchestra, USA)

You would like to get more information about the festival?
That´s easy! Just fill out the form below so that we know what specific information you are looking for and we will provide you with all the details that you need to participate. Also you might have a look at our global partners to see which of our partners in your region could help you planning your travel. In the last ten years they successfully enabled more than eleven thousand young musicians from all over the world to perform here in Vienna!