America Cantat 8

The America Cantat is modeled as a cultural music festival after its sister festival, Europa Cantat. These festivals, in conjunction with Africa Cantat and Asia Pacific Cantat, constitute a worldwide movement of promoting peace and understanding through intercultural and artistic events. It is with great excitement that America Cantat continues these initiatives in 2016.

America Cantat 8 will take place August 21-31, 2016, at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Organización America Cantat proudly partners with the American Choral Directors Association and the Ministry of Tourism of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to host this international choir festival.

For detailed information and registration go to


Over ten days, singers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in overlapping five-day-long workshops, led by some of the most prestigious choral clinicians in the world. During these workshops participants rehearse choral pieces indigenous to all previous America Cantat host countries. At the end of the Festival, the workshops present joint concerts to showcase this music. In addition to performing in the workshop concerts, choirs who attend America Cantat as Participant Choirs have performance opportunities in and around Nassau. It is important to note, however, that you do not have to travel with your whole choir to participate in the Cantat! You can bring a smaller chamber choir, section leaders, or even just yourself (“Come Solo!”), and still take advantage of all of the Festival events.

In the evenings, participants are invited to attend Gala Concerts, performed by acclaimed choirs from each host country and our sister festival, Europa Cantat. Additionally, there are Opening and Closing Ceremonies, hosted by The Bahamas, a mid-week Dinner & Beach Party, and time to explore the island, relax on the beach, and take part in excursions to fully experience all that The Bahamas has to offer. This is a can’t-miss event for anyone passionate about choral music and cultural exchange.


America Cantat 8 participants sing in one workshop – what some may call a “festival choir rehearsal” – during their time in the Bahamas. Each workshop lasts five days and overlaps with all other workshops over the course of the Festival.

  • Conducting Master Class

    Calling all conductors! Learn from one of the greats and find new ideas for getting an even better sound out of your singers.

    • This is a hands-on conducting experience for the active participants (those who apply to conduct and be coached by Maestro Grau). Passive participants (those who don’t wish to conduct, but would like to sing in the choir) will learn by observation and giving feedback to the conductors.
    • New rehearsal skills, conducting gestures, and approaches to interpretation
    • For iracticing conductors (as active participants); intermediate to experienced singers, conductors (as passive participants—these people will make up the choir)
  • Cari Classics: Bahamian Classical Music

    Delve into the classical music of America Cantat 8’s host country!

    • The fusion of African, European, and Caribbean musical styles
    • A deeper understanding of classical music being composed and performed in the Bahamas
    • For intermediate to advanced singers
  • Bzzz….Crash! Contemporary Choral Music from Argentina

    There’s music in every sound – this workshop shows you how to find it.

    • The use of non-traditional techniques (such as onomatopoeic sounds, body percussion, and timbre innovation) for music-making
    • Fun, new approaches to choral singing
  • Classically American

    Contemporary classical choral music in the US is an ever-changing and ever-growing art form. In this workshop you’ll sing staples of the American choral repertoire and learn compelling contemporary works.

    • You’ll have the chance to learn and perform beloved American choral compositions alongside newer choral works from the States, many of which were commissioned by the workshop leader, Philip Brunelle
    • First-hand knowledge of contemporary classical choral music of the US, and why advocating for new compositions is vital to the choral art
    • Intermediate to advanced singers
  • The Sounds of Brazil: From Samba to Maracatu

    Come explore the lush harmonies, danceable rhythms, and diverse genres of Brazilian choral music.

    • The focus on samba, foró, maracatu, and samba-reggae
    • Knowledge of uniquely Brazilian melodies and rhythms (and you might even learn a little Portuguese)
  • Cuban Choral Music, From Sones to Guarachas

    Mix up a musical mojito with these varied styles of Cuban music!

    • You’ll learn music based on traditional Cuban dance forms, folk songs, and sacred music
    • A wide overview of the various genres of Cuban choral music
    • For intermediate to advanced singers
  • Bahama Broadway! Songs of the Bahamian Stage

    This workshop is perfect for any opera or musical theater enthusiast.

    • The focus on opera and musical theater choruses
    • Knowledge of music theater styles and traditions of the Bahamas
  • All the World’s a (Music) Stage

    Have a flare for drama? Come learn how to make your next choir concert visually (and musically) stunning with some simple but effective staging techniques incorporated into standard choral repertoire.

    • The incorporation of non-musical performance techniques into choir concerts
    • Ways to make choral performances more visually dynamic
    • For intermediate to advanced singers; conductors
  • Swing ‘n’ Scat

    Of course, this workshop “don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!” Come learn how to give a little extra swing to these fun and exciting vocal jazz songs.

    • This is the only workshop focusing on vocal jazz
    • You’ll learn a unique vocal style that blends traditional and non-traditional vocal techniques with jazz rhythms and complex harmonies
    • For iingers with vocal jazz experience OR singers with strong sight reading ability
  • Viceregal Songs of Mexico and Cuba

    Perfect for any lover of early music, this workshop explores Baroque-era songs written during Mexico and Cuba’s colonial periods.

    • The focus on the early music of the Americas
    • Familiarity with the music of Esteban Salas, plus other carols, cantantas, and folk music from colonial Mexico and Cuba
    • For ill ages and abilities; anyone interested in the early music of the Americas
  • Hallelujah! Experiencing Gospel Music

    Gospel is known for its ecstatic performances and emotional music, making this workshop a truly exciting one for all participants.

    • Choral music with contemporary pop-like style, relational performance techniques, and blues-like harmonies
    • Deeper knowledge of music that rose out of the African American church
  • Coro de Caracas: Venezuelan Music for Young Singers

    Classical music isn’t just for grown-ups! This workshop explores classical repertoire made accessible for younger and developing voices.

    • The clinician’s approach to this workshop is based on the El Sistema program in Venezuela
    • A newfound (or increased!) appreciation for classical music
    • For ill ages and abilities; specifically younger voices, but conductors and educators will also benefit from the rehearsal techniques and repertoire in this workshop
  • Join the Junkanoo!

    This workshop explores contemporary music of The Bahamas, including pop and sacred works, and everything in between. Led by one of The Bahamas’ biggest recording artists, it’s sure to have the festival feeling of a traditional Junkanoo!

    • The bold, exciting, carnival-like popular and sacred music of the Bahamas
    • Unforgettable rhythms and energetic music perfect for a celebration
  • Islands of Song: Folk Music of the Bahamas

    The Bahamas has a rich history; learn more about it through the folk and sacred music of the islands, including works from slavery up through present day.

    • The insight into traditional Caribbean music and culture
    • Stories from Bahamian folk traditions, Caribbean sacred songs
  • Voices of Youth – Joy of Singing!

    Perfect for the younger America Cantat participants, this workshop is non-stop fun just for kids!

    • This workshop is devoted to fun choral singing for children and younger voices
    • What you’ll take away from it: You’ll learn new vocal techniques and expressive singing through movement and choral music
  • 100% Colombian Blend

    Colombia is known as the “Land of the Flowers” and the “Land of 1,000 Rhythms.” This diverse workshop with a wide array of styles will show you why.

    • What makes this workshop unique: It covers a wide array of styles of Colombian choral music
    • What you’ll take away from it: A broad overview of all the various styles of choral music in Colombia

One-Day Ateliers

Spirituals: Connecting the Bahamas to the United States

Although many of the well-known spirituals performed today rose out of the American slave songs of 19th century, the tradition of singing spirituals extends beyond the borders of the United States. Dr. Anton Armstrong, a noted choral conductor and editor for the multicultural choral series for earthsongs publishing company, explores the evolution of the African American spiritual and how this music connects various cultures throughout North America.

Latin American Choral-Orchestral Masterworks

Since the colonial period in the 16th century, numerous wonderful choral-orchestral masterworks have been produced in the area of Latin America and the Caribbean. This long tradition, nourished initially from the European Baroque and Classical periods, eventually evolved in the 20th and 21st century into a marvelous display of nationalism.

Traditional Music of The Bahamas

From traditional calypso rhythms to lush folk music to contemporary and popular songs, the musical heritage of the islands of the Bahamas is rich and varied. Dr. Nicolette Bethel, a famed anthropologist and a leading expert on the junkanoo festival, leads this one day atelier that delves into the many beautiful and exciting facets of Bahamian music.