Music will be high on the agenda of the International Youth Convention 2019 (IYC); at the mega event in the Arena, in the concerts, spontaneously around the exhibition grounds and, of course, in the divine services. What are the plans? Can we expect to enjoy some particular highlights? Spirit in discussion with Evangelist Jürgen Gerisch, a member of the IYC planning group with responsibility for music.
Spirit: apropos internationality – how are you treating that in your musical planning?
Jürgen Gerisch: There is going to be an IYC song and Julia Maier has been given the task of composing it. The song is to be so constructed that each verse will have a different musical style: for example, one verse in South American, one European and one in an African style. The song will be presented at the opening ceremony and is meant to give our youth from overseas the feeling, right from the very beginning, that they are at home. We are also planning to have a special song brochure and we are looking at over 200 songs from all possible countries and in as many diverse languages as possible, including German, English, French and even Swaheli. The songs which are chosen should be a sign to the youth that the IYC is their youth convention, no matter where they come from. The brochure will have a very wide-ranging choice of music, from the well-known choir hymns to gospel and also a taste of pop-style songs. The song texts must be fitting to the context of the church; they should be appealing to the youth, should largely be easily learnt and easy enough for a large audience to sing.
And the brochure is going to be handed out to all the youth at the IYC?
The idea is to include the brochure in the welcoming packet. It can be used to sing from in the divine services at the IYC, but can also come into use at any other time during the event. The hymns for the services will also be printed in the IYC guide and, by the way, they will be sung during the services in various languages. What will happen to the song brochure after the youth convention has ended? It should continue to be used by the youth beyond the youth convention. We see the possibility for it to become a permanent addition to the current youth choir book. Our real wish is that the music lives on and therefore the song brochure should also come into the hands of as many youth as possible who weren’t at the IYC.
What can you tell us about the internationality of this great event?
A large event is planned for the Arena. Those who were at the Night of Lights during the European Youth Day 2009 (EYD) can imagine what to expect. The motto, “Here I am”, is going to be lit up from different angles and an open air concert is planned for Saturday evening, where we are expecting the appearance of international musical ensembles. Another concert, under the title “Show your talent”, is also going to take place, with the youth who will have previously taken part in a song contest running up to the IYC. This contest will be organised by the Bischoff Verlag and all IYC participants who can present their songs, with their own compositions of text and music are eligible to take part. More information about the entry conditions will be published in the coming weeks on the websites of the Verlag and the IYC.
What are your plans for the musical arrangements of the divine services?
A variety of solo pieces are planned; otherwise we are considering the idea to give all IYC participants the chance of forming a large communal choir together. The choir would appear in a concert and would also come together as a sing-along choir at the closing divine service with Chief Apostle Schneider. There will also be a youth symphony orchestra, in which the youth from all countries can take part; however, to do so they must firstly register if they would like to be included. Further information about both of these activities will follow shortly on the IYC website.
Will the youth who play other, more exotic, instruments also be able to be a part of the orchestra?
Yes, when the youth from Indonesia come with their Angklungs, for instance, we will certainly find a way to integrate them. Of course they can also appear with their instruments outside of the divine services. The intention is to have various sized stages built in the halls and in the open-air, on which the ensembles, choirs, bands and orchestras can perform and for spontaneous street music to play at pre-defined spaces.
Why can’t anyone play or sing where and when they want?
Primarily due to security restrictions. The emergency exit routes must be kept free and street music shouldn’t be a disturbance to nearby workshops or other activities.
Have you received many registration applications to play music so far?
Unfortunately, not: up to now only a few. Time is starting to run out. We can only start our plans for the stage performances when we know what ensembles have registered. The assembly and technical preparation of the stages calls for a great deal of effort and, from the planning of the European Youth Day, I know that the necessary skilled workers must be booked by the fair management for such a project a year in advance when you want to pay a reasonable price. Therefore, I appeal to the youth – even though the International Youth Convention still seems a long way ahead – put your ideas together now for the music which you would like to present there and send your suggestions in soonest. You don’t have to organise a complete concert programme; there will most likely be an open stage available where small bands, ensembles or soloists can perform for ten or twenty minutes. But we also have to plan that and we need to know promptly. Only the street music can really be played spontaneously, without prior notice.
What should the youth be aware of with their entries?
It would be good if they would keep the motto, “Here I am”, in mind and work it in its various interpretative options into their performances. Also, the youth should consider not just, “What can I do particularly well and enjoy doing?”, but also, “How can I also make it interesting for those from other countries?” For the youth from Germany that would really put the “I” into the “IYC”.
Text freely translated from: "Spirit – the young magazine for New Apostolic Christians", edition no. 02|18, pages 30 - 31 © Verlag Friedrich Bischoff GmbH, Neu-Isenburg (author Annette Conrad)
The magazine “Spirit” has been publishing news and facts about the International Youth Convention since March 2017 under the heading “IYC Countdown. This is the sixth article in a series of twelve planned.