On September the twenty-seventh 2014, the Ruhr Metropolis will host !SING – DAY OF SONG for the third time. From youth groups to mineworkers’ choirs to spontaneously formed choirs – hundreds of groups take an active part in transforming the 4,500 square kilometers of Germany’s largest conurbation into Europe’s biggest singing concert hall. After the kick-off in 2010 and the successful reissue in 2012, tens of thousands will join in singing songs of the past and present, creating those of the future.


!SING – DAY OF SONG is devoted to promoting the experience of joint singing. It is not about solo vocal performances, but about making it possible for everyone to join in singing. The long-term project is designed to take place on a biennial basis, a sustainable effort to reintroduce and establish the experience of community singing into German everyday culture.
Emotion and positive energy are the result of this collective activity and are not only created but also released at the moment of singing. Singing in a group means not singing alone. Everybody singing simultaneously means not having to fear being exposed, therefore there are no inhibitions. All participants are committed to this concept of singing – small choirs, traditional male choral societies as well as philharmonic choirs and high-profile international ensembles. Pluralism is a crucial element of !SING – DAY OF SONG. People of all ages with different social and cultural backgrounds come together to lay the foundations of this intercommunal, multicultural project. !SING – DAY OF SONG substantially contributes to cultural education and integration in this region because it (re)connects places, cultures and generations. Singing as a universal language of the old and the young, the religious and the non-religious has narrowed distances between cultures and mentalities in the vibrant Ruhr area.
The response of both participants and spectators was overwhelmingly positive and evidence of the fact that !SING – DAY OF SONG reaches and touches people across all boundaries. “It was a genuine joy to look into hundreds of radiant children’s eyes”, said an involved children’s-choir leader. “Turkish, German, Vietnamese and Polish children were singing together passionately, losing their inhibitions entirely. Overcoming language barriers is done more easily while singing than speaking.”
The idea of invigorating traditional notions of singing through modern zeitgeist was present long before the actual fruition of what came to be known as !SING – DAY OF SONG, when “Essen for the Ruhr” was European Capital of Culture in 2010. Eytan Pessen, now impresario at Dresden’s Semperoper and artistic advisor of RUHR.2010, came up with the idea of a concert with active audience participation in 2008. This region’s history and today’s face has so fundamentally been shaped by its mines and shaft towers, and, of course, the people who worked there. Singing as a community experience has always been a defining part, especially of the coal miners’ daily life, providing a sense of cohesiveness, light and warmth on the dark and cold routes underground.
!SING – DAY OF SONG revives this tradition, modifies it into today’s social and socio-cultural situation, establishing collective identity and unity among a multifaceted population in an ever-changing environment.



In the debut year 2010, 49 Ruhr cities, 25,000 vocalists in more than 760 choirs touched spectators with their voices during more than 600 performances. More than a million listeners awaited the statewide radio signal that meant the start pulse to sing along. People gathered on town squares, ships, at work and in church and just sang wherever they were. !SING – DAY OF SONG has gone viral.



In 2012, even more people participated. Songs were heard in all of the 53 cities in the Ruhr region – 51,000 people in more than 1,500 groups sang. Among those were more than 20,000 children, who raised their voices to bring about an unforgettable weekend of singing and joy. Thematic priority was laid on singing with children. Therefore, two special new categories of participation with the names of !SING kinder and !SING schule were designed. Moreover, !SING Stimme was launched again as in 2010 – free workshops to offer professional guidance and advice to singing-related topics.
Renowned cooperation partners helped to create stages as unique and manifold as the faces and voices to enter them.


In 2014, the emphasis is on “Youth and Singing”. The stages of Europe’s largest concert house will then be open for the young and the young at heart. Redesigned workshops of !SING Stimme will take place again. In addition to that, !SING Camps will take place next summer. Teenagers are invited to come to attend workshops, to find friends and to sing together, and just to have a great time.
Singing connects people, regardless of their mother tongues. If you want to become part of Europe’s largest and colorful choir, you are very welcome to do so. You can register online now.

!SING - DAY OF SONG 27. SEP 2014