Idaho International Choral Festival

The concept of an international choral festival began for Vernae Buck in 1996 when she traveled to Europe with the Idaho State University Choir with conductor Dr. Scott Anderson. While in Europe, Vernae was impressed with how welcome they were made to feel by their choir guides and many of the residents. One day while Vernae was talking to a representative of the organization that had arranged the tour, he explained to her the mission of his company. Their philosophy was that individuals from different countries will talk together, even when their governments will not and that by bringing American performing artists into foreign lands, people would have the opportunity to get to know one another. Perhaps if we as individuals can communicate, then maybe our governments will find a way to communicate and cooperate. Vernae found this to be a very moving concept and the question entered her mind, “Why can’t we bring the world to Pocatello, Idaho?” and “What better way to communicate than through the universal language of music”.

Vernae and Dr. Scott Anderson took this concept of an international choral festival to individuals and organizations within the community. They found that the individuals they approached and the community in general was accepting, if not excited, about the possibility of an international festival in Pocatello, Idaho.

The first Idaho International Choral Festival was held July 7 through July 11, 1999, and began what has come to be a very satisfying experience for our choir guests, host families, volunteers and audiences. Since the first festival, we have hosted participating choirs from throughout the world and the United States. We have met and made wonderful new life long friends, and have been privileged to hear some of the best choirs in the world.

Each member of the festival committee is devoted to promoting music, the arts, and cultural diversity. We believe that peace in the world can only be attained by breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding and eliminating the ignorance of stereotypes. We believe that friendships can be formed through the shared language of music and that through these friendships, sympathy and compromise can be achieved. It is our hope that if we as people can communicate and bridge our cultural differences, that our governments will follow.