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singers dressed in white giving a concert on stage

International Choir Festival Cuba – a musical adventure of a lifetime

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Are you part of a choir group looking for a musical and cultural adventure? Look look no further … Caledonia is offering a trip to Cuba coinciding with the biannual International Choir Festival Cuba in 2025. Read on to find out more about this special event in Santiago de Cuba and what to expect… 

If you love to sing and travel to exotic locations, this is the trip for you!  Santiago de Cuba, the second city of Cuba nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountain range, is the undisputed home of choral music in Cuba and hosts this well respected choir festival every two years.

Santiago is already a city brimming with music and dance, offering a range of cultural festivals all year round, and is also widely recognised as the home of Cuban Son, the grand-daddy of what we now know as Salsa.  The choir festival, however, has a special place in everyone’s hearts due to its long standing history in the city. The first choir festival took place here in 1961 and was launched by Maestro Electo Silva, the top choral director in Cuba at the time.  Since then the festival has continued to attract choirs from all over Cuba as well as other countries around the world and the forthcoming festival at the beginning of November 2025 (exact dates to be confirmed) will continue to celebrate joyous singing.

So what can you expect?  Well, lots of singing of course, not just in concert halls and music venues but also in the street, with impromptu a capella bursts of song in the main squares, in taxis, outside bars and restaurants – in most parts of the city, in fact. People in Santiago love music, love to share music and love to see others enjoying music as much as they do themselves.  Choirs from all over the world will be present, as well as visitors who enjoy the festival atmosphere and performances but are not actually performing. Throughout the festival, the sharing of song and voices and the sheer joy of singing is evident.

Singers dressed in black in a concert at the Choir Festival Cuba

Choir Festival Cuba performance, Santiago de Cuba

When Caledonia was first involved in the choir festival back in 2013, there were choirs from Scotland, Australia, the US and Canada as well as Cuba, and the intercultural exchanges that took place were exceptional opportunities for each choir to share and learn as well as to perform in top local venues.  In 2023, just one international choir was present (from the US)  but they  had a truly remarkable time.  Concerts took place each day and evening in Sala Dolores, a former church and now the main concert hall in the city centre with excellent acoustics.  Masterclasses in harmony and rhythm added to the musical experience, and group cultural tours let everyone explore the history of the Cuban Revolution, the cultural background of Santiago as a unique hub of Afro-Haitian-Cuban heritage and also the lush, tropical countryside close to the city.

You can also have an extended tour after the festival has finished by visiting another area of Cuba.

Join us in Santiago de Cuba in 2025 for this incredible musical adventure!  For more details, please visit our Choir Festival webpage: https://www.caledoniaworldwide.com/trip/international-choir-festival-cuba/ or contact us on info@caledoniaworldwide.com

About the Author
Kath Bateman founded Caledonia in 1996 and still has a very active role in the company. As a linguist and avid traveller, Caledonia brings together many strands of Kath’s personal and professional interests. She is a Modern Languages and Tourism graduate and has worked as a tour leader and trilingual guide, ski rep and salsa teacher, cultural events organiser, salsa club promoter and English language teacher. She lived and studied in France and Austria and has travelled widely elsewhere in Europe, Latin America and particularly in Cuba. Kath is still very much involved in the business and is as motivated by what Caledonia does as when she first set up the company in the spare room at home all those years ago.