Call for Performance Groups

The 2024 ISME World Conference Organising Committee invites musical groups / ensembles and multi-disciplinary groups (to include music) to submit applications to perform during the 36th ISME World Conference to be held between July 28th and August 2nd, 2024, in Helsinki, Finland. 

The theme for the 2024 ISME World Conference is Advocacy for Sustainability in Music Education.

Music education has a crucial role in advancing the wellbeing of the individual, community and society. The uncertain times further highlight the importance of envisioning, exploring, and advocating for the many opportunities’ music education can offer for enhancing a sense of belonging, equity, and inclusion as well as ecological sustainability. What can we learn from the other arts, Indigenous traditions, and past and emerging musical practices around the world in our efforts of advancing resilient societies and ecosystems? And how could we ensure equitable access to music learning opportunities and participation within the wide variety of musics? The 36th World Conference provides a platform that invites music educators and other stakeholders to ask novel questions, imagine ways forward, and create new partnerships for change. The conference will open avenues to explore a sphere of possibilities for pursuing and advocating for sustainability in and through music education.

Similarly, the concerts performed by ensembles are extremely important as a way to share the music of different genres, styles, traditions and cultures during the Conference.


• Deadline for applications: September 15th, 2023 (11.59pm Pacific time)

• Successful participants will be notified by: October 15th, 2023

Application procedure

All applicants will have to provide all necessary information:

• Group name

• CV

• Sample/proposed program

• Number of participants

• Instrument list

• Technical requirements and 

• Contact information 

Applicants are also required to:

• Provide a high-quality video recording of a recent performance(s) undertaken between 2018-2022.  The video can be either a single performance or a compilation.

• Upload it onto YouTube (or any other popular digital video streaming technology)

• Provide a brief summary of the video – date, place, circumstances/purpose

• Provide the link to the video content in the application form. The duration of the recording should be about 15-20 minutes.


The person submitting the application must be a member of ISME (either 2022-23 or 2023-2024). ISME is not able to help with any costs associated with the performances and so groups that are selected to perform will be responsible for all financial arrangements to support the group's expenses.

Selection criteria

The selection of Performing Groups will be made in accordance with ISME policies on musical and cultural diversity and will aim to offer delegates the opportunity to broaden their musical experience.

In deciding on the performance groups ISME will consider:

• The number of local and international performing groups. This will depend not only on their quality, but on available venues, performance opportunities and the diversity of programs/groups.

• That priority will be given to demonstrably high standard amateur groups, young/learning performers and groups working in, or emerging from, an educational/pedagogical context.

• That selection of the groups should be based, according to the aims of the conference, on high standards, diversity of repertoire and geographical representation.

Performances available

Successful applicants may be offered one or two performances within the Conference. Performance time for each concert is 20-25 minutes, with five minutes to change the stage for the next group. Selected groups must be available to perform at the times assigned. Special requests for particular performance slots/times will not be accepted.

Facilities offered

ISME cannot guarantee the availability of instruments that you may not be able to transport to the conference venue. If you need help with any specialist equipment that you may wish to hire for your performances, please detail your needs so we can discuss what can be arranged and what might need to be sourced from third parties. 

Please note that you will be expected to pay all the hire costs for any equipment.

Travel arrangements and insurance

ISME regrets that it cannot help with any travel or accommodation requirements for groups accepted to perform at the conference – all financial and logistical arrangements are the responsibility of the group. It is also the responsibility of the individuals travelling with your group, to ensure that they are covered by adequate travel insurance.


As requirements may differ from country to country, it is important that the group leader / person responsible for the group should check details as soon as possible. Additional information regarding visa requirements can be found in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland webpage at:


For further information, please contact the Conference Office: