History of the ISCCPA 1978-2001

History of the International Society for Children’s Choral & Performing Arts 1978-2001


Few people know that in 1978, at the urging of Dr. Yip Wai Hong of Hong Kong and Professor Yang Hong Nian of Beijing and working with Dr. Jack Kukuk at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC that an International Children’s Choir Festival was held at the Kennedy Center.  This festival followed the International Society for Music Education (ISME) conference in Canada and was designed to give the participants at ISME an additional venue in which to perform.  We had wonderful choirs from Iceland, Hong Kong, China, Canada and the United States.


Four years later, in 1982 in Hong Kong under outstanding leadership of Dr. Yip Wai Hong, the International Society for Children’s Choral & Performing Arts (ISCCPA) was founded to promote peace and friendship through children’s choral singing around the world by presenting a series of festivals and workshops.   Dr. Yip served as the Society’s Founding Chairperson providing outstanding leadership for several years.  Dr. Jack Kukuk was elected to be the second chairman of the Society and he too served for several years until Dr. Yip once again was elected Chairman in 1999.   At that time, Dr. Kukuk became the Director of the Society and remains so today.  In 2004, the Chairmanship of ISCCPA was passed to Professor Alfredo Mendoza of Mexico who remains chairman through this festival.  


Over the years, ISCCPA has produced 16 major International Children’s Choir Festivals called Children of the World in Harmony with festivals having been held in  Hong Kong, Macao, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Beijing, and Tianjin.  Other festivals were presented in United States, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Tanzania, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cuba.  Additionally several regional festival were presented by national and regional ISCCPA organizations.  More than three hundred choirs have been members of ISCCPA and over 25,000 young singers have participated in the Society's various events.


In 1982, when our founders recognized a need to produce and present major international festivals in important venues around the world few others were doing this. We have had great success and have been leaders in this effort.  Since that time several other organizations have been founded to present similar festivals.  We are very proud of the leadership ISCCPA has shown in this effort.  


In 2007, ISCCPA returned to Hong Kong to celebrate, with great pride the 25th year of its founding and for the presentation of the 16th Children of the World in Harmony Festival. At the conclusion of the festival, the ISCCPA Board of Directors issued the following statement which was presented as a motion by ISCCPA Vice President, Dr. Julian Ackerley (USA) and seconded by ISCCPA Treasurer Alfredo Mendoza (Mexico).


 “At the conclusion of this 16th Children of The World In Harmony Festival in Hong KongISCCPA celebrates its 25 years of excellence in presenting highly successful international choir and dance festivals for children and youth  This grand finale for the society will acknowledge the many ISCCPA leaders and participants with a special recognition of our beloved departed friend, Akos Papp. Naturally, we will conclude with the singing of traditional ISCCPA festival song Let there be Peace on Earth. All choirs and other festival participants will sing the song both in English and in the language of the host county. In this case, Dr. Yip Wai Hong will translate the song phonetically into Mandarin for this festival.


Also, we congratulate Dr. Yip Wai Hong, Professor Yang Hong Nian and Dr. Jack  Kukuk for their vision and perseverance in founding ISCCPA.


Further, the ISCCPA board, as its final official action grants permission to its President, Dr. Jack Kukuk to use the name Children of the World in Harmony and Voices Without Borders in the future. In the event that other current board members chose to use the same names in the future, they will inform Dr. Kukuk and work with him to share the name in a cooperative manner to be negotiated between them.”


With this permission from the ISCCPA Board, in addition to Children of the World in Harmony Festivals, Dr. Kukuk, began to produce a series of programs called International Day of Choral Singing and Arizona Sings in cooperation with the Gold Canyon Arts Council. Below is information about these events. 


In 2008, Sara Russell-Kukuk and Jack Kukuk co-founded, with several citizens of northern Michigan, Voices Without Borders to carry on the work originated by the International Society for Children’s Choral & Performing Arts.