America Cantat 8

Nassau, Bahamas
August 21-31, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

What is America Cantat?

America Cantat is an international, noncompetitive choir festival that cultivates cultural exchange and immersion while celebrating the music of the Americas.

When is America Cantat 8?

America Cantat 8 is August 21-31, 2016.

Do I have to stay the full ten days?

Of course we would love for everyone to stay the whole time, but we recognize schedules are busy. This festival is designed to be flexible to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to participate; email the Festival Director Eden Badgett at if you want to speak with her about your choir’s itinerary and she will gladly work to accommodate your choir’s needs, whether that’s a few days or the full length of the festival. If you would like to stay for a full workshop cycle, see below and be sure to check the Workshop page for each the dates of the workshop rehearsals and performances. Additionally, it is important to note that registration fees will not be prorated for individuals who choose to participate in only part of the Festival.

For example, depending on which workshops you and your choir members select, you could:

(These schedules would allow participants to take part in a full workshop schedule, plus at least 1 one day atelier, 6 gala concerts, and either the Opening or Closing ceremonies.)

Where is America Cantat 8?

The Festival is held at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, as well as island venues such as Christ Church Cathedral, College of The Bahamas PAC, and Evangelistic Temple.

For more information about the Atlantis, go here.

Who is sponsoring this event?

This is a nonprofit event that takes place every three years. Previous host countries include Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. This is the first time the Festival will take place in a primarily English-speaking country.

There are several organizations who are proud to come together to sponsor America Cantat 8: the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Organización America Cantat (OAC), the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), and the Bahamas Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture, and Ministry of Tourism.

Is this a competition?

No, there is no competitive spirit at America Cantat. Rather, it is an inclusive, collaborative, and educational festival.

What is the difference between a Participant Choir and a Gala Choir?

Participant Choirs are groups who come to participate in the workshops and other Festival events; these groups have the option to perform as part of the Festival, but it is not required. Gala Choirs are “flagship choirs,” or representative choirs from previous America Cantat host
countries. These groups will perform in evening Gala Choir Concerts, which all Festival registrants are invited to attend.

Who are the workshop leaders for the Festival?

America Cantat 8 has some of the best choral conductors from North, Central, and South America, as well as Europe in residence. Go to our Workshop Leaders page to read more about them.

How much does it cost?

The fee is $230; this includes registration fee, on-island transportation, and tickets to the gala events and ceremonies (see below). Additional costs not included in this fee are: airfare to and from Nassau, hotel rooms at The Atlantis Paradise Island, and food for the duration of your trip.

What payment methods can I use for registration?

We accept all major credit cards and debit cards, or payments through PayPal.

Registration fee for participants 17 years old and younger is only $50 per person. Email for more information.

What is included in the fees?

The $230 fee includes:

If I am coming as a non-performing participant, do I still have to pay the registration fee?

Yes, nonperformers still need to register and pay the fee. Their fee includes everything the performer’s fee includes and allows the nonperformers the option to observe the workshops and one day ateliers.

Please note: if you are not registered, you will not be admitted to afternoon Participant Choir Concerts, evening Gala Choir Concerts, Opening or Closing Ceremonies, or the midweek dinner and beach party.


Who Can Come to AC8?

Does my full choir have to come, or can just a few singers from the group attend?

We want America Cantat 8 to be as inclusive as possible! To that end, anyone with a passion for choral music can attend: full choirs, parts of choirs such as section leaders, or even “Come Solo!” participants (don’t worry—Come Solo! singers won’t be expected to sing any solos!).

Can I come by myself?

Come Solo! As noted above, everyone with a passion for choral music is invited. You are welcome to participate in the Festival even if your choir can’t make the trip. All workshops are available for individual registrants.

Can family members traveling with my group come to America Cantat concerts but not participate in the festival workshops?

Certainly. They will just need to register and pay the registration fee to gain access to all the concerts, galas, and parties or events of America Cantat 8. (There is a place on the registration form to indicate that you will not be singing in any of the workshop choirs.)

Can my choir perform a solo concert while we’re there?

Absolutely! There will be Participant Choir Concerts during the afternoons and early evenings throughout the Festival, and any choir traveling together is welcome to take part. When registering, conductors should indicate they want their choirs to perform at America Cantat 8
(this will be a separate registration question). These concerts will be scheduled and coordinated with the assistance of The Bahamas Ministries of Education; Youth, Sports, and Culture; and Tourism.


Workshop Information

What is a workshop?

A workshop is a five-day-long teaching rehearsal led by some of the best choir conductors in the world. Each workshop culminates in a capstone performance in conjunction with other workshops. For a sample schedule for all ten days, please click here.

How long do workshops last?

Each workshop runs five days and lasts three hours per day. Workshops overlap and run throughout the Festival.

How many workshops can I participate in?

Each participant sings in ONE workshop over the course of the Festival. During registration, select your Top Three choices, and then you will be placed in a workshop based on availability—so register early to ensure you get your first choice! The members of any
participating choir are encouraged to sign up for different workshops in order to experience more variety across the choir, allowing the group to bring more music back to their home community.

What is a one day atelier?

A one day atelier is a three-hour-long workshop that joins participants of multiple workshops together to sing. There are three one day ateliers at AC8, and everyone has the chance to participate in all of them.

What is the primary language for the workshops?

Participants and workshop leaders in residence come from all over the world, but the workshops and one day ateliers are led in English. The secondary language is Spanish.

Will I have access to the music being taught before the start of the Festival?

Yes! Once each participant has received confirmation of his or her assigned workshop, he or she will be able to preview the music online and begin practicing. Printed music portfolios will be provided to each participant at the Festival. After the Festival, all music will be able to be purchased from preferred venders.


Free Time

Will there be any free time?

Absolutely! Depending on the workshop you choose, you have either the mornings or afternoons free to explore the island or relax on the beach. Additionally, there is one entirely free day where you can take advantage of the activities at the Atlantis resort, or you can arrange for an excursion to see all that The Bahamas has to offer.

What is there to do in The Bahamas?

Lots! Check the Official Site of The Bahamas or visit our The Bahamas page for ideas of what to do and see while you’re there.


Travel Information

How do I get from the airport to the hotel?

There are free Bahamas Experience Tours shuttles running for America Cantat participants to and from the Nassau airport on August 21, 2016, and again on August 31, 2016.

How do I get around the island?

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Bahamas Experience Tours are graciously providing complimentary on-island transportation to get participants to and from the Festival venues.

If you need additional transportation during any free time, taxis and busses can be reserved at the hotel, and are very affordable.

What food options are there at the Atlantis?

The Atlantis resort has dozens of restaurants to suit every taste and every budget. There are also some restaurants near the resort if you want to venture out of the hotel. Meals and meal expenses are up to each participant, except for dinner on August 26, when everyone is invited to a special Dinner & Beach Party, hosted by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

I have dietary restrictions. What food options will I have?

The Atlantis and the surrounding areas of Nassau have plenty types of cuisine to offer. The restaurants at the resort, as well as all of us here at America Cantat 8, want everyone to have plenty of food options, regardless of dietary needs. If you need to make a special food request, contact ACDA’s Festival Development Director, Eden Badgett, at

To contact the Atlantis directly, see below:

The Culinary Division offers our guests a number of dining options to cater to guests with special dietary needs, food allergies, and dining restrictions. Our culinary team will arrange your meals to be prepared to your specifications. We ask guests who require special dietary accommodations to contact the Chef’s Office at least two weeks prior to arrival with the full details of their needs. In addition, upon arrival, please contact a Culinary executive, who will arrange the times and locations for your requested meals.

The Chef’s Office is available Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm EST by calling (242) 363-3000, ext. 66540 or ext 66338.

If I am traveling from the US, do I need a passport to get to The Bahamas?

Yes. For more info, read the “Entry, Exit, & Visa Requirements” section of the US Travel website.

Can I have help planning my trip?

No problem! We have some incredible Preferred Travel Partners who can help you plan your trip, including airfare, pre- or post-Festival tours, and island excursions. Just click the link above for more information.

Can I stay at a hotel other than the Atlantis and still participate in America Cantat?

Since all Festival activities will take place at the Atlantis, all participants need to be registered guests at the resort. There are several different room options to accommodate a wide array of budgets. For more information, go here or visit the Atlantis Paradise Island website.

Do you have another question that wasn’t answered here or are in need of special accommodations due to a disability? You can call ACDA’s Festival Development Director, Eden Badgett, at 405.232.8161 ext. 109, or send an email to