Introduction

In Estonia songs are a source of great ideas. One of those was born among singers and conductors of student choirs during the song celebrations in 1955. As we already had song celebrations for the whole nation, then why not join together students as a mighty singing force, and not only from Estonia but from all three Baltic countries! We had dreamed about a student song festival for 30 years, now it seemed to be time to make this dream come true!

Gaudeamus has turned into both a song and dance festival and is hosted, as a rule, every four years either by Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. Moreover, there are always participants coming afar or from neighboring countries, from the United States to Novorossiysk in Russia. In 2006, when the 50th anniversary of the Students’ Song Festival was celebrated, almost 6000 performers from the Baltic and Nordic countries gathered in Tartu, the celebrations were enjoyed by more than 30 000 spectators.

Now Tartu, which is thanks to its prestigious university nicknamed the Athens of Emajõgi river, is once again preparing for large festivities as with the next, 18th student song festival, which will be held in 2018, we are going to honor the centenary of the Estonian Republic.