The Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir sings at fes­ti­val in Italy

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE ‘Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir’ from Lit­tle Bray in County Wick­low has re­turned to Wick­low after their first Euro­pean tour in Northern Italy.

They were the guest per­form­ers in the ‘16th Cori a Sarzana Choir Fes­ti­val’. Their host choir ‘Coro Sarzanae Con­cen­tus’ are the founders of the fes­ti­val which they or­gan­ise ev­ery year. Res­i­dents of Bray gave gen­er­ously dur­ing a fundrais­ing cam­paign for the jour­ney, and the choir mem­bers flew the flag for Bray and Ire­land.

Cora Sarzanae Con­cen­tus in­vite a choir from an­other coun­try to join them each year. It was quite an hon- our for this newly formed choir to be pre­sented with this in­vi­ta­tion which came through mu­tual ac­quain­tances. This trip was made pos­si­ble by the hos­pi­tal­ity of the Coro Con­cen­tus Choir. They will in turn be hosted by the Bray Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir in Bray in July 2018.

Com­mu­nity choirs maybe the thing of the fu­ture in Italy after meet­ing The Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir from Bray. The Ital­ians were keen to ex­pe­ri­ence the unique sound that com­mu­nity choir’s pro­duce; but also more im­por­tantly learn about how these choirs can change the lives of peo­ple who have suf­fered so­cial ex­clu­sion.

They feel now that com­mu­nity choirs could make a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties. Com­mu­nity choirs sing with one voice and one heart and reach out to the most vul­ner­a­ble. The ethos of com­mu­nity choirs re­volves around so­cial in­clu­sion and this choir were am­bas­sadors for what com­mu­nity choirs truly stand for.

There are no re­stric­tions on who may join these adult choral groups. All that is re­quired is an en­thu­si­asm for singing; there are no au­di­tions, read­ing mu­sic is not a pri­or­ity. The mem­bers learn about singing tech- niques from their di­rec­tor. The di­rec­tor of Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir is Tony Nor­ton. Tony has en­cour­aged and em­pow­ered the mu­si­cal growth of all the mem­bers of this choir and got them to where they are now in just over one year. Mem­bers have also said that they have gained hugely from the sup­port they re­ceive from fel­low mem­bers dur­ing the Ital­ian tour and at home they are truly bonded after this tour. Eoin Hay­den, a young blind man who found his voice in Italy and sang a solo ‘ Time To Say Good­bye’, was out­stand­ing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church in sarzana.

Also out­stand­ing was Brian Car­rol who is autis­tic and sang a solo in the opera house. Both re­ceived tremen­dous ap­plause and a stand­ing ova­tion. These were just two of many magic mo­ments.

As the 57 mem­bers and sup­port­ers toured the Ital­ian Riviera, swam in the Mediter­ranean and ser­e­naded the lo­cals most evenings; they also joined in. The cul­tural ex­changes and per­for­mances in the Sarzana Opera House and the church have greatly em­pow­ered the choir. Mem­bers said they have the con­fi­dence to sing any­where now.

Cheile Com­mu­nity Choir.

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