The International Choir of Aljezur

By Leni Eves, in Good News · 08-01-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
The International Choir of Aljezur

The International Choir of Aljezur was created in 2001 by Doris Wroblewski. Over the years we have had excellent professional choir directors: Birgit Wegemann, a renowned German soprano; Francisco Brazão, a Portuguese teacher of vocal technique and Carme Mampel Juncadella, a multi-talented musician and teacher from Catalonia. We are currently under the expert leadership of Sr. António de Jesus from Portugal. 

As well as seasonal performances each year, we have sung at weddings, funerals, anniversaries, art galleries, exhibitions and museum openings throughout the Algarve, including a performance in Guadalupe’s ancient chapel. We sing in different languages and our repertoire is diverse, including Portuguese revolutionary songs, traditional folk music, medleys from modern musicals, light operettas and mediaeval music.

We added some acting abilities to a show which told of the fun and passion love brings and last year several members of the choir travelled to Barcelona to take part in the 54th International Choir Festival, privileged to sing in famous buildings around the City. When the Covid pandemic first took hold, we were unable to rehearse in the Bombeiros building. Undaunted, we were determined to find a way of keeping the choir singing somehow. So many choirs had no option but to discontinue this year.

Living with the Portugueseclimate made our quest easier. Two of our choir members kindly allowed us to sing in a woodland area near their house and it was a beautiful setting. Throughout the summer we met here, bringing our own chairs which were placed well apart, moving them every now and then to remain under the shade of the trees. It was a special experience, rather surreal and definitely unique. As the summer came to an end, we were allowed to return to the Aljezur Bombeiros building as long as we rehearsed in their large sports hall where there was enough room for us to observe the meticulous guidelines. The fantastic acoustics are an added plus for us in such a large space!

Recently we made a video recordingof Christmas carols which will be used by Father Rob Kean of the St. Vincent’s Chaplaincy, Praia da Luz when he conducts his Zoom church services. We hope that this video will also be shown in the Santa Casa da Misericórdia and the Continuous Care Home in Aljezur. In previous years the choir would go to both homes to sing Christmas carols and we felt sad that we could not visit this year. Hopefully our video may bring them a little cheer as this strange year draws to a close. We were extremely grateful to Padre Almeida of the Aljezur Main Church who gave us permission to hold a Christmas concert in the church on 13th December. Places were very limited but to be able to sing live was something we hadn’t thought would be possible. We also appreciate the trust placed in us by the Aljezur Bombeiros in these difficult times. They have really made us feel part of the Aljezur community and ‘Carols with Corona’ has thus become a reality in time for Christmas.

In common with so many, we are missing our distant family members but our choir is a point of contact and friendship and we value this highly as we don’t know what 2021 will bring. 2021 will be the Aljezur Choir’s 20th anniversary so we hope that if conditions allow, we will be able to celebrate by performing for the community and sharing the pleasure of music again with the all the people who live here.

If you would like more information, please contact Sheila 914 285 640.



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