Refugee children choir goes from beginners to singers in two months

Some of the World Choir and orchestra members
Some of the World Choir and orchestra members
Photo: Sandro Bucciarelli

(HP) As the old adage goes, music is the universal language of mankind. And that is exactly what has brought the refugee and local community together as a new choir prepares for its first performance.

World Choir is made up of young refugees from eight years old and was set up two months ago as a way of building friendships and strengthening integration.

The 15-person choir, which sings in English, is now preparing for its first concert alongside the Esch conservatoire youth choir and a wind orchestra.

Conductor Sandro Bucciarelli came up with the idea of forming the choir and drives around various refugee centres in Luxembourg to take the young choir members to rehearsals held at one of the refugee foyers every week.

'Some are singing for the first time ever'

Sandro, who is a composer, conductor and saxophone teacher, said: "I was taking food to the refugee foyers and I wanted to find a way to do more to help them feel integrated.

"I thought it would be a good idea to do something with music, have fun together and let them meet new people.

"I set up World Choir especially for the concert but now we want to take it further once the concert is over at the end of the month."

Sandro has made new arrangements to well-known songs, including Do You Hear the People Sing, Everybody Needs Somebody and I'll Paint You a Rainbow, and the choir is accompanied by the wind band of Kayl.

"Some of the World Choir members are singing for the first time in their lives," Sandro explained. "At the beginning it was strange for me to work with non-musicians. People I normally work with can already read music notes so it was a new experience for me.

'Now he sings like he's been doing it for years'

"One of the singers couldn't differentiate between two notes when we started and now he is singing like a real singer, like he has been doing it for years.

"It has been a great experience seeing them progress and getting to know these people. They are very motivated, they have improved a lot since the first rehearsal and we also have a lot of fun."

For now, World Choir sings in English but the aim is to also sing in Arabic and Farsi in the future and develop to sing in four part harmony.

The concert - named All Together - will also include performances by Luxembourgish singer Serge Tonnar, who will perform his song 'Mir wëllen Iech ons Heemecht weisen' (we want to show our home country to you), Iranian singer and songwriter Tohid Tohidi, Chorale des Jeunes du Conservatoire d’Esch, Hariko and Harmonie Ste Cécile Kayl.

Between the two choirs and the orchestra, around 12 different nationalities will appear on the stage.

All Together will take place on April 28 and 29 at the 'Centre Culturel Schungfabrik' in Tétange and tickets can be bought online.

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