Joint concert with the Banda Filarmónica of S. Brás

This will be our third joint presentation with the Band. In 2015, a group of band members played for our performance of Purcell´s Funeral Sentences for Queen Mary, and earlier this year we shared a concert with them to mark their anniversary.
Now we shall for the first time sing and play together a whole piece, Missa Brevis, by the living Dutch composer and conductor, Jacob de Haan. For those who don´t know much about this man (and that included many of us before September!), here is a short introduction.
He was born in 1959 in Heerenveen, in the Friesland province of the Netherlands. He studied at the Music Academy in Leeuwarden, the regional capital, and afterwards lectured there. He developed an interest in writing for wind bands and for voice, and many of his better-known compositions are for these two, either separately or in combination. His two most noted pieces, apart from the Missa Brevis, are Oregon, which describes in music a rail journey across this western part of the USA, and Ammerland, a lyrical tribute to the beauty of the Zwischenahner Lake in Northern Germany. Both of these pieces have a strong flavour of film music, and this is another common feature of his work. He has conducted his works in many parts of Europe, and also in the USA and Australia.
The Missa Brevis is what one might describe as a full-throated setting of the Mass, with the traditional sections. It combines power with lyricism, and shows evidence of the composer´s love of the film music genre. It was written as a commission for the Départment of Haute Alsace in France, to celebrate the millennium of French Pope Leon IX, and first performed in 2002.

Diese Konzerte werden unser drittes gemeinsames Projekt mit der Band sein. Schon 2015 haben einige Mitglieder der Gruppe für unsere Aufführung von Henry Purcell’s „Funeral for Queen Mary“ gespielt, und vor einigen Monaten dieses Jahres hatten wir ein gemeinsames Konzert anlässlich ihres Jubiläums.
Dieses Mal werden wir zum ersten Mal ein ganzes Werk gemeinsam aufführen, die Missa Brevis des zeitgenössischen holländischen Komponisten und Dirigenten Jacob de Haan. Für all diejenigen, die nichts oder nicht viel über diesen Mann wissen (und ging vielen von uns bis September genauso!), gibt es hier eine kleine Einführung.
Geboren 1959 in Heerenveen, Friesland, studierte er an der Musik Akademie in Leeuwarden, der Regional Hauptstadt, und unterrichtete später dort auch. Er entwickelte ein großes Inte-resse daran, für Blasintstrumente und Chor zu komponieren, und die meisten seiner bekannteren Werke sind für diese beiden, entweder getrennt oder zusammen. Seine beiden bemer-kenswertesten Werke neben der Missa Brevis sind Oregon – es beschreibt eine Zugreise durch den westlichen Teil der USA – und Ammerland, ein lyrischer Tribut an die Schönheit des Zwischenahner Meeres in Norddeutschland. Beide Werke haben einen starken Anklang an Filmmusik, was ein anderer Zweig seiner Arbeit ist. Jacob de Haan hat seine Werke in vielen Teilen Europas dirigiert, ebenso in den USA und Australien.
Die Missa Brevis würde man wohl als volltönendes Arrangement einer Messe bezeichnen, mit den traditionellen Abschnitten. Sie kombiniert Kraft und Lyrik und belegt die Begeisterung des Komponisten zum Genre der Filmmusik. Geschrieben wurde sie als Auftragswerk des Départment Haute Alsace in Frankreich für die Feierlichkeiten anlässlich des tausendjährigen Jubliäums des französischen Papstes Leon IX, uraufgeführt im Jahr 2002.

x-masChristmas Concert - Coro dos Amigos

This is our traditional Christmas offering, and the format of the evening will be similar to that of recent years. The choir will sing a number of carols in harmony, followed by a singalong session when you can join us in singing some of your favourite Christmas songs. As always, reflecting the international nature of both choir and audience, we shall sing in several languages (but not all at the same time!). A feature of the choir segment will be an extract from the Missa Brevis which we shall sing in its entirety in January (see below). Entry to the event is free, but donations in support of the Amigos do Museu will be most welcome.

Dies ist unser traditionelles Weihnachtssingen, und der Ablauf des Abends wird wie in den vergangenen Jahren sein. Zuerst wird der Chor einige Lieder aus seinem Repertoire vierstim-mig vortragen. Danach gibt es die Gelegenheit, gemeinsam mit uns einige der beliebtesten Weihnachtslieder zu singen. Da unser Chor, wie auch das Publikum, international ist, werden wir in verschiedenen Sprachen singen – natürlich nicht gleichzeitig.
Bestandteil des Chorprogramms wird ein Auszug aus der Missa Brevis von Jacob de Haan sein; das ganze Werk führen wir im Januar auf (siehe unten).
Der Eintritt zum Weihnachtskonzert ist frei – Spenden zur Unterstützung der Amigos do Museu sind willkommen.

June 3rd, 18:00 h, Museu do traje, S. Brás de Alportel - Memorial concert for Walter Sulzer, participation of various groups

It is already 9 months since the death of Walter Sulzer, but the memories of this exceptional man are still fresh and green.  It was not his musicality alone, his gifts as musician and choirmaster, but the extremely rare combination of a man who could both inspire, and endear himself to those he inspired. The choir he created will always remember him with love and respect, as long as there remain singers from the days when he was choirmaster. 
So it is with a sense of celebration that the Coro dos Amigos have decided to hold a concert in homage to the memory of Walter Sulzer. They have chosen songs that Walter himself loved - baroque, of course, but also medieval from the days when Andalucia was at its height. He delighted in the regularity of German baroque, but equally loved the discords and the liberties that the very English Purcell took in blending four voices.  Portuguese sacred music, slightly naughty English madrigals - he took enormous pleasure in all music that was well crafted.
So the choir will do its best to present a concert that Walter would have loved, and individuals from within and outside the choir will also present some pieces that they would like to offer up to his memory. Not only that but the Coro de Câmara de Beja will join us for a special performance in memory of the man who was once a valued member of their choir, until he moved to the Algarve.
There will be no entry charge, but a collection will be made in Walter's honour, for his family to donate to a local charity of their choosing.
All are welcome to join us at the Museu do Trajo, São Brás, on Saturday 3rd June at 18.30. It promises to be a special evening.

May 28th, 17 h, Auditório Municipal Olhão - participation in the final concert of the choir festival Olhão
April 20th, 19:30 h, Teatro Lethes, Faro - shared concert with The S. Lorenço Singers and Bella A Capella
April 21st, 21 h, Igreja Matriz, S. Brás de Alportel - Easter concert of the Coro dos Amigos

Something special from the Coro dos Amigos
Igreja Matriz - AltarConcert Friday 21st April

Beautiful voices, excellent musicians and the splendid environment of the Igreja Matriz in São Brás - a splendid celebration of Easter by the Coro dos Amigos, Luís Conceição and the Trio Celestion.

The music will be taken from various sources and sung in various languages.  The newest piece actually sounds as if it might be the oldest - Ubi Caritas, by the brilliant Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.  As he is now living in New York, America is eager to 'adopt' the composer and generally claims that he is influenced by American jazz and film scores, but this piece is definitely rooted in Gregorian chant.

Being a (loosely) Easter concert, the Choir has taken advantage of the rich liturgy of Easter to perform one of the many compositions on the Stabat Mater, this one by Joseph Rheinberger. Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater, from 1890, is a particularly tuneful composition and one that the choir enjoys throwing itself into; traditional, but with elements of popular opera.  It will be accompanied by Luís Conceição and the Trio Celestion.

The concert will be performed at 21.00 at the Igreja Matriz, São Brás de Alportel on Friday 21st April.  Entry is free but donations will be very welcome.

March 25th, 18 h, Museu do traje, S. Brás de Alportel - SOUND & SONGS - Concert jointly with S. Brás Brass band -
Happy 10th birthday to the Banda Filarmónica of S. Brás
It is a very special day for the band, which is led by trumpeter and maestro Albano Neto, as it marks the exact date of their first ever appearance on 25 March 2007. Since that time they have gone from strength to strength, and most of the proceeds from the concert will go to the band, to make sure that this 'upward and onward’ trend is maintained in the future. The band are hoping to raise funds for new uniforms, so in addition there will be an opportunity for people either to make a small donation or to become band “Sócios”.
The concert - Sound & Song in Celebration - will feature a mixed programme of secular and sacred songs suitable for Spring, from composers such as Elgar and Lopes-Graça, plus a selection from the Band's increasing and varied repertoire.
More information: / Tel 914 926 328

Christmas concerts:

Friday, December 9th, 21:00 h, Igreja Matriz, S. Brás de Alportel, Entrance free, donations welcome
Saturday, December 10th, 18:00 h, Museu do Trajo, S. Brás de Alportel, tickets 5€
Saturday, December 17th, 18:00 h, Igreja Misericordia, Tavira, tickets 5€

Amigos choir goes for 'The Big One’

Whether or not the religious aspect of Christmas is important to you, it is undeniable that most of the finest composers of all times have produced some of their best work in celebration of the festival. Having thoroughly enjoyed tackling the major work of Vivaldi’s Gloria earlier this year, the Amigos do Museu choir is going for The Big One this Christmas - Handel’s Messiah, which has to be the favourite of all the Christmas oratorios.
The choir is not tackling the whole of The Messiah, since this would leave very little room for other music (the 'other music' will, as usual with the Amigos, range widely in both language and time and include Portuguese, French, German and English songs, from medieval to modern), but audiences will be sure to enjoy three of the most popular choral sections of The Messiah.  Full of enthusiasm and joy, the pieces are so well known and have such lively tunes that a good proportion of the audience will probably be able to hum along if the spirit takes them.

A regular aspect of the concert in the Museum of São Brás is the part where the audience are invited not only to hum along, but sing as lustily as they feel inclined.  Popular Christmas carols and songsheets with the words will ensure that you have every opportunity to join in the celebration (and if you really enjoy singing along - why not join the choir itself next year?).

If you want more informations about our concerts and the songs we will sing just click on the latest newsletter.

Friday, 24th June, 10th Aniversary of the Coro dos Amigos

Come and celebrate our birthday with us in the
Museu do trajo, S. Brás de Alportel

The Coro dos Amigos' next (free) concert will be on Friday June 24th at the Museudo Trajo at 18.30, when we will be celebrating 10 years of music-making. After the concert, the bar will be open, food will be available (to buy) and music will be playing. Please come and celebrate with the choir.

  • The concert will start at 18:30 h in the new gallery of the museum and last about one hour
  • After the concert food will be available –prepared by Chef Mark.
  • Please book in advance if you would like the meal.  Menu offers a choice of meat or vegetarian lasagne, plus a selection of desserts, for 8.50 €
  • Booking email: - don't forget to mention if you are a meat-eater or vegetarian


Saturday 21st May - S. Brás intercultural market
We will sing for 15 minutes in the morning
Sunday 5th June. Concert in S. Brás de Alportel
This will be a repeat of the Tavira concert. It will take place in the Igreja Matriz, , time to be announced.

Saturday 14th May  Concert in Tavira - Two-choir performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria

Vivaldi’s Gloria - magnificent music, beautiful surroundings and two full choirs with string accompaniment
Vivaldi wrote three versions of the Gloria hymn, but one of them was so outstanding and so popular that it has become known as 'the' Vivaldi Gloria. In fact the first section (there are twelve in all) is so popular that it has even found its way into films: Shine in 1996 and The Hunter in 2011.
Composed around 1715, this Gloria is an example of the work of the fully mature Vivaldi, composed in the late Italian Baroque period. Tuneful and magnificent, Vivaldi intended the work to be performed by two choirs and orchestras.  We can’t manage the two orchestras, but we are very fortunate in the Algarve to have good choirs, and two of them - Coro AMT of Tavira and Coro dos Amigos of São Brás - have got together with support from Luis Conceição and the excellent musicians of the Trio Celestion to present this work in two of the beautiful churches of the region.
The first half of the programme will consist of short performances by both the Coro AMT and the Coro dos Amigos individually, before they join forces to perform the Gloria. The first performance will be on Saturday 14th May at the Igreja Misericôrdia in Tavira at 18.00 and the second on Saturday 5th June at the Igreja Matriz in São Brás, also at 18.00.

And for those who like to plan ahead…
Looking much further ahead, our Christmas concert this year will be on 10th December, and the choir has been asked to sing in Tavira on the 17th December, as part of the ongoing Musica nas Igrejas series.