Saturday 16th June. Museu de Traje, São Brás.

Other dates to be announced.

In the years since its foundation, the choir has largely concentrated on two types of music. We have performed a great many religious pieces large and small, including Vivaldi´s ´Gloria´ , a Haydn Mass and two versions of Ave Verum Corpus. Our second main area of interest has been in madrigals and songs from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. More recently, a number of more modern pieces have been included, and the programme has become more balanced between the religious and the secular. 

Now, in 2018, we have quite a major departure from our past practice. The theme of the Commonwealth has been chosen at least in part to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, which will have been held by the time our concert takes place in June. The songs we are rehearsing are all from the modern era, and were written by composers and lyricists from a number of Commonwealth countries. Programme notes will be available on the site soon.

It may seem odd that an international choir composed of European citizens should be adopting this particular theme, but it is appropriate for at least two reasons. Like the European Union, the Commonwealth is an attempt to bring (or keep) together a disparate group of nations for mutual benefit. Both of these institutions are far from perfect, but they demonstrate at best the willingness of different peoples to come together on various levels to help promote understanding, peace and common prosperity. Having recognised this similarity, we have to record that sadly, both institutions are in difficulty at the present time. The Commonwealth contains countries that find it difficult to live peacefully together, and some Commonwealth nations are led by somewhat unsavoury people. The EU faces increasing challenges to its centrifugal tendencies, as we are all too well aware, and a rising tide of nationalism threatens to tear down what the leaders of the post-war era dreamed of creating.

So it is right that we try to celebrate in music one of the great political concepts of the 20th Century, to remind ourselves of the things that unite us rather than those which tend to divide.