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To sing or to organise, that is the question

Photos: Marlon Candeloro

Text: Alba Roorda Martinez

Besides working on our own Youth Committee projects (read about them in our previous blogpost), we also get to go to various events on choral music all over Europe. Last summer I got the amazing chance to join the team and singers of EuroChoir, a project choir for talented singers between the ages of 18 and 30 from Europe, organised by the European Choral Association.  In this post I’ll tell you a bit about my experiences in Switzerland last July.

As I had already been part of EuroChoir in 2019 in France, I was asked if I could help the organiser of last summer’s session, Lucia Chen, out in the preparations. In the months leading up to the project, we discussed things such as the program of the session and the formation of the choir. When talking to the conductors Yuval Weinberg and Marco Amherd, we decided that I would also join the choir as a singer, so I could be a connecting factor between the choir and the team (and I mean, singing in EuroChoir once again was a dream come true!).

When the time arrived to catch my train from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Lenk im Simmental, Switzerland, I simply could not wait to get there and meet my fellow singers. I already knew some singers from the 2019 session, and had worked with the conductor Yuval Weinberg back then as well. Immediately upon arrival is was very clear that this was going to be an amazing group – both the choir and team had great energy. We spent the next week rehearsing most of the day, and getting to know each other in our free time – which brings me to my main task during the project.

While Patrick and Xavier were cooking three fresh meals a day for all 50 singers, Marco and Yuval were leading rehearsals and making sure we would sound our absolute best, and Lucia was busy organising, well, everything, I was in charge of the parties! In such an intense project you want to make sure everyone gets to know each other well, and that the group becomes close and feels comfortable quickly. I organised things such as getting-to-know-eachother-games, an open mic night, and set everyone up to be someone’s guardian angel (your guardian angel is tasked with making you feel extra special and loved all throughout the project – anonymously! Try it during your next project, during EuroChoir it resulted in lots of mysterious chocolaty gifts, sweet notes, and even a few serenades…)

Besides organising all these fun activities, the rest of team and I had daily meetings to discuss how things were going, and have a look at the planning for that day. After a week of rehearsals, we got on the bus and traveled to different places in Switzerland, each as beautiful as the last, to give concerts. These last days of the session were truly magical, and I was so happy with the level of musicianship the choir achieved, and with how close everyone had gotten.

I am still so happy that I got the chance to both sing in the choir and be part of the organising team, as I learned so much from both experiences. I went back home tired, happy, and filled with new knowledge and inspiration as a singer and organiser – and with 50 new friends from all over Europe.


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