Proms in the parque

From humble beginnings in the front room of a house in Vale da Telha to a concert for an audience of more than 120 people, the Aljezur International Choir has come a long way since it first began in 2001.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the international choir, which is made up of between 20 and 30 choristers plus a number of musicians playing the violin, cello, piano, harp and trumpet, a concert was held on June 30 at the Pastelaria do Parque in Vale da Telha.

Co-founder Uwe Zelinsky playing the cello.
Co-founder Uwe Zelinsky playing the cello.

The pastelaria is no more than a kilometre from the home of the founding members of the choir Doris Wroblewski and Uwe Zelinsky, who started the choir by posting handwritten notes around the local community to ask if anyone was interested in coming to their home in Vale da Telha to sing in a new choir.

Organiser and treasurer of the choir, Trevor Harrington, who also sings bass and plays the trumpet, felt that the Pastelaria do Parque in Vale da Telha, a community outside Aljezur with a large expat population, would be the ideal location for the concert because of its proximity to the first location 10 years ago and also because the choir have held successful concerts there in the past.

Harpist Annette Gerken.
Harpist Annette Gerken.

During the concert songs were sung in Portuguese, Italian, English, Irish and Yiddish, reflecting the international diversity of the group, while 13 year old violinist Zé Nuno performed a solo to the audience.

Other soloist during the concert included a cello performance by co-founder Uwe Zelinsky and Annette Gerken on the harp while Francisco Brazão, who is the conductor and a singer in the choir, also sang solos.

During the concert customers from the pastelaria donated €50 to the choir, which will be passed on to the Bombeiros of Aljezur.

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