The Choir of Friends of São Brás Museum is preparing for its two last Christmas concerts of the season.
The performances will take place at the main church of Santa Barbára de Nexe (Sunday, December 10) and at the São Romão chapel in São Brás de Alportel (Sunday, December 17), both starting at 6pm and free to attend.
Maestro António de Jesus, who has led the choir since 2015, is promising two musical celebrations of the festive season.
“Our Christmas concerts are divided into two parts: the first is more ‘classical’, in which we interpret pieces of music which may be festive but are not necessarily the usual Christmas songs you might expect; those more traditional Christmas songs are performed in the second half, during which in some songs we even invite the audience to sing the chorus with us,” António de Jesus told the Resident.
“Christmas is a time of peace and fraternity, and having the audience join us is a way of celebrating this,” he added.
The choir’s maestro has a long history in the Algarve’s musical scene, having co-founded Faro’s renowned Ossónoba choir group in 1980.
While the Choir of Friends of São Brás Museum is not a professional choir, it does hold itself to a high standard.
“Most of our members have some musical training or culture, which allows us to tackle longer or harder pieces of music than the average amateur choir,” the maestro told us.
However, the choir is always looking for new singers, particularly after having lost a good number of them after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There were some who never returned after the pandemic, which has limited us in terms of the music we can interpret. For example, at the moment we do not have a tenor section,” he lamented.
No prior musical knowledge or training is required to join the choir, simply a desire to sing and a commitment to turning up every week for the weekly rehearsal, held on Thursday at the Costume Museum between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.
“People can simply turn up or contact us through our Facebook page,” António de Jesus said, adding that the rehearsals will resume on January 4 after a short break for Christmas and New Year’s.