5 July 2017
A CHOIR took part in memorable concerts in Lithuania.

The One Voice Choir of Weymouth travelled to Panevezys last month and saw their singing talents praised by the British ambassador to Lithuania.

The trip was a homecoming for Grazina Ellis, the choir's musical director, who hails from Lithuania.

She arranged for the choir to join with local students at an annual music festival in the two final concerts. One was held in Bistrampolis Manor, where the guests were housed.

Months of planning for the five day visit of a group of 25 ended with members joining with 48 youth singers together with a youth orchestra numbering 50. For the visitors there was the challenge of singing some songs in Lithuanian; for the youth, an introduction to sing some challenging songs in English.

The concert, attended by 420 people, began with the English composer Albert Ketelbey’s picturesque In a Monastery Garden, John Rutter’s I Will Sing with the Spirit and was preceded two local songs that tested the choir’s ability to sing in Lithuanian.

Also on the programme were Nella Fantasia in Italian, featuring a local soloist with One Voice and then the Rhythm of Life, challenging not only for those whose first language was English but for the students who really excelled!

Two exciting songs followed featuring African and Spanish rhythms and then a Negro Spiritual Hold on to the Rock, featuring soloist Maggie Tetlow.

Acting British ambassador Andy Pearce told the choir: "Journeying down from the capital Vilnius to the concert I had no idea what to expect. Within a beautiful garden setting was the Concert Hall.

"I think you have made a little piece of paradise. Lithuanian and British performing, singing and working together in harmony, energy and warm spirit. I will present to you a challenge. Please don’t stop singing; continue to make music…with the same spirit!”

The final piece was truly fitting - Kirby Shaw’s Until We Meet Again.
Joanna Davis, Dorset Echo
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