Media campaign: Hundreds of voices to raise in song for Boîte Millennium Chorus

Goanna band’s 1980s hit song Solid Rock performed in Pitjantjatjara by a 250-voice choir will be one of the many spine-tingling highlights of a most extraordinary and moving concert on Sunday 20th August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Boîte Millennium Chorus will perform its 20th concert, ‘Haven’, bringing songs from the Seychelles, Africa, East Timor, Chile, the Caribbean and Indigenous Australia to thousands of Melburnians.
This year, the songs selected for the concert include works composed and sung in English, Mandinka, Tsonga, Seychellois, Spanish, Tetum and Indigenous Australian (Yolngu and Pitjantjatjara) languages.
Each song relates to the theme of ‘Haven’ through stories of seeking refuge and freedom, finding a home, falling in love, feeling safe, embracing change and nurturing hope.
In a massive undertaking, the hundreds of singers from Mallacoota in far east Victoria to Ballarat and Geelong in the west, from Albury-Wodonga in the north, Castlemaine, and the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne in the south, gather for weekly rehearsals in their region for the three months leading up to the concert.
This concert celebrates the work of seven outstanding directors—Andrea Khoza, Jane Thompson, James Rigby, Stella Savy, Carl Pannuzzo, Penny Larkins and Geoffrey Williams—brought together under the guidance of Boîte director Roger King. The concert will also feature notable soloists and musicians from diverse backgrounds: Mitch Tambo, Jess Hitchcock, Sally Ford, Lamine Sonko, Darrel Belle, and Valanga Khoza.
Master storyteller, writer, human rights activist and much-loved Melbourne narrator, Arnold Zable will complement the concert with his insightful and surprising stories reflecting on the notion of ‘haven’.
The repertoire includes the driving African-American gospel song Freedom Road, the gentle Mai Fali Eh, a Timorese song that calls children home at sunset, and Dr G Yunupingu’s sublime Marrandil, about running out to the tidal mud flats to catch shell fish. Our Home Our Land is Lou Bennett’s anthem to country, to the land that nurtures us. Aladji, a West African song, sings of the importance of music, and uniting in our humanity. Chilean song Todo Cambia—“everything changes”—exhorts the listener to embrace life’s vagaries. Shane Howard’s anthem to Indigenous strength and fortitude, Solid Rock, features a rousing final two choruses sung in Pitjantjatjara, declaring that “we are standing in the most sacred place… we have been standing the wrong way… the wind is blowing stronger… now we are standing the right way.”
The Boîte Millennium Chorus started in 1999 as a one-off major celebration to usher in the 2000s and highlight the work of The Boîte in bringing culturally diverse music and musicians to Australian audiences. It was so successful, and the audience response so overwhelmingly positive, that The Boîte arranged another concert the following year. Since then the massed choir has grown to become the most popular, anticipated and well-attended concert in The Boîte’s packed world music event calendar.
Audiences, critics and choir members alike are incredibly moved by the performances, and unanimous in their praise.
Comments include: “I feel privileged to have been a part of something so meaningful and joyous. I believe the world is a better place when we sing…”, “The choir stood and their first note literally sent shivers up my arm…”, and “An incredibly uplifting atmosphere… the voices of 300 Australians raised harmoniously…”

About The Boîte Millennium Chorus
The Boîte Millennium Chorus is a major community engagement project that creates opportunities for Victorian singers and audiences of all ages to participate in a large-scale arts event. The project is socially inclusive and accessible to people of all genders, ethnicities and abilities. The regional choir program ensures that singers from across the state can learn repertoire, engage with other cultures within Melbourne’s community and from across the world, as well as perform in a grand concert at a prestigious venue. It addresses the human need to participate in the arts and storytelling, celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity, and supports the wealth of musical talent in our community.
The Chorus aims to support the work of new and existing choirs, musicians and professional choir leaders in regional and metropolitan Victoria. It creates access to an array of highly skilled choir leaders and artists from diverse cultural backgrounds. All repertoire has been commissioned by the Boîte and arranged specifically for this project.
The Boîte Millennium Chorus is supported by Creative Victoria.

CONCERT DETAILS
The Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017, ‘Haven’
Sunday 20th August 2017, 2.30pm—5.00pm (approx. 2.5 hours with interval)
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf VIC 3006
Ticket prices: $32—$125 (A, B, C Reserve available in concession, under 25 and under 17 prices; Premium seats $125)
Ticketing URL: http://www.trybooking.com/qtxo
More info: http://www.boite.com.au/boite-millennium-chorus

 

BACKGROUND

The Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017: Haven

Directors

Roger King, Boîte director
From his childhood in South Africa to working as an engineer in Malaysia and on the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Project among a diverse multicultural workforce, Roger developed a deep and abiding interest in different cultures. He has a profound respect for the wisdom and generosity of peoples in humble circumstances, and a lifelong passion for music from all corners of the world.
In 1984, he and his partner, Therese Virtue, began coordinating The Boîte, a pioneering multicultural arts organisation that celebrates and supports cultural diversity through music. The Boîte has forged meaningful relationships with countless musicians, artists, dancers, writers and storytellers; presented thousands of events, from concerts in Hamer Hall to street songs in the back lanes of Fitzroy; and encouraged people of all ages to attend concerts, join choirs and participate in musical and vocal workshops. The Boîte facilitates creative spaces for people from many different communities, including artists who have been forced to flee from their homeland, offering friendship and support.
In 1999 Roger and Therese worked with choir director Melanie Shanahan to create the inaugural Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus. The concert received rave reviews and has since been the organisation’s premier annual event. In 2017, the Boîte Millennium Chorus is celebrating its 20th concert, this time with the theme of ‘Haven’.
Roger is also a keen singer, performing with Gorani, a 10-voice men’s ensemble specialising in traditional village songs from Georgia and Bulgaria and appearing on national radio and TV in Georgia, Bulgaria and Australia.

James Rigby and Jane Thompson
Directors—Marrandil, Solid Rock, Aladji
James Rigby and Jane Thompson believe in the power of song to communicate and reflect issues of our time. They are skilled and experienced performers, teachers and choir leaders, highly respected in their community of Castlemaine and sought-after across the country for their warm and inviting leadership style, and stunning choir arrangements.
Artistic directors of Gurrong, the 2014 Boîte Millennium Chorus, they lead festival choirs and singing events around Australia, and have a knack for finding or writing songs that capture the spirit of a place or time. An award-winning songwriter, Jane released her debut solo album Here in November 2013, complemented by James’ beautiful multi-instrumental playing.

Stella Savy
Director—Lari Bazar, Mon Moulin Pas Moulin Kopwa
Stella is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer from the Seychelle Islands, who has been a professional musician in Australia for more than 25 years. Her original music is influenced by her Seychelles heritage—the sounds of the islands fused with reggae, funk and ska guitar rhythms. She has also been a vocal coach for more than 20 years and has her own music school CocoSounds based in Ballarat, conducting groups such as Sweet Mona’s Choir, the Mini Mona’s Choir and Thursday Night Community Choir.
Stella was co-director/conductor for The Boîte Millennium Chorus 2011, Freedom Road, wrote and co-directed/conducted the 2013 concert Coco de Mer and conducted 2016’s Windrush.

Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo
Directors—Todo Cambia
Penny Larkins is a performer with 25 years’ experience as a professional singer, actor, writer, educator, choir director and workshop facilitator. She combines a Masters in Voice (NIDA), Bachelor of Arts Musical Theatre (WAAPA) and Diploma of Education (RMIT) with a lifetime of practical and empathic experience to cultivate a rich palette of expressions and capacities. Performance and project involvement include Boy From Oz, the original Australasian tour of Mamma Mia, Hamlet, Oz Opera’s Way Dead Cool, Doubt: A Parable, Woodford Festival Fire Event finale, premiere of Ned (a new Australian Musical), Punctum Live Arts Hardcore Member and curation of Quiet Place concert series. Teaching experience includes Penn State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Jugend in Wien (Austria), NIDA, AIM, Sydney Children’s Festival choir, Millennium Chorus and Schools Chorus.
Carl Pannuzzo, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, autodidact, songwriter and educator, is in demand nationally and internationally, performing/recording with many artists and projects as varied as Bob Sedergreen, Opera Australia, Shane Howard, Mia Dyson, Stephen Magnusson, Punctum Live Arts, Sydney Childrens Festival, Kavisha Mazzella, Cirque du Soleil, Tripod and Music Outback. A highly sought-after workshop facilitator and choir director, Carl’s unique approach to voice, harmony and intention, makes for engaging and joyous processes and sublime results.

Geoffrey Williams
Director and composer—The Boat, Hometown
Geoffrey is a singer, songwriter and music producer with a career spanning over a quarter of a century. A loop artist, his career highlights include five albums recorded with major labels such as Atlantic Records and EMI, writing for artists such as Michael Jackson and Dusty Springfield, and playing at Wembley Arena, Woodford Folk Festival and Bendigo Blues and Roots Festivals.
Geoffrey was artistic director of the 2016 Boîte Millennium Chorus Windrush, with Stella Savy as choral director. He lectures in songwriting at the Victorian College of the Arts, teaches voice and runs choirs in Daylesford, Ballarat and Melbourne.

Andrea Khoza
Director—Walk With Me, Malwandle, O Hele Ho, Mai Fali Eh, Our Home Our Land
Andrea is an experienced singer, songwriter, vocal teacher and workshop tutor, who has been working as a professional musician since 1997. She co-founded vocal quartet, Akasa, which recorded three albums, two of which won the US Contemporary Acappella Recording Awards for Best World/Folk Album.
Since 2002 she has been working as a teacher at schools such as Sophia Mundi Steiner School in Abbotsford and more recently heading the music department at Penbank Campus of Woodleigh School in Baxter. Andrea has directed massed choirs including the 2002 Woodford Fire Event Choir of 400 voices, Melbourne City Council’s Sing For Water, and a 500 piece children’s choir for Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2005. In 2008 she directed the Boite Schools Chorus (350 voices) and the Boîte Millennium Chorus (350 adult voices), focusing on the music of South Africa. In conjunction with the Boite and her husband, Valanga Khoza, she brought out a secondary school choir from remote South Africa to perform in Australia. From 2010-12 Andrea directed the highly successful hip hop choir, Massive, and has directed the Boîte Millennium Chorus many times.

Storyteller and soloists

Arnold Zable
Arnold is an acclaimed writer, novelist and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes, Cafe Scheherazade, The Fig Tree, Scraps of Heaven, Sea of Many Returns, Violin Lessons, and most recently, The Fighter. His work-in-progress, Refugium, was published in Italy in January, 2017. He is the author of numerous essays, columns, features, and co-author of Kan Yama Kan, a play in which asylum seekers tell their stories. His storytelling ventures include Wanderers & Dreamers, Anytime the Wind Can Change, and Journeys to Ithaca. Arnold has engaged with refugees, bushfire survivors, the homeless, the deaf, and other groups, using story as a means of self-understanding, and in recent years conducted annual workshops for Cambodian writers. He has a doctorate from the School of Creative Arts, Melbourne University, and has been a guest lecturer internationally and in Australian Universities. He is an ambassador of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a patron of Sanctuary and in 2013 received the Voltaire Prize for human rights advocacy. Arnold was the storyteller in two previous Millennium choir concerts: Flight and Azadi. The Fig Tree CD, produced by The Boîte, and a musical companion to the book won the National Folk Recording award in 2004.
Arnold will complement the concert with his insightful and surprising stories reflecting on the notion of ‘haven’—a place of refuge, safety and belonging.

Mitch Tambo
Mitch is a proud Gamilaraay / Birri Gubba (Queensland) man based in Melbourne. He is known for his Yidaki (Didgeridoo) playing, traditional dancing and singing, and is currently wrapping up series two of a children’s TV series he has been hosting which will be on Channel 9 Imparja and NITV. ​Didgeridoo player, traditional Indigenous dancer and singer, he is a triple threat talent who has already made his way from country Australia to the world stage, blending his traditional sounds with the most contemporary.
Mitch will open the 2017 Boîte Millennium Chorus concert on Didjeridoo, leading into Melanie Shanhan’s Walk With Me.

Jessica Hitchcock
Award-winning opera singer, actor and songwriter Jessica Hitchcock is an up-and-coming Indigenous performer with family origins from Saibai in the Torres Straits. In the past five years she has transitioned from a jazz background into the world of opera. She debuted in the role of Alice in Short Black Opera’s production of Pecan Summer, for which she won a Broadway World award for best supporting actress in opera. Her years with Short Black Opera led to the opportunity to sing a lead role in Opera Australia’s production of The Rabbits, for which she was awarded a prestigious Green Room Award for Best Female in a supporting role in 2016. More recently Jessica has been working with Jessie Lloyd on the Mission Songs Project. She has just been nominated for an APRA Professional Development Award in the Indigenous Music and Media category (due to be announced in late July).
For the Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017, Jessica will sing Lou Bennett’s Our Home, Our Land.

Sally Ford
Sally is a respected musician (saxophone, flute) and songwriter who has performed with seminal Melbourne bands including Joe Camilleri’s Black Sorrows, Sally Ford and the Pachuco Playboys, Paul Kelly’s High Rise Bombers, Texicali Rose, Lola’s Lost Weekend and The Kevins. She currently works with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra and Dr Hernández.
She has lead various community workshops at festivals and events around Australia, including Broome Arts Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, The Boîte Singers Festival, Mildura Arts Festival, Turramurra Music Camp and corporate clients including the Nous Group, Forrester Taylor and MADworks.
In this years’ Boîte Millennium Chorus, Sally will sing Todo Cambia.

Lamine Sonko
Lamine is pushing musical boundaries with his unique fusion of African roots music, jazz, Latin and Afro-classical soul. His work has been described as ‘uplifting and soulful’, transcending lines between ancient Africa and the new world diaspora. Originally from Senegal, Lamine is one of Australia’s most talented and versatile West African musicians. He has directed the Boite’s One Africa Millennium Chorus concert at Arts Centre Melbourne and collaborated on Grammy Award winning album Winds of Samsara. In 2012 he established his 10 piece band, Lamine Sonko and The African Intelligence and released their debut album Afro Empire in 2017. Recent festival reviews define his performances as ‘brimming with optimism and conviction…a circus of song dance, social comment and superb playing’.
Lamine will sing his father’s song Aladji for the Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017.

Darrel Belle
Growing up in the Seychelles, Darrel has been performing from a very young age. He has participated in and headlined concerts across many genres of music from musicals and choirs to solos acoustic sessions. He is lead singer of Melbourne reggae band The Push.
He has a passion for his island music, which includes styles such as Sega, Reggae, Moutya, Dancehall and Soca. Roots and his Creole culture are always at the forefront of his thinking… and he is forever promoting the spirit of ONE LOVE.
Darrel will sing lead vocals on this darkly beautiful song of betrayal, for the concert.

Valanga Khoza
Valanga left South Africa in 1976, exiled along with many other young people because of their struggle against apartheid. The music and stories he has since created reflect the places he has been and the people he has touched throughout his journey across the world as a refugee, finally settling in Australia.
Valanga charms his audiences with humour and wit, telling stories that are embellished by beautiful music form many traditional instruments such as the kalimba, marimba and shijoro (jaw harp) as well as irresistible rhythms from the guitar, percussion and his velvety voice. He has warmed audiences of adults and children at major world music events and in schools across Australia and the Pacific. As well as recording six albums of original music, he is also the author of Gezani and the Tricky Baboon republished by Ford Street in 2014. In 2017, Valanga will be releasing his autobiography Skin In the Game.
Valanga will play drums and sing his song, Malwandle, for the Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017.

Geoffrey Williams
Geoffrey is a singer, songwriter and music producer with a career spanning over a quarter of a century. A loop artist, his career highlights include five albums recorded with major labels such as Atlantic Records and EMI, writing for artists such as Michael Jackson and Dusty Springfield, and playing at Wembley Arena, Woodford Folk Festival and Bendigo Blues and Roots Festivals.
Geoffrey was artistic director of the 2016 Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus Windrush, with Stella Savy as choral director. He lectures in songwriting at the Victorian College of the Arts, teaches voice and runs choirs in Daylesford, Ballarat and Melbourne.
In the Boîte Millennium Chorus 2017, Geoffrey will direct and solo in his songs Hometown and The Boat.

The choir songs

The choir songs selected for the 20th Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus are drawn from the repertoire of the past decade, and include songs composed and sung in English, Mandinka, Tsonga, Seychellois, Tetum and Indigenous Australian (Yolngu and Pitjantjatjara) languages.
Each song relates to the theme of ‘Haven’ through stories of seeking refuge and freedom, finding a home, falling in love, feeling safe, embracing change and nurturing hope.
Some songs trace journeys by refugees, slaves and immigrants, forced to leave their homeland, enduring great peril and hardship, to building their new lives with hope and strength.
The driving African-American gospel song Freedom Road is about the courage of the slaves who risked all to stand up for their emancipation. The gentle Mai Fali Eh calls children home at sunset; a metaphor for calling all expatriate Timorese home to build a new nation. Geoffrey Williams’ The Boat is about his mother sailing on HMS Windrush from the Caribbean to England, full of hope for her new life.
Other songs celebrate everyday home life and simple joys. Dr G Yunupingu’s Marrandil is a gentle, meditative song about running out to the mud flats to catch shell fish before the tide comes in. Our Home Our Land is Lou Bennett’s anthem to country, to the land that nurtures us.
Still others bring audiences back to the personal; the need for strength in times of adversity and to accept inevitable change. The Millennium Chorus’ first and much-loved director, the late Melanie Shanahan, will be recognised through her song Walk With Me. Its heartfelt plea to “walk with me… I don’t want to walk alone”, resonates with every choir member who sings it and every audience member who hears it.
A highlight is Shane Howard’s (Goanna band) hit song, Solid Rock, featuring a stirring final two choruses sung in Pitjantjatjara, declaring that “we are standing in the most sacred place… we have been standing the wrong way… the wind is blowing stronger now… now we are standing the right way.”
Aladji, a West African song, sings of the importance of music, and beauty, and the unity of humanity. And Todo Cambia—“everything changes”—exhorts the listener to embrace the inevitability of life’s vagaries.

Choir songs include (in program order)
Walk With Me
Composer / arranger: Melanie Shanahan (Australia) Director: Andrea Khoza
Composed and performed in English.
This song is a choir favourite, and one that was constantly requested when Melanie first wrote and performed it with her own acappella quartet, Akasa. This year, it is being sung in her memory. The lyrics are reminiscent of the Serenity Prayer, but with a heartfelt plea to join the singer in the journey of life: “Walk with me, hold my hand, I don’t want to walk alone”.

Malwandle
Composer / arranger: Valanga Khoza (South Africa) Director: Andrea Khoza
Soloist: Valanga Khoza
Composed and performed in Tsonga
This beautiful song mirrors Valanga Khoza’s sea journey as an exile from his homeland South Africa. “My Child where are you going? I am going over the seas. What are you going there for? I’m going to look for knowledge. How are you going to go there? I’m going to swim the ocean. What about the big dangerous fish? I will swim the ocean by boat…”

Marrandil
Composer: Dr G Yunupingu (Yolngu) Arrangers/directors: Jane Thompson and James Rigby
Composed and performed in Yolngu
Dr G Yunupingu’s sublime Marrandil sings praise to the beauty of a sunset, the reflections on the sea, and the joy of running across the tidal flats to gather shellfish.
YouTube: Marrandil, Millennium Chorus 2014

Lari Bazar
Composer / arranger: Traditional, arranged by Stella Savy (Seychelles) Director: Stella Savy
Soloist: Stella Savy Composed and performed in Seychellois
The joyous and playful Lari Bazar celebrates the hustle and bustle of buying fish in a Seychelle Island marketplace.
YouTube: Lari Bazar, Millennium Chorus 2013

Mon Moulin Pas Moulin Kopra
Composer / arranger: Traditional Mutia Seychelles, arranged by Stella Savy (Seychelles)
Director: Stella Savy Soloist: Darrel Belle
Composed and performed in Seychellois
A wife weeps because her husband has gone out dancing Moutya and left her alone. In her grief she is unable to get copra oil from her coconuts at the mill.

Freedom Road
Composer / arranger: Traditional, after the Blind Boys of Alabama
Director: Stella Savy
African American gospel, composed and performed in English
Direct and uplifting—in the way of many African-American gospel songs—Freedom Road is a rousing declaration to keep the faith and stay true to your journey, no matter how hard life gets. “Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me round, turn me round, turn me round; I’m gonna keep on walkin’, keep on talkin’, walkin’ down freedom road.”
YouTube: Freedom Road, Millennium Chorus 2011

O Hele Ho
Composer / arranger: Traditional East Timorese, arranged by Andrea Khoza
Director: Andrea Khoza
Composed and performed in Tetum
O Hele Ho calls on (Timorese) people to unite as a nation, using the metaphor of many streams that join to make a mighty river.

Mai Fali Eh!
Composer / arranger: Traditional East Timorese, arranged by Andrea Khoza
Director: Andrea Khoza
Composed and performed in Tetum
Mai Fali Eh! uses the words of a mother calling her children back as a metaphor for Timor calling back her scattered and fragmented people to their native homeland.
YouTube: Mai Fali Eh! 2012

The Boat
Composer / arranger, director, soloist: Geoffrey Williams
Composed and performed in English
“This is the story of my mum’s migration. She left St Lucia in the Caribbean, her home, her family and everything she knew because there were no prospects for her there… hoping that maybe life would hold more promise in the UK. The way to get from the Caribbean to the UK in those days was by boat. The journey took 21 days. She had never been on a boat before and was seasick for the whole trip. When the boat arrived in Dover in March 1960, it was freezing. She had never experienced cold like this. Cold in the Caribbean is maybe 17 -18 degrees. No one told her it would be this cold.”

Hometown
Composer / arranger, musician and soloist: Geoffrey Williams (vocals and keyboard)
Composed and performed in English. Geoffrey will be joined by his fellow choir directors, singing backing vocals.
“This song is a hypothetical letter, the type my dad would have sent to his mum in Dominica. He had been in England for over a decade before he went back to see his family as all of his brothers were now in England. Flights were expensive and he and my mum were doing shift work to pay off the mortgage, put food on the table and all the other family expenses. He and my mum experienced racism at work and in society. My dad’s passion was working with wood. He and wood were a match made in heaven! He dearly wanted to be a carpenter but found it too hard to get started, having to get qualifications.”

Hama Weya
Composer / arranger: Lamine Sonko and O Moyniha, influenced by the sounds of South Africa
Director: Lamine Sonko
African work song meaning “when you can hum the rhythm, you can dance and drum the rhythm.”

Our Home Our Land
Composer / arranger: Lou Bennett (Yorta Yorta / Dja Dja Wurrung)
Director: Andrea Khoza Soloist: Jessica Hitchcock (Saibai, Torres Straits Islands)
Composed and performed in English
Lou Bennett (Tiddas) wrote this song about the importance of country to Indigenous Australians. “… without the land you could not eat, you cannot sleep or breath or live… Our Home is Our Land, where we stand proud and tall. Our Home is our land, where we stand together.”
YouTube: Our Home Our Land, Millennium Chorus 2009

Solid Rock
Composer / arranger: Shane Howard (arr. James Rigby)
Director: Jane Thompson Soloist: James Rigby
Composed in English, performed in English and Pitjantjatjara
Shane Howard wrote Solid Rock after experiencing an epiphany when he went camping near Uluru in 1981. Recorded by his band Goanna as a political rock anthem, the song brought Aboriginal displacement and suffering into the international spotlight and became an unlikely hit song. In 2012 on the 30th anniversary of the song’s release, Howard was invited back to Uluru by the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Council for a community carnival to celebrate and promote the well-being of families in remote communities. For that concert, he recorded two new versions of Solid Rock, with one featuring Indigenous children singing the last two choruses in Pitjantjatjara. It is this stirring version, arranged by director James Rigby, that will be performed at the Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus concert.
“Standing on solid rock, standing on sacred ground, living on borrowed time, and the winds of change are blowin’ down the line.”

Aladji
Composer / arranger: Bouli Sonko (Senegal), arranged for choir by Jane Thompson and James Rigby
Directors: Jane Thompson and James Rigby
Soloist: Lamine Sonko
Composed and performed in Mandinka
This song was written by Lamine’s father, for a music competition in Senegal. Lamine’s father was a director of Le Ballet National du Senegal. He also played in several bands, with both Mandingko and Wolof speakers, and they asked him which group he would align himself with, for the competition. He decided to write a song appealing to the judge of the competition—about the importance of music, and unifying humanity—and won the competition! Translation of the verse: “It’s not greatness in terms of size that drives the human soul—it’s only a good heart that accompanies you in your life journey.”
YouTube: Aladji, Millennium Chorus 2015

Todo Cambia
Composer / arranger: Julio Numhauser (Chile), arranged by Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo
Directors: Penny Larkins and Carl Pannuzzo Soloist: Sally Ford
Composed and performed in Spanish and English
Todo Cambia is Spanish for “everything changes”. Written by exiled Chilean musician, Julio Numhauser, this song was made famous by popular Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa, one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canción music; folk-inspired, socially-aware and associated with political activism against the dictatorship of their time. Numhauser was forced to flee Chile in 1973 due to persecution of nueva canción musicians by Augusto Pinochet. The song implores the listener to embrace the changes that affect us all—physical, emotional, intellectual, seasonal, personal and global—rather than trying to resist that we cannot control. The only thing that does not change is the singer’s love for his country and the memories of pain for his people; even though he is far away from them, he is with them in spirit.
YouTube: Todo Cambia, Millennium Chorus 2010

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