Coro dos Amigos choir was founded by “Walter Sulzer in 2006 and focused primarily on the Renaissance and Baroque eras.” In 2015, António de Jesus, took over the choir and has led the choir in many incredible performances all over the Algarve, including “Vivaldi’s Gloria in conjunction with the Coro da Academia de Música de Tavira, accompanied by a string quartet, and contemporary composer, Jacob de Haan’s, Missa Brevis with the Banda Filarmónica de São Brás.”
Maestro António de Jesus has had an impressive musical career which started at the S. José in Faro and he went on to study at the Conservatório Regional do Algarve, "Maria Campina". From our interview I found out that he is someone who promotes inclusivity and is undoubtedly very passionate about what he does. “He founded and conducted the choir of the "Pequenos Cantores d'Ossónoba" as well as the Chamber choir of the Coro Ossónoba and the Coro Juvenil, and conducted the Coro da Sé Catedral of Faro for many years. During this time, he also instructed leaders and conductors of liturgical choirs of the Algarvian diocese, being part of their department of liturgical music. He was also artistic director of many choral festivals in the Algarve, touring with his choirs to Spain, France, Holland, Switzerland and Brazil and notably has performed with the “Orquestra Classica do Sul.”
Maestro António de Jesus explained that the pandemic has unfortunately, left Coro dos Amigos with a smaller choir and that they are very much wanting to welcome new members into their friendly group. They accept people of all ages into their choir and he affirmed that they are very much an international choir, with current members who give a 110 percent being of different nationalities, including German, Dutch, French and English, with the language spoken in rehearsals being English. Coro dos Amigos rehearse every Thursday at 6:30pm until 8:30pm at the Museu de Traje in São Brás de Alportel. Their repertoire is diverse, covering different styles and I was assured that “it is really directed by what the group enjoy singing.”
Additionally, they do many concerts throughout the year, in the Algarve, including participating in the “Música nas Igrejas de Tavira” concerts. They are hoping to perform at the end of October with dates to be confirmed, but nonetheless an unmissable event which he is proud to say is “the result of Coro dos Amigos hard work during the pandemic.” They also plan to do two concerts at Christmas, one being at the Museu de Traje and the other at a Church of their choice. Finally, they do an Easter and Summer concert in June.
António de Jesus left me with this important note for anyone interested in joining: “Please do not hesitate to give yourself the opportunity to come and try us out, trying never does any harm so please come and be part of our inclusive and united choir. There are so many benefits to singing, and asides from the physical benefits, there are many mental health benefits of being part of a choir as it reduces stress and offers a chance to unwind after a busy day. You really reap the rewards of doing something positive for your community and most importantly singing really does wonders for the soul.”
If you are interested in joining this fantastic choir, and would like more information, please contact Daniela Droogleever by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have more information on their great website http://www.coro-amigos.com/en/ and on their Facebook page “Coro dos Amigos”.