The award-winning school choir from Mornant, Hartford’s twin town in France, will perform a free concert at St John’s Church on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 5.30pm, at the culmination of a visit to the village. All residents are invited to attend.
At lunchtime the French party will be welcomed by members of the Hartford-Mornant Twinning group at the Methodist Church Hall, and in the afternoon they will meet members of Hartford High School chorale during their weekly after-school session with music curriculum leader Zena Philippou.
The ensemble of 40 pupils from the middle-school Collège Pierre de Ronsard, aged between 12 and 14 years, are known as The Tiny Choir Singers. They have won numerous awards, and in 2016 were judged the best school choir in their age-group in the whole of France. Their prize was two days in Paris and a concert in front of members of the government of the day.
Under their director Frédéric Durbec, who took over as music teacher at the college in 1993, the singers have been involved in many different types of performances, including religious music, oratorios with the choir of the Lyon Opéra, musical comedy, theatrical adaptations and classical concerts. Their repertoire covers the Renaissance to the 21st century. All this has been achieved with only one hour’s rehearsal per week.
One of the choir’s aims is to introduce its members to new cultures and landscapes. The youngsters have performed all over France and in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany, where they presented an interpretation of a Hebrew song at the Jewish memorial at Dachau concentration camp, below.
According to their director, many of the singers will be moving on this year from the collège to the local lycée senior school and they vowed to come to England before the parting of their ways. They will be accommodated with host families on the Wirral and also plan to visit Liverpool. The group will be joined in Hartford by Jean-Marie Barberon, president of the Mornant-Hartford twinning association.